• barb downes
    Professor Barb Downes, Barb is an aquatic ecologist, with research experience in basic population and community ecology in both freshwater and marine environments.
  • michael-shawn fletcher
    Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Michael is interested in the long term interactions between humans, climate, disturbance and vegetation at local, regional and global scales.
  • jill lancaster
    Dr Jill Lancaster, Jill is a freshwater ecologist with broad interests in the biology aquatic insects, their population and community ecologies. Particular interests lie in insect dispersal, trophic interactions and bio-physical coupling.

Honorary staff

  • ian thomas
    Dr Ian Thomas, Ian researches in palaeoecology and environmental studies and uses using pollen analyses and archaeological investigations to research human impacts on natural systems and the responses of plant communities to climate change.


  • Joseph Alexander. Joseph is interested in reconstructing past environments using lake sediments. His research focuses on the response of the Southern Hemisphere westerly wind belt to past climate change in Tasmania. Supervisor: Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher.
  • Kristen Beck. Kristen's doctoral research focuses on the climate driven interaction between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems in Tasmania during the Holocene. Supervisors: Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher and Associate Professor Russell Drysdale.
  • Bradley Clarke-Wood. Longitudinal trends in land-use, spatial subsidies and food-webs of north-eastern Victorian perennial streams. Supervisors: Professor Barbara Downes and Associate Professor Ian Rutherfurd.
  • Gabriel Cornell. Gabriel is fascinated by the lives of freshwater fish, with his Masters research focusing on the ecological underpinnings of fish responses to in-stream habitat rehabilitation using small wood. Supervisors: Professor Barbara Downes, Dr John Morrongiello and Dr Robin Hale.
  • Bronwyn Dixon. Bronwyn’s research examines differing approaches to strengthen palaeoclimate reconstructions in the Australian context, including the application of Bayesian age modelling approaches and statistical reconstructions of decadal variability in Southeast Australian rainfall. Supervisors: Dr Russell Drysdale and Dr Jonathan Tyler.
  • Michela Mariani. My PhD project is focused on reconstructing regional vegetation changes in western Tasmania using pollen-based models. My research also deals with the role of climate modes in driving fire activity across the Southern Hemisphere. Supervisors: Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher and Dr Simon E. Connor.
  • Gina Mondschein. Gina's doctoral research will elucidate how morphology and landscape interact to affect overland dispersal distance and direction in aquatic insects. Supervisors: Prof Barbara Downes, Dr William Bovill.
  • Parastoo Yazdanparast. Parastoo’s palaeoecological research reconstructs the vegetation history surrounding salt lakes over the last few millennia in an attempt to place contemporary salinity ‘problems’ within a meaningful historical context. Supervisors: Dr Ian Thomas and Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher.