The School of Geography hosts a team of Biogeographers who investigate the distribution of species and ecosystems in geographic space and through geological time.
Our research focuses on the drivers of species and ecosystem diversity, the role of disturbance in shaping biological systems and the impact of human activity on species composition and diversity. We are actively engaged with researches from many disciplines, including botany, zoology and earth science and we presently work on a range of systems across the Southern Hemisphere. We are involved in research that aims to understand the role of fire in the Australian landscape, the influence of climatic change on natural systems and the key drivers of ecological diversity through time.
- Professor Barb Downes, Barb is an aquatic ecologist, with research experience in basic population and community ecology in both freshwater and marine environments.
- Dr Michael-Shawn Fletcher, Michael is interested in the long term interactions between humans, climate, disturbance and vegetation at local, regional and global scales.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.