Our people

Academic and research staff

Professor Peter Banks
Professor of Conservation Biology
Research: My research aims to develop humane, ecologically based solutions for the impact of invasive species.

Dr Catherine Price
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Research: My research aims to develop solutions for conservation and wildlife management challenges, particularly related to foraging behaviour. I focus on understanding and manipulating olfactory-driven processes and decision-making in mammals. My research has already demonstrated ecologically powerful effects; developing a novel technique to reduce predator impacts without the need to kill predators, and has been applied internationally to increase shorebird nesting success. I am now applying our understanding of herbivore foraging to reduce browsing damage in Australia and protect threatened plants from native and non-native browsers.

Jenna Bytheway
Senior Research Assistant
Research: I am currently involved in research on novel non-lethal techniques to improve pest management using deception and misinformation to alter decision-making by animals.
I have recently been involved in research on naiveté and learning in the recognition of novel predators, and prior to that my research focused on using chemical signal exploitation to manipulate alien predator behaviour to protect native prey.

Research students

Kyla Johnstone
PhD Student
Research: Individual personality as an underlying mechanism driving detection bias during wildlife surveys.

Amelia Saul
PhD Student
Research: The relationship between population density and the positive effects of aliens.
Links: researchgate.net/prole/Amelia_M_Saul

Casey Taylor
PhD Student
Research: Ecological drivers of human-tick interactions in the urban environment.
Links: twitter.com/caseyttaylor

Cassie Thompson
PhD Student
Research: Reducing fragmentation and barrier effects for Eastern Pygmy Possums and other small mammals in the peri-urban environment.

Cristian Gabriel Orlando
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: Patch use and decision-making by foraging mammalian herbivores at small spatial and temporal scales.
Links: researchgate.net/prole/Cristian_Orlando

Anushika P.H.M. Herath
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: Personality and its influence on diet and parasitic load of mammalian herbivores.

Nicole Lynch
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: Implications of individual behavioural variation for the conservation and ecology of a threatened species, the spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus maculatus)

Laura Grant
Honours Student (Primary supervisor Dr. Catherine Price)
Research: Using olfactory misinformation strategies to reduce the browsing impacts of mammalian herbivores on plants.



  • Katie Wat (PhD 2020, USYD) – (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Henry Lydecker (PhD 2018, USYD) – (primary supervisor Prof. Dieter Hochuli)
  • Hayley Bates (PhD 2017, UNSW) – Assessing environmental correlates of populations of the endangered mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) in Kosciuszko National Park, New South Wales (primary supervisor Prof. Michael Archer)
  • Megan Callander (PhD, UWS) – (primary supervisor A/Prof. Ricky Spencer)
  • Rebecca Stutz (PhD 2016, USYD) – Plant drivers of foraging behaviour in a generalist browser (primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Helen Smith (PhD 2015, USYD) – When commensals go wild: the ecological consequences of exotic black rats (Rattus rattus) invading beyond the urban boundary
  • Valentina Mella (PhD 2014, USYD) – The role of personality in response to predation risk and plant toxins in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) (primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Alexandra Carthey (PhD 2013, USYD) – The role of prey naiveté in vulnerability to alien predators
  • Amanda Guy (PhD 2013, UNSW) – Rehabilitation and reintroduction of vervet monkeys
  • Miguel Bedoya Perez (PhD 2013, USYD) – Foraging responses of swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) to plant chemistry, vegetation composition and diversity (primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Catherine Price (PhD 2011 submitted, UNSW) – Novel techniques to improve reintroduction success for endangered wildlife
  • Caragh Threlfall (PhD 2011 submitted, UNSW) – Insectivorous bat diversity in urban landscapes: possible mechanisms influencing persistence
  • Romane Cristescu (PhD 2011 submitted, UNSW) – Wildlife use of rehabilitated mine sites (with Prof. Frank Carrick UQ)
  • Carolyn Nersesian (PhD 2010 submitted USYD) – Herbivore foraging: balancing plant nutrients, toxins and predation risk (primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Vera Nedved (PhD 2010 submitted, UNSW) – Sex allocation in captive animal populations
  • Nelika Hughes (PhD 2008, UNSW) – Dangerous liaisons in animal signaling
  • Vicki Stokes (PhD 2007, UNSW) – Ecological role of feral black rats in Australia (with Dr. Roger Pech, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems)
  • Ben Russell (PhD 2006, UNSW) – The ecology of alien and native predator and prey behavioural interactions
  • Peter Brown (PhD 2005, UNSW) – The dynamics of compensation in population processes (with Dr. Grant Singleton, CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems)
  • Matt Hayward (PhD 2003, UNSW) – The ecology of the mainland Quokka metapopulation
  • Karen Fey (PhD 2008, University of Turku) – Alteration of top down and bottom processes by feral mink in the ecology of vole populations (primary supervisor Prof Erkki Korpimaki)
  • Pälvi Salo (PhD 2009, University of Turku) – Ecology of feral mink in Finnish Archipleago (primary supervisor Prof Erkki Korpimaki)
  • Wendy Gleen (MSc 2013, USYD) – Life on the edge: Population and behavioural responses of the native bush rat to invasive species at the urban edge
  • Malith Weerakoon (MPhil 2011, UNSW) – Detecting rodent movement across an urban/bushland interface using Rhodamine B
  • Nicole Hansen (MPhil 2011, UNSW) – The sociobiology of rodent pest control (with Dr. Nelika Hughes, AWC)
  • Rachel Miller (MSc 2007, UNSW) – Ecology & impacts of pest rodents in the Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines
  • Roy Wilson (MSc 2004, UNSW) – Ecology of southern-brown bandicoots
  • Elke Venstra (MSc University of Amsterdam 2004) – Are urban bandicoots caught in an ecological trap?

Honours graduates

  • Annabelle Lee (Hons 2020, USYD)
  • Finn Parker (Hons 2019, USYD)
  • Nicole Lynch (Hons 2019, USYD)
  • Edward Brand (Hons 2018, USYD) – Fire as a potential management strategy for Sydney’s Northern Beaches tick infestations
  • Rebecca O’rourke (Hons 2017, USYD)
  • Annabel Ellis (Hons 2017, USYD) – Ecology of invasive rodents on islands: does marine-subsudused overabundance impact a restoring plant community?
  • Maree Williams (Hons 2016, USYD) – Mechanisms of olfactory learning in free-living predators: do generalist predators use generalist odours when searching for food? (with Dr. Catherine Price)
  • Britany Etheridge (Hons 2016, USYD) – The host ecology of the paralysis tick, Ixodes holocyckus, in urban environments, Northern Beaches, Sydney
  • Georgina Barron (Hons 2016, USYD) – Ecological benefits of invasive plants in novel ecosystems: does lantana provide habitat for urban sensitive species? (primary supervisor A/Prof. Dieter Hochuli)
  • Charlotte Fletcher (Hons 2014, USYD) – Bats, boxes and birds in an urban bushland matrix
  • Amelia Saul (Hons 2013, USYD) – Aliens replacing natives: are black rats effective substitutes for extinct native mammalian pollinators?
  • Jordan Krucler (Hons 2013, USYD) – Quantifying ecologically relevant personality traits and their link to movement patterns in wild common brushtail possums (Trichosurus vulpecula) (primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Deborah Romero (Hons 2012, USYD) – Reinvasion of black rats across the urban/bushland interface: a test of ideal-free distribution models
  • Andrew Daly (Hons 2012, USYD) – What is the scent of death?
  • Elyce Coluccio (Hons 2012, USYD) – Foraging strategies of bush rats and black rats in response to food and fear (primary supervisor A/Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Erica Pankhurst (Hons 2012, UWS) – The effects of the removal of Rattus fuscipes on the population and community dynamics of Australian small mammals
  • Blake Sneddn (Hons 2011, UNSW) – Habituation in olfactory foraging in black rats
  • Margarita Goumas (Hons 2011, UNSW) – Competitive interacrtions between an alien invasive (Rattus rattus) and a native competitor (Hydromys chrysogaster)
  • Steve Heavener (Hons 2010, UNSW) – Olfactory communication in heterospecific rodents
  • Stephanie Martin (Hons 2010, UNSW) – Effects of bush regen on black rat habitat use
  • Edith King (Hons 2010, UNSW) – Reproductive investment in the house mouse (primary supervisor Prof. Rob Brooks)
  • Rowena Hamer (Hons 2009, UNSW) – Olfactory communication in frogs
  • Viyanna Leo (Hons 2009, UNSW) – Interspecific olfactory communication in sympatric native rodents
  • Alex Carthey (Hons 2007, UNSW) – Spatial gradients in prey cues and the foraging success of predators
  • Alexis Watson (Hons 2007, UNSW)
  • Andrew Lothian (Hons 2007, UNSW) – Long term dynamics of an endangered urban bandicoot population
  • Jenna Bytheway (Hons 2005, UNSW) – The role of odour in the foraging behaviour of rodents
  • Jessica Bryant (Hons 2005, UNSW) – Ecological impacts of dog walking
  • Rochelle Basham (Hons 2005, UNSW5) – Bats in Sydney’s urban fragments
  • Candida Barclay ((Hons 2004, UNSW) – Mechanisms of road crossing behaviour in small mammals
  • Tania Rose (Hons 2004, UNSW) – Ecology and impacts of black rats at North Head Sydney
  • Brian Hawkins (Hons 2004, UNSW) Mapping habitat for the endangered Yellow-bellier Glider across the Gosford LGA
  • Nelika Hughes (Hons 2003, UNSW) – Habitat selection of an endangered bandicoot population across an urban/bushland interface
  • Bruce Mitchell (Hons 2004, UNSW) – Interactions between foxes and wild dogs in the Blue Mountains National Park
  • Joanne Lenehan (Hons 2003, UNSW) – Mechanisms of browsing deterrents to protect plants from marsupials
  • Louise Pastro (Hons 2003, UNSW) – House mouse responses to chemical signal exploitation in predator-prey interactions
  • Fiona Powell (Hons 2002, UNSW)
  • Anissa Kellie (Hons 2000, UNSW)