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.

Links: Google Scholar profile

Dr Catherine Price
Lecturer & ARC Discovery Early Career Research Fellow
Research: My research integrates sensory ecology with behaviour and cognition to develop new approaches for managing wildlife, especially aimed at protecting threatened species (both plants and animals). I am particularly interested in foraging and how animals use sensory information to find food and decide what to eat, combining sophisticated new chemical and acoustic techniques to understand the behaviour of wild animals. I have a background in threatened species management in government and the private sector, and now collaborate with a range of organisations in Australia and overseas to develop practical tools for conservation.

Links: Usyd profile  |  Google Scholar profile
The Conversation (article): Scientists used ‘fake news’ to stop predators killing endangered birds — and the result was remarkable
The Conversation (podcast): How we created fake smells to trick predators and save endangered birds – podcast

Jenna Bytheway
Senior Research Officer
Research: My research aims to develop novel, sophisticated yet simple techniques to improve wildlife management, using deception and misinformation to alter animal decision-making.

Links: Google Scholar profile

Research students

Finn Parker
PhD Student
Research: Messing with their minds: Using tactical misinformation to improve pest management strategies

Laura Grant
PhD Student
Research: The influence of individual motivations, sensory cues and perception of risk in vertebrate pest management

Shani Masani
PhD Student
Research: An odour a day keeps the predator away: understanding individual predator learning in response to odour pre-exposure

Annabel Ellis
PhD Student
Research: The foraging behaviour of long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta) and their ecological function

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

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)

Patrick Finnerty
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: Strategically exploiting plant odours to manipulate African elephant foraging behaviours
Links: researchgate.net/prole/Patrick-Finnerty

Angelica Geisler-Edge
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: The relationships between personality, problem-solving, parasites, and diet in brushtail possums

Gabby Jarvis
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: Irrational behaviour: harnessing phantom decoys to alter foraging behaviour of mammalian herbivores

Danielle Blackfield
PhD Student (Primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
Research: Use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as odour misinformation to decrease browsing of endangered plant species by swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor)

Mareshell Wauchope
PhD Student (Primary supervisor A/Prof. Thomas Newsome)
Research: How do we rewild urban bushland patches: developing ecologically informed approaches to select rewilding candidates for urban bushland patches and evaluating key factors that may influence rewilding success

Anna Cameron
Honours Student
Research: Ratting out poachers: can free-living rats be trained to combat illegal wildlife snaring?

Leilah Warlik
Honours Student
Research: Cracking the problem: Using visual misinformation to reduce avian predation on shorebird eggs




Tara Kernaghan
Honours Student



  • Casey Taylor (PhD 2022, USYD) – Ecological drivers of human-tick encounters in urban environments
  • Amelia Saul (PhD 2021, USYD) – Exploring the density benefit relationship of alien species
  • Kyla Johnstone (PhD 2021, USYD) – Behavioural mechanisms of detection bias in applied ecology and wildlife management
  • Cristian Gabriel Orlando (PhD 2021, USYD) – The links between information, patch use and decision making by foraging mammal herbivores at small spatial and temporal scales (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Anushika Herath (PhD 2021, USYD) – Personality and its influence on diet and parasitic load of mammalian herbivores (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Katie Wat (PhD 2019, USYD) – Linking animal personality to space use and problem solving by common brushtail possums, and urban exploiter (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)
  • Hannah Harris (MPhil 2022, USYD) – Foraging problem-solving performance in common brushtail possums: the roles of behaviour and individual traits (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • 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

  • Bianca McBryde (Hons 2023, USYD) – Part-time Predators: the unexpected role of a native herbivore as a threat to an endangered species
  • Irene Teh (Hons 2023, USYD) – Kicking a habit: how black rats (Rattus rattus) alter foraging with pre-exposure to unrewarding food odours of differing nutritional value
  • Celine Partridge (Hons 2023, USYD) – Investigating the potential impacts of an introduced rodent on amphibians in peri-urban ecosystems
  • Martin Boer-Cueva (Hons 2023, USYD) – Life in the big smoke: terrestrial vertebrate assemblages and their drivers in Sydney, Australia (Primary supervisor A/Prof. Thomas Newsome)
  • Katrina Kaverzine (Hons 2022, USYD) – Mice and canola: Are behavioural approaches needed to protect buried seeds?
  • Callum Simpson (Hons 2022, USYD) – Relationships between pathogens, rats and native wildlife in Sydney’s Northern Beaches
  • Gabrielle Jarvis (Hons 2022, USYD) – Decoy deception: Using phantom decoys to alter foraging behaviour of mammalian herbivores (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Helen Ratcliff (Hons 2022, USYD) – The forgotten sense: The importance of auditory cues in prey identification and location by predators (Primary supervisor Dr. Catherine Price)
  • Angeline Anastasia (Hons 2022, USYD) – Testing the potential of two essential oils to mask Eucalyptus punctata seedlings from browsing swamp wallabies (Wallabia bicolor) (Primary supervisor Dr. Catherine Price, Associate supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Benjamin Reay (Hons 2021, USYD) – Bandicoot bungalows: how artificial structures can improve foraging by long-nosed bandicoots (Perameles nasuta) post-fire
  • Laura Grant (Hons 2021, USYD) – Using olfactory misinformation strategies to reduce the browsing impacts of mammalian herbivores on plants (Primary supervisor Dr. Catherine Price, Associate supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Liam Guest (Hons 2021, USYD) – Can plant odour associations shape herbivore foraging decisions? (Primary supervisor Dr. Catherine Price, Associate supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Annabelle Lee (Hons 2020, USYD) – The effect of decoys on foraging decisions in the invasive black rat (Rattus rattus) (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Finn Parker (Hons 2019, USYD) – Weaponising wildlife: using predator training to make more effective and motivated predators against alien prey
  • Nicole Lynch (Hons 2019, USYD) – The impact of animal personality on problem-solving ability in wild rodents (primary supervisor Prof. Clare McArthur)
  • Edward Brand (Hons 2018, USYD) – Fire as a potential management strategy for Sydney’s Northern Beaches tick infestations
  • Rebecca O’rourke (Hons 2017, USYD) – Reintroducing natives into an alien’s domain
  • 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)