Two PhD scholarships: applications close 17 August

I am advertising for two PhD students to work on projects developing and testing ecological survey designs for finding rare species.

Project 1: Comparing the effectiveness of human and sniffer dog surveys for a rare invasive species in the Australian Alps. Co-supervised by Dr Cindy Hauser.

Project 2: Field experiments to test and develop optimal search theory. Co-supervised by Prof Mick McCarthy.

Check out the opportunities page for further details.  I look forward to hearing from you!



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Welcome Cat!

Dr Catherine Mills has joined the group on 6 June  and will be working on models of seed dispersal with the aim of providing strategic advice to control grey sallow willow populations in Northern Victoria. She comes from a physics background and has recently completed her PhD at the University of Edinburgh in the UK, which focused on general ecology models of competition from a physics perspective. She is now excited to be working on a real-world conservation issue and is looking forward to be doing field work for the first time soon.

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Welcome Abbey!

Dr Abbey Camclang has just joined our team as a post-doctoral researcher. She joins us after completing her PhD in the University of Queensland environmental decisions group and a brief restorative visit to her home in Canada (perhaps Melbourne is the mean of these two climates – we look forward to Abbey’s assessment once she’s settled in).  Abbey is supported by the Monash node of the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub. Using the alpine peatlands as a case study, she will work with managers and researchers to understand how multiple threatening processes impact biodiversity  so that we can better target our conservation resources and conserve critical habitat.You can read more about Abbey and her work on her website

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Wading to willows

Emily De Stigter shares the highs and lows of her first field-work in Australia

In September 2015 I began my first pilot study field season with the goal of quantifying the reproductive phenology of the invasive Grey Sallow willow, Salix cinerea. Better understanding the reproductive phenology of S. cinerea is the first step in giving us the power as researchers to recommend when and where to remove highly threatening populations of the species. Because this species invades wet regions (primarily riparian zones and occasionally bogs or peatlands), I had the fortune of spending my field work exploring by foot and truck the waterways of north-eastern Victoria.

Clad in snake-protective gaiters and gum boots, my field assistants and I tromped through willow-infested rivers and collected preliminary data regarding the willow’s flowering phases and size. Aside from a couple of surprise encounters with yellow-bellied black snakes and the rare 40°C day, the seven field trips I have completed so far throughout the season have been predominantly successful. In the upcoming months I will be re-visiting my sites so that I can complete my record of the entire willow growing season, from initial male flowering in late winter to defoliation in autumn. The long term goal with this data is to create a Bayesian predictive model which describes when flowering is likely to shift in the future with respect to climate change. For now though, this is the first quantification of seasonal flowering in Australia and a notable first step forward in my PhD.




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It’s been a busy few months in the group and it will soon be busier!

Now recruiting – 2 research fellows

I am advertising for two research fellows to start in early-mid 2016. One of the positions (3 years) is to develop regional scale models of seed dispersal for species with wind dispersed seeds.  The other position (2 years) is to build on recent work developing decision frameworks for managing multiple threats.  See the opportunities page for more details.

ESA conference next week.

Tara, Emily and I are all heading to ESA in Adelaide next week.  I will be talking about the decision framework for managing multiple threats and  Tara will be reporting the results of our grassland restoration project. Emily will present a poster summarising the findings of her willow phenology pilot study. Full details are:

Wednesday, 2 DecemberJoslin Moore, Managing multiple threats – prioritising invasive plant management in the Australian Alps National Park, 11:15 – 11:30 AM, Track 4.

Wednesday, 2 DecemberTara ZaminRestoration barriers of novel temperate grassland communities in the Victorian Volcanic Plains 2:30 PM – 2:45 PM, Track 2 SYMPOSIUM: Synthesising restoration outcomes in agricultural and mined landscapes (part 2)

Poster  session – Emily De Stigter, Seed availability and habitat suitability of the invasive Grey Sallow willow (Salix cinerea) across elevation. 5:30 PM – 7:00 PM

Discovery funding – integrating new technologies into optimal survey designs

Congratulations to Cindy Hauser who will be working with Mark Burgman and I over the next 3 years as the named post doc on a Discovery project entitled ‘Maximising the benefit of emerging technologies for ecological survey’. Cindy will build a framework that optimally allocates resources among different survey methods over time. The framework will advance the theory of ecological survey design by addressing uncertainty in detection, and will improve understanding of emerging methods such as eDNA sampling, drones and sniffer dogs.



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PhD scholarships available!

Fully funded PhD positions are available in the group of Joslin Moore in the area of quantitative plant ecology and conservation management at Monash University (School of Biological Sciences). I am looking for enthusiastic and motivated students with good quantitative skills that are interested in using ecological models to better understand the ecology and management of plant communities and populations. The PhD project will be developed in collaboration with the student based on their research interests and strengths.

Applications close Wednesday 30  September 2015

For more information on potential projects and application procedures, please visit Opportunities.

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Welcome to the Moore Plant Ecology and Conservation Group! We are a diverse and growing group of ecologists with interests in addressing practical conservation issues through improved understanding of plant community ecology achieved via experimental and modeling analyses.

This is an exciting time for the group, as Joslin has just moved to Monash University, joining the many other new staff in the School of Biological Sciences with keen interests in ecology and conservation. With this move, our group is quickly growing and attracting people as diverse as Californians and physicists. Learn more about us here.

Future opportunities will be posted here in April 2015. Please check back or contact Joslin to learn more.

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