About westernWEB

westernWEB was formed in 2014 as collaboration between wildlife researchers at Western Australian (WA) Universities and community partners. 

Southwest WA is a global biodiversity hotspot, with high levels of plant and animal endemism that face significant threats in the form of habitat clearing, introduced pathogens and predators, and substantial urban development.  This part of the globe is also showing the most rapid changes in climate, with significantly hotter and drier conditions being experienced over the last decade. 

These threats to biodiversity are happening on our ‘front doorstep’ and WA researchers therefore need to be leading the way in understanding the long term implications of these threatening processes.

Our research focuses on translational biology working across urban, agricultural and natural landscapes.  We pursue the application of research, where improving our understanding has conservation or welfare implications. We investigate how animals respond to human presence, but also how they can contribute to our quality of life.

We are always open to research and community collaborations.  There are many ideas for Honours and PhD student projects and wWEB are keen to get enthusiastic and committed students who want to make a research contribution towards our understanding of wildlife conservation, behaviour and evolution.  If you are interested in joining us, please look under the link ‘want to work with us?’ or contact us directly (below).

Trish Fleming (Murdoch University) works across continents, disciplines, and taxa on applied projects that address welfare or conservation aims. Profile E: t.fleming@murdoch.edu.au

Bill Bateman (Curtin University) is a behavioural ecologist working on invertebrates through to large mammals with a special affection for insects (especially crickets) and lizards. Profile E: bill.bateman@curtin.edu.au

Natalie Warburton (Murdoch University) focuses on the comparative anatomy, functional morphology and evolution of vertebrates. Profile E: n.warburton@murdoch.edu.au  

Halina Kobryn (Murdoch University) is a landscape spatial analysis specialist, including application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and remote sensing.  Profile E: h.kobryn@murdoch.edu.au  

Jill Shephard (Murdoch University) is a movement ecologist with an interest in identifying the drivers of species spatial distributions.  Profile E: j.shephard@murdoch.edu.au  website 

Peter Adams (Murdoch University/DPIRD) is an applied ecologist who has been investigating feral and invasive species control. Profile E: p.adams@murdoch.edu.au

Tracey Kreplins (Murdoch University/DPIRD) is a wildlife ecologist who is currently examining the behaviour and control of canids.  E: t.kreplins@murdoch.edu.au

Amanda Kristancic (Murdoch University) is a wildlife ecologist examining how we can enlist an army of bandicoots as urban ecosystem engineers.  E: a.kristancic@murdoch.edu.au

Shannon Dundas (NSW DPI) is a wildlife ecologist whose research focuses on interactions between native fauna, introduced predators and habitat change. Profile E: s.dundas@murdoch.edu.au

Stephanie Godfrey (Otago University) is an ecologist who is interested in how animal behaviour shapes host-parasite interactions in wildlife.  Profile E: s.godfrey@murdoch.edu.au

Christine Cooper (Curtin University) is an animal physiologist; her area of expertise is in vertebrate ecophysiology, with a particular emphasis on native Australian birds and mammals. Profile. E. C.Cooper@curtin.edu.au

Lauren Gilson (Curtin University) is an avian ecologist with an interest in behavioural ecology. Profile  E: lauren.gilson@curtin.edu.au

Ashleigh Wolfe is an urban reptile ecologist

Stuart Dawson is an ecologist, currently working as postdoctoral research fellow

Heather Crawford is a wildlife biologist, currently working as postdoctoral research fellow

Current PhD, Masters & Honours Students

Faith Chen (PhD)

Natalie Grassi (aRMT) ‘Diet of the red fox – is there diet differentiation for pups?’ Murdoch University Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Heather Crawford, John-Michael Stuart, Charlotte Oskam

Tenaya Duncan (PhD) ‘Artificial habitat to protect native wildlife from cat predation’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors Trish Fleming, Michelle Hall (Bush Heritage Australia), Stuart Dawson (DPIRD). Co-funded by Bush Heritage Australia

Matthew Patterson (PhD) ‘Is there convergence in jaw muscle anatomy in endemic snakes and pygopodids?’ Murdoch University Supervisors: Natalie Warburton, Trish Fleming, Emma Sherratt (Uni Adelaide)

Tom Mansfield (PhD) ‘Fauna responses to Phytophthora in Mundaring’ Murdoch University. Supervisors: Rachel Standish, Trish Fleming, Giles Hardy. NRM funded

Moses Omogbeme (PhD) Management of vertebrate populations within cell-fencing’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors Trish Fleming, Tracey Kreplins (DRIRD), Malcolm Kennedy (DRIRD), Halina Kobryn. Funded through the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions (CISS)

Andrew Morton (MSc) ‘Movement patterns of feral pigs in the Kimberley, and quantifying the impact in sensitive habitats’ Murdoch University, Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Jill Shephard, Margaret Andrew, James Smith

Leticia Povh (PhD)Quokka populations in the northern jarrah forest – effective management of a threatened species’ Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Nicole Willers (Dept. Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions)

Natasha Tay (PhD) ‘Escape locomotion and behaviour in marsupials’ Murdoch University. Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Natalie Warburton, Bill Bateman, Katherine Moseby (University of Adelaide)

John-Michael Stuart (PhD) ‘Predation of marine turtle nests and hatchlings by the red fox (Vulpes vulpes); understanding predator dynamics at marine turtle rookeries along the Pilbara Coast of Western Australia’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Scott Whiting (Dept. Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions), Tracey Kreplins, Peter Adams, Bill Bateman. Project supported by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.   

Sophie Cross (PhD)Mine site restoration and top-order reptile predatorsCurtin University (Centre for Mine Site Restoration). Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Mike Craig, Sean Tomlinson

Simon Cherriman (PhD) ‘Population status and movement ecology of the Wedge-tailed Eagle in Western Australia’ Murdoch University. Supervisors: Jill Shephard, Trish Fleming, Penny Olsen

Janine Kuehs (PhD) ‘Movement ecology and behaviour of the southern brown bandicoot in urban areas’ Murdoch University. Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Tracey Kreplins, Bill Bateman

Laura-Jayne Ollerhead (PhD) ‘Behavioural ecophysiology of spiders’ Curtin University. Supervisors: Christine Cooper, Bill Bateman

Mel Jensen (PhD) ‘Reintroduction of the western quoll to the Flinders Ranges National Park’  University of Adelaide.  Supervisors: Katherine Moseby, David Paton. 

Ed Swinhoe (MSc) ‘Foxes in urban areas’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors Trish Fleming, Bill Bateman, Peter Adams, Halina Kobryn

Recent degree completions

Sarah Barber (DVM) ‘Morphology of cat mandibles’. Supervisors: Natalie Warburton, Natasha Tay, Trish Fleming. COMPLETED 2022

Faith Chen (aRMT) ‘Does predator presence influence behaviour of bilbies’, Murdoch University, Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Stuart Dawson. COMPLETED 2021

Meg Martin (PhD) ‘Adaptations to digging in marsupials’Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Nat Warburton, Kenny Travouillon (WA Museum) COMPLETED 2020

James Barr (PhD)King skinks: adaptations to island and urban lifeCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Steph Godfrey, Ruchira Somaweera

Kit Prendergast (PhD)Bee diversity and ecology across an urban matrixCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Myles Menz, Kingsley Dixon

Tenaya Duncan (Hons) Does linear clearing and associated increased mobility alter dingo diet? Supervisors Trish Fleming, Stuart Dawson COMPLETED 2019

Tali Moyle (Hons) ‘Movements of boodies in the rangelands’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Colleen Sims (DBCA) COMPLETED 2019

Julia White (Hons) Dietary and spatial overlap between black-flanked rock-wallabies, western grey kangaroos, euros, and tammar wallabies in Paruna Sanctuary’. Murdoch University. Supervisors Trish Fleming, Mike Smith (AWC) COMPLETED 2019

Melissa Taylor (Hons) ‘Bandicoot ears and tympanic bullae’, Murdoch University. Supervisors: Natalie Warburton, Kenny Travouillion (WA Museum), Trish Fleming COMPLETED 2019

Matthew Johnson ‘Comparison of methods for surveying kangaroos’. Murdoch University, Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Peter Adams (DPIRD) COMPLETED 2019

Ross Keller ‘How do guardian animals work?’. Murdoch University, Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Tracey Kreplins (DPIRD) COMPLETED 2019

Heather Crawford (PhD) ‘Urban cats’  Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Mike Calver, Joe Fontaine, Trish Fleming.  COMPLETED 2019

Leanda Mason (PhD) Mygalomorph spiders and urbanisationCurtin University. Supervisors: Grant Wardell-Johnson, Bill Bateman, Nicole White COMPLETED 2018

Ben Russell (Hons) Survey methods for macropods and wild dogs Curtin University. Supervisors Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming, Malcolm Kennedy. COMPLETED 2018

Matthew Patterson  (Hons) Skull morphology of dugites.  Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Natalie Warburton, Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming. COMPLETED 2018

Monique Smith (Hons) The role of quenda in dispersing mycorrhizae that aid tuart seedling growth.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Natasha Tay, Amanda Kristancic & Giles Hardy. COMPLETED 2018

Christabel Khoo (Hons)Sexual selection in dugitesCurtin University. Supervisor: Bill Bateman

Holly Hastings (Hons)Reptiles, roads and roadkillCurtin University. Supervisor: Bill Bateman

Steve Pursell (Hons)Fish escape responses: evidence from remote videosCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Ben Saunders

Tom Smith (Hons)Tail autotomy and regeneration in lizardsCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman

William Oversby (Hons)Predatory behaviour by Australian ravensCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman

Connor Davin (Hons)Camera traps and target animal behaviourCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Peter Adams COMPLETED 2017

Ashleigh Wolfe (PhD) ‘Reptiles and urbanisation’Curtin University.  Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming.  COMPLETED 2018

Stuart Dawson (PhD) ‘Critical habitat and foraging range of bilbies’Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Peter Adams, Bill Bateman, Kris Waddington (Buru Energy), Halina Kobryn, Trish Fleming.  COMPLETED 2018 Project supported by Buru Energy 

Narelle Dybing (PhD) ‘Parasites of feral cats and black rats’  Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Peter Adams, Caroline Jacobson,  Peter Irwin.  COMPLETED 2017

Mike Dwyer (Hons)Deer in Western AustraliaCurtin University. Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Peter Adams  COMPLETED 2017

Kimberley Page (Hons) ‘Do bolder woylies get fatter? Individual differences in behaviour post-translocation’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors Trish Fleming, Bill Bateman, Peter Adams  COMPLETED 2017

Amanda Kristancic (PhD) ‘Do Australian strains of Toxoplasma gondii affect the behaviour of hosts?’  Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Andrew Thompson, Alan Lymbery, Trish Fleming, Adrian Wayne (DPaW) COMPLETED 2016

Pedro Martinez Perez (PhD) ‘Health and disease status of the quokka’Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Cree Monahan, Tim Hyndeman, Una Ryan.
COMPLETED 2016 Project supported by the Department of Parks & Wildlife, Rottnest Island Authority

James Macgregor (PhD) ‘Development of a framework for the assessment of the health of wild platypus populations’  Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Kris Warren, Carly Holyoake, Ian Robertson, Trish Fleming  COMPLETED 2015

Taya Clarke (PhD) ‘Qualitative Behavioural Assessment in pigs’Murdoch University.  Project supported by Australian Pork Limited Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Teresa Collins, Anne Barnes, David Miller, John Pluske.   COMPLETED 2015

Leticia Povh (MSc) ‘Habitat selection by translocated brush wallabies’ University of Western Australia.  Supervisors Roberta Bencini, Trish Fleming, Peter Adams, Brian Chambers, Tracey Moore COMPLETED 2016

Sharon Roddick (Hons) ‘Livestock guardian dog protection of free-range poultry from the invasive predator, the red fox’ Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Tracey Kreplins COMPLETED 2016

Sean Smithies (Hons) ‘Cryptic concealment of Darling range endemic under varying forest conditions’  Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Bill Bateman, Giles Hardy, Shannon Dundas COMPLETED 2016

Meghan Castelli (Hons) ‘Does tail autotomy influence prey handling by lizards?’ Curtin University.  Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Christine Cooper COMPLETED 2016

Joanne King (Hons) ‘Predation of marine turtle nests’Murdoch University.  Supervisors: Peter Adams, Scott Whiting (DPaW), Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming COMPLETED 2016

Rebecca Chippendale (Hons) ‘Bite force in bobtails’ Curtin University.  Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming, Nat Warburton COMPLETED 2015

Nicki Miglori (Hons) ‘Sexual selection on macropod bones’  Supervisors:  Nat Warburton, Trish Fleming, Bill Bateman COMPLETED 2015

Aleksa Marinovic (Hons) “Are bobtails seed dispersers or seed predators?” Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Tianhua He COMPLETED 2015

Aimee Kontoor (Hons) “The behavioural ecology of a carnivorous plant: Drosera gigantea” Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Grant Wardell-Johnson COMPLETED 2015

Ash Chauvin (Hons) ‘Diet of rock wallabies’Supervisors: Peter Adams, Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming  COMPLETED 2015

Kiarrah Smith (Hons) ‘Ecology of the ash grey mouse’Supervisors: Tracey Moore (DPaW), Barbara Wilson (DPaW), Trish Fleming COMPLETED 2015

Meg Lane (Hons) ‘Sexual selection in kangaroos – muscles or sperm?’Supervisors: Natalie Warburton, Anne Barnes, Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming COMPLETED 2014

Bec Mason (Hons) ‘The influence of age and sex on the energetic costs of limb autotomy in crickets’Supervisors: Bill Bateman, Christine Cooper  COMPLETED 2014

Sinead Allsop (Hons) ‘Decreasing bait uptake by non-target species’Supervisors: Shannon Dundas, Peter Adams, Bill Bateman, Trish Fleming  COMPLETED 2014

Lara Osborne (Hons) ‘The role of digging mammals in ecosystem health’Supervisors: Shannon Dundas, Anna Hopkins, Giles Hardy, Treena Burgess, Trish Fleming   COMPLETED 2014

Adele Thomaz (Hons) ‘Do parasites affect post-translocation survival of chuditch?’Supervisors: Trish Fleming, Andy Thompson, Katherine Moseby  COMPLETED 2014