Volunteer blogs

As part of their undergraduate studies at the Fenner School, two of our volunteers have written short blogs about their experiences working with us in the field earlier this year. Our study greatly benefited from the help of these two enthusiastic and passionate students. It is great to see how their experiences in these forests have influenced their thinking on some of the key conservation issues facing the region.


You can find Partick’s post here

Taking some measurements

and Jordan’s post here

Radio Interview

During our recent field season, we were visted by ABC Radio National’s Ann Jones, who documented our work on the mountain brushtail possum for her show Off Track. The programme is excellently put together and gives a great insight into our work on the species and the Central Highlands long term research study in general. You can check out the audio by following this link -


poss1 vch2

Dispersal paper

Our paper “The trajectory of dispersal research in conservation biology: Systematic review” has been published in the journal PLOS One.

Driscoll, D.A., Banks, S.C., Barton, P.S., Ikin, K., Lentini, P., Lindenmayer, D.B., Smith, A.L., Berry, L.E., Burns, E.L., Edworthy, A., Evans, M.J., Gibson, R., Heinsohn, R., Howland, B., Kay, G., Munro, N., Scheele, B.C., Stirnemann, I., Stojanovic, D., Sweaney, N., Villaseñor, N.R., and Westgate, M.J. (2014). The trajectory of dispersal research in conservation biology: Systematic review. PLOS One, 9, e95053.

The paper can be found here – http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0095053

Funding News!


I have been awarded the 2014 Margaret Middleton Fund Award for endangered Australian native vertebrate animals! This will be used to fund our work on the Fine-scale post-fire landscape ecology of the Mountain Brushtail Possum. I would like to thank the Australian Academy of Science for their support!  

Volunteers Wanted!

Fitting a GPS tracking collar to a Mountain Brushtail Possum

Enthusiastic volunteers are required to assist our research on the post-fire ecology of the Mountain Brushtail possum in the Victorian Central Highlands. We will use a landscape study to investigate the mechanisms which allow this  species to persist within extensively burnt landscapes. We will use GPS telemetry to compare possum habitat use and dispersal habit between landscapes which were burnt to different degrees by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires.

Volunteers are primarily needed to help deploy, retrieve and clean traps. This work will be strenuous and will involved clambering through dense re-growth vegetation and ascending/ descending steep slopes with heavy loads (and possums!). Other tasks will potentially include safely handling animals during trapping and processing, radio-tracking, vegetation surveys and spotlighting. Due to the demanding nature of the landscape, you must be physically fit and prepared to work in all conditions. Trapping will begin early in the morning and work will continue throughout the day concluding at dusk. Volunteers must be passionate about wildlife conservation and available for at least one whole week. The work will all be conducted around the Cambarville Area. Food and accommodation in Healesville will be provided. If interested please contact me and I will send you an information pack including the dates for each trapping session.