Wildlife Conservation experts

As the environmental challenges on our planet grow, wildlife face increasing challenges to survive. Western Australia has one of the highest extinction rates on the planet.  Our precious plants and animals are fighting human overpopulation, deforestation, climate change, pollution and disease, but scientists at Murdoch University are at the forefront of trying to conserve wildlife species.

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Aleks Nikoloski

Associate Professor Trish Fleming

Physiology, behavioural ecology and wildlife conservation

Associate Professor Trish Flemingis a wildlife biologist and is part of westernWEB.net – Western Australian researchers investigating how animals respond to human presence across urban, agricultural and natural landscapes, and contribute to human quality of life.

Her research focuses on translational biology, where improving understanding of the physiology and behaviour of vertebrates has conservation or welfare implications and there is a direct interaction between experimental questions and the application of this research. She is more interested in the questions than the organisms, and my research has tested a wide range of scientific hypotheses using organisms from crickets through to giraffes.
David Newsome

Associate Professor David Newsome

Natural area tourism and geotourism

David Newsome is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Science. His teaching and research interests span many areas of natural area tourism including wildlife tourism, the biophysical impacts of recreation in protected areas, evaluation of the quality of ecotourism operations, sustainable trail management and geotourism.

David has experience of ecotourism development in Southeast Asia and was an invited speaker and advisor at the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity Regional Training on Ecotourism Workshop for Protected Area Managers in Malaysia in 2009.

David is the lead author of two books Natural Area Tourism: ecology, impacts and management and Wildlife Tourism, and co-editor of three books on geotourism.

Current projects include building relationships between China and Australia in relation to geotourism development and the protection of geoheritage.
Jim Macbeth

Emeritus Associate Professor  Jim Macbeth

Ethics, sustainability and the Utopian tourist

With a background in the social sciences, Prof Jim Macbeth’s tourism expertise lies in policy and planning issues, tourists themselves (motivation, impacts) and sustainable tourism (impacts, community, environment). His work has also embraced tourism ethics and protected areas within the general rubric of ecotourism.

Besides national projects, Prof Macbeth has been involved in WA research related to Rottnest, Fremantle, Ningaloo, the Great Southern and national parks.

Prof Macbeth has written articles for Australian and international journals and has entries in the Historical Encyclopedia of Western Australia, in addition to an historical chapter on tourism in the book Voices from the West End (of Fremantle). He is a member of Murdoch’s Nature Tourism Research Group.

Amanda Hodgson

Dr Amanda Hodgson

Marine mammal monitoring; dugong behaviour; the impacts of boats on marine mammals

Dr Hodgson is conducting Australia’s first trials of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for surveying marine mammal populations. Her research focuses on dugongs and humpback whales and she aims to develop methods for using UAVs to assess marine mammal abundance and distribution.

She has previously used the ‘blimp-cam’ to study dugong behaviour and her research provided evidence of the vulnerability of dugongs to boat disturbance and boat strikes. She also investigated the potential for ‘pingers’ or acoustic alarms designed to reduce marine mammal entanglement in nets.

Kris Warren

Dr Kris Warren

Conservation medicine

An expert in wildlife, avian and exotic pet medicine, Dr Kris Warren is a senior lecturer and program chair in conservation medicine at Murdoch University.

She has worked as a veterinarian and researcher on an orang-utan re-introduction project in East Kalimantan, and conducted molecular research into infectious diseases and population genetics of Borneo orang-utans.

Dr Warren is currently developing recovery initiatives for endangered species.

Lars Bejder

Professor Lars Bejder

Cetaceans (Whale and dolphin conservation and behaviour)

Professor Bejder analyses and develops quantitative methods to evaluate complex animal social structures and evaluates the  impact of human activity (coastal development, tourism, habitat degradation) on cetaceans. He also researches fundamental biology and ecology, such as assessing the  abundance and habitat use of marine wildlife.

He works closely with wildlife management agencies to optimise the conservation- and management outcomes of his research. He has advised on human impacts on cetaceans to the US Marine Mammal Commission, the US National Marine Fisheries Service, the International Whaling Commission, the Australian Federal Government, the Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation and the New Zealand Department of Conservation.

To reach these experts for media enquiries, contact:

Luke McManus
Media & Communications Advisor
Phone: 08 9360 2491
Mobile: 0400 297 221
l.mcmanus@murdoch.edu.au

For all other enquiries, please ring reception on 08 9360 6000.