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Dr Robert Davis

Lecturer in Vertebrate Biology

Contact Information Telephone: (61 8) 6304 5446, Email:, Campus: Joondalup, Room: JO19.351
Staff Member Details
Telephone: (61 8)  6304 5446  
Facsimile: (61 8)  6304 5509  
Campus: Joondalup  
Room: JO19.351  


Robert is a Lecturer within the School of Natural Sciences.

Current Teaching

  • SCI2370 Wildlife Management
  • SCB2424 Animal Diversity
  • SCI2101 Australian Animals
  • SCI1185 Ecology


  • 2009-present: Lecturer, School of Natural Sciences, Edith Cowan University
  • 2008: Casual lecturer, Biology, Charles Sturt University, NSW
  • 2006-2008: Postdoctoral Research Associate, School of Animal Biology, The University of Western Australia
  • 2000-2008: Co-director, Western Wildlife, Self-founded environmental consultancy specialising in fauna surveys for environmental impact assessment.
  • 1998: Research Officer, Department of Zoology, The University of Western Australia.

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow of the Linnean Society of London
  • Birds Australia
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • Australian Society of Herpetologists
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Royal Society of WA
  • WA Naturalists Association

Research Areas and Interests

  • Climate change impacts on endemic species
  • Ecology in fragmented landscapes
  • Amphibian ecology
  • Impacts of feral fauna predation on native animals
  • Threatening processes such as fire and phytophthora dieback and their affect on fauna
  • Feeding ecology of shorebirds at salt production sites
  • Island ecology and conservation

Robert's research also focuses on the impacts of climate change on vernal pool breeding amphibians in south-west WA.

Staff Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Western Australia, 2005.


Recent Research Grants

  • Using animal behaviour as a bio-indicator of restoration quality,  Birdlife Australia,  Grant,  2015 - 2017,  $4,399.
  • Impacts of Fire on Reptiles in King's Park,  Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority,  Grant,  2009 - 2016,  $43,960.
  • Using animal behaviour as a bio-indicator of restoration quality,  Equity Trustees Limited,  Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment,  2015 - 2016,  $6,000.
  • Refining predictive models for improved conservation of the endangered Northern Quoll in the Pilbara,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration Grant - 2014 (Round 2),  2014 - 2016,  $135,656.
  • Turning the tide for the Bekai: identifying refuges from climate-induced sea level rise for the Palau Megapode,  The Rufford Foundation,  Rufford Foundation - Small Grants,  2015 - 2016,  $10,616.
  • Postgraduate funding support for Impacts of feral fauna predation on ground-dwelling native species at Charles Darwin Reserve,  Earthwatch Institute,  Earthwatch Institute - Grant,  2011 - 2015,  $126,500.
  • Impacts of fire on semi-arid shrubland birds,  Gundawa Regional Conservation Association,  Small Grant Scheme,  2014 - 2015,  $20,000.
  • Dampier Salts sites and ponds and their importance for migratory and other shorebirds,  Dampier Salt Limited Perth Division,  Grant-Dampsalt,  2010 - 2015,  $394,997.
  • Understanding the trophic ecology and impact of feral cats in Australia?s rangelands,  ANZ Executors and Trustee Company Limited,  Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment,  2013 - 2014,  $6,500.
  • Value of revegetation for Carnaby's Black-Cockatoo,  Birds Australia Western Australia Inc,  Grant,  2011 - 2014,  $36,000.
  • The population genetic structure of Ctenotus fallens in urban habitat fragments,  Botanic Parks and Gardens Authority,  Grant,  2012 - 2013,  $8,000.
  • Movement Ecology of Carnaby's Black Cockatoo,  Birds Australia Western Australia Inc,  Grant,  2010 - 2012,  $82,855.
  • Impacts of feral fauna predation on ground-dwelling native species at Charles Darwin Reserve,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Industry Collaboration - Grant,  2011 - 2012,  $146,984.
  • Climate Change Impacts on Amphibians of South West WA; Will Frogs Survive a Drying Climate?,  Edith Cowan University,  ECU Early Career Researcher - Grant,  2009 - 2010,  $24,812.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Doherty, T., Bengsen, A., Davis, R., (2015), A critical review of habitat use by feral cats and key directions for future research and management. Wildlife Research, 41(5), 435-446, Victoria, DOI: 10.1071/WR14159.
  • Doherty, T., Davis, R., Van Etten, E., (2015), A game of cat-and-mouse: microhabitat influences rodent foraging in recently burnt but not long unburnt shrublands. Journal of Mammalogy, 96(2), 324-331, United States, DOI: 10.1093/jmammal/gyv034.
  • Doherty, T., Davis, R., Van Etten, E., Algar, D., Collier, N., Dickman, C., Edwards, G., Masters, P., Palmer, R., Robinson, S., (2015), A continental-scale analysis of feral cat diet in Australia. Journal of Biogeography, 42(5), 964-975, Oxford, United Kingdom, DOI: 10.1111/jbi.12469.
  • Davis, R., Doherty, T., (2015), Rapid Recovery of an Urban Remnant Reptile Community following Summer Wildfire. PLoS One, 10(5), Article number e0127925, San Francisco, California, United States, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0127925.
  • Davis, R., Valentine, LE., Craig, MD., Wilson, B., Bancroft, WJ., Mallie, M., (2014), Impact of phytophthora-dieback on birds in Banksia woodlands in south west Western Australia. Biological Conservation, 171(2014), 136-144, DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.01.027.
  • Davis, R., Wilcox, JA., (2013), Adapting to suburbia: bird ecology on an urban-bushland interface in Perth, Western Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology, 19(2), 110-120.
  • Molloy, S., Davis, R., Van Etten, E., (2013), Species distribution modelling using bioclimatic variables to determine the impacts of a changing climate on the western ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis; Pseudocheiridae). Environmental Conservation, 41(2), 176-186, DOI: 10.1017/S0376892913000337.
  • Bertzeletos, D., Davis, R., Horwitz, P., (2012), Importance of Lake MacLeod, northwestern Australia, to shorebirds: a review and update. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 95(1), 115-124, Australia.
  • Davis, R., Gole, C., Roberts, J., (2012), Impacts of urbanisation on the native avifauna of Perth, Western Australia. Urban Ecosystems, 16(3), 427-452, DOI: 10.1007/s11252-012-0275-y.
  • Davis, R., Roberts, JD., (2011), Survival and population size of the frog heleioporus albopunctatus in a highly modified, agricultural landscape. Copeia, 2011(3), 423-429, DOI: 10.1643/CE-09-133.

Research Student Supervision

Principal Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Applying The Principles Of Spatial Modelling To The Management Of Biodiversity In The Fragmented Landscapes Of South-western Australia.
  • Doctor of Philosophy,  Ecology Of Feral Cats Felis Catus And Their Prey In Relation To Shrubland Fire Regimes

Associate Supervisor

  • Master of Science (Biological Sciences),  Food Resource Availability For Carnaby's Cockatoo Calyptorhynchus Latirostris On The Swan Coastal Plain.
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