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    Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science

Biology & Environmental Sciences

Study helping to protect native fauna from feral cats

In an effort to minimise the impact of feral cats on Australia's native fauna, a partnership was formed between ECU and two conservation groups: Bush Heritage and
Earthwatch Institute Australia. This partnership saw ECU doctoral candidate Tim Doherty investigating feral cat numbers at the remote Charles Darwin Reserve.

Australia's population of feral cats (estimated to be  between 8 and 20 million) have been implicated in the extinction of at least 22 Australian species to date. Tim's research aims to achieve sustained control of cats on the reserve and to implement the lessons learnt there in other conservation areas.

Spatial modelling WA's biodiversity

Centre for Ecosystem Management PhD student Shaun Molloy has undertaken a project to determine if proximity based landscape modelling tools are relevant and effective in the management of particular fauna species within the context of the fragmented landscapes of south western WA.

Using computer software that measures and evaluates landscape connectivity through the spatial relationships that exist between patches of remnant vegetation, Shaun is investigating the landscape requirements of a group of widespread species and finding ways to map, or predict, these requirements.

He is also examining the strengths and limitations of current spatial modelling tools and investigating ways in which spatial modelling can be applied, or made more effective, in meeting the requirements of the region's unique landscapes and species.

State-of-the-Art Facilities

Our Science students and researchers have access to excellent facilities and equipment in the University's state‑of‑the‑art, award‑winning, $28 million Science and Health building.

The building includes a range of environmentally‑friendly features to reduce energy consumption, by maximising the use of rainwater, solar energy and natural light. The principles of sustainability are also reflected in its design.

"My course allows me to do things most people only dream of."

"The Biological Sciences course at ECU has given me a good understanding of the fundamental concepts of biology and how they connect with, and help me critically analyse, the results from advanced research. Fieldwork is an important part of my course. I’ve helped with reptile surveys and research projects all over the state. These opportunities took me to stunning areas of WA, including the Kimberley, and allowed me to get up close and personal with elusive species of native fauna that most people don’t even know exist."

Marcus Cosentino
Biological Sciences Masters student

 

 

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