We use multi-species, multi-scale approaches to give us a leaf to landscape understanding of animal-plant interactions. We’re currently examining herbivory, pollination and seed dispersal by insects in a number of contexts, looking at everything from the mechanistic underpinnings of the relationships to how landscape disturbances change the integrity of these interactions.
Over half the world’s population now live in urban areas, and about 80 per cent will by 2050, so understanding how urban ecosystems work is vital to our sustainability. Sydney’s remnant vegetation is an ideal model system to work in allowing us to examine the impacts of urbanisation and how we can manage what we still have as well as restore degraded systems. This work examines how we can best conserve biodiversity in urban ecosystems and how we can manage the challenges that come with rewilding the city, ultimately linking these to how nature can contribute to making future cities more liveable and resilient.
I curated a rare books exhibition at Fisher Library in 2009 that gave me the chance to indulge my interests in art and history. Browsing through the treasures buried deep in the basement of the library’s rare books collection was sobering – it seems that folk looking at Australian systems in the 1850s knew that things like extinction and irreversible environmental degradation were inevitable unless we started to look after a our environment. Needless to say they were right.