How does habitat choice affect the diet and stable isotope ratios of Northern quolls and Northern brown bandicoots?
BSc - Ecology (2015-2017), University of Queensland
BSc (Honours) - Current
I was born and grew up on the north coast of Scotland before moving to Cairns with my family at the age of fourteen. While very different places, they both share an amazing array of wild places and interesting wildlife, ranging from massive seabird and seal colonies, to tropical birds and butterflies! I have had a love of animals and an interest in conservation for as long as I can remember and studying a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Ecology, was an obvious choice for me.
I have really enjoyed doing my undergrad studies at UQ and all the opportunities that have accompanied it. I completed an undergraduate research project on green turtle diet, investigating whether there was a difference in diet between feeding sites, age class and sex. A field trip to Fraser Island was a great taste of proper ecology field work and my first experience of small mammal trapping and handling.
Last summer I got the chance to accompany a UQ PhD student to Christmas Island to assist her with field work. Every day was spent conducting bird surveys, searching for bird nests and installing cameras to monitor nesting success. In our free time there was snorkelling, caving, waterfalls and the red crab migration to watch, what an amazing wildlife spectacle! It was such a great experience and I think has given me a taste of what field work on Groote will be like!
I’m looking forward to my Honours year with the Wilson lab. Robbie was one of my first lecturers when I started university and I loved hearing about his research on northern quolls. Fast forward three years and I’m so excited to be a part of that research! I’ll be going up to Groote Eylandt to investigate northern quoll diet across different habitat types on the island. Mammal conservation is so important in Australia right now, with the threat of invasive predators, changing fire regimes and habitat loss.
My favourite thing to do is head off outside, so I try to spend my free time exploring the beautiful hikes and national parks we have in the Brisbane region. I was also lucky enough to go hiking in the South Island of New Zealand just before starting Honours. I enjoy travelling and experiencing new cultures, and hope that my ecology degree will allow me to experience global conservation issues. Closer to home, I love to read – especially those written by Sir David Attenborough and Gerald Durrell!