New invited PNAS commentary! Lose biodiversity, gain disease

Prof. McCallum authors an excellent commentary about the recently published meta-analysis of the dilution effect by Civitello, et al (2015). The abstracts and links are below. McCallum, H. I. (2015) Lose biodiversity, gain disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, United States of America. 10.1073/pnas.1510607112 (link). Introductory paragraphs: There has been a vigorous and sometimes acerbic debate about the generality of the “dilution effect”: the notion that biodiversity inhibits infectious disease, and conversely that loss of biodiversity increases disease risks to humans and livestock. In PNAS, Civitello et al. (1) report a meta-analysis of more than 200 individual effec

New Paper! Correlates of Recent Declines of Rodents in Northern and Southern Australia: Habitat Stru

An exciting new paper on native rodent declines, co-authored by Prof. McCallum is now available! The abstract and link are below. Lawes, M. J., Fisher, D. O., Johnson, C. N., Blomberg, S. P., Frank, A. S. K., Fritz, S. A., McCallum, H., VanDerWal, J., Abbott, B. N., Legge, S., Letnic, M., Thomas, C. R., Thurgate, N., Fisher, A., Gordon, I. J., and Kutt, A. (2015) Correlates of Recent Declines of Rodents in Northern and Southern Australia: Habitat Structure Is Critical. PLoS ONE 10(6): e0130626. Doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0130626 (link). Abstract: Australia has experienced dramatic declines and extinctions of its native rodent species over the last 200 years, particularly in southern Australia.

AAAS coverage of latest paper: "Tasmanian devils create landscape of fear"

Great coverage of Tracy Hollings' latest paper (Prof. McCallum as co-author) in Science (AAAS). Tasmanian devils—marsupial carnivores the size of a small dog—once actively preyed on possums on Tasmania and nearby islands. Now, the endangered devils are so rare that the tree-living possums frolic freely on the ground and venture into new areas, changing their role in the ecosystem, according to a new study. The finding boosts a hypothesis about how top predators transform the behavior of their prey and has implications for how scientists understand other ecosystems, including that of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. “It’s good work,” says John Laundré, a predator-prey ecologist

New paper! Relaxation of risk-sensitive behaviour of prey following disease-induced decline of an ap

An exciting new predator-prey interaction response paper co-authored by Prof. McCallum is now available! The paper was from Tracey Hollings' PhD, supervised by Prof. McCallum. The abstract and link are below. Hollings, T., McCallum, H., Kreger, K., Mooney, N., Jones, M. (2015) Relaxation of risk-sensitive behaviour of prey following disease-induced decline of an apex predator, the Tasmanian devil. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 282:20150124 (link). Abstract: Apex predators structure ecosystems through lethal and non-lethal interactions with prey, and their global decline is causing loss of ecological function. Behavioural changes of prey are some of the most rapid r

Presentations at the Institute Retreat!

Yesterday we had our annual retreat for the Environmental Futures Research Institute (EFRI) - it was a huge success! Three of our team members gave excellent introductory presentations at the retreat 'featuring our research and profiling our experience and interests' - Drs. Konstans Wells, Douglas Kerlin and Laura Grogan (see photos below). It was an excellent opportunity to learn more about the underlying mechanics of the institute, find out about the research we each do, find common ground, and forge new collaborations within the Institute. Highlights of the day were the intense discussions surrounding the PhD experience, and the excellent presentation by Drs. Catherine Pickering and Willi

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