Honours project available: Starting Trimester 1, 2020 (February - October)
Project Title: Within-and between year variability in flying fox pup births and survival
Supervisor: Dr Alison Peel
Project: Frugivorous bats play an important role in the maintenance and rejuvenation of forests through pollination and long-distance dispersal of seeds. Widespread land clearance throughout the east coast of Australia has seen the loss of up to 75 per cent of the once contiguous forest cover in Queensland and New South Wales, resulting in extensive loss of critical habitat and food sources for flying fox species. Acute and chronic food shortages result in mass mortalities in flying fox populations as a whole and particularly affect the survival of pups.
This project aims to investigate inter-annual variation in the timing and synchrony of flying fox births, apparent survival rates of pups, and the prevalence of 'out of season' births, as indicated from wildlife carer intakes.
The project falls under a larger, existing research effort investigating the interactions between land-use change, flying-fox ecology and disease dynamics, involving a multidisciplinary team from Australia, USA and UK.
The student will work closely with current PhD students and supervisors. The project is mainly desk-based but there are ample opportunities to get involved in fieldwork at bat roosts in south-east QLD and north-east NSW if the student is interested.
Flying fox knowledge will be very helpful, but data/analytical/statistical skills will also be important.
More information about Griffith University's School of Environment and Science Honours program is available here: https://www.griffith.edu.au/griffith-sciences/school-environment-science/research/honours
Images courtesy of Rachael Smethurst.