Welcome

Hello, Holly here. Welcome to Nature on the Brain. Here’s where you can find out more about my work, both in science and science communication. There’s the start of a blog bit if you have time to kill…

Thanks for stopping by!

Urban Movement Ecology

Australia is an amazing country for ecologists, not only because it is stuffed full of unique ecosystems, but some of the best applied ecology is being executed here, often in an attempt to reduce the anthropogenic impact across the continent. In April 2017 I joined the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Group (ICON Science) at RMIT University, Melbourne. ICON Science is currently part of the Centre for Urban Research, and as such their focus is often at the intersection between people and their environment.

My current research focus is on bridging the gap between my PhD in animal movement, and current challenges in Australian ecology. In collaboration with researchers at the NESP Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, I have been developing a simple framework for measuring ecological connectivity within urban landscapes. This work was initially commissioned by the City of Melbourne, but hopefully the tool can be used by governments around the world for planning green infrastructure, with the aim of encouraging urban biodiversity. You can find a summary of the first stage of this project here and slides from my ESA 2018 presentation. The second phase of this project is in development right now: we are aiming to build the framework into a R package to allow for wider implementation and easier prioritisation of different planning scenarios.

In February 2018 I began an Endeavour Fellowship with the aim of testing whether rural models of bird dispersal can be used to predict abundance patterns within urban landscapes. This project has been pre-registered under the Open Science Framework, and you can follow progress over on my GitHub repo. The data collection portion of the project is now completed and a publication on its way. I recently presented some preliminary results at the 2019 Victorian Biodiversity Conference in February.

In May 2019 ICON Science were engaged (via GHD Australia) to produce a Biodiversity Plan for the Fishermans Bend renewal project. This an ambitious urban renewal project taking place in the heart of Melbourne, and unique in that biodiversity is being considered from the very beginning of the development process. We are responsible for producing a set of recommendations for “biodiversity actions” across the area using a combination of Biodiversity Sensitive Urban Design (BSUD) and ecological connectivity. I am leading the spatial analysis portion of this project.

Interested in collaborating? Please get in touch!