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The Australian National University

Dr Philip Barton

B.Sc. M.Sc. (Deakin) Ph.D. (ANU)
Senior Research Fellow, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science
T: (02) 6125 9389

Areas of expertise

  • Ecology 0602
  • Community Ecology (Excl. Invasive Species Ecology) 060202
  • Landscape Ecology 050104
  • Terrestrial Ecology 060208
  • Invertebrate Biology 060808
  • Ecosystem Function 050102

Research interests

I am an ecologist and Senior Research Fellow in the Fenner School of Environment and Society. I lead research on the structure and diversity of insect communities and their ecological roles in both natural and modified landscapes.

Researcher's projects

Carrion ecology. I lead an ARC-funded project researching insects and carrion decomposition in modified landscapes. This includes the role of carrion in supporting biodiversity and contributing to nutrient recycling in ecosystems. My research on carrion involves collaboration with a range of ecologists and entomologists in Australia and the USA.

Surrogate ecology. I collaborate with researchers exploring the theoretical and empirical basis of ecological surrogates, and their application to the management of biodiversity and the environment. This work is led by Prof David Lindenmayer.

Restoration ecology. I collaborate with researchers and the Mulligans Flat - Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment - an experimental restoration study that is led by Prof Adrian Manning. The project is examining the effects of multiple interacting treatments (log addition, grazing, fire, animal reintroduction) on multiple groups of organisms (soil microbes, fungi, plants, insects, reptiles, small mammals, birds). I am involved with the insect, plant and soil aspects of this study, and collaborate with scientists at ANU and CSIRO.

Available student projects

If you are highly motivated, have strong writing and data analysis skills, and want to do a PhD on insect ecology, please contact me to discuss potential projects.

Current student projects

Catherine Ross, PhD Scholar

Thesis topic: Ecosystem engineering: how does the reintroduction of locally extinct native mammals affect soil condition, plant and invertebrate diversity in Mulligan’s Flat Woodland Sanctuary? (co-supervised with Prof Adrian Manning (ANU), Dr Sue McIntyre (CSIRO), Prof Saul Cunningham (ANU)).

Wendy Neilan, PhD Scholar

Thesis topic: Landscape change and bird functional diversity. (co-supervised with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU) and Prof Clive McAlpine (UQ)).

Emma Spencer, PhD Scholar (University of Sydney)

Thesis topic: The ecological role of carrion in Australian ecosystems. (co-supervised with Dr Thomas Newsome (USyd), Dr Aaron Grenvlle (USyd), Prof Chris Dickman USyd)).

Blake Dawson, PhD Scholar (University of Wollongong)

Thesis topic: Comparison of the entomofauna colonising dead pigs and humans. (co-supervised with Prof James Wallman (UoW), Dr Melanie Archer (VIFM)).



Past student projects

Kat Ng, PhD Scholar. Completed 2018.

Thesis topic: From plantings to the paddock: are ground-dwelling beetles and beneficial arthropods moving through fragmented agricultural landscapes? (co-supervised with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU), Prof Don Driscoll (Deakin), Dr Sarina Macfadyen (CSIRO), Dr Sue McIntyre (CSIRO)).

Tim Andrewartha, Honours scholar. Completed 2017.

Thesis topic: Fox responses to novel odours in a landscape, Canberra ACT. (co-supervised with Dr Will Batson (ACT Gov) and Prof Adrian Manning (ANU)).

Yong Ding Li, PhD Scholar. Completed 2017.

Thesis topic: Cross-taxon surrogacy in modified landscapes. (co-supervised with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU) and Prof Saul Cunningham (ANU)).

Ciara Fitzgerald, MSc Scholar. Completed 2017

Thesis topic: Response of insects to luminous pavements, Canberra ACT. (co-supervised with Dr Karen Ikin (ANU)).

Christine Mauger, Honours scholar. Completed 2017

Thesis topic: Native animal responses to predator odours, Canberra ACT. (co-supervised with Dr Will Batson (ACT Gov) and Prof Adrian Manning (ANU)).

Stephanie Pulsford, PhD Scholar. Completed 2017

Thesis topic: Easy and cost effective methods for improving connectivity of poor dispersing reptiles, frogs and invertebrates in south-east Australia. (co-supervised with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU), Prof Don Driscoll (Deakin)).

Claire Foster, PhD Scholar. Completed 2016.

Thesis topic: The interactive effects of grazing and fire on vegetation and its dependent biota. (co-supervised with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU) and Dr Chloe Sato (ANU)).



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Updated:  16 October 2018 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers