Dr Philip Barton

B.Sc. M.Sc. (Deakin) Ph.D. (ANU)
Fellow/Senior Lecturer, 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
  • Invertebrate Biology 060808
  • Ecosystem Function 050102
  • Forensic Biology 069901

Research interests

I am an ecologist and 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. I also lead research on carrion decomposition and its role in supporting biodiversity and driving nutrient cycling. This has led to a number of collaborations with Australian and international researchers specialising in scavenger ecology, microbial ecology, ecosystem biogeochemistry, and forensic entomology.

Editor: Austral Ecology

Associate Editor: Insect Conservation and Diversity

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), Prof 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 Tom 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).



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)).



Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  27 June 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers