Dr Belinda Wilson

Bachelor of Science (UOW), Bachelor of Science with Honours (UNSW), PhD (ANU)
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Conservation And Biodiversity 410401
  • Environmental Assessment And Monitoring 410402
  • Environmental Rehabilitation And Restoration 410405
  • Wildlife And Habitat Management 410407
  • Population Ecology 310307
  • Animal Behaviour 310901
  • Landscape Ecology 410206
  • Terrestrial Ecology 310308

Research interests

I conduct research across four broad topics: translocation science, community dynamics, threatened species monitoring, and ecological restoration. In particular, I investigate how iteratively adopting strategies and tactics within an adaptive management framework can improve conservation outcomes. I advocate for incorporating ecological theory into conservation planning, and work with practitioners to inform management.

During my doctorate, I conducted extensive research on eastern quoll reintroduction biology, including their translocation tacticsbehavioural ecology, spatial ecology, and species recovery. The eastern quoll reintroduction formed part of the Australian Research Council-funded Bringing Back Biodiversity project within the long-term Mulligans Flat–Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment (a major collaborative effort between ANUACT Government, and Woodlands and Wetlands Trust), which supported successful reintroductions and genetic management of eastern bettongsbush stone-curlews, and New Holland mice.

Biography

I am a conservation ecologist in the Coexistence Conservation Lab specialising in threatened species translocations. My experiences in research, consultancy, and environmental regulation have led to a keen interest in combining fundamental science with management actions. In particular, I investigate how integrating our understanding of animal behaviour, spatial ecology, community associations, and ecosystem processes can improve conservation outcomes.

Available student projects

  • Eastern quoll traits and habitat use: Since their reintroduction in 2016, the eastern quolls at Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary (MFWS) have been monitored for their health (e.g., weight, condition, teeth condition) and traits (e.g., sex, morph, foot length, head length). Do these traits relate to their performance, persistence, habitat use, or fitness?
  • Eastern quoll personality: Reintroduction success can be affected by many factors, including animal personality. We conducted behavioural assays on eastern quolls before releasing them to MFWS in 2017 and filmed their responses to different stimuli. By scoring their behaviours, can we relate this to translocation success?

Other projects relating to conservation genetics (contact Dr Linda Neaves), New Holland mice (contact Kiarrah Smith), and bush stone-curlews (contact Shoshana Rapley) are available. For other Mulligans Flat–Goorooyarroo Woodland Experiment projects, contact Professor Adrian Manning.

Current student projects

  • Christina Fee, FSES Masters: Detecting trait differences between a reintroduced and a recolonised eastern quoll population (2024)

Publications

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:  05 March 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers