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Global Ecology Lab

As part of the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at The University of Sydney, the Global Ecology Lab seeks to understand how humans and wildlife shape and drive ecosystem processes.

Much of our work is focused on wildlife that act as important ecosystem engineers, especially large carnivores and scavengers. Our work provides solutions to the challenges of wildlife conservation and management in a rapidly changing world.

If you are a student interested in working with the Global Ecology Lab see the Student Opportunities tab.


Principal Investigator

Thomas Newsome


Main Current Projects

  • ProjectOzScav: evaluating the ecosystem effects of carcasses (project student: Emma Spencer at The University of Sydney, Australia)
  • Washington Predator Prey Project (with the Predator Ecology Lab at the University of Washington, USA)
  • Trophic cascades and global extinction risk (with the Global Trophic Cascades Program at Oregon State University, USA)
  • Long term ecological monitoring in the Simpson Desert (with the Desert Ecology Research Group at The University of Sydney, Australia)
  • Long term ecological monitoring and behaviour, ecology and evolution of dingoes in the Tanami Desert (with the Central Land Council and Newmont Pty Ltd; multiple projects)
  • Understanding human-carnivore conflicts (project student: Lily Van Eeden at The University of Sydney, Australia)
  • Urban Fox Project (project students: Margarita Gil-Fernandez, Sarah Campbell and Will Ashley at Macquarie University)
  • The ecological impacts of grizzly bears (with the Californian Grizzly Study Group)


Recent Grants, Partnerships and Fellowships

  • Australian Alps National Parks Cooperative Management Program (Current) Ecological effects of invasive European wasps in Alpine ecosystems ($21K) Principal Investigator
  • Hermon Slade Foundation (Current) Ecological Effects of Animal Mass Mortality Events ($61K) Principal Investigator
  • Pest and Weed Drought Funding (Australian Government) (Current) Grosses Plains, Mowamba and Ingebyra Feral Deer Control Initiative ($211K) University partner with South East Local Land Services.
  • Greater Sydney Local Land Services (Current) Management and genetic assessments of urban and rural foxes across the Sydney region. Co-Investigator.
  • Australian Geographic (Current) The web of death: evaluating the effects of carrion on vulnerable alpine communities ($1500) Co-Investigator.
  • Threatened Species Recovery Hub (Current) Cat suppression to conserve night parrots” ($180K) Co-Investigator.
  • Australian Pacific Science Foundation (Current) Fighting over the scraps: predator interactions and the ecosystem effects of carrion ($35K) Principal Investigator.
  • Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (Current) Interactions between wolves and cougars in NE Washington ($1.4M) Co-Investigator.
  • Seattle City Lights Wildlife Research Grant (Current) Interactions between wolves and Cougars in NE Washington ($64K) Co-Investigator.
  • National Geographic Society Committee for Research Exploration (Current) Wolves in the pacific northwest: the final frontier ($34K) Principal Investigator.
  • USEED Crowd-Funding (Current) The top dog returns: the impact of wolves in the American west ($17K) Co-Investigator.
  • Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Research Fellowship (2016-2017) Predator management in Australia: lessons from interactions between wolves and cougars in NE Washington ($180K) Principal Investigator.
  • Australian American Fulbright Commission (2013-2014) How to manage dingoes in Australia: understanding the effect of reintroducing top-order predators ($57K) Principal Investigator.
  • Northern Territory Government (2010) EnvironmeNT Grant Diet of camp dogs in the Tanami Desert” ($10K) Principal Investigator.
  • Newmont Tanami Operations (2007-2011) The ecology of dingoes in the Tanami Desert” ($100K) Principal Investigator.


Current Students


Lauren Satterfield (PhD; University of Washington): Studying the effects of wolf recolonization on mountain lion resource selection in Washington State.


Lily Van Eeden (PhD; University of Sydney): Studying the drivers of human-wildlife conflicts, focusing on the dingo in Australia.

Emma Spencer (PhD; University of Sydney): Studying the ecological role of carrion in Australian ecosystems.


James Vandersteen (MSc; University of Sydney): Studying the ecological effects of invasive European wasps on scavenger communities in Kosciuszko National Park.


Chris Fust (MSc; University of Sydney): Studying the factors influencing carcass decomposition rates


Stefanie Monat (PhD; University of Sydney): Studying the ecological effects of animal mass mortality events

Aiden Profile pic

Aiden Wright (Honours; University of Sydney): Studying the population genetics of Australian bush rats following their reintroduction into North Head, Manly.


Dara Albrecht (Summer Intern from Yale University): Assisting with field and lab studies and science communication of ProjectOzScav.


Sarah Campbell (MRes; Macquarie University): Studying antibiotic resistance gene diversity and expression in wild foxes across urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes.


Will Ashley (MRes; Macquarie University): Studying dispersal pathways, connectivity and gene flow between red fox populations across the Greater Sydney region.


Past Students

Margarita Gil-Fernandez (MRes; Macquarie University). Studying the visitation rates of red fox and other species to M44 ejectors in peri-urban and urban areas of Sydney.

Gavin Trewella (Honours 2016; Deakin University): Do dingoes (Canis dingo) facilitate behaviourally-mediated trophic cascades in mallee ecosystems?

Evie Jones (Honours 2016; Deakin University): Factors influencing feral cat density and distribution in a mallee ecosystem.


Main External Collaborators

I am always interested to hear from potential collaborators.

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