+ Welcome to the ECL Ella Cathcart-van Weeren (UQ PhD) 👩🏻🎓 [link]
- New ECL pub in Biological Conservation on Asian Catopuma felids 🦁[link]
- New ECL pub in Oryx on binturongs aka the bear-cat! 🐻[link]
+Media coverage with super fun blog [link]
April 2023 - WildObs $16k contract to provide analytics for WWF Australia 'Eyes on Recovery'🔥
• Dr Bruce will lead WildObs analysis of their cam trap data from 10 sites, post-bush fires
• ECL leads a $2M ARC LIEF bid to fund WildObs (decision out in Sept)
March 2023 - New ECL collaboration + $150k funding with Prof Eleanor Slade at NTU Singapore
• Employs Dr Calebe to resample 4 Asian rainforests with cam traps & veg plots in exclosures
Jan 2023 - New ECL pub led by Alex in Ecosphere on why arboreal wild cats are more threatened 🐆[link]
Oct 2022 - The ECL is back in Africa's Congo Basin rainforests to study wildlife seed dispersal 🌱[link]
Good luck Bastien and Matthew, see you back at UQ in January!
Aug 2022 - ECL goes to Singapore & Malaysia to document the mortality of wild pigs from African Swine Fever
July 2022 - ECL hosts the inaugural WildObs Summit at Lamington NP rainforest retreat (more info link)
• ECL leads a $3M ARC LIEF bid to fund WildObs (decision out in Dec) update: unsuccessful :(
• Welcome to the ECL Samantha Wong-Topp [link], Samuel Kusuma [link], & MSc Ben Charnley [link]
Dec 2021 - Welcome to the ECL: UQ PhDs Ilyas Nursyamsi (link) & Sebastian Fester(link) !
APPLY: 3rd new postdoc opportunity with Drs Luskin and Prof David Wardle to study the impacts of wild boar recolonization in Singapore [link]
Sept 2021 - New paper in Forests & People on Borneo's hunters [link] & news by The Californian [link]
• Collaboration with Dave Kurz & UC Berkeley profs Justin Brashares & Matthew Potts
In the news: Matthew writes for The Conversation on how Borneo's changing hunting traditions [link]
New paper in BioScience on oil palm & deforestation [link] with news coverage in Mongabay [link]
New paper in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics [link]
• Collaboration with BBF Prof Chris Golden at Harvard
August 2021 - ECL receives $33K grant from GBIF to support data mobilisation [link]
• Adding camera trapping into global occurrence datasets with new ECL postdoc Dr Arjun Thrapa
July 2021 - In the news: The New York Times investigates Sumatran forest conservation
• references ECL work with WCS on tigers & deforestation [article & podcast link]
In the news: African Swine Fever threatens conservation, a joint statement by FAO, IUCN, & OIE
June 2021 - CI Luskin gives CForBio seminar - "Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network" [link]
+ CI Luskin gives JCU-Cairns TESS seminar hosted by Bill Laurance [watch the video link]
• Creating an Australian collaborative camera trapping network to improve wildlife conservation
+ Luskin & Zach present at the Indonesia Council Open Conference [link] (predators & hunting in Indonesia)
• Welcome to the ECL winter interns: Adriana Santivanezolazo, Aishwarya Bhandari, Arata Honda, Callum Waite, Ella McAlister, Elliot Carr, Maria Belen Font, Moses Pillay, & Tylah Mills
May 2021 - $1.3M NASA grant on Congo's megafauna seed dispersers!
April 2021 - New paper in Nature Communications on impacts of seed predators are compensatory, not additive, with major implications on the cascading impacts from defaunation [link]
March 2021 - New pub in Proceeding Royal Society-B on how megafauna alter tree diversity [link]
• In the news: media coverage of PRSB paper in The Independent + others [link1] [link2]
Feb 2021 - New pub in Ecology Letters: When do Janzen-Connell effects matter? [link]
+ Welcome postdocs Dr Adia Sovie [link], Dr Dipanjan Nala [link] & PhD student Bastien Dehaudt! [link]
Jan 2021 - New pub in Conservation Letters: African Swine Fever threatens 11 Asian pig species [link]
• In the news: media coverage by Mongabay + others [link]
Dec 2020 - New pub in Biological Conservation: outcome of the SI-ForestGEO network [link]
Welcome ECL summer interns: Harsh Pahuja, Victor Yiqian Li, Emma Valette, Carolina Zulueta, Thaung Ret, Alexander Hendry, Lindsey Arnold, Gary Young, Bora Aska, Jeffrey Lau, Xiaohan Liu, Lin Gan, Jessica Morrison, Abigail Rose Natusch, Tamzin Barber, "Niel" Nguyen Tran
• Fellowship winners: Henri Decoeur, Samuel Lee Tham, Ashlea Dunn, & Ilyas Nursamsi
2020 - ECL awarded $430K grant! (ARC DECRA to Matthew)
• title: "Ecological cascades in Queensland rainforests" + funding 2 PhD students - please apply [link]
- ECL awarded $500K grant for partnership w/ NParks-NTU & Prof David Wardle
• Study of wild boar recolonization in Singapore
Matthew gives the Smithsonian ForestGEO Seminar (watch link, passcode: gHFh$0a! )
- Welcome postdocs Dr Calebe Mendes [link] & Dr Therese Lamperty [link]!
• Welcome PhD student Zach Amir, MSc Francis Chicas & honours Courtney Mueller!
In the news: Matthew writes a Jakarta Post article on African Swine Fever [link]
2019 - New pub in J of Applied Ecology on how wildlife supports lianas over trees [link]
2018 - New pub in PNAS on global impacts of herbivores and plants (link) & media coverage [link]
2017 - Two new pubs in Nature Communications...
• Sumatran tiger conservation [link] + coverage on NYTimes & National Geographic [link]
• Oil palm (food subsidies) to wildlife degrade forests [link] +media National Geographic [link]
How is rainforest biodiversity generated, maintained and eroded?
Our mission The ECL strives to understand the key mechanisms that structure food webs. Disturbances can alter important regulating mechanisms that keep ecosystems in a dynamic equilibrium. The loss of one species such an apex predator can cause food webs to disassemble and ecosystems to collapse. For example, in some places, the poaching of wolves or tigers eliminates predation control of herbivore populations and triggers cascading impacts on the vegetation. In other locations, the loss of predators produces negligible cascading impacts.
The ECL wants to understand why.
Basic research on how food webs are governed has applied uses in conservation. For protected areas and parks to maintain high diversity over the long term, we must identify and protect the key mechanism structuring those ecosystems. Thus, while the ECL focuses on conducting fundamental research, our findings will play a crucial role in maintaining healthy plant and animal communities in the coming decades.
Apex predators are crucial to regulating the populations of large herbivores in some ecosystems. We camera trapped this tiger in Sumatra, which experienced the highest deforestation rates globally from 2000-2015. Our estimates of this critically endangered species population (618 tigers) and home range (180 km2) help guide Indonesia’s conservation program (Luskin et al. 2017a).
Our follow up work examines tigers' importance for maintaining healthy food webs. We do this by comparing the food web structure in a dozen forests in Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, some which have lost tigers.
Where we work
The Ecological Cascades Lab conducts wildlife sampling in Southeast Asia
Researcher @ UCLA IoES - Congo Basin Institute ________________________________________