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ECL News:

 🦘WildObs is delivering, have cam traps? Don't miss out!

July 2024 - ECL leads $3M for Wildlife Observatory of Australia (WildObs) w/ ARDC Planet, QCIF & TERN! 

June 2024 -Welcome new students Keyur Sanjaybhai, Azza Ismail, Indro Bhowmick, & Shinyen Chiu 👩🏻‍🎓 [link]

May 2024 - New ECL pub in Ecology sharing 239 cam trap studies from Asia called CamTrapAsia [PDF]

April 2024 - ECL contributes to Nature Ecology & Evolution on impacts of COVID on wildlife (global) [PDF].

March 2024 - New ECL pub in Nature Communications on changing wildlife behaviour & predator-prey [PDF]

Feb 2024 - Luskin co-hosts ARDC Planet workshop on Machine-Based Observations (25-26 Feb at QUT) 

​-Media, presentations, and report available here [link]

Jan 2024 - New pub in Remote Sensing EE on camera trap data standards using CamTrapDP [PDF

     + Welcome PhD students Skye Anderson & Juli Jiaqi Li

Dec 2023 - New YouTube wildlife videos, wildlife in African, American, & Australian rainforests [link]

Nov 2023 - New pub makes the cover of Nature on protected areas effectiveness [LINK] [ PDF ]

-Media from UQ [link] & Matthew writes summary for The Conversation [link]

Oct 2023 - New ECL pub in Austral Ecology on mousedeer ecology & conservation [PDF]

Sept 2023 - New ECL pub in Wildlife Letters entitled "Mesopredators in forest edges" about leopard cats [PDF]

Aug 2023 -  New ECL pub in Biotropica on how rewilding can spread invasive plants 🌱 [PDF]

July 2023 New ECL pub in Biological Reviews on the rise of macaques 🐵 [link]

       Media coverage in Science and Sky News [link & PDF]

June 2023 - New ECL pub in Biological Conservation on Asian Catopuma felids 🦁[link]

- New ECL pub in Oryx on binturongs, aka the bear-cat 🐻[PDF] Media fun blog [link]

- New ECL pub in Wildlife Letters on critically endangered pangolins [link]

- New ECL pub in Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on serows 🐐 (aka rainforest goats) [link]

May 2023 - New ECL pub in Wildlife Letters on African Swine Fever decimating Asian pigs 🐗 ☠️[link]

 +Media coverage in Science [link]

April 2023 - WildObs $16k contract to provide analytics for WWF Australia 'Eyes on Recovery' 

 Dr Tom Bruce will lead analysis of 1000 cam traps at 10 sites, post-bush fires [link]

Welcome to the Zoë Lieb, Ella Cathcart-van Weeren, & Alejandro Garza-Garcia [link]

March 2023 - New ECL collaboration + $150k funding with Prof Eleanor Slade at NTU Singapore
        Dr Calebe to resample 4 Asian rainforests with cam traps & veg plots in exclosures

Feb 2023 - New ECL pub in Conservation Science & Practice on REWILDING ASIA 🦌[link]

       • Media coverage in the Singapore Straits Times & interview with Matthew [link]

Jan 2023 - New ECL pub led by Alex in Ecosphere on why arboreal wild cats are more threatened 🐆[link]

Dec 2022 - New ECL methods pub in Ecology & Evolution on inferring predatory interactions 🐅[link]

Nov 2022 New ECL pub led by Zach in Science Advances on Asian megafauna extinctions 🐘[link]

       - Media coverage by Sydney Herald + a dozen others [link]

Oct 2022 - The ECL is back in Africa's Congo Basin rainforests to study wildlife seed dispersal 🌱[link]

- Good luck Bastien, see you back at UQ in January

Sept 2022 - ECL hosts GBIF workshop in Chitwan, Nepal. led by ECL postdoc Dr Arjun Thapa 🦏

                        Attended by Calebe Mendes & CI Luskin, more info here [link]

 In the news: WildObs on Channel 9 News (watch Zach's interview here) + in Cosmos Science [link]

Aug 2022 - ECL goes to Singapore & Malaysia to document the mortality of wild pigs from African Swine Fever

 In the news: WildObs is a featured project at UQ's Research & Innovation Week [link]

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 --> unsuccessful :(

Welcome to the ECL Samantha Wong-Topp [link], Samuel Kusuma [link], & MSc Ben Charnley [link]

June 2022 - ECL PhD student Zachary Amir on 🔥: (i) presentation at ATBC in Columbia

(ii) presentation at the International Statistical Ecology Conference in South Africa

(iii) funding for camera traps by Wild Idea, (iv) coauthored 2 pubs

April 2022 New ECL pub in Ecology & Evolution on banded civet ecology and conservation [link]

Jan 2022 New ECL pub in J of Animal Ecology on palm civet conservation & zoonotic diseases [link]

Dec 2021 Welcome to the ECL Dr Tom Bruce! [link], lyas Nursyamsi (link) & Sebastian Fester(link)

Sam Lee (link) & Chervil Ho (link) & MPhil Saurav Kumar (link) 

Oct 2021 - APPLY: two postdocs with the ECL@UQ to establish a Wildlife Observatory! 

    • partnership with UQ Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science [link]

    • focus on providing camera trap data analysis and synthesis for Australia

APPLY: another postdoc opportunity with 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 [linkwith news coverage in Mongabay [link]

       • Outcome from SNAPP working group in Santa Baraba with Kim Carlson & Robert Heilmayr

  New paper in Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, & Systematics [link]

       • Outcome from NTU-ForestGEO workshop & Prof David Wardle on Tropical Invasions 

   New paper in Animal Conservation on tenrec hunting in Madagascar [link]

      Collaboration with BBF Prof Chris Golden at Harvard

August 2021 -$33K grant from GBIF to support data mobilisation [link]

    • Adding cameras into global occurrence datasets with 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

     • Based on ECL research paper [link], with a new press release [link]

June 2021 - CI Luskin gives CForBio seminar - "Chinese Forest Biodiversity Monitoring Network" [link]

         • Large wildlife & conspecific negative density dependence

   + 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! 

        • Led by Prof Tom Smith & Elsa Ordway at UCLA Congo Basin Institute [link]

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 LettersWhen do Janzen-Connell effects matter? [link]

      Welcome postdocs Dr Adia Sovie [link], Dr Dipanjan Nala [linkPhD student Bastien Dehaudt! [link]   
Jan 2021 - New pub in Conservation LettersAfrican Swine Fever threatens 11 Asian pig species [link]

       In the news: media coverage by Mongabay + others [link]

       - Luskin gives SCB Emerging Issues Seminar [watch here 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, Henri Decoeur, Samuel Lee Tham, Ashlea Dunn, & Ilyas Nursamsi​

2020 -$430K funding for "Ecological cascades in Queensland rainforests" 

- funding 2 PhD students - please apply [link]

 - $500K funding partnership w/ NParks & NTU to study 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]

ECOLOGICAL CASCADES the secondary food web effects triggered by disturbances like hunting, predator loss, or deforestation

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.

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Where we work

The Ecological Cascades Lab conducts wildlife sampling in Southeast Asia

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