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Zachary Amir

I am a quantitative wildlife ecologist who develops novel statistical methods coupled with research computing to understand how hyper-diverse tropical forest wildlife communities are impacted by a wide range of contemporary disturbances. 

I have been incredibly lucky to develop my passion for wildlife ecology through amazing expereinces spent in the field. Starting with an undergraduate mammology class at the University of Colorado's Mountain Research Station to a semester abroad in Queensland's Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and K'gari (Fraser Island), I have learned how to collect data and study wildlife in thier natural environments. After graduating with dual degrees in psychology and ecology with honors (magna sum laude) from the University of Colorado, I worked as a field research technician on several USA federal government and university projects focused on the management and conservation of threatened reptiles and amphibians.


I am currently researching the ecological impacts of apex predator in Southeast Asian and Australian tropical forest food webs for my PhD at the University of Queensland. While there is global evidence highlighting the importance of apex predators structing ecological communities, there is a notable lack of evidence from tropical forests. I am using a multi-site multi-year camera trapping dataset to examine how the loss of tigers and leopards (i.e., due to hunting or deforestation) from Southeast Asian tropical forests may release predation pressure on prey species leading to increased prey abundance. Similarly, I am leading the collection of a new multi-site multi-year camera trapping dataset across Queensland's Wet Tropics World Heritage Area to examine how the addition of feral cats may increase predation pressure on native prey species and suppress thier abundance. I also am a tutor for several courses at UQ, including BIOL2015 Field Ecology Studies where we take students to K'gari for a week and teach them how to camera trap and use artifical intellgence to sort out images. Take a look at what they saw on thier cameras here

When I am not stuck behind my computer on UQ's St Lucia campus, you can find me outdoors looking for the amazing wildlife found around Southeast Queensland, chasing waves across our beautiful beaches, and riding bikes along the Brisbane River or Great Dividing Range.  

If you are curious about my research or have any similar interes and would like to reach out, please feel free to contact me:

For more info, check out my CV here

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First-authored ECL publications:

  1. Amir, Moore, Negret & Luskin (2022). Megafauna extinctions produce idiosyncratic Anthropocene assemblages. Science Advances 8, eabq2307-2318. [link]​​

  2. Amir, Sovie, & Luskin (2022). Inferring predator–prey interactions from camera traps: A Bayesian co-abundance modeling approach. Ecology & Evolution, 12, e9627. [link]

Contributing author ECL publications


  1. Moore, Gibson, Amir, Chanthorn, Ahmad, Mendes, Jansen, Onuma, Peres & Luskin (2023). The rise of hyperabundant native generalists threatens both humans and nature. Biological Reviews 98(4):1–20. [link]

  2. Decoeur, Amir, Mendes, Moore & Luskin (2023). Mid-sized felids threatened by habitat degradation in Southeast Asia. Biological Conservation 283: 110103 [link]​​

  3. Nursamsi, Amir, Decoeur, Moore & Luskin (2023). Sunda pangolins show inconsistent responses to disturbances across multiple scales. Wildlife Letters 2(1):1-10 [link]​

  4. Lamperty, with Amir, Mendes, Png, Sovie et al w/ Luskin (2023). Rewilding in Southeast Asia: Singapore as a case study. Conservation Science & Practice e12899: 1-11 [link]​​

  5. Hendry, Amir, Decoeur, Mendes, Moore, Sovie & Luskin (2023). Marbled cats in Southeast Asia; Are diurnal and semi-arboreal felids at greater risk from human disturbances? Ecosphere 14(1): e4338. [link]

  6. Honda, Amir, Moore & Luskin (2023). Binturong ecology and conservation in pristine, fragmented and degraded tropical forests. Oryx 1, 1–11. [link]

  7. Carr, Amir, Moore, Nursamsi & Luskin (2023). The highs and lows of serow (Capricornis sumatraensis): multi-scale habitat associations inform large mammal conservation strategies in the face of synergistic threats of deforestation, hunting, and climate change. Raffles Bull. Zool. 71, 400–416. [link]​​

  8. Dehaudt, AmirDecoeur, Gibson, MendesMooreNursamsiSovie, & Luskin (2022). Common palm civets (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus) are positively associated with humans and forest degradation with implications for seed dispersal and zoonotic diseases. J of Animal Ecology 91: 794-804. [link]

  9. Dunn, AmirDecoeurMendesMooreSovie & Luskin (2022). The ecology of the banded civet (Hemigalus derbyanus) in Southeast Asia with implications for mesopredator release, zoonotic diseases, and conservation. Ecology & Evolution 12, e8852-e8861.[link]

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