Team 2017-05-09T17:59:16+00:00


Richard Reina
Richard Reina Associate Professor and Research Group Leader
My research focuses on understanding how animals respond to challenges from their environments and from human activity and then using this knowledge to inform better conservation and management.
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Cathy Cavallo
Cathy CavalloPhD candidate
The focus of my PhD research is to determine prey species abundance and availability within northwest Bass Strait, using an iconic top predator- the little penguin.
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Sean Williamson
Sean WilliamsonPhD candidate
I am examining maternal physiology and experimentally manipulating egg incubation environments for several model reptilian species of crocodilians, turtles and squamates.
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Sonia Sánchez
Sonia Sánchez PhD candidate
My PhD focuses on finding the feeding hotspots of an iconic endemic Australian top-predator, the little penguin (Eudyptula minor) in the Bass Strait.
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Christopher Gatto
Christopher GattoPhD candidate
My PhD is investigating the role of nest moisture in determining primary sex ratios and hatchling performance, with a focus on the ramifications for sex-specific hatchling recruitment.
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Franciscus Scheelings
Franciscus Scheelings PhD candidate
The focus of my PhD is determine the microbiome of sea turtles and examine how the microbial community influences the fitness of its host.
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Licia Finotto
Licia FinottoPhD candidate
Licia’s PhD aims to understand the effects that fisheries-capture stress causes to Chondrichthyans (sharks, rays and chimaeras), which are among the most vulnerable and threatened fishes,
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Ross Holmberg
Ross HolmbergField assistant
Ross works on the penguin research project as a Research Assistant, based on Phillip Island.
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Jade Ronke
Jade RonkeHonours student
My research project focuses on the environmental cues used by sea turtle hatchlings to find their way to the open ocean after emerging from their nests on the beach.
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Hayley Rechter
Hayley Rechter Honours student
Co-supervised by Dr Andre Chiaradia, Phillip Island Nature Park

I’m monitoring the St Kilda colony of penguins, and will attach GPS loggers and video cameras to the birds during their breeding season. I will use these to determine the influence of severe weather upon their foraging behaviour and success. Thank you to everyone who supported this project by donating at!

Natarsha Babic
Natarsha Babic Honours student
Heavy metals are significant environmental contaminants of wetlands. My honours research project is about assessing the developmental and behavioural effects of zinc contamination upon tadpoles of the native southern brown tree frog (Litoria ewingii).