Throughout the duration of my DPhil I will study the role of respiratory and intestinal microbiota in carnivores, using European badgers as a model species. I intend to answer broad questions surrounding variability, fitness and disease resistance. Microbes are increasingly being tied to all manner of animal physiology, and inhabit all parts of the body. This has led to the notion of considering individuals as ecosystems, harbouring a distinct collection of microorganisms, often assisting with integral bodily functions. This approach of considering an organism as its own ecosystem may become a useful tool in managing and understanding populations.
I graduated from Griffith University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science majoring in Ecology. After graduating I completed an honours thesis assessing the distribution of lepidoptera (moths) over an elevation gradient in the French Pyrenees.
I have long had an interest in carnivores, however. I began my conservation journey with the red panda in Nepal. I currently direct a small NGO that financially support students to undertake Red Panda-related research projects across Nepal.
In late 2017 I was awarded the General Sir John Monash Scholarship to commence my DPhil at Oxford. I am incredibly thankful for the opportunity to increase my own skillset with WildCRU through this scholarship, but also to feed that knowledge back to Australia. Prior to starting at Oxford I was a park ranger in Tasmania, where I hope to return to post graduating to apply my research. Especially in the disease transmission pathways of the Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease and the ongoing concerns regarding feral cat-native carnivore conflict nationwide.