Biodiversity research


This page provides information on biodiversity research projects. If you are aware of a current research program or you are conducting research in Victoria or adjoining areas that involves or has implications for threatened species, communities or their habitats, please contact SWIFFT to list the project here.


Current research

Project: Managing the potential impacts from development and urbanisation on the threatened Brush-tailed Phascogale (Phascogale tapoatafa), in the modified landscape of central Victoria.

Relevant threatened species: Brush-tailed Phascogale

Location: Central Victoria, commencing 2017 to 2025

Activities: This research will investigate effective nestbox designs, barriers that impede dispersal, impact of fire and mitigation of other threats.

Body conducting research:  William Terry, Southern Cross University PhD.

Contact: 03 5421 9674 or e-mail 

Project: Waterbird breeding and movements: Knowledge for water managers

Location: Murray-Darling Basin, with Victorian sites including Barmah Forest, Kerang Lakes and Kow Swamp

Activities: This research program is collecting information on colonial-nesting waterbird breeding and movements across the Murray-Darling Basin. It is using GPS satellite tracking of straw-necked ibis, royal spoonbills and Australian white ibis to determine movement and habitat use patterns over time. It is also conducting on-ground field surveys and deploying motion-sensing and time-lapse cameras on nests in breeding colonies to quantify survival rates, predation and bird behaviour. 

Body conducting research: CSIRO Land and Water, University of NSW and University of Canberra. Funded by the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office through the Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Water Knowledge and Research Project (MDB EWKR). 

Contact: Dr Heather McGinness, MDB EWKR Theme coordinator. See the Waterbird breeding and movements website and

Project: ‘Recent ecological change in Australia’ survey

Location: Across Australia to April 2018

Activities: Community members can contribute to a survey that will collect stories and anecdotes that will help to build a national picture of the kinds of ecological changes that have been occurring across the country over the past 10-20 years, or more. Participants would need to be able to select a natural area (e.g. a local region or farm, a Nature Reserve, urban bushland etc.) that you have been familiar with for at least the last 10 years. 

Body conducting research: CSIRO Land and Water and the Department of the Environment and Energy. 

Contact: CSIRO ‘Recent ecological change in Australia’ survey

Project: Eastern Barred bandicoot projects

Relevant threatened species: Eastern Barred Bandicoot. Three research projects being conducted (1) Impact of Toxoplasma disease on EBB's (2) The role Eastern Barred Bandicoots play as ecosystem engineers (3) Training Eastern Barred Bandicoots to recognise cats as predators

Location: (1) Phillip Island and French Island (2) Churchill Island (3) Werribee Open Range Zoo 

Body conducting research: (1) Kath Adriaanse, University of Melbourne (2) Lauren Halstead, Deakin University (3) Rachel Taylor, University of Melbourne.

Contact for further information: Eastern Barred Bandicoot Newsletter -Warron, Issue 23 May 2017

Project: The Ecological Time Machine

Location: Victoria & SE Australia.

Activities: Development of a tool to predict the distribution of plants and animals in the past. This information helps decisions to be made about where we protect habitat, and where the best prospects for habitat restoration and rehabilitation are.

Body conducting research: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARI)


Project: Southern Australian Sea Turtle

Relevant threatened species: leatherback turtleloggerhead turtle, flatback turtle, green turtle, olive ridley turtle and hawksbill turtle. The project aims to determine what drives the occurrence of sea turtles off the coast of southern Australia. 

Location: southern Australian region.

Body conducting researchThe project is being developed by Deakin University’s Professor Graeme Hays and Dr Margie Morrice. They are collaborating with southern Australian marine fauna researchers and database managers. Community observations welcome.

Contact for further information: Southern Australian Sea Turtle

Project: Wombat State Forest Project

Relevant threatened species: Forest Fauna. The sites (each 1 hectare) were established in 2006.

Location: Wombat State Forest

Body conducting researchWombat Forestcare (initial research in partnership with the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental research)

Contact for further information: Gayle Osborne

Project: Blue Whale research

Relevant threatened species: Blue Whale

Location:South West Victoria (Cape Otway to Eyre Peninsula, South Australia), November to May.

Body conducting research:Whale Ecology Group - Deakin University, Warrnambool 

Contact for further information: Peter Gill, Whale Ecology Group, Deakin University, Warrnambool Blue Whale Study 

Topic of research: The impact of severe wildfire on small mammals Grampians National Park case study

Relevant threatened species: Small mammals

Location: Grampians National Park

Body conducting research: Contact Mike Stevens, Grampians National Park

Project: Eastern Grey Kangaroo research - this project commenced in 2004 and is still active.

Relevant threatened species: This project not only has implications for the ecology of Kangaroo populations (which are not threatened) but also the impact they have on ecological processes and implications for many species of threatened flora and fauna.

Location: Anglesea, Victoria

Body conducting research: Post-graduate students and academic staff from the Department of Zoology, The University of Melbourne.


Further information: ANGAIR (Anglesea, Aireys Inlet Society for the protection of flora and fauna)


Project: Millipededs of south-west Victoria

Relevant threatened species: None listed yet

Location: The entire SWIFFT area

Body conducting research:

Contact for further information: Dr Bob Mesibov, PO Box 101, Penguin TAS 7316 

Project: Grassy Ecosystem Research Initiative

Relevant threatened species: Native Grassland communities

Location: Volcanic Plains, Chepstowe, Illabarook Recreation Reserve,

Body conducting research: Dept. of Botany, La Trobe University,

Contact for further information: Dr John Morgan

See also: Lowland and Grassy Ecosystems Research Initiative

Project: Long-term Ecological Grazing Project (LTEG)

Relevant threatened species: Native Grassland

Location: Volcanic Plains, Birregurra, Darlington, Hamilton

Body conducting research: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARI), PlainsTender and Grain&Graze

Contact for further information: Heidi Zimmer (ARI) 94508600

See also: Long Term Ecological Grazing Project – research results to date

Topic: Fire ecology Long-nosed Potaroo and Southern Brown Bandicoot project

Relevant threatened species: Long-nosed Potoroo and Southern Brown Bandicoot

Location: Glenelg and Otway regions, 2009-2011

Contact for further information: Justine Smith, via Richard Hill 03 55542302


Topic: Grassy Groundcover Research Project

Relevant threatened species: Native grassland communities

Location: 13 sites across 5 CMA regions

Body conducting research: Greening Australia (Victoria) and Melbourne University

Contact for further information: Grassy Groundcover Project 

Topic: Determining appropriate ecological fire regimes to manage faunal biodiversity in large tracts of the Southwest Heathy Woodlands of Victoria

Relevant threatened species: Focus on small mammals, herpetofauna, insects. Production of ecological burning strategies for West Wimmera woodlands by 2009

Location: West Wimmera woodlands

Body conducting research: Melbourne University & DEPI

Contact for further information: Richard Hill, DSE Casterton (03) 5554 2302

Topic: Habitat 141 research

Location: Western Victoria

Body conducting research: organised via Parks Victoria

Contact for further information: Dr Liz Dalgleish, Strategic Policy Officer - Parks Division, 0407 349 152

Topic: Brolga Research Project

Relevant threatened species: Brolga

Location: South-west Victoria

Body conducting research: Project leader, Inka Veltheim, University of Ballarat

Contact for further information: Victorian brolga study  also South-west Victoria brolga research

Topic: Wildlife Health Surveillance Victoria

Relevant threatened species: Any sick or diseased native fauna

Location: Across Victoria

Contact for further information: Pam Whiteley 0400 119 301 Faculty of Veterinary Science, The University of Melbourne, Werribee.

Topic: Ancient Greenling project

Relevant threatened species: Ancient Greenling Damselfly and any other threatened spp

Location: South-west region, Wilsons Promontory, Goulburn River floodplain wetlands (Victoria)

Body conducting research: Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment

Contact for further information: Di Crowther, 0394508613, ARI, DSE Heidelberg

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