- PhD Candidate
- (+61 8) 9480 3614
- Ecophysiology of arid species
- Spinifex grasslands
- Restoration Ecology
- Seed biology
- The pulse effect in arid ecosystems
2007 – 2010: Bachelor of Science (BSc) Conservation Biology Program (Conservation Biology and Botany Majors), The University of Western Australia.
2011: BSc Honours in Conservation Biology. Thesis title: 'Improving Greenstock Quality for Banksia woodland Restoration Programs'.
Supervisors: Prof Kingsley Dixon; Dr Jason Stevens; Dr Dianna Rokich and Dr Rowena Long
Title: Optimising seed germination and early seedling vigour to advantage direct seeding of Triodia (Spinifex) species - an interaction of seed physiology and seedling ecophysiology.
University: School of Plant Biology, University of Western Australia
Supervisors: Prof Kingsley Dixon, Dr Jason Stevens
Additional Scholars: Mr Todd Erickson
Description: Triodia (Spinifex) species in the Pilbara contribute the majority of plant abundance and cover in natural vegetation. Conversely, historic post-mining restoration sites are severely limited in Triodia abundance and species composition with an estimated establishment rate of <10% from direct seeding. The low establishment is related to a plant recruitment bottleneck in arid systems, whereby significant losses of seed occur between the seed germination and the emergence phases. It is therefore imperative that available seed material is used efficiently and germination and establishment maximised to streamline current restoration practices. This study will make a significant contribution to science by maximising germination of Triodia seeds and increasing early seedling vigour with the aim to improve establishment and subsequent survival of Triodia species in post-mined Pilbara landscapes.
Currently, there is limited scientific literature or methodology that describes Triodia recruitment in post-mined restoration in relation to the germination, emergence, and establishment phases. With arid zone vegetation dynamics primarily driven by rainfall inputs, the proposed study will be the first to document moisture and temperature thresholds required for Triodia seed germination, emergence and subsequent seedling development. This will be achieved by optimising germination in relation to moisture requirements and by testing the effects of moisture regimes on early seedling vigour and subsequent plant establishment. The knowledge gained through the proposed study will be an invaluable and practically driven to ensure that restoration becomes a cost-effective, repeatable and a scalable operation that will benefit mining operations, land-care organizations and restoration practitioners.