Cath completed her BAppSc in Biodiversity, Environmental and Park Management at the University of South Australia, and achieved First Class Honours studying the ecological constraints of threatened terrestrial orchids in the Adelaide Hills.
For the past 12 years Cath has worked in South Australia in the conservation sector, focusing on threatened species recovery management and planning. In 2012 Cath worked with colleagues to establish a new regional NGO, Nature Glenelg Trust, in the SE South Australia and SW Victoria, which focuses on incorporating science, management and the community to achieve positive environmental outcomes.
Cath’s PhD research continues her passion of working to increase our knowledge about threatened species and their associated threatening processes to enable appropriate conservation management. Cath will focus on the critically endangered Azorella macquariensis, an endemic fellfield keystone species of Macquarie Island that has experienced rapid dieback under changing climate variables. Cath will work to quantify traits of A. macquariensis that are responsive to climate variables, which will be used to determine climate refugia for the species across Macquarie Island. The resultant data will be used to develop a predictive model of where A. macquariensis will contract to under climate change scenarios. This work should provide insights into ecosystem shifts in the sub-Antarctic under climate change.
Project title: Nowhere to hide? Conservation options for a sub-Antarctic keystone species.