Poo, Paws and PCR: molecular ecology for wildlife conservation

Speaker: Cat Campbell

Location: 11:30 am to 12:30 pm in Building 6, Level C, Room 12

Modern molecular techniques enable us to address fundamental ecological questions previously out of reach. My project has used these tools to study interactions between native and invasive species, with each component having an applied focus. Firstly, molecular and historical data was used to determine the provenance of sugar gliders that are severely affecting a critically endangered parrot in Tasmania. In New Zealand, we mapped the population structure of brushtail possums to confirm the introduction of two sub-species and evidence of hybridisation. Finally I used the results of the Great Tasmanian Poo Hunt™ to show how predator interactions in a changing ecosystem can affect dietary composition and prey selection in northern Tasmania.

About Cat

Cat Campbell is a wildlife specialist currently completing a PhD in wildlife genetics with the Institute for Applied Ecology, University of Canberra.  After a successful career in hospitality management and recruitment she completed a Bachelor of Environmental Science, with Honours, in 2011 at Deakin University and has since worked a number of environmental monitoring projects both in Australia and overseas. Cat lives in the NSW Snowy Mountains and is passionate about the local wildlife, vegetation and ecosystems, in her spare time she volunteers with both the Rural Fire Service and with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.