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Subproject 4.2.1 student update (August 2009)

Biodiversity benefits of alternatives to clearfelling


Mark Neyland (PhD, University of Tasmania) has been chained to his computer for most of the year and his efforts are bearing fruit.  He is now writing the last chapter of his thesis and will submit the tome before the end of August. Chris Beadle (CSIRO), Mark's supervisor, has worked nights and weekends to return drafted chapters and keep Mark's momentum up as he speeds towards the finish line.  Hats off to Chris!

As a special post-thesis treat, Mark has shouted himself an air ticket to Argentina to attend the Southern Connections VI conference in San Carlos de Bariloche in February next year. He will spend nearly a month in Argentina, first at the congress then travelling with Guillermo Martinez Pastur, a leading exponent and biologist working on variable retention in Tierra del Fuego. Simon Grove and Fred Duncan are travelling with him, and the four of them will present a week-long workshop on variable retention in Tierra del Fuego. In between the congress and the workshop they are going 'twitching' and are hoping to catch some of Patagonia's legendary 'trouts'.

Robyn Scott (PhD, University of Tasmania) is examining the effects of variable retention harvesting on productivity and growth in wet eucalypt forests.  You can read about some of Robyn's recent activities in a separate article in this issue of Biobuzz.  However, the  most important and challenging activity recently involved the production of a bouncing baby boy - congratulations, Robyn!

Helen Stephens (PhD student, University of Tasmania) has been conducting field work for her study, “Impacts of an alternative logging practice, aggregated retention, on native rodents”. She completed this trapping season in mid-July, counting over a dozen field trips. Her wonderful mother has, again, supported Helen on an incredible nine trips!  In August Helen will attend the 10th International Mammalogical Congress Argentina (see "What's On" in this issue of Biobuzz).  During the week leading up to the conference, she will be participating in some volunteer work with Professor Joel Brown of the University of Illinois and his graduate research student, Moira Sombra, in the Sierra de las Quijadas National Park in Central Argentina. Helen will be assisting with behavioural studies on a native South American rodent species, the Patagonian Cavy or Mara (Dolichotis patagonum) and will gain invaluable experience for her current study which is focussing on two native Australian rodents, the swamp rat (Rattus lutreolus) and the long-tailed mice (Pseudomys higginsi).

Affiliated students

Belinda Browning (MSc, University of Tasmania) is also affiliated with subproject 4.2.3.   Bindi recently submitted her masters thesis on coarse woody debris bryophyte communities, which considers how bryophyte communities persist on harvest residue and on pre-harvest legacy coarse woody debris in forests regenerating after the first clearfell, burn and sow harvesting rotation. Further details will appear in a later issue of Biobuzz …

Biobuzz issue nine, August 2009