Honours projects

Impacts of fire on Endangered monsoon vine thickets of the Dampier Peninsula

The monsoon vine thickets of the Dampier Peninsula, just north of Broome, Western Australia, are listed as an Endangered ecological community. They are thought to be threatened by frequent high-intensity fires, which kill trees and damage the canopy. This project will analyse historical and recent satellite records of the extent of the vine thickets, in order to evaluate whether the thickets are contracting, and whether thicket contraction is related to the frequency of late dry season fires. There will be field surveys to ground-truth and validate satellite-derived observations.

Required skills and experience

The student will need to have a background in ecology or botany, plus GIS experience. They must be able to work independently, showing a high level of initiative.

Project funding and supervision

The project is funded through the National Environmental Science Programme’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub – a partnership between the Department of the Environment and multiple research partners across Australia. Charles Darwin University (CDU) is a lead partner in the Hub.

It is expected that there will be a $5000 scholarship available to the student (i.e. to support their living costs).

The project will commence in early 2020 and involve collaboration with local Traditional Owners and land management groups. The student would be based at CDU’s Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, in Darwin.

The project will be supervised by A/Prof. Brett Murphy (CDU) and Prof. Sarah Legge (ANU/UQ)


Brett Murphy (brett.murphy@cdu.edu.au)

Sarah Legge (sarahmarialegge@gmail.com)

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