The MLE-Lab is a dynamic environment and we have an array on movement ecology projects underway. If you are interested in studying Animal Movement, Dispersal, or Migration in tropical species, or wish to engage in new remote environmental monitoring technologies, please get in touch.
WE ARE LOOKING FOR new PH.D. STUDENTS!
The MLE-Lab is currently looking for 2 new members and here are the Prospective Ph.D. projects:
Project 1: Developing the application of remotely piloted aircraft (drones) for wildlife monitoring.
The aim of this thesis will be to advance the use of drone technology for wildlife management. Aerial surveys from manned aircraft or helicopter are widely used for determining the density, distribution, and abundance of introduced vertebrate pests, commercially or recreationally harvested animals, and threatened species. Remotely piloted aircraft (RPA; commonly referred to as “drones” or unmanned aerial vehicles - UAVs) would significantly reduce the costs of aerial surveys and risk to operators. Technological advancement in RPAS sensor technology is enabling automated wildlife survey counts and simultaneous habitat mapping over broad areas. However, there still exists significant logistical, regulatory, and analytical hurdles impeding the uptake of drones for wildlife surveys. The candidate enrolled into this Ph.D. will utilise our fleet of rotor-copter, fixed wing aircraft, and the latest thermal sensors to develop accurate survey techniques for a range of terrestrial and marine fauna across Northern Australia. This candidate will be expected to spend time in remote environments and the research will require good technical, spatial, and analytical skills. Applicants are required to be an Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand citizen and hold a related first-class honours degree. Training in drone compliance and for licensing will be provided.
Project 2: Tracking flight paths and patterns of movement in birds and bats around airports using weather surveillance radar.
The aim of this thesis is to track the movement patterns of bird and bat populations around airports and controlled airspace using Doppler Weather Radar. Although this technique has been successfully used to track migratory flying species in North America, it has rarely been used in Australia. This is a missed opportunity and the findings from this thesis will provide information to assist with the ongoing management of bird and bat populations in Northern Australia, as well as develop an early warning method to aid in the mitigation of bird strike from aircraft. This thesis will largely be computer-based with some field work. The candidate should have experience in using GIS and remote-sensing software, and computer programming in Python would be desirable.Applicants are required to be an Australian Permanent Resident or New Zealand citizen and hold a related first-class honours degree. Training in drone compliance and for licensing will be provided.