About

A picture of me, smiling

Academic

I’m a Professor of Urban Ecology in the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences at The University of Melbourne. I lead the NESP Hub for Clean Air and Urban Landscapes (CAUL), and am an Honorary Associate of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria.

My research interests include:
• urban ecology
• ecology and conservation biology of amphibians
• animal behaviour
• ecological ethics

Author

In addition to my academic publications, I’m a writer of fiction and creative non-fiction. I study Professional Writing and Editing at RMIT University.

ACTIVITIES

E-book: Cities for People and Nature

Cover art for the e-book, showing an aerial view of Melbourne in the background, overlain with artwork by Dixon Patten
Cover art: Cities for People and Nature

The CAUL Hub launched an interactive e-book, Cities for People and Nature, in late 2020. It showcases the hub’s work across five themes: Cities are Indigenous places; Air quality; Urban greening; Urban biodiversity; and Future cities. The book features beautiful artwork by Dixon Patten of Bayila Creative.

Article: Sensory pollution and the biodiversity crisis

A green motorbike frog, sitting on a plant
A motorbike frog from Fremantle, WA (credit: Kirsten Parris)

Creative non-fiction meets academic writing in this short piece on sensory pollution (chemical, noise and light pollution) and its many potential impacts on biodiversity. Published in The Ecological Citizen in 2019.

Fiction: Interview with a granite boulder

A picture of Ken the granite boulder on his hillside in Ravenswood, Victoria
Ken the granite boulder (credit: Kirsten Parris)

My first piece of published fiction appeared in Overland 239 (Winter 2020). The eponymous boulder, Ken, brings much wisdom and perspective to the big issues of our time.

Text book: Ecology of Urban Environments

Cover art for Ecology of Urban Environments, showing a southern brown tree frog sitting on a plant
Cover art: Ecology of Urban Environments

In 2016, I published Ecology of Urban Environments (Wiley Blackwell). Designed as a text book for upper-level undergraduate and Masters students, it also provides an accessible introduction to urban ecology for researchers, urban practitioners and policy-makers. Keep an eye out for the Chinese edition, to be published this year by Wuhan University Press!