Amphibian Ecology Research Group

The Amphibian Ecology Research Group (AERG) is a group of folks within QAECO studying the ecology and conservation biology of amphibians.  Amphibians are a class of vertebrates (animals with backbones) that includes frogs, toads, salamanders, newts and caecilians (legless amphibians).

The Amphibian Ecology Research Group includes:

Dr Kirsten Parris – Senior Research Fellow

Dr Geoff Heard – Research Fellow

Dr Tracey Regan – Research Fellow

Dr Reid Tingley – Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ms Claire Keely – PhD candidate

Mr Stefano Canessa – PhD candidate

Mr Matt West – PhD candidate

Mr John Baumgartner – PhD candidate

Mr Adam Smart – MSc candidate

Ms Jane Bevelander – MEnv candidate



Dr Jeremy Austin – The University of Adelaide

Dr Andrew Hamer – Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology

Dr Murray Littlejohn – The University of Melbourne

Dr Jane Melville – Museum Victoria

Dr Dominique Potvin – University of Western Ontario

Current projects

1. Effects of urban noise on acoustic communication in frogs (Parris)

Key publications:

Parris, K. M. (2013). Anthropogenic noise constrains acoustic communication in urban-dwelling frogs. Proceedings of Meetings on Acoustics 19: 010055.

Parris, K. M., Velik-Lord, M. and North, J. M. A. (2009). Frogs call at a higher pitch in traffic noise. Ecology and Society 14(1): 25.

2. Optimal management of threatened amphibian metapopulations in urbanising landscapes (Parris, McCarthy, Hamer, Melville, Heard, Keely, Baumgartner; ARC Linkage Project 0990161)

Key publications:

Heard, G. W., McCarthy, M. A., Scroggie, M. P., Baumgartner, J. B. and Parris, K. M. (2013). A Bayesian model of metapopulation viability, with application to an endangered amphibian. Diversity and Distributions 19: 555-566.

Hale, J. M., Heard, G. W., Smith, K. L., Parris, K. M., Austin, J. J., Kearney, M. and Melville, J. (2013). Structure and fragmentation of growling grass frog metapopulations. Conservation Genetics 14: 313-322.

Heard, G.W., Scroggie, M.P., Clemann, N. and Ramsey, D.S.L. (in press). Wetland characteristics influence disease risk for a threatened amphibian. Ecological Applications.

3. The impact of severe bushfires on the ecology, demography and genetics of frogs in the Victorian Kinglake region (Parris, Melville, Austin, Littlejohn, Potvin; ARC Linkage Project 100200158)

4. Extinction risks of frogs under climate change (Regan, Baumgartner, Tingley, Heard, West, Parris; ACEAS working group)

Key publications:

Keith D. A., Mahony M., Hines H., Elith J., Regan T. J., Baumgartner J. B., Hunter D., Heard G. W., Mitchell N. J., Penman T., Parris K. M., Tracey C., Scheele B., Simpson C. C., Tingley R., West M., Akçakaya H. R. (2014). Detecting extinction risk from climate change by IUCN Red List criteria. Conservation Biology (published online).

5. Community ecology of amphibians in urban habitats (Parris, Hamer, Canessa)

Key publications:

Canessa, S and Parris, K. M. (2013). Multi-scale, direct and indirect effects of the urban stream syndrome on amphibian communities in streams. PLOS One 8: e70262.

Hamer, A. J. and Parris, K. M. (2013). Predation modifies larval amphibian communities in urban ponds. Wetlands 33: 641-652.

Hamer, A. J. and Parris, K. M. (2011). Local and landscape determinants of amphibian communities in urban ponds. Ecological Applications 21: 378-390.

Parris, K. M. (2006). Urban amphibian assemblages as metacommunities. Journal of Animal Ecology 75: 757-764.

6. Population ecology of stream-breeding frogs in Victoria (West)

7. Decision making for ex-situ conservation of Australian frogs (Canessa, West; ACEAS working group)

Key publications:

Canessa, S., Hunter, D., McFadden, M., Marantelli, G. and McCarthy, M. A. (in press). Optimal release strategies for cost-effective reintroductions. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12253

8. Ecology and conservation of the Apennine yellow-bellied toad Bombina pachypus

Key publications:

Canessa, S., Martel, A. and Pasmans, F. (2013). No detection of chytrid in first systematic screening of Bombina variegata pachypus (Anura: Bombinatoridae) in Liguria, northern Italy. Acta Herpetologica, 8(1): 59-63.

Canessa, S., Oneto, F., Ottonello, D., Arillo, A. and Salvidio, S. (2013). Land abandonment may reduce disturbance and affect the breeding sites of an endangered amphibian in northern Italy. Oryx, 47(2): 280-287. DOI: 10.1017/S0030605311001542

9. Detection of invasive and endangered amphibians using environmental DNA (Tingley, Smart)

10. Designing field surveys of amphibians to account for imperfect detection (Parris, Heard, Canessa)

Key publications:

McCarthy, M. A., Moore, J. L., Morris, W. K., Parris, K. M., Garrard, G.E., Vesk, P.A., Rumpff, L., Giljohann, K.M., Camac, J.S., Bau, S.S., Friend, T., Harrison, B., and Yue, B. (2013). The influence of abundance on detectability. Oikos 122: 717-726.

Canessa, S., Heard, G. W., Parris, K. M. and McCarthy, M. A. (2012). Integrating variability in detection probabilities when designing wildlife surveys: a case study of amphibians from south-eastern Australia. Biodiversity and Conservation 21: 729-744.

Wintle, B. A., Walshe, T. V., Parris, K. M. and McCarthy, M. A. (2012). Designing occupancy surveys and interpreting non-detection when observations are imperfect. Diversity and Distributions 18: 417-424.

11. The introduction, establishment, and spread of exotic amphibians (Tingley, Bevelander, Parris)

Key publications:

Tingley R., Weeks A. R., Smart A. S., van Rooyen A. R., Woolnough A. P. and McCarthy M. A. (2014). European newts establish in Australia, marking the arrival of a new amphibian orderBiological Invasions. In press.

Tingley, R., Phillips, B. L. and Shine, R. (2011) Establishment success of introduced amphibians increases in the presence of congeneric species. American Naturalist 177: 382-388.

Tingley, R., Romagosa, C. M., Kraus, F., Bickford, D., Phillips, B. L. and Shine, R. (2010) The frog filter: amphibian introduction bias driven by taxonomy, body size and biogeography. Global Ecology and Biogeography 19: 496-503.

Tingley, R., Phillips, B. L., Letnic, M., Brown, G. P., Shine, R., and Baird, S. J. E. (2013) Identifying optimal barriers to halt the invasion of cane toads Rhinella marina in arid Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology 50: 129-137.

12. The value and impact of ecological field research (Parris, Keely)

Key publications:

Parris, K. M., McCall, S. C., McCarthy, M. A., Minteer, B. A., Steele, K., Bekessy, S. and Medvecky, F. (2010). Assessing ethical trade-offs in ecological field studies. Journal of Applied Ecology 47: 227-234.

Rhinella marina

Ask a question or leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s