Victorian Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship for Luke Kelly

07 August 2015

Dr Luke Kelly from the School of BioSciences has been awarded a Victorian Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship from Veski to collaborate with researchers in Spain to design and evaluate alternative fire management strategies in Australian and Mediterranean landscapes. Dr Kelly will spend two years as a guest researcher at the CTFC Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia, and then return to the University of Melbourne to continue his research.

Below is a summary of Dr Kelly's project:

Integrating ecological models to secure the future of biodiversity across flammable continents

Fire shapes ecosystems worldwide. But the frequency of fires has been modified by climate change and human population growth, and inappropriate fire regimes are a significant threat to biodiversity in Australia and the Mediterranean Basin. There is an urgent need to predict the responses of biodiversity to future fire regimes. Spain is an excellent location for the proposed collaboration because its climate and vegetation is similar to those of south-eastern Australia. Dr Brotons and his team at CREAF-CTFC are world leaders in predicting biodiversity responses to global change. Building on their cutting-edge techniques, this project will develop a suite of models and tools that will enhance our capacity to design and evaluate alternative fire management strategies in Australian and Mediterranean landscapes. It will strengthen the University of Melbourne’s environmental research program, and deliver knowledge that the Victorian Government can use to manage threatened and endangered species and ecosystems.