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Melbourne Head Office
Research & Conservation Staff
Bsc (Hons), The University of Melbourne (2007)
Project Officer, Shorebirds 2020 Program
Dan commenced employment at BirdLife Australia in 2012 as a Project Officer working on the national Shorebirds 2020 Program. Prior to migrating to Birdlife Australia, Dan had been in an ecological consultant role for five years, working across south east Australia with a range of threatened birds and other fauna species. This consulting role provided extensive experience in threatened species conservation and management, understanding and implementation of state and federal environmental legislation, and threatened species research involving the use of Passive Integrated Transponder (PIT) tags and novel GPS tracking technologies for investigating dispersal, foraging behaviour and population dynamics.
Dan has had a keen interest in Australian birds since a young age, which has been fostered by a family interest in natural history, university studies and subsequent career path. Dan completed a Bachelor of Science, with majors in Zoology, at the University of Melbourne in 2006, followed by an honours year in Zoology, during which he investigated the intercolony movements of the Crested Tern, Sterna bergii, between two main Victorian colonies at Mud Island and Phillip Island, in relation to food resource quality and abundance in Port Phillip Bay and Westernport.
Working closely with Philip Island Nature Park during his honours year, Dan gained extensive experience in the safe capture, handling and behavioural monitoring of seabird and shorebird species. During the course of this project, Dan was able to develop several successful techniques in both the capture and repeat recapture of seabirds, and also the successful deployment and retrieval of Time-Depth Recording (TDR) bio-logger devices, through the design and application of creative and innovative solutions to a range of in-field issues.
He spends much of his spare time with the sometimes rewarding but mostly very frustrating hobby of bird and wildlife photography.
PhD Australian National University, Canberra (2006)
Diplom Biologe, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms Univerität Bonn, Germany (2001)
Golo began his birdwatching career at the tender age of 13 in the Black Forest in Germany. Since then the fascination for birds has led him to read the Handbook of the Birds of Central Europe under the doona by the light of a torch and also into a career in bird conservation and research. He has worked in reserves at the Lake of Constance, the Scottish Highlands, the Andean rainforest and others where he shared his enthusiasm and deep knowledge of birds with beginners and experts alike. He also has travelled extensively through Europe and North America in pursuit of birds leaving few gaps in his list of Palaearctic birds.
His scientific career in ornithology saw him complete his PhD on Pheasant Coucals at the Australian National University and conduct postdoctoral research in Australia and the UK on cuckoos and egg-shells. He has over 30 peer reviewed articles to his name and also contributes to popular science magazines and ornithological books. Golo is currently an assistant editor for Emu and an honorary Research Fellow at Adelaide University in Dr Phill Cassey’s invasion ecology Group (www.cassey-invasion-ecology.org). He has taught Ornithology Courses at the University of Birmingham, UK and at Charles Sturt University.
Golo now manages BirdLife Australia’s Shorebirds 2020 program where he combines his scientific, conservation and communication skills to help protect migratory shorebirds in Australia.
PhD The University of Melbourne (2005), B.Sc. (Hons) The University of Melbourne (1998)
Grainne is passionate about the natural environment, having grown up exploring the Australian bush with her family. Grainne majored in Botany and Zoology subjects during her Science degree at The University of Melbourne. She then carried out her Honours research on the dispersion of foraging Eastern Grey Kangaroos between habitats of differing pasture quality and mob sizes at Yan Yean, within the framework of the Ideal Free Distribution theory. After completing Honours, Grainne worked as a research assistant at Melbourne Uni and then got a job developing training packages for Vocational Education and Training and Assessment Services. However, her passion for behavioural ecology was not being fulfilled, and so she soon enrolled in a PhD studying the habitat ecology and breeding behaviour of the Southern Emu-wren.
Grainne carried out her research in the heathland and swamps around Portland, Lower Glenelg and Anglesea. An elusive and difficult to study species was no barrier to Grainne who was keen to uncover the habitat requirements and impacts of habitat quality on breeding success so as to better inform heathland management and weed removal programs. A fascination with mating systems and parental care led Grainne to install remote cameras at emu-wren nests to explore gender roles and variation in care. A year in the lab developing microsatellites and exploring paternity revealed that emu-wrens are highly monogamous with rare cases of extra-paternity and cooperative breeding. During her PhD, Grainne worked closely with volunteers, managing a small team to maximise data collection from the notoriously secretive emu-wrens. She also worked closely with Alcoa and discovered the value of feeding research findings into land management practises.
After finishing her PhD, Grainne was employed at Birds Australia on the Beach-nesting Birds project. Since 2006, Grainne has worked on this award winning project, which evolved from a case study into the effectiveness of nest site protection for improving Hooded Plover breeding success on Victorian beaches, to an established citizen science program along the eastern mainland where Friends of the Hooded Plover groups monitor and actively protect nests every spring and summer. The program has been extended to other species of beach nesters and encompasses coastal management issues more broadly.
Grainne is an A class bander and currently coordinates Hooded Plover banding across the Victorian and South Australian coasts. She maintains close links with Deakin University through collaborations with Mike Weston, co-supervises numerous Honours projects and has over 20 peer reviewed articles to her name.
Research & Conservation Staff across Australia
Bachelor of Applied Science (Environmental Assessment and Management, 1994)
Mick has been an avid birder since his tertiary education days in the early 90’s when studying ecology at Newcastle University. Following uni Mick travelled extensively around Australia getting involved in research projects in places such as the Simpson Desert, Kakadu, Shark Bay and the Gondwanan Rainforest reserves of NSW. A few years later he embarked on a 12 month solo sojourn around the world and assisted with bird surveys in the Andean cloud forests, Ecuadorean tropical dry coastal forests and the rehabilitation of injured macaws, guans and other Neotropical birds in Bolivia (and even got to ‘walk’ a Puma). He has also volunteered for environmental project work in Ireland and Thailand and is a firm believer in giving back to areas that he visits overseas as a volunteer.
In between, he has birded on 5 continents during several extended trips as a ‘backpacking birder’ and knows full well how heavy field guides can get inside a backpack (especially South American ones!).
In his professional career, Mick worked for 10 years as an ecologist for various environmental consultancies mainly based in NSW, but also worked in many parts of Australia. Most recently though (before joining BirdLife) he worked as a Senior Threatened Species Officer for the NSW Department of Environment and Climate Change and as a Conservation Officer for the Nature Conservation Trust of NSW. He also does part-time bird tour-guiding, is the current President of the Hunter Bird Observers Club, heads up the notorious Hunter Home Brewers Twitchathon team, is a member of the NSW Ornithological Records Appraisal Committee and, most challenging of all, arranges pelagic birding trips off Port Stephens (he openly admits to being a ‘petrel-head’).
Mick is the NSW Project Officer for the Woodland Birds for Biodiversity project and is based in Newcastle, NSW working predominantly in the species-rich-yet-under-threat woodlands of the Hunter Valley.