Dr Annabel Smith

Lecturer in Wildlife Management

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Faculty of Science
annabel.smith@uq.edu.au
+61 7 54601 692

Overview

RESEARCH INTERESTS Wildlife ecology, fire ecology, population genetics, agri-environment policy, political ecology, threatened species management, conservation biology, ecological restoration

TECHNICAL SKILLS Statistical modelling of species distributions, spatial demographic and genetic simulation modelling, landscape genomics resistance modelling, programming (advanced R, basic Unix, basic Python), molecular laboratory skills (genotyping-by-sequencing library preparation, SNP analysis, microsatellite marker development, high-throughput DNA extraction & PCR), remote-area and rural field work with native Australian animals (over ten years’ experience)

EDITORIAL I am Associate Editor for Journal of Applied Ecology (Jan 2018–on-going).

SOCIETIES I am a member of the Ecological Society of Australia (since 2007), a member of the Australian Mammal Society (since 2020) and a past member and committee member of the Irish Ecological Association (2016-2019) and British Ecological Society (2016–2019).

Research Impacts

I am a passionate science communicator as demonstrated by my varied creative outputs in speaking, multi-media, TV, radio and social media. In 2019, I was selected to perform at Soapbox Science Ireland. Speaking to the general public on a crowded Dublin city street, I spoke about the influence of climate change on fire frequency and what this means for plant evolution. After the devastating fires in the Amazon Rainforest in 2019, I was invited to appear on RTÉ TV news (Ireland’s National Broadcaster) to give a scientific perspective on the fires and their ecological impact. The program has an average viewership of 400,000.

I regularly produce short movies about my research. Our 2018 short movie received over 6000 views on ACT Government communication channels. The video documentary about our 2017 Landscape Ecology paper highlighted the conservation implications of our study and showcased the international and multidisciplinary nature of our research. My 2016 Proceedings B paper was heavily technical, but my media release for the paper was picked up by television, radio and newspapers Australia-wide, including the national ABC News. Interviews with me about the research reached an audience of over 50,000 people. In addition to blogging on my own website, I regularly contribute articles about my research for the EcoEvo Blog and The Applied Ecologist’s Blog.

Qualifications

  • PhD, Australian National University

Publications

  • Villellas, Jesus, Ehrlén, Johan, Crone, Elizabeth E., Csergő, Anna Mária, Garcia, Maria B., Laine, Anna‐Liisa, Roach, Deborah A., Salguero‐Gómez, Roberto, Wardle, Glenda M., Childs, Dylan Z., Elderd, Bret D., Finn, Alain, Munné‐Bosch, Sergi, Bachelot, Benedicte, Bódis, Judit, Bucharova, Anna, Caruso, Christina M., Catford, Jane A., Coghill, Matthew, Compagnoni, Aldo, Duncan, Richard P., Dwyer, John M., Ferguson, Aryana, Fraser, Lauchlan H., Griffoul, Emily, Groenteman, Ronny, Hamre, Liv Norunn, Helm, Aveliina, Kelly, Ruth ... Buckley, Yvonne M. (2021). Phenotypic plasticity masks range‐wide genetic differentiation for vegetative but not reproductive traits in a short‐lived plant. Ecology Letters, 24 (11) ele.13858, 1-16. doi: 10.1111/ele.13858

  • Kelly, Luke T., Giljohann, Katherine M., Duane, Andrea, Aquilué, Núria, Archibald, Sally, Batllori, Enric, Bennett, Andrew F., Buckland, Stephen T., Canelles, Quim, Clarke, Michael F., Fortin, Marie-Josée, Hermoso, Virgilio, Herrando, Sergi, Keane, Robert E., Lake, Frank K., McCarthy, Michael A., Morán-Ordóñez, Alejandra, Parr, Catherine L., Pausas, Juli G., Penman, Trent D., Regos, Adrián, Rumpff, Libby, Santos, Julianna L., Smith, Annabel L., Syphard, Alexandra D., Tingley, Morgan W. and Brotons, Lluís (2020). Fire and biodiversity in the Anthropocene. Science, 370 (6519) eabb0355, eabb0355-+. doi: 10.1126/science.abb0355

  • Smith, Annabel L., Hodkinson, Trevor R., Villellas, Jesus, Catford, Jane A., Csergő, Anna Mária, Blomberg, Simone P., Crone, Elizabeth E., Ehrlén, Johan, Garcia, Maria B., Laine, Anna-Liisa, Roach, Deborah A., Salguero-Gómez, Roberto, Wardle, Glenda M., Childs, Dylan Z., Elderd, Bret D., Finn, Alain, Munné-Bosch, Sergi, Baudraz, Maude E. A., Bódis, Judit, Brearley, Francis Q., Bucharova, Anna, Caruso, Christina M., Duncan, Richard P., Dwyer, John M., Gooden, Ben, Groenteman, Ronny, Hamre, Liv Norunn, Helm, Aveliina, Kelly, Ruth ... Buckley, Yvonne M. (2020). Global gene flow releases invasive plants from environmental constraints on genetic diversity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117 (8), 201915848-4227. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1915848117

View all Publications

Grants

View all Grants

Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • A key research theme is my group is fire ecology, from the perspective of plants, animals and their underlying genetic population structure. We use field data, genetic data, simulations and statistical modelling to understand ecosystem recovery after fire. Results of this research are fed directly to decision makers to assist in managing fire for biodiversity and for the preservation of healthy communities. If you are interested in doing research on fire ecology, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available:

    • Mammal community responses to recent wildfires in southeast Queensland
    • How does prescribed burning affect genetic structure of an invasive plant: Hypericum perforatum?
    • Interactions between prescribed burning in buffel grass, Cenchrus ciliaris, population dynamics
    • The effect of bushfire on reptile community dynamics: the influence of rarity and dominance
  • We study wildlife management in south-east Queensland, where agriculture, nature conservation and urban areas influence the distribution of species and ecosystem processes. We are currently working on habitat connectivity, minimising impacts of roads, platypus conservation and eco-toxicity. If you are interested in doing research on wildlife, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available:

    • Platypus populations dynamics across Queensland and the influence of landscape-scale habitat connectivity
    • Restoration of glossy black cockatoo habitat in post-drought conditions
  • Invasive plants pose one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, along with climate change, changing fire regimes and habitat loss. In my lab, we work on invasive plant biology and have a particular interest in the population genetics of invasive plants. Currently, we are investigating how invasive plants and fire regimes interact. Does increasing fire frequency give invasive plants greater opportunity for spread? Does it make them more tolerant to fire over time? These questions have important implications for invasive species control and fire management. If you'd like to work on invasive species and their interaction with other ecological processes, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available:

    • How does do different fire regimes affect genetic structure of an invasive plant: Hypericum perforatum?
    • Interactions between prescribed burning in buffel grass, Cenchrus ciliaris, population dynamics

View all Available Projects

Publications

Journal Article

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • A key research theme is my group is fire ecology, from the perspective of plants, animals and their underlying genetic population structure. We use field data, genetic data, simulations and statistical modelling to understand ecosystem recovery after fire. Results of this research are fed directly to decision makers to assist in managing fire for biodiversity and for the preservation of healthy communities. If you are interested in doing research on fire ecology, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available:

    • Mammal community responses to recent wildfires in southeast Queensland
    • How does prescribed burning affect genetic structure of an invasive plant: Hypericum perforatum?
    • Interactions between prescribed burning in buffel grass, Cenchrus ciliaris, population dynamics
    • The effect of bushfire on reptile community dynamics: the influence of rarity and dominance
  • We study wildlife management in south-east Queensland, where agriculture, nature conservation and urban areas influence the distribution of species and ecosystem processes. We are currently working on habitat connectivity, minimising impacts of roads, platypus conservation and eco-toxicity. If you are interested in doing research on wildlife, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available:

    • Platypus populations dynamics across Queensland and the influence of landscape-scale habitat connectivity
    • Restoration of glossy black cockatoo habitat in post-drought conditions
  • Invasive plants pose one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, along with climate change, changing fire regimes and habitat loss. In my lab, we work on invasive plant biology and have a particular interest in the population genetics of invasive plants. Currently, we are investigating how invasive plants and fire regimes interact. Does increasing fire frequency give invasive plants greater opportunity for spread? Does it make them more tolerant to fire over time? These questions have important implications for invasive species control and fire management. If you'd like to work on invasive species and their interaction with other ecological processes, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available:

    • How does do different fire regimes affect genetic structure of an invasive plant: Hypericum perforatum?
    • Interactions between prescribed burning in buffel grass, Cenchrus ciliaris, population dynamics
  • All of the work in my research lab is under-pinned by a strong drive to conserve the incredible diversity of plant and animal species in Australia. We use both field-based approaches and genetic data to make discoveries about what affects biodiversity and how best to manage landscapes to conserve biodiversity. If you are interested in conservation biology, please get in touch.

    Specific projects available: