Dr Diana Fisher

UQ Fellow

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 334 69004


UQ Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. Investigating conservation and life history evolution of mammals in Australia and Melanesia. January 2016 – December 2018.

ARC Future Fellow / Senior Lecturer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. Investigating life history evolution, extinction and conservation ecology of carnivorous marsupials. January 2012 – December 2015.

ARC Australian Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. Investigating causes of animal extinction and rediscovery, detection of extinction and trajectories of decline in mammals with respect to the spread of invasive predators. January 2007 – December 2011.

Natural Heritage Trust, federal Department of Environment and Heritage, Canberra. Collating published data on threats to nationally endangered vertebrates under the EPBC Act, for the Species Profiles And Threats database. Part time, January- December 2006.

ARC Postdoctoral Fellow, Division of Botany and Zoology, Australian National University, Canberra. Testing hypotheses to explain the evolution of polyandry, using antechinuses. April 2002 to February 2006 (maternity leave December 2004 – October 2005).

Royal Society Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Aberdeen. Investigating behavioural mechanisms of density-dependent immigration and implications for population dynamics in the water vole. Jan 2000 - April 2001 (maternity leave April 2001 – April 2002).

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland. Ecological correlates of marsupial life histories, behaviour and social organisation. 1999 - 2000.

PhD. The Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland, supervised by Professor Craig Moritz and Dr Anne Goldizen: Behavioural ecology and demography of the bridled nailtail wallaby, Onychogalea fraenata 1994 - 1998.

Research Interests

  • Mammal ecology
    Population ecology & biogeography of mammals, especially in Australia & Melanesia. Life history evolution of mammals, focussing on associations between life histories and resource abundance, climate, seasonal predictability, and sexual selection. Causes and detectability of extinction. Conservation ecology of threatened and declining marsupials, bats, tropical mammals. Behavioural ecology of mammals: sexual selection, mating systems, social organisation and maternal care strategies.

Research Impacts

Conservation Policy

Australian Marsupial and Monotreme Specialist Group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission.

UQ board of the Queensland Government/ Universities Research Partnerships Program.

IUCN Red List species assessor for the New Georgia monkey-faced bat Pteralopex taki: http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/29473/

Marsupial and Monotreme Action Plan 2013. Contributor to accounts of the bridled nailtail wallaby, kultarr, blue-grey mouse, and northern quoll.

Editorial Boards

Associate Editor of Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 2015-

Associate Editor of Methods in Ecology and Evolution 2013-

Editorial board of Biological Conservation, 2011-2013

Science communication examples:












Commentary examples:

Fisher et al. 2013 (PNAS) reported in Science news: http://news.sciencemag.org/evolution/2013/10/scienceshot-why-some-male-marsupials-die-sex

Fisher & Blomberg. 2012 (Cons Biol) reported in Faculty of 1000 Biology: http://f1000.com/13593956

Fisher & Blomberg. 2011 (Proc Roy Soc) reported in Nature, Research highlights. Ecology: Not-so-extinct animals, 467: 637 doi: 10.1038/467637c

Fisher & Blomberg. 2011 (Proc Roy Soc) reported in Nature news: www.nature.com/news/2010/100928/full/news.2010.502.html

and Science news: http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2010/10/keep-looking-for-that-extinct.html

Johnson et al. 2007 (Proc Roy Soc) reported in Ecology / Evolution: Going to the dingoes. Editors' Choice: Highlights of the recent literature. Science 314: 1355. Number 5804, 2006.

Fisher et al. 2006 (Nature) Reviewed in Edvardsson, deCrespigny & Tregenza 2007. Promiscuous mothers have healthier young Current Biology 17: 66-67

Fisher et al. 2006 (Nature) Included in Faculty of 1000 biology http://www.f1000biology.com/article/id/1054804

Fisher & Owens 2000 (J Anim Ecol) reported in Ecology / Evolution: Kangaroo Societies. Editors' Choice: Highlights of the recent literature. Science 291: 791. Number 5505, 2001.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), The University of Sydney


View all Publications


View all Grants


View all Supervision


Featured Publications


Book Chapter

  • Paplinska, J. Z., Bencini, R., Fisher, D. O., Newell, G., Goldizen, A. W., Hazlitt, S. L., Sigg, D. P., Finlayson, G., Munn, A., Chambers, B., Mayberry, C. and Taggart, D. A. (2010). Sperm competition in the Macropodoidea: a review of evidence. In Graeme Coulson and Mark Eldridge (Ed.), Macropods: The biology of kangaroos, wallabies and rat-kangaroos (pp. 65-76) Collingwood, Vic., Australia: CSIRO Publishing.

Journal Article

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Note for students: Dr Diana Fisher is not currently available to take on new students.

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision