Dr Ross Dwyer

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 58539


I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the UQ School of Biological Sciences. My research falls within the field of applied ecology, where I am interested in how animal occurrence, abundance and movement information may be used to test hypotheses and make predictions regarding individual- and population-level responses to environmental change.

Prior to my appointment at UQ, I was a PhD candidate at the University of Exeter Centre for Ecology and Conservation where my Thesis focused on the impact of human disturbance on wildlife communities. Since arriving at UQ in 2011, my primary role has been to oversee a long term research program investigating movement, distribution, abundance and diet among threatened riverine predators in Northern Australia. This Linkage Project is funded by the Australian Research Council with Australia Zoo and CSIRO as Industry Partners, and involves the capture, sampling and tracking of estuarine crocodiles, sharks, sawfish, rays and barramundi in Cape York, Queensland.

I have worked in a diverse range of environments (terrestrial, freshwater, coastal and marine) and across a broad range of taxa (fish, reptiles, birds and mammals) to address research questions, publish findings (Scholar), and inform management decisions. This has often onvolved setting up and coordinating long-term field monitoring programs to gather physiological, behavioural, social, genetic, diet and population data for my study species.

Research Interests

  • Movement ecology
  • Human-wildlife conflict
  • Disturbance ecology
  • R

Research Impacts

My research has a strong applied focus and I collaborate frequently with wildlife and fisheries managers, water authorities, industry, NGOs and policy makers to help guide species management and inform conservation initiatives. Outcomes have included:

  • Assessment of protected areas and fisheries closures to protect threatened elasmobranchs
  • Providing advice to state government to improve management of estuarine crocodiles
  • Identifying spawning locations and barriers to fish passage within managed river systems
  • Identification of traffic strike hotspots for threatened species
  • Reduced disturbance impacts on migratory species

I currently lecture on the UQ Master of Conservation Biology Conservation & Wildlife Biology program, and run R programming workshops specialising on spatial analysis at institutes around Australia.

I also enjoy developing research tools to assist researchers with spatial data analysis, visualisation and dissemination. My software has included:

  1. ZoaTrack.org (formerly OzTrack)
  2. The VTrack R package
  3. The Digiroo2 R package


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Exeter
  • Master of Research in Environmental Biology, University of Dundee
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Dundee


View all Publications


View all Grants


Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Guru, S. M., Dwyer, R. G., Watts, M. E., Dinh, M. N., Abramson, D., Nguyen, H. A., Campbell, H.A., Franklin, C. E., Clancy, T. and Possingham, H. P. (2015). A reusable scientific workflow for conservation planning. International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, 29 November to 4 December 2015. Gold Coast, QLD, Australia: MSSANZ.

  • Hunter, Jane, Brooking, Charles, Brimblecombe, Wilfred, Dwyer, Ross G., Campbell, Hamish A., Watts, Matthew E. and Franklin, Craig E. (2013). OzTrack: e-infrastructure to support the management, analysis and sharing of animal tracking data. IEEE e-Science 2013: 9th IEEE International Conference on e-Science, Beijing, China, 22-25 October, 2013. Piscataway, NJ, United States: IEEE Computer Society. doi: 10.1109/eScience.2013.38

  • Campbell, Hamish A., Dwyer, Ross G., Gordos, Matthew and Franklin, Craig E. (2010). Diving through the thermal window: Implications for a warming world. London: The Royal Society. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0902

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision