Dr Bill Ellis

Research Fellow

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences
Faculty of Science
w.ellis@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 51670

Overview

Dr Bill Ellis is an ecological researcher based in the School of Agriculture and Food Science. He gained a BSc with honours in Zoology at The Australian National University and holds a Master of Environmental Law from the same institution. Bill graduated with a PhD in Zoology from The University of Queensland in 1998 and has worked as a contract researcher at UQ since then.

Research Interests

  • Koala ecology
    research into the biology of koalas, their conservation and management

Research Impacts

My research addresses the ecological dilemmas faced by koalas and land managers attending to their requirements, from issues of competing habitat utilisation to climate variability and resource extraction. I am investigating mechanisms of sexual selection and regulators of population dynamics among koala populations across Queensland. As a result, I have direct contact with and support land managers who desire an understanding of the key attributes that feed into a sustainable ecosystem for the koala. As a soft - money researcher, my research is often applied and supplies knowledge that transfers into conservation and management decision making, through the application of local knowledge rather than theoretical propositions.

Qualifications

  • Master of Environmental Law, Australian National University
  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), Australian National University

Publications

View all Publications

Grants

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Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This project examines the behaviour and physiology of koalas, in the context of extreme temperatures and changes in climate. We are investigating fine scale microclimatic influences on behavior, broad scale habitat requirements, and the mechanisms and physiology associated with the management of heat load in this species. The project revolves around hands on research with koalas in the field and laboratory in Queensland and skills in modeling heat balance for an arboreal vertebrate.

    The project includes the use of surgical techniques and field monitoring of koalas, so it requires field and laboratory capability and the ability to work in remote environments.

    This project has a PhD top up grant and has considerable technical assistance available. Short - term projects are available in the Brisbane region and longer - term projects in southern and central Queensland are also available.

  • We are investigating the social and spatial dimensions of pathogen transfer in koalas, combining pathogen detection and classification with research into host defense and susceptibility. Following a long-term study population on St Bees Island using state-of-the-art technology is allowing us to establish the social and spatial regulators of koala disease dynamics while revealing unique information on the ecology and biology of the koala.

    Students will have the opportunity to investigate disease transmission and host responses or investigate the drivers of social and spatial dynamics in this population, choosing a laboratory or field environment.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Featured Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Barnes, Tamsin S., Palmieri, Chiara, Blyde, David and Ellis, William (2015). Health and disease. Marsupials and monotremes: nature's enigmatic mammals. (pp. 315-358) edited by Athol Klieve, Lindsay Hogan, Stephen Johnston and Peter Murray.New York, United States: Nova Science.

  • Johnston, Stephen, Mucci, Al and Ellis, William (2013). The role of captive koalas in koala conservation. Conserving central Queensland's koalas. (pp. 54-59) edited by Nicole Flint and Alistair Melzer.Rockhampton, QLD, Australia: Central Queensland University.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • 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.

  • This project examines the behaviour and physiology of koalas, in the context of extreme temperatures and changes in climate. We are investigating fine scale microclimatic influences on behavior, broad scale habitat requirements, and the mechanisms and physiology associated with the management of heat load in this species. The project revolves around hands on research with koalas in the field and laboratory in Queensland and skills in modeling heat balance for an arboreal vertebrate.

    The project includes the use of surgical techniques and field monitoring of koalas, so it requires field and laboratory capability and the ability to work in remote environments.

    This project has a PhD top up grant and has considerable technical assistance available. Short - term projects are available in the Brisbane region and longer - term projects in southern and central Queensland are also available.

  • We are investigating the social and spatial dimensions of pathogen transfer in koalas, combining pathogen detection and classification with research into host defense and susceptibility. Following a long-term study population on St Bees Island using state-of-the-art technology is allowing us to establish the social and spatial regulators of koala disease dynamics while revealing unique information on the ecology and biology of the koala.

    Students will have the opportunity to investigate disease transmission and host responses or investigate the drivers of social and spatial dynamics in this population, choosing a laboratory or field environment.