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David Newell


BSc(Hons), PhD (SCU)



Senior Lecturer


Contact details

Address: School of Environmental Science & Engineering, 

Southern Cross University, Military Road, 

Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, 2480

Phone (work): (02) 6620 3448

Email: david.newell"at"



David currently teaches undergraduate units in Environmental Mapping and Geographic Information Systems . He also supervises postgraduate research students including research on a variety of threatened forest fauna. 

Research Overview


My primary research interest is in the ecology of endangered amphibians and in gaining an improved understanding their population biology through the use of capture mark recapture and patch occupancy studies.


Collectively, amphibians are thought to be the most extinction prone vertebrates of modern times and in order to adequately conserve them, we need an improved understanding of the factors that threaten them. Many of these species are narrow range endemics that are susceptible to climate change and disease impacts and as such the development of rigorous long term approaches to population monitoring are required.

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Dave Newell.jpg

I have been undertaking long-term monitoring in the World Heritage rainforests of northern NSW for over a decade and work closely with park managers in the development of improved conservation outcomes. Increasingly these areas are also used for recreation and if not carefully managed can inadvertently impact on the World Heritage values.

I also have an interest in the use of web-based technologies to capture community knowledge of species distributions via interactive mapping technologies and am currently using this to map cane toad distribution in New South Wales.

Current research projects include an investigation into climate change impacts on montane rainforest frogs, the ecology and physiology of the genus Philoria, ecoacoustics and host responses to the amphibian chytrid fungus.


Current supervised PhD students


  • Liam Bolitho

  • Matthijs Hollanders

  • Darren McHugh

  • Thais Sasso Lopes (Co-Supervisor)




  • Grogan L. F., Humphries J. E., Robert J., Lanctôt C. M., Nock C. J., Newell D. A., McCallum H. I. (2020) Immunological Aspects of Chytridiomycosis. Journal of Fungi. 2020; 6(4):234 (link) (IF 4.621). 

  • Brannelly L. A., McCallum H. I., Grogan L. F., Briggs C. J., Ribas M. P., Hollanders M., Sasso T., Familiar López M., Newell D. A. & Kilpatrick A. M. (early view) Mechanisms underlying host persistence following amphibian disease emergence determine appropriate management strategies. Ecology Letters (link) (IF 8.699). 


  • Grogan L. F., Robert J., Berger L., Skerratt L. F., Scheele B. C., Castley J. G., Newell D. A. & McCallum H. I. (2018) Review of the amphibian immune response to chytridiomycosis, and future directions. Front. Immunol. 9, 2536.

  • Newell D. (2018) An update on frog declines from the forests of subtropical eastern Australia. In: Status of Conservation and Decline of Amphibians (eds H. Heatwole and J. Rowley) pp. 29-37. CSIRO Publishing.


  • Goldingay R. L. & Newell D. A. (2017) Small-scale field experiments provide important insights to restore the rock habitat of Australia's most endangered snake. Restor. Ecol. 25, 243-52.

  • Goldingay R. L., Parkyn J. & Newell D. A. (2017) No evidence of protracted population decline across 17 years in an unmanaged population of the green and golden bell frog in north-eastern New South Wales. Aust. J. Zool. 65, 87-96.

  • Scheele B. C., Skerratt L. F., Grogan L. F., Hunter D. A., Clemann N., McFadden M., Newell D., Hoskin C. J., Gillespie G. R., Heard G. W., Brannelly L., Roberts A. A. & Berger L. (2017) After the epidemic: Ongoing declines, stabilizations and recoveries in amphibians afflicted by chytridiomycosis. Biol. Conserv. 206, 37-46.


  • Skerratt L. F., Berger L., Clemann N., Hunter D. A., Marantelli G., Newell D. A., Philips A., McFadden M., Hines H. B., Scheele B., Brannelly L. A., Speare R., Versteegen S., Cashins S. D. & West M. (2016) Priorities for management of chytridiomycosis in Australia: saving frogs from extinction. Wildl. Res. 43, 105-20.


  • Quick G., Goldingay R. L., Parkyn J. & Newell D. A. (2015) Population stability in the endangered Fleay's barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) and a program for long-term monitoring. Aust. J. Zool. 63, 214-9.

  • Willacy R. J., Mahony M. & Newell D. A. (2015) If a frog calls in the forest: Bioacoustic monitoring reveals the breeding phenology of the endangered Richmond Range mountain frog (Philoria richmondensis). Austral Ecol. 40, 625-33.

  • Koehler S. L., Gilmore D. C. & Newell D. A. (2015) Translocation of the threatened Growling Grass Frog Litoria raniformis: A case study. Aust. Zool. 37, 321-36.

  • Knowles R., Thumm K., Mahony M., Hines H., Newell D. & Cunningham M. (2015) Oviposition and egg mass morphology in barred frogs (Anura: Myobatrachidae: Mixophyes Günther, 1864), its phylogenetic significance and implications for conservation management. Aust. Zool. 37, 381-402.

  • Parkyn J., Challisthianagara A., Brooks L., Specht A., McMullan-Fisher S. & Newell D. (2015) The natural diet of the endangered camaenid land snail Thersites mitchellae (Cox, 1864) in northern New South Wales, Australia. Aust. Zool. 37, 343-9.


  • McCann S., Greenlees M. J., Newell D. & Shine R. (2014) Rapid acclimation to cold allows the cane toad to invade montane areas within its Australian range. Funct. Ecol. 28, 1166-74.

  • Parkyn J., Brooks L. & Newell D. (2014) Habitat use and movement patterns of the endangered land snail Thersites mitchellae (Cox, 1864) (Camaenidae). Malacologia 57, 295-307.


  • Newell D. A., Goldingay R. L. & Brooks L. O. (2013) Population Recovery following Decline in an Endangered Stream-Breeding Frog (Mixophyes fleayi) from Subtropical Australia. PLoS ONE 8, 8.

  • Parkyn J. & Newell D. A. (2013) Australian land snails: a review of ecological research and conservation approaches. Molluscan Res. 33, 116-29.


  • Newell D. A., Pembroke M. M. & Boyd W. E. (2012) Crowd sourcing for conservation: Web 2.0 a powerful tool for biologists. Future Internet 4, 551-62.

  • Meyer E., Newell D., Hines H., May S., Hero J.-M., Clarke J. & Lemckert F. (2012) Rheobatrachus silus. IUCN.


  • Newell D. (2011) Recent invasions of World Heritage rainforests in north-east New South Wales by the cane toad Bufo marinus. Aust. Zool. 35, 876-83.


  • Goldingay R. L. & Newell D. A. (2006) A preliminary assessment of disturbance to rock outcrops in Gibraltar Range National Park. Proc. Linn. Soc. New S. Wales 127, 75-81.

  • Hero J. M., Morrison C., Gillespie G., Roberts J. D., Newell D., Meyer E., McDonald K., Lemckert F., Mahony M., Osborne W., Hines H., Richards S., Hoskin C., Clarke J., Doak N. & Shoo L. (2006) Overview of the conservation status of Australian frogs. Pac. Conserv. Biol. 12, 313-20.


  • Newell D. A. & Goldingay R. L. (2005) Distribution and habitat assessment of the Broad-headed Snake Hoplocephalus bungaroides. Aust. Zool. 33, 168-79.

  • Goldingay R. L. & Newell D. A. (2005) Population estimation of the Green and golden bell frog Litoria aurea at Port Kembla. Aust. Zool. 33, 210-6.

  • Goldingay R. L. & Newell D. A. (2005) Aspects of the population ecology of the Green and golden bell frog Litoria aurea at the northern end of its range. Aust. Zool. 33, 49-59.


  • Newell D. & Goldingay R. (2004) Conserving reptiles and frogs in the forests of New South Wales. In: Conservation of Australia's Forest Fauna  pp. 270-96.


  • Goldingay R. L. & Newell D. A. (2000) Experimental rock outcrops reveal continuing habitat disturbance for an endangered Australian snake. Conserv. Biol. 14, 1908-12.


  • Goldingay R. L., Newell D. A. & Graham M. (1999) The status of rainforest stream frogs in northeastern New South Wales: decline or recovery? In: Declines and disappearances of Australian frogs (ed A. Campbell) pp. 64-71. Environment Australia, Canberra, ACT.

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