Opportunities - Environmental Capstone (3892ENV)

3892ENV Environmental Capstone is a 20 credit point course involving a small independent or group-based research project offered to undergraduate Bachelors' students at Griffith University. It is usually undertaken over 1 trimester (approximately 12 weeks).

"Rainforest BioCondition Assessment"

Supervisors: Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group), Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University)

Project: Rainforest ecosystems are among the most biodiverse environments on Earth. Although covering only 2% of the global surface area, they house 50% of the world’s plant and vertebrate species. However, there are numerous threats to the integrity of these ecosystems, including land-clearing, fragmentation, invasive species, pollution and climate change. The aim of this project is to examine the vegetation structure and condition of a range of subtropical rainforest sites around south-east QLD and north-east NSW, comparing sites with varying altitude, aspect, slope and proximity to cleared land, to better understand the characteristics affecting rainforest integrity.

 

As a capstone project, the student would be expected to examine a broader range of structure and condition measures and perform a more extensive comparative analysis. Cross-sectional amphibian surveys across sites may also be possible. 

 

This project will directly assist with understanding habitat characteristics of the endangered Fleay’s barred frog, as part of more extensive research funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant. This larger project involves a team of researchers (including PhD candidates and post-docs) and a diverse network of collaborators. The student will have the opportunity to assist with other aspects of this project (including amphibian surveys). Please see our team website (Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group: www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com) for more information.

 

Start date: Trimesters 1, 2 or 3

Contact: l.grogan@griffith.edu.au

"Rainforest stream habitat assessment"

Supervisors: Dr. Laura Grogan and Prof. Hamish McCallum (EFRI, Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group), Dr. David Newell (Forest Research Centre, Southern Cross University)

Project: Rainforest streams are highly variable environments providing important habitats for amphibians, fish, insects, and an important water source for animals on the forest floor. Characteristics of the topography, stream channel and underlying bedrock play an important role in determining vegetation growth, and in turn, animal diversity. The aim of this project is to examine these various characteristics at a range of subtropical rainforest stream sites around south-east QLD and north-east NSW. Streams across a range of altitudes and types of forest will be compared to better understand the characteristics affecting amphibian habitat selection. 

 

As a capstone project, the student would be expected to examine a broader range of structure characteristics and perform a more extensive comparative analysis. Cross-sectional amphibian surveys across sites may also be possible. 

 

This project will directly assist with understanding stream habitat characteristics of a range of rainforest amphibians including the endangered Fleay’s barred frog, as part of more extensive research funded by an Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant. This larger project involves a team of researchers (including PhD candidates and post-docs) and a diverse network of collaborators. The student will have the opportunity to assist with other aspects of this project (including amphibian surveys). Please see our team website (Griffith Wildlife Disease Ecology Group: www.mccallum-disease-ecology.com) for more information.

 

Start date: Trimesters 1, 2 or 3

 

Contact: l.grogan@griffith.edu.au

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