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Guy Castley


Ph.D. (Zoology), 1997, University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

M.Sc. (Zoology), 1992, University of Port Elizabeth, South Africa

B.Sc. (Hons, cum laude, Zoology), 1991, University of Port Elizabeth, South 


B.Sc. (Zoology, Biochemistry majors), 1990, University of Port Elizabeth,

     South Africa



Senior Lecturer / Program Director: Bachelor of Environmental Science


Contact details

Address: School of Environment and Science

Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4222, Australia

Phone (work): +61 7 5552 8918

Email: g.castley"at"

Research Overview and Current Projects


Much of my current research focuses on the transdisciplinary nature of contemporary conservation practice.  This draws on my background in conservation biology, protected area management, landscape and urban ecology, sustainable tourism and citizen science to address novel mechanisms for conservation action.

At the core of these activities research projects explore the interactions between species (typically vertebrates) and their socio-ecological environment.  I have an interest in threatened species where I conduct research that explores how these species persist and function across complex land-use mosaics.


I am a field ecologist at heart and have worked in diverse environments ranging from rainforests to semi-arid ecosystems in Australia and abroad (South Africa, Nepal, Tanzania, Botswana).  In a life before academia I spent nine years as an animal ecologist with the South African National Parks agency where I coordinated a national large mammal monitoring program and delivered on park planning and expansion initiatives. 

I am currently working on a number of urban ecology projects that address how birds respond to the thermal environment in urban green space as well as how bird community structure varies with urban development.  I have an ongoing long-term monitoring collaboration with a local community group to assess patterns in resource availability for the highly specialized Glossy Black-Cockatoo. 


I am also working on collaborative projects with colleagues in South Africa that explore the resilience in forest bird communities within fragmented landscapes. For specific details visit:

Research Supervision

I typically have a team of Honours and PhD students that I supervise at any one time. Prospective students are welcome to get in touch to discuss study options related to my key interests outlined above. Since joining Griffith in late in 2005 I have supervised 14 PhD / MPhil students and 19 Honours students (with the majority obtaining First Class Honours). I am currently supervising a further 8 PhD students.

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Key publication areas (selected papers)


Wildlife ecology and management

  • 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 amphibian immune response to Chytridiomycosis, and future directions. Frontiers in Immunology, 9

  • Lollback, G.W., Castley, J.G., Mossaz, A.C., & Hero, J-M. 2018. Fine scale changes in spatial habitat use by a low-density koala population in an isolated peri-urban forest remnant. Australian Mammalogy.

  • Treby, D.L., Castley, J.G. 2016. Determinants of microbat communities in urban forest remnants, a rapid landscape scale assessment. Urban Ecosystems 19: 1351-1371.

  • Lowe, K, Castley, G., Hero, J-M. 2015. Resilience to climate change: complex relationships between wetland hydroperiod, larval amphibians, and aquatic predators in temporary wetlands. Marine and Freshwater Research 66: 886-899.

  • Hero, J-M., Butler, S.A., Lollback, G.W. Castley, J.G. 2014. Determinants of tree assemblage composition at the mesoscale within a subtropical eucalypt forest. PLOS ONE 9(12): e114994.

  • Simpkins, C.A., Shuker, J.D., Lollback, G.W., Castley, J.G., Hero, J-M. 2014. Environmental variables associated with the distribution and occupancy of habitat specialist tadpoles in naturally acidic, oligotrophic waterbodies. Austral Ecology, 39: 95-105.

  • Tambling, C.J., Druce, D.J., Hayward, M.W., Castley, J.G., Adendorff, J. & Kerley, G.I.H. 2012. Spatial and temporal changes in group dynamics and range use enable anti-predator responses in African buffalo. Ecology 93: 1297-1304.

  • Druce, D., Brown, J.S., Castley, J.G., Kerley, G.I.H., Kotler, B.P., Slotow, R., Van der Merwe, M., & Knight, M.H.  2006. Habitat use by rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) determined using giving up densities. Oikos 115: 513-525.

  • Castley, J.G., Boshoff, A.F., & Kerley, G.I.H. 2001.  Compromising South Africa’s natural biodiversity - inappropriate herbivore introductions. South African Journal of Science 97: 344-348.


Protected area planning and management

  • Pegas, F. de V., Castley, J.G. 2016. Private reserves in Brazil: Distribution patterns, logistical challenges, and conservation contributions. Journal for Nature Conservation 29: 14-24.

  • Pegas, F. de V., Castley, J.G. 2014. Ecotourism as a conservation tool and its adoption by private protected areas in Brazil. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 24: 604-625.

  • Halliday, L.G., Castley, J.G., Fitzsimons, J.A., Tran, C & Warnken, J. 2012. Fire management on private conservation lands: Knowledge, perceptions and actions of landholders in eastern Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21: 197-209.

  • Haughland, D.L., Hero, J-M., Schieck, J., Castley, J.G., Boutin, S., Sólymos, P., Lawson, B.E., Holloway, G. & Magnusson, W.E. 2010. Planning forwards: biodiversity research and monitoring systems for better management. TREE. 25: 199-200.

  • Castley, J.G., Hill, W. & Pickering, C.M. 2009. Developing ecological indicators of visitor use of protected areas: a new integrated framework from Australia.  Australasian Journal of Environmental Management 16: 196-207.


Conservation, planning and policy

  • Steven, R., Smart, J.C.R., Morrison, C., & Castley, J.G. 2016. Using a choice experiment and birder preferences to guide bird conservation funding. Conservation Biology doi:10.1111/cobi.12849

  • Treby, D.L., Castley, J.G. 2016. The impacts of historical land-use and landscape variables on hollow-bearing trees along an urbanisation gradient Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 15: 190-199.

  • Treby, D.L., Castley, J.G. 2015. Distribution and abundance of hollow-bearing trees in urban forest fragments. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 14: 655-663.

  • Treby, D., Castley, J.G., Hero, J-M. 2014. Forest conservation policy implementation gaps: Consequences for the management of hollow-bearing trees in Australia.  Conservation and Society 12:16-26.

  • Knight, A.T., Driver, A., Cowling, R.M., Maze, K., Desmet, P.G., Lombard, A.T., Rouget, M., Botha, M.A., Boshoff, A.F., Castley, J.G., Goodman, P.S., MacKinnon, K., Pierce, S.M., Sims-Castley, R., Stewart, W. & Von Hase, A. 2006. Designing systematic conservation assessments that promote effective implementation: best practice from South Africa. Conservation Biology 20(3): 739-750.

  • Castley, J.G. & Kerley, G.I.H. 1996. The paradox of forest conservation in South Africa.  Forest Ecology & Management. 85: 35 46.


Tourism and recreational ecology

  • Norman, P., Pickering, C.M., Castley, J.G. 2019. What can volunteered geographic information tell us about the different ways mountain bikers, runners and walkers use urban reserves? Landscape and Urban Planning, 185, 180-190.

  • Wardle, C., Buckley, R., Shakeela, A., Castley, J.G. 2018. Ecotourism's contributions to conservation: analysing patterns in published studies. Journal of Ecotourism

  • Steven, R., Morrison, C., Arthur, J.M., Castley, J.G. 2015. Avitourism and Australian important bird and biodiversity areas. PLOS ONE 10: e0144445.

  • Mossaz, A.C., Buckley, R, Castley, J.G. 2015. Ecotourism contributions to conservation of African big cats. Journal for Nature Conservation 28: 112-118.

  • Pegas, F. de V., Weaver, D. Castley, G. 2015. Domestic tourism and sustainability in an emerging economy: Brazil’s littoral pleasure periphery. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 23: 748-769.

  • Steven, R., Morrison, C. Castley, J.G. 2014. Birdwatching and avitourism: a global review of research into its participant markets, distribution and impacts, highlighting future research priorities to inform sustainable avitourism management. Journal of Sustainable Tourism 23: 1257-1276.

  • Castley, J.G., Bennett, A., Pickering, C.M. 2013. Wildlife visual imagery: do pictures used to promote destinations on-line match on-site species visibility at two geographic destinations? Geographical Research 51: 59-70.

  • Coghlan, A., Castley, J.G. 2013. A matter of perspective: residents’, regulars’ and locals’ perceptions of private tourism ecolodge concessions in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. Current Issues in Tourism 16: 682-699.


Monitoring and Citizen Science

  • Halliday, L.G., Castley, J.G., Fitzsimons, J.A., Tran, C & Warnken, J. 2012. Fire management on private conservation lands: Knowledge, perceptions and actions of landholders in eastern Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire 21: 197-209.

  • Hero, J-M., Castley, J.G., Malone, M., Lawson, B. & Magnusson, W.E. 2010. Long-term ecological research in Australia: innovative approaches for future benefits.  Australian Zoologist 35: 90-102.

  • Haughland, D.L., Hero, J-M., Schieck, J., Castley, J.G., Boutin, S., Sólymos, P., Lawson, B.E., Holloway, G. & Magnusson, W.E. 2010. Planning forwards: biodiversity research and monitoring systems for better management. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 25: 199-200.


Threatened species

  • Morrison, C., Wardle, C., Castley, J.G.  2016. Repeatability and reproducibility of Population Viability Analysis (PVA) and the implications for threatened species management. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 4: 98.

  • Lowe, K., Castley, J.G., Hero, J-M. 2016. Calling phenology and detectability of a threatened amphibian (Litoria olongburensis) in ephemeral wetlands varies along a latitudinal cline: implications for management. Austral Ecology 41: 938-951.

  • Buckley, R.C., Morrison, C., Castley, J.G. 2016. Net effects of tourism on threatened species survival. PLOS ONE 11: e0147988.

  • Steven, R., Castley, J.G., Buckley, R. 2013. Tourism revenue as a conservation tool for threatened birds in protected areas. PLOS ONE 8(5): e62598.

  • Steven, R., Castley, J.G. 2013. Tourism as a threat to critically endangered and endangered birds: global patterns and trends in conservation hotspots. Biodiversity and Conservation 22: 1063-1082.

  • Morrison, C., Simpkins, C.A., Castley, J.G., Buckley, R.C. 2012. Tourism and the conservation of critically endangered frogs. PLOS ONE, 7(9): e44757.

  • Buckley, R.C., Castley, J.G., Pegas, F. de V., Mossaz, A.C., Steven, R. 2012. A population accounting approach to assess tourism contributions to conservation of IUCN-Redlisted mammal species. PLOS ONE 7(9): e44134.


Landscape Ecology

  • Hero, J-M., Castley, J.G., Butler, S.A., Lollback, G.W. 2013. Biomass estimation within an Australian eucalypt forest: Meso-scale spatial arrangement and the influence of sampling intensity. Forest Ecology and Management. 310: 547-554.

  • Cuttriss, A.K., Prince, J.B., Castley, J.G. 2013. Seagrass communities in southern Moreton Bay, Australia: Coverage and fragmentation trends between 1987 and 2005. Aquatic Botany, 108: 41-47.

  • Kerley, G.I.H., McLachlan, A. & Castley, J.G. 1996. Diversity and dynamics of bushpockets in the Alexandria Coastal Dunefield, South Africa.  Landscape and Urban Planning. 34: 255 266.

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