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Jordan McGrath

Current position

Bachelor of Advanced Science (Hons) major: Wildlife Biology and Applied Mathematics (Currently undertaking research for Advanced Studies Tasks 1 and 2).

Contact details

Address:

School of Environment and Science,

Griffith University, Gold Coast Campus,

Parklands Drive, Southport, Queensland, 4222

Email: jordan.mcgrath2"at"griffithuni.edu.au 

Overview

I am a second year undergraduate advanced science student with a focus on wildlife biology and applied mathematics and have a major interest in modelling wildlife systems. I joined the frog research team to complete the first research component associated with this degree (courses 2601SCG and 2602SCG), under the supervision of Dr Laura Grogan, Dr Chantal Lanctot, and PhD candidate Preeti Sharma.

I finished high school with the highest results, achieving dux, and began studying the following year. In the break between them, I began working at an environmental consultancy called Ecosure and continue to work there while studying. I primarily work as a field officer in the ibis management program at Ecosure, but also work as an assistant to the senior environmental scientists. Through this, I have gained an increasing responsibility of project management work within the ibis team.

I have also completed the Kungullanji program (a summer research scholarship at Griffith), where I used a Bayesian network model to map the effect of fertiliser on coral health in the Great Barrier Reef region.

Research Overview

 

Chytridiomycosis is a cutaneous fungal disease responsible for major amphibian declines globally. Moreover, firefighting chemicals have affected many species as wildfires increase, but little is known about their effect on amphibians. Our research aims to test the interactive effects of the chytrid-causing Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis and the fire-fighting chemical PHOS-CHeK LC95 on the large ground-dwelling Fleay’s Barred Frog (Mixophyes fleayi).

 

My project will consist of a literature review, proposal, experiment, and final report. It will involve exposing individually housed frogs to control, individual, and combined treatments, allowing us to understand one potentially damaging environmental interaction, as well as the individual impact of fire-fighting chemicals. Through this research, we hope to contribute to amphibian protection.

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Career Goals

I aim to combine a passion for mathematics and wildlife biology. To that end, I will be extending my bachelor from three years to four so I can travel for a year internationally to study ecological modelling in Singapore and volunteer at wildlife rescue centres at Vietnam or Indonesia. There are two research components of the advanced science degree, and so I will do my second project when I return. I intend to do honours and a PhD in a similar field following my bachelor's degree.

My foreseeable end goal is to become a research scientist in ecological modelling. While I’m not sure what area, I have many interests that I’d like to explore, including wildlife disease.