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Kate Tunstill


BSc(Conservation and Biodiversity) (Flinders University)


Environmental Science Honours student (Griffith University)

Contact details


School of Environment and Science,

Griffith University, Gold Coast campus,

1 Parklands Dr, Southport, Queensland, Australia, 4215

Email: kate.tunstill"at"


I am an Environmental Science student perusing an honours project under the supervision of Dr. Laura Grogan, Dr. Chantal Lanctôt and co-supervision of Prof. Hamish McCallum, Dr. Clare Morrison and Dr. David Newell (Southern Cross University).

I am a graduate of Conservation and Biodiversity, completing my degree in 2019 at Flinders University in South Australia. I have also previously completed a research project focusing on how Little penguin (Eudyptula minor) physiology affects nest selection. This gave me a taste of research through completing my own fieldwork, lab-based parasitic blood analysis, lots of statistical analysis and submission and presentation of a final ‘thesis’. I decided to move to Queensland to undertake Honours with frogs as I’ve always had a keen interest in amphibians and understanding their declining existence.  


Research Overview

My Honours project aims to evaluate the individual-level impacts of commonly used fire retardants on larvae (tadpoles) of endangered amphibian species in the south-east Queensland region (endangered Fleay’s barred frog, Mixophyes fleayi). I will also be monitoring frog abundance in fire impacted/non-impacted habitats using acoustic recording devices (AudioMoths). To combine both my lab and field components of the project I will be looking at mapping and modelling techniques to create a visual representation of my selected study site. I hope to gain a better understanding on how bushfires and related fire retardants could impact already threatened frog species and learn more about environmental related toxicology in vital water systems.

Career Goals

My career so far has pushed me towards the conservation side of environmental science with a keen interest in developing strategies to garner attention for species considered less known or valued in regard to funding and conservation efforts. I have always had a passion for respecting and understanding the functional roles of various species in the environment and therefore this career path seemed only natural for me to pursue. I look forward to developing my skills further and making connections within the environmental community.



  • Tunstill, K., Grogan, L. F., Morrison, C., McCallum, H., Lanctôt, C. M. (accepted 11 Oct 2022) Effects of two firefighting chemical  formulations, Phos–Chek LC95W and BlazeTamer380, on striped marsh frog (Limodynastes peronii) tadpole survival, growth, development and behaviour. Aquatic Toxicology. (IF 4.964). 

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