Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Resource Management) - in progress
Research Assistant and prospective student for Integrated Project at Southern Cross University
School of Environmental Science & Engineering,
Southern Cross University, Military Road,
Lismore, New South Wales, Australia, 2480
Renee is a final year undergraduate student with Southern Cross University, undertaking a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Environmental Resource Management). Renee’s love of frogs has provided the catalyst for her to investigate threats to population persistence for a range of Australian frog species.
Renee has a particular interest in the effects of chytridiomycosis (a fungal disease affecting amphibians on a global scale), heavy metals and other toxins present in the environment, habitat loss and feral species. Her goal is to develop and promote prevention/mitigation strategies to land managers to combat these threats and ensure frog populations can thrive for future generations.
Renee has gained invaluable field experience during her employment with an environmental consultancy firm, undertaking flora and fauna surveys in wetland sites in Northern NSW. This has provided her with a strong background in current survey techniques prescribed under the NSW Biodiversity Assessment Method (BAM).
During 2019/20, Renee undertook a key habitat mapping project for the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog (Litoria aurea) on behalf of the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (DPIE) to identify high value habitat at Crookhaven on the NSW South Coast. Results from this project will be used to inform management decisions and conservation activities for this endangered frog species.
Current Research Projects
Recently, Renee has developed a strong interest in the effects of fire in the Australian landscape on frog populations. Her major final year project in 2020 will involve analysing dam sediment cores and water samples (including groundwater) for traces of heavy metals and other hazardous leachates in the burn zone caused by the 2019 fire event at Mount Nardi/Nightcap National Park, Northern NSW. The results of this project will be used to identify potential threats to key frog habitat and investigate flow on effects to endangered species such as the Fleay’s Barred Frog (Mixophes fleayi) and the Giant Barred Frog (M. iteratus).
Renee is heavily involved in The Frog Research Team’s captive rearing program for Fleay’s Barred Frogs. This experience, coupled with frog-related field work, has provided her with an in-depth knowledge of the different life cycle stages of the species, deeper insight into the species’ requirements to be able to persist in their natural habitat and will assist her development of threat mitigation strategies into the future.