publications

For a list of all my publications, please see my google scholar page at http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=3Vh11aYAAAAJ&hl=en

Below I have listed my 5 most important publications to date and give a short explanation of the significance and relevance of each.

1. Tulloch, V.J.D., Tulloch, A.I.T., Visconti, P., Halpern, B.S., Watson, J.E.M., Evans, M.C., Auerbach, N.A., Barnes, M., Beger, M., Chadès, I., Giakoumi, S., McDonald-Madden, E., Murray, N.J., Ringma, J. & Possingham, H.P. (2015) Why do we map threats? Linking threat mapping with actions to make better conservation decisions. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 13, 91-99.

This paper was actually co-lead authored by my twin sister Vivitskaia Tulloch, and I think it is a fantastic addition to the literature on making effective conservation decisions. Too often, governments and organisations have only one goal in conservation: to reduce what they perceive as the main threat to biodiversity. This approach limits them to solving only one part of the problem, can be expensive and have undesired outcomes. The problem is that reducing threats is not a biodiversity outcome on its own. Prioritising threats leads us to cling to a single goal – and miss the big picture. To avoid putting all our resources into ‘threat hotspots’, we propose a new structured decision-making framework for conservation that considers all the threats, what else lives in the area, whether the threat is stoppable, the cost of all conservation actions and how likely they are to succeed. The framework helps us to ‘pick our battles’ and know what we can and cannot stop. We have been very excited by the positive response to this publication by public media, the scientific research community and government and conservation organisations, and hope that it will make real changes to the way in which conservation decisions are made into the future.

Threats

2. Tulloch, A.I.T., Joseph, L., Szabo, J.K., Martin, T. & Possingham, H.P. (2013). Realising the full potential of citizen science monitoring programsBiological Conservation 165: 128-138.  

Citizen science has become increasingly important in conservation science, as resources for monitoring fail to match the scale of the questions at hand. Datasets such as Breeding Bird Surveys and Bird Atlases now provide a wealth of information to answer a range of questions related to management, policy and climate change. The varied uses of these data mean that quality control is critical to ensure that citizen science datasets are used appropriately. Authors have called for the need to learn from examples where citizen science programs have been effective at achieving high quality datasets that are useful for answering these questions.

birdingWe present the first review of all of the potential objectives of using volunteer-collected monitoring data, and compare the ability of different volunteer-monitoring schemes to achieve them. We use return-on-investment analysis to calculate the minimum amount of investment needed for different citizen science programs, and the point at which spending more money on citizen science programs would deliver little more benefit.

This is the first time return-on-investment has been used to ask if broad scale citizen science bird monitoring is a cost-effective investment. This paper was chosen as the Editor’s Choice for September 2013 in Biological Conservation.

 

3. Tulloch, A.I.T., Chadès, I. & Possingham, H.P. (2013). Accounting for species complementarity to maximize monitoring power for species management. Conservation Biology 27: 988-999.fig2

One challenge faced by researchers and conservation practitioners is designing and implementing effective monitoring programs particularly when funds are limited. Decisions about how to monitor are hindered by uncertainty in management outcomes.   This research demonstrates a new framework for addressing the uncertainties in selecting species for monitoring change due to a management action or policy, using network theory and decision analysis. In 2011 I presented this work at the International Congress in Conservation Biology, where I received the student prize for the best presentation.

4. Tulloch, A., Possingham, H.P. & Wilson, K. (2011). Wise selection of an indicator for monitoring the success of management actions. Biological Conservation 144: 141-154.

This article demonstrates a simple way to monitor management outcomes through sensible selection of indicator species using cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA). This was the first time an economic approach such as CEA had been applied in conservation to select indicators. This research led to me working with government and non-government conservation agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NZ Department of Conservation to assist with conservation prioritisation decisions, and ongoing work advising Australian threatened species recovering planning and monitoring by State government agencies and non-government conservation organisations such as Bush Heritage Australia.

pygmypossum5. Tulloch, A.I., & Dickman, C.R. (2006). Floristic and structural components of habitat use by the eastern pygmy-possum (Cercartetus nanus) in burnt and unburnt habitatsWildlife Research 33:627-637.

Where would I be without my ecology roots? This paper is my first, mentored by the inspiring Professor Chris Dickman, and has had a strong influence in the literature on responses of small mammals to fire in Australia, as well as fueling my interest in fire that led to me joining the Fire Committee of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists’ Regional Environmental Accounts Trials to assist with developing indices to monitor the health of Australia’s biodiversity in response to shifts in fire regimes. Understanding these responses is crucial to enable effective management of disturbed systems, where conflicts between the need to protect infrastructure and resources for human use, and the structure of habitats integral to biodiversity persistence, often occur. This research led to the eastern pygmy-possum being listed as threatened in New South Wales, Australia, and fostered my lifelong dream of informing effective management decisions for conservation of biodiversity.

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