Synopsis

After more than 120 years as a sheep station in arid western NSW, Fowlers Gap is set to become a conservation property, with the removal of large domestic herbivores (sheep and goats) in 2021.  This will be a large-scale regeneration project, and it is rare for researchers to have access to such a project throughout its development, implementation and subsequent lifespan.  Initially, research will focus on establishing a baseline of data for the station. Over subsequent years, research will look at the restoration of the station and the responses of trophic communities to a restored habitat.

Aims

This project aims to:

  • Investigate natural regeneration in populations of flora and fauna over time
  • Investigate changes in trophic levels
  • Investigate changes in soil chemistry and microbiological communities
  • Examine the resilience of an arid zone to climate change

Establish monitoring and research sites

Student Benefits

During this project, you’ll have the chance to:

  • assist in a major large scale ecosystem regeneration project, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity
  • Study a rapidly changing and evolving ecosystem
  • Do fieldwork in the arid zone that has widespread applications; no project is too large or too small
  • Learn practical skills that will be transferable to other research projects, and that have “real world” applications

Supervisors (list of potential supervisors): Dr Keith Leggett, Prof. Mike Letnic, A/Prof. Lisa Schwanz, Prof. Angela Moles, A/Prof. Will Cornwell, Dr Adrian Fisher, A/Prof. Daniel Falster