Anke Frank

Dr Anke Frank

Terrestrial Ecology

Agricultural, Environmental and Veterinary Sciences


Dr Anke Frank received her PhD in terrestrial ecology from The University of Sydney (2010) on the effects of grazing on flora and fauna in the Simpson Desert, Queensland. Her PhD contributed significantly to an ecosystem risk assessment of Georgina Gidgee woodlands, and a better understanding of landscape use by cattle, interactions between native and introduced herbivores, and the importance of accounting for differences in habitats and climate. Her postdoctoral years included work on predator-prey interactions, focussing on fear and naivety in native species, and declines caused by introduced predators. She addressed this by initiating cross-disciplinary workshops with national and international experts on ‘chemical ecology and predator-prey interactions’. She currently collaborates with Dr. Greg Doran on fox scents, and with Assoc. Prof. Andrew Peters on wildlife disease ecology. The central theme of her research is right-way science. She is endorsed by the Budjiti people of the Paroo River Country (far western Queensland) to be their lead ecologist. She is a partner of the Centre for Australian Studies (CAS, University of Cologne, Germany), and is pursuing right-way science collaborations with CAS.

Since 2016, Anke has been a partner of the Centre for Australian Studies at the University of Cologne, Germany:

Anke has extensive research experience in wildlife ecology and management from a range of Australian biomes spanning coastal to far inland, and temperate to tropical habitats. She works collaboratively with national and international tertiary institutions, Governmental as well as non-Governmental organisations. Her research program covers a diversity of taxa including mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. The central theme of her research concerns how native species and habitats are impacted by introduced species, and how these interactions can be managed to provide sustainable management outcomes. She has recently started to explore the role of pathogens in these interactions. Her research directed by Budjiti people expands on this theme, and focuses on improvements in landscape health around the theme of disturbance (e.g. mining, grazing, introduced species) since colonisation.

During her postdoctoral years, she was involved in two global dryland projects in South Africa: DroughtNet and Biodesert. While working as a postdoctoral fellow for the Leibniz Association at the Research Museum Koenig, Bonn, Germany, she worked on approaches to better reach the UN Sustainability Goals, Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Paris Climate Agreement. As part of this work, she helped revise the Aichi Biodiversity Targets nationally for Germany and the Summary for Policy Makers of the Global Land Degradation Assessment and Global Assessment of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services during forums of the International Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

  • how native species and habitats are impacted by introduced species
Full publications list on CRO

Recent five publications

Frank, A. S. K., McNiven, E., Brown, S., & Adone, D. (2023). Doing science the right way: Reflecting on obstacles in our systems to doing right-way science. Abstract from Ecological Society of Australia Conference, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.

Tuft, K., Legge, S., Frank, A. S. K., James, A. I., May, T., Page, E., Radford, I. J., Woinarski, J. C. Z., Fisher, A., Lawes, M. J., Gordon, I. J., & Johnson, C. N. (2021). Cats are a key threatening factor to the survival of local populations of native small mammals in Australia's tropical savannas: Evidence from translocation trials with Rattus tunneyi. Wildlife Research, 48(7), 654-662.

Frank, A. S. K., Carthey, A. J. R., & Banks, P. B. (2016). Does historical coexistence with dingoes explain current avoidance of domestic dogs? Island bandicoots are naïve to dogs, unlike their mainland counterparts. PLoS One, 11(9), [e0161447].

Jones, M. E., Apfelbach, R., Banks, P. B., Cameron, E. Z., Dickman, C. R., Frank, A., McLean, S., McGregor, I. S., Müller-Schwarze, D., Parsons, M. H., Sparrow, E., & Blumstein, D. T. (2016). A nose for death: Integrating trophic and informational networks for conservation and management. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 4(OCT), [124].

Frank, A. S. K., Wardle, G. M., Greenville, A. C., & Dickman, C. R. (2016). Cattle removal in arid Australia benefits kangaroos in high quality habitat but does not affect camels. Rangeland Journal, 38(1), 73-84.