ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Joshua Hodges

ILWS PhD Candidate


Post-fire seedling recruitment in grasslands and grassy woodlands of south-eastern Australia


Dr Jodi Price (principal supervisor), Dr Lydia Guja from the Australian National Botanical Gardens (ANBG) in Canberra and Professor Adrienne Nicotra (ANU).


Joshua commenced his PhD research in February 2018.  He will be building on his Honours project which he undertook in 2017 and find out more about how Australia’s grasslands and grassy woodlands respond to fire.

His Honours project (Principal Supervisor Dr Jodi Price and co-supervisors Dr Lydia Guja from the Australian National Botanical Gardens (ANBG) in Canberra and Dr Dale Nimmo at CSU) was on fire-cued germination and dormancy alleviation in grassland forbs where he studied seven species and found “variable responses to different treatments.

In grasslands and woody grasslands,  there is kind of a prevailing idea that most grassland species germinate readily in the absence of other treatments, however, he found that there are some species which are tricky customers when it comes to germinating them. In grasslands, it’s generally thought that regeneration following a fire isn’t from seed but rather that they sprout from buds or tubers. However, his results suggest that at least some species may recruit from seed following a fire.

For his PhD research, he is expecting to do a mixture of field and laboratory experiments to assess factors which influence seedling recruitment such as germination, dormancy and seed longevity at the community level.

This study is supporting two research projects:

Overcoming barriers to intergenerational recruitment in direct-seeded revegetation sites. Price,J. & Guja, L. (Australian National Botanic Gardens( (2019-2020) Australia Flora Foundation, $18,181

Seed biology of grassy ecosystem species. Price,J., Nimmo,D., & Hodges,J. (PhD student) (2019 - 2022) Director of National Parks, $46,363 Project details


Price, J.N., Schultz, N.L., Hodges, J.A., Cleland, M.A., Morgan, J.W. (2020). Land-use legacies limit the effectiveness of switches in disturbance type to restore endangered grasslands. Restoration Ecology, Special Issue on Grassland Restoration.

Hodges, J., Price, J.N., Nimmo, D.G. & Guja, L. (2019). Evidence for direct effects of fire-cues on germination of some perennial forbs common in grassy ecosystems. Austral Ecology doi:10.1111/aec.12806


Bachelor of Biosciences La Trobe University

Honours - Charles Sturt University

Research Theme

Biodiversity Conservation