ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

PhD graduates

This list of recent PhD graduates includes a theses abstract and principal supervisor information.

The National Library of Australia's Trove search service is a source for further information.

Search under

  • 2017
  • 2016
  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
  • 2011
  • 2010
  • 2009
  • 2008
  • 2007
  • 2006

Carmen Amos
Response of Frogs to Environmental Factors at Multiple Scales in the Lachlan Catchment of NSW

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Skye Wassens

The ongoing declines of amphibian populations is a significant conservation challenge, in Australia high demand for freshwater resources places pressure on freshwater habitat on which frogs depend. This thesis examines the patterns of habitat use and breeding activity by frogs at multiple scales.  Statistical analysis of the datasets supported predictions that the availability of water is a key driver of persistence, while the availability of soil based microhabitat could support population persistence in semi-arid floodplain systems.

James Dyer
The role of flow regime and movement in stream shrimp assemblages

Principal Supervisor Dr Paul Humphries

Dr Dyer's thesis investigated the dispersal behaviour and swimming ability of shrimp species in the Murray-Darling Basin, and related these characteristics to the distribution of the same species across multiple rivers with different flow regimes. The results highlight the importance of recognising movement ecology when exploring assemblage patterns. The results also highlighted the potential importance that flow regime management and connectivity play in the conservation of riverine animals in the Murray-Darling Basin more generally.

Bronwyn Hyde
The lived experience of acute mental health inpatient care: What's recovery got to do with it?

Associate Supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Xiaoying Liu (Sha Sha)
Applying a Transdisciplinary Approach to Improve the Understanding of Current and Future States of Inland Ephemeral Wetlands: An Australian Case Study

Supervisors Prof Max Finlayson, Dr Daryl Nielsen & Dr Darren Baldwin MDFRC

An interdisciplinary approach was used to examine the ecological conditions in Lake Cowal, an ephemeral wetland in Australia. The effects of the drying and re-wetting cycle on phosphorus dynamics in the lake's sediments and how these were influenced by salinity was a particular focus. The findings were augmented by local ecological knowledge and synthesised in pictorial conceptual models to contrast the current conditions with those projected under climate and land use changes to highlight management issues for ephemeral wetlands worldwide.

Zsofia (Sophie) Palfi
The influence of soil disturbance on seed dispersal by ants in roadside environments in southern NSW, Australia.

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Peter Spooner

Throughout Australia, ants provide a critical service in dispersing native plant seeds to other habitats to grow and survive. Zsofia Palfi investigated how soil disturbances from roadworks effect this process, and found that few species favoured such conditions, but were responsible for dispersing the majority of available seed. By tracking individual ants, she found that large bodied meat ants dispersed seeds up to 120m. This research provides new insights of seed dispersal processes occurring in roadsides and other modified habitats.

Rebecca PeisleyThe Benefits and Costs of Bird Activity in Agroecosystems

Principal Supervisor Professor Gary Luck

Dr Peisley conducted the first ever study on the benefits and costs of bird activity across different agricultural ecosystems. Through extensive field experiments, she identified that birds provide services in apple orchards, vineyards and pasture, including pest control and waste disposal. She also found that some species inflict costs on production and that a complete assessment of bird impacts must account for both benefits and costs. Her work is internationally significant and will inform the management of agricultural systems worldwide.

Jess Schoeman
Optimising water management in the Anthropocene? A case study of adaptive governance in a sub-catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Catherine Allan

This thesis explores how water can be managed more adaptively in the context of the rapid social, ecological and climatic change occurring in the Anthropocene. An empirical case study in the Lachlan, a sub-catchment of the Murray-Darling Basin, revealed five key factors influencing learning and the emergence of adaptive governance: regimes, rules, relationships, routines and rhetoric. Findings emphasise the importance of local, tacit knowledge, and the capacity of catchment communities to self-organise, when navigating complex and uncertain situations.

Abbie Spiers
An exploration of community perceptions about wetland health in New Zealand 

Principal Supervisor Professor Max Finlayson

Samantha Strong
Exploring Paradoxes of Native Vegetation Management in the Context of Bushfire in South East Australia in the 21st Century

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Catherine Allen

Two major 21st century bushfires in south-east Australia were explored to better understand Australia's paradoxical vegetation management. Findings show that societal narratives use particular types of language to construct and share meaning after each bushfire. Our knowledge about the environment is particularly shaped by mythical framing of environmental risk and control. Understanding and re-framing contradictory and politically divisive depictions of native vegetation and bushfire can lead to improved environmental and social outcomes.

Buyani Thomy
The value of river health to the residential community of the Georges and Cook river catchments

Principal Supervisor Professor Mark Morrison

Cécile van der Burgh
Connectivity conservation: an exploration of practitioners' experiences in Australia

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Peter Spooner

To counter the effects of land clearing and climate change, large scale connectivity programs have been initiated to connect national parks to other patches of native vegetation. Cecile's research identified key barriers and enablers, such as funding and capacity issues, governance arrangements, trust between partners, and relationships with landholders, which strongly influenced the successful implementation of such programs. The findings of this research will inform both the practise and policy development of large-scale, connectivity conservation initiatives worldwide.

Amelia Walcott
The frog community responses to environmental change: a case study in the mid Lachlan

Principal Supervisor Dr Andrew Hall

Jennifer Woods
Experiences of Community Spirit in Flood Recovery: Exploring the Meaning and the Opportunities for Community Development 

Principal Supervisor Dr Jonathon Howard

This thesis explores the interpreted meanings of the term ‘community spirit’ within a specific flood context to determine whether community spirit can be used as an asset for disaster recovery. Community spirit is a term used within government, the media, and by politicians with regard to a flood recovery, generally in a positive manner but often without elucidation. The literature review highlights that research presents nuanced meanings of the term but no definitive meaning or discussion about how community spirit might be used as an asset. This research study found a range of nuanced meanings for community spirit from literature, the Australian government and the media. These broader meanings could be compared to the nuanced meanings that the participants with the lived flood experience. The findings from this study concluded that community spirit is, indeed, an asset that can be used by social workers within an asset based community development framework. However, the research also found some differences between the nuanced meanings of community spirit, and these differences are significant for critical social work wisdom. This has implications for social work when utilising community spirit to assist in disaster recovery, and thus some concluding recommendations and timeframes are made.

Paul Amaoteng
The Changing spatial extent of rivers and floodplains and its implications for flooding. The case of Kumasi.

Principal Supervisor Professor Max Finlayson

Chaka Chirozva
Community engagement in the governance of Transfrontier Conservation Areas: An analysis of the implementation of Sengwe Tshipise Wilderness Corridor, Zimbabwe.

The past two decades have witnessed an increase in the number of transfrontier conservation areas (TFCAs) established between two or more countries to promote biodiversity conservation, peace and enhance socio-economic development. Established against a backdrop of increasing complexity in protected areas governance, TFCAs have been subjected to several scholarly critiques and a renewed focus on what nature conservation can achieved and increasing calls for more inclusive governance approaches and a global acknowledgement of the need for greater social safeguards for protected areas. Read more

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Rosemary Black

Jamin Forbes
Population dynamics and implications for management of a Murray cod and golden perch fishery in south-eastern Australia

The thesis collected new information on maturity and growth for Murray cod and golden perch, which was used as evidence for the introduction of new Murray cod size limits in 2014. The thesis also assessed the effectiveness of stocking Murray cod and golden perch, which showed that the proportion of stocked fish was higher in dams than rivers, which led to removal of the closed season for Murray cod in Copeton Dam. The thesis includes extensive surveys of recreational fishers in the Murrumbidgee River and Lake Mulwala to obtain estimates of fishing effort, catch-and-release, harvest and also how, when and where anglers use these fisheries. The information from these surveys are unique, and are used by fishery managers to understand the stressors on these fisheries, and whether interventions are necessary.

Principal Supervisor  Professor Robyn Watts

Jenni Greig
Predicting the social impacts of change: Exploring a psychological approach to capturing social impact data for cost-benefit analysis

Principal Supervisor Professor Mark Morrison

Theresa Groth
Using the collective identity construct to examine the role of a farmer occupational identity in multi-functional landscapes in Australia and the United States

Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Saideepa Kumar
Choosing boundaries for interventions: A study of environmental water management in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia

Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Michelle Oliver
The advantages of localisation as a strategy for sustainability and global carbon reduction

Principal Supervisor Dr Jonathon Howard

Luisa Perez-Mujica
Development of a sustainability assessment tool in the context of social-ecological systems using system simulation and participatory modelling: The case of the Winton Wetlands

Principal Supervisor Professor Max Finlayson

Buddi Poudel
The effects of pastoralism on the behaviour of the Himalayan marmot (Marmota himalayana) in high altitude rangelands in Nepal

Principal Supervisor Dr Alison Matthews

Eak Rana
REDD+ and ecosystem services trade-offs and synergies in community forests of central Himalaya, Nepal

Principal Supervisor Dr Rik Thwaites

Karma Tenzing
The role of property rights in Natural Resource Management: the case of high altitude rangeland of Bhutan

The research explored the role of property rights in achieving equity, efficiency and sustainability (EES) goals in the context of high altitude rangeland (known as tsa-drog) management in Bhutan. The type of property rights assigned to the resource users can influence the management and governance of natural resources such as rangelands. Bhutan has a complex system of rangeland property rights evolved over many centuries in response to settlement patterns, monastic regulations, elite capture and government policies. The aim of this research was to 1) describe property rights and management regimes across three rangeland sites, 2) determine people's perceptions of traditional and pilot leasing systems, and the proposed nationalisation program in relation to EES goals, 3) explore how property rights influence conflicts and collective action and 4) elicit views on how property rights and rangeland management can be improved in Bhutan.

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Rosemary Black

Wes Ward
Exploring communication within international agricultural research teams

Australia provides considerable aid to fund agricultural research in developing countries. This research is delivered by teams of scientists based in Australia and partner countries. Mr Ward analysed interviews with researchers in Australia and Lao PDR to develop the first-ever model to identify linguistic, individual, cultural, economic and political barriers and opportunities for communication between these researchers. Using this model, he developed an assessment tool to evaluate computer programs currently used by research teams. Mr Ward found teams preferred face-to-face communication and email to address the most important communication barrier, language and desire for mutual trust. In addition, he found computer programs differed markedly in addressing the needs of these teams used for communication. These have economic implications for international aid programs.

Principal Supervisor Professor Lisa Given

Wayne Deans
Trees as Redundant Patterns

Multi-scaled, interconnected real world problems are too often treated without consideration for the ubiquity and inescapability of a system-environment view of nature. Narrow solutions inevitably lead to system pathologies. Two coexistent and inextricably linked sets of problems determine the scope of this thesis. Throughout modern human history the need to control and manage energy, water, waste, and food and fibre production has linked our well-being to the planet, and to the sun that feeds us source energy. Our continual management and control of these four component needs must be satisfied. This is the first set of problems—future needs. 
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt 

Dharmasiri Dassanayake
The Role of Pacific Ocean Climate Variability on Rainfall Variability in the Murrumbidgee Catchment, Australia.

Principal Supervisor Dr Andrew Hall

Alexandra Knight
The case for Sloane's Froglet: Generating ecological knowledge with the intent to benefit biodiversity

Principal Supervisor Professor Robyn Watts

Stacey Kopf
Swimming performance and dispersal potential of larval Australian freshwater fish in a regulated riverscape.

Principal Supervisor Professor Robyn Watts

Yinru Lei (Ruby)
Human Migration Decision-making in Response to Climate Change - A Case Study in Shangnan County, China

Principal Supervisor Professor Max Finlayson

Yustina Murdiningrum
The Capacity of Non-Government Organisations to Enhance Peasants' Livelihoods through Farm Forestry in Indonesia

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are important players in shaping Indonesian forest policy and practices, particularly in relation to enhancing the benefits from forestry for rural communities. However, due to a range of complex issues, it is not always clear what is the most effective role the NGOs should play to enhance community forestry (including farm forestry model), particularly so that it leads to community development.Two case study NGOs (Trees-4-Trees and PERSEPSI) were chosen to explore the extent to which the aim to develop farm forestry meet with peasants (small-scale farmers) livelihood strategy, so that it can deliver changes in terms of improved participation level, reduced poverty, reduced deforestation and enhanced timber supply. 
Principal Supervisor Dr Digby Race

Mohan Poudel
Examining outcomes of REDD+ through community forestry in rural Nepal 

The policy mechanism for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, as well as increasing carbon stock by the sustainable management of forests – more commonly known as REDD+ – seeks to pay forest managers for verifiable emissions reductions. Despite growing consensus internationally that REDD+ could be an effective way to reduce carbon emissions from the forestry sector, and enhance native bio-diversity and local livelihoods, a range of unresolved issues remain about the impacts of REDD+ on local livelihoods. Nepal is one among several countries in the tropics actively involved in the development of REDD+, and has implemented several pilot projects via community forestry.
Principal Supervisor Dr Rik Thwaites

Andrea Rawluk
Interpreting regional landscape change: a case study of the Ovens, Victoria, Australia

Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Yalmambirra
Indigenous Cultures in Contemporary Australia: A Wiradjuri Case Study

Principal Supervisor Dr Rik Thwaites

MASTERS

Vijayakumar Kuttappan
Urban migration in tank irrigation communities in South India: extent, trends, impacts and implications for food security

Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Luke Pearce
Conservation management of southern pygmy perch (Nannoperca australis) in NSW, in the context of climatic extremes and alien species

Principal Supervisor Dr Paul Humphries

Bugi Sumirat
Social capital of forest farm groups in Indonesia

Principal Supervisor Dr Joanne Millar

Patrick Brandful Cobbinah 
Towards poverty reduction in developing countries: An analysis of ecotourism implementation in the Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Rosemary Black 

Sonny Domingo
Economic modelling of optimal strategic production options and welfare impacts subject to resource constraints and risk aversion among smallholder farmers in the southern Philippines

Using mathematical programming models and welfare analysis, the research reported in this thesis appraises various new technologies designed for smallholder vegetable farmers in the southern Philippines. It demonstrates the critical importance of economic risk and farmers' responses to such risk in the adoption process. By assisting farmers to deal with risk, adoption of new technologies can be accelerated. This will reduce the amount of poverty among these marginal farmers. It will also result in higher quality products for consumers.
Principal supervisor Professor Kevin Parton

Popular Gentle
Equipping poor people for climate change: Local institutions and Pro-poor adaptation for rural communities in Nepal

Climate change is impacting the livelihoods and resources of local communities, and climate induced hazards have increased the vulnerability of communities in the rural hills of Nepal. There is limited knowledge and information available on how specific climate hazards are impacting livelihood resources, which livelihood options are most vulnerable, how climate change is impacting different groups in society, and how poor people in rural areas are responding to climate change. The role of local institutions is crucial in responding to climate change. The National Adaptation Program of Action (NAPA) framework has recognised local institutions such as community forest user groups (CFUG), irrigation groups and farmer groups as important agencies to implement local level adaptation activities. However, there are concerns that the institutions are not always able to achieve their progressive mandate and may not provide a viable 'safety net' for poor people facing challenges from climate change. 
Principal Supervisor Dr Digby Race

Angela Keys,
Industrialised Cotton Production: From California to Australia's Namoi Valley.

The industrialisation of agriculture was one of the most important agricultural developments of the twentieth century. The existing political economy literature has indicated the complexity of the process of agricultural industrialisation. Yet, the significant variation between different agricultural commodity systems suggests there is still much to be learned about how such diverse agricultural commodity systems have been affected by the process of industrialisation. This thesis utilises the case study of cotton production, one of the most highly industrialised agricultural commodity systems, to investigate the process of agricultural industrialisation more deeply. Specifically, this thesis explores the development of industrialised cotton production in California during the first half of the twentieth century and how, during the 1960s, that form of cotton production was introduced to the Namoi Valley in north-western New South Wales by a small group of Californian migrants.
Principal Supervisor, Adjunct Associate Professor Ian Gray

Jim Longworth,
'Countrymindless' Rural Railway Closure: Destabilising a social exchange relationship between country and city in New South Wales.

Once a national icon, country Australia now finds much of its community service support infrastructure being closed down and what were traditional government services being withdrawn, such as railways. Country people have resisted these changes. Country community protest over possible railway closure was notably strong in the New England region of NSW during 2003, providing a case for the study of such resistance.
Principal Supervisor, Adjunct Associate Professor Ian Gray

Kuenga Namgay
Transhumant Agro Pastoralists of Bhutan: Do they have a place in the 21st century?

Principal Supervisor Dr Joanne Millar

Karolina Petrovic
Herbivory of common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus Vulpecula, Marsupialia: Phalangeridae) at different scales of resource heterogeneity.

Resource heterogeneity has been a broadly discussed concept in ecology used to explain adaptive responses of herbivores to the distribution, abundance, and nutritional quality of forage, as well as the patchy distribution of other key resources (i.e., shelter) and interactions with competitors and predators. However, few studies have considered that generalist herbivores exhibit resource selectivity at different scales of environmental heterogeneity. Australian arboreal marsupials represent a unique opportunity for exploring herbivore nutrition as they represent a continuum from specialist to generalist herbivores, live in habitats dominated by a single tree genus (Eucalyptus) of varying nutritional quality, and rely on trees as a shelter and platform for facilitating interactions with conspecifics, competitors, and predators. Principal Supervisor Professor David Watson

Jane Roots
The future of farming in rural amenity landscapes: The role of planning and governance in a changing landscape.

This research investigated the role of farming and land use planning in creating and maintaining rural amenity landscapes. While there has been considerable academic interest in the phenomenon of amenity migration, and the creation and destruction of amenity landscapes, far less attention has been paid to understanding the societal influences that affect the decisions of the existing farming community. To a large extent, the public amenity value of these landscapes is directly dependent upon the land management decisions of numerous individual farmers. Yet current governance processes and planning paradigms are challenged by the myriad of landscape scale issues facing agriculture, as well as the growing diversity and complexity of rural communities.
Principal Supervisor Dr Joanne Millar

Manu Saunders
Wild pollinator communities of native woodlands and commercial almond plantations in a semi-arid Australian landscape: Implications for conservation of insects and ecosystem services.

Understanding how monocultures of introduced crop species interact with native ecosystems and wildlife in the surrounding landscape is vital for the ecological management of agroecosystems, and can have far-reaching benefits for biodiversity conservation and crop yields. Insects make essential contributions to ecosystem functions in all types of ecosystems and many functions are synergistically linked, like pollination and biological pest control. Thus, the conservation of invertebrate communities in agricultural landscapes is paramount. 
Principal Supervisor Professor Gary Luck

Katrina Sinclair
Transformative change in contemporary Australian agriculture.

Agriculture in developed countries is facing significant challenges including providing sufficient food to feed an increasing global population, the uncertainty surrounding the impact of climatechange and the reduced access to, and degradation of, the resource base supporting agriculture.In meeting these pressing challenges it may be necessary, in some cases, to implement a deliberate transformative change for sustainability. However, the pathway required to enable agricultural industries and their producers in developed countries to successfully undertake a deliberate transformative change is not understood. 
Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Lisa Smallbone
Understanding bird responses in regenerating agricultural landscapes.

Farmland abandonment plays a significant role in shifting vegetation patterns in agricultural landscapes and often leads to large increases in vegetation cover. This creates an opportunity for large scale habitat restoration particularly in regions of forest and woodland that have been cleared for agriculture. This process is gaining more attention in post-agricultural landscapes of south-eastern Australia. Whilst there has been extensive research into the effects of agricultural intensification on birds in Australia, there have been few investigations into the benefits of extensive regrowth, particularly in agricultural areas shifting away from traditional farming.    
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Fleur Stelling
Perceptions and management of shrubby regrowth in South-Eastern Australia.

Agricultural, industrial, and urban landscapes are transforming throughout the world, with uncertain consequences. A common thread linking these disparate contexts is the spontaneous growth of vegetation that often results from the reduction or cessation of former human activity.The focus of this research was to better understand the socioecological phenomenon of spontaneous regrowth of shrubby native vegetation associated with land-use change away from agriculture. While abundant and extensive shrubby regrowth (dominated by the native species Cassinia arcuata) is likely to have significant social and environmental implications, there is uncertainty about how to understand and respond to it. Uncertainty arises because it is a relatively recent phenomenon, exacerbated by paucity of knowledge about the regrowth's perceived social risks (including threats to human wellbeing) and opportunities (including potential broadscale land restoration and biodiversity conservation).
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Catherine Allan

Kristiana Tri Wahyudiyati
Forest Community Development :Enhancing corporate social responsibility in Indonesia's forestry sector. 

There are enduring problems regarding the relationship between corporations and the communities living close to their operations. The main causes of these problems include economic factors (Barron, Kaiser, & Pradhan, 2009) and a lack of opportunities for local people to work inthe companies and to be involved in the companies' projects on community development(Batruch, 2011). Problems have also arisen because of a demand by communities for a share of the benefits generated by the companies' operations. The introduction of the concept of corporatesocial responsibility (CSR) has been recognised as a means by which the benefit collected by companies can be shared with local communities (Breen, 2007).Principal Supervisor Dr Digby Race

MASTERS

Mellesa Schroder (Masters),
Processing explaining exotic plant occurrence in Australian mountain systems.

Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Michelle Smith (Masters),
Balancing conservation and development in protected areas: A case study from Laos.

Principal Supervisor Dr Joanne Millar

Ian Cole
Controlling exotic annuals in degraded Box Gum woodland understoreys in south east Australia

Grassy woodlands are an endangered ecosystem in Australia. Introduced weeds are a problem in many woodland remnants. This project involved large field experiments to compare different methods to control annual weeds in endangered woodlands. The best methods were adding carbon to the soil, and burning or grazing in spring. These methods also promoted healthy stands of native grasses, which is important. The results will help farmers and landholders to control weeds and to restore endangered woodlands.
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Oyunbadam Davaakhuu
Development Strategies and Structural Change in Mongolian Economy: An Analysis of Trends, Patterns and Determinants of Trade and Investment

The debate over the role of development strategies (inward vs. outward-oriented) in developing countries has produced many studies. The empirical evidence from these studies generally suggests that outward-orientation contributes to better trade and growth performance by improving access to superior technology, greater competition and learning by doing. There is overwhelming evidence to suggest that inward-oriented strategies, on the other hand, lead to lower productivity growth due to the lack of external competition. While there might be some truth in these arguments, this evidence has little relevance to many transition economies such as Mongolia, because of their land-locked position, weak institutions and poor infrastructure, which might prevent them from exploiting opportunities created by outward-orientation. The experience of many developing countries does not seem to provide sufficient insights to transition economies and there is no clear evidence to suggest that the neoclassical trade theory can hold true for small developing countries like Mongolia.
Principal Supervisor Professor Kishor Sharma

Gregory Dresser  Doctor of Business Administration
Publicly-Funded Small Business Advisory and Training Services: Their Contribution in a Multifaceted Support Environment

Small businesses foster innovation, productivity and competition. They also foster a sense of responsibility, community and citizenship. This research investigated the ways in which publicly-funded business advisory and training services can be designed to best service the needs of business owners and managers. The research suggests that the most valued aspect of these services is the emotional and psychological support provided through the trust relationship delelvoped by one-on-one guidance and counselling services. These services assist end users gain the ability and confidence to venture into business and the specific information required to grow their particular businesses with greater speed. The thesis suggests a shift in thinking concerning the importance of non-financial assistance outlined in previous theoretical models. Since the initial results of this research were made available, some significant changes have been made to the delivery of small business services in New South Wales, with an increased emphasis on face-to-face service provision, a greater emphasis on mentoring and a reduced reliance on web-based service delivery.
Principal Supervisor Dr Geoff Bamberry

Steven Halliday Doctor of Business Administration
The Structure of Risk Management in Leading Australian Companies

The research examined the organisational structures that are used to facilitate risk management in leading Australian companies, including an analysis of the tensions and strengths of integrating risk management with internal audit. The thesis has resulted in nine published articles covering issues around enterprise risk management and the structure of risk management in Australian companies.
Principal Supervisor Dr Rod Duncan

Timothy Hutchings
Financial Risk on Dryland Farms in South-Eastern Australia

The thesis described the design, development and testing of the sequential multi-variate analysis system (or SMA system), which quantifies the financial risks faced by individual farm businesses. It assesses the effects of strategic variations to management, and quantifies the impact of policy decisions on farm financial performance under various risk conditions. The analyses completed clearly show that farm viability depends more on minimising losses than maximising production, and it is these accumulated losses which threaten farm business survival and growth.
Principal Supervisor Professor Kevin Parton

Gina Lennox
Absentee Ownership of Rural Land: Types, Trends and Implications

At a time when numbers of farmers are declining and absentee landownership is increasing, this Doctoral thesis uses mixed quantitative and qualitative methods and the concepts of power, capitalism and sustainability, to construct a theoretically informed relational typology to classify international types of landowners and establish trends in landownership and underlying factors contributing to these trends since European occupation of the Lachlan River catchment in New South Wales, Australia. Findings challenge ahistorical and stereotypical views about absentee landownership. In the Lachlan catchment, the extent of absentee landownership in 2009 was as high as its extent in 1849.
Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Christopher Maylea (Doctor of Social Work  )
Understanding service delivery to new and expectant fathers by health and welfare professionals

This dissertation aims to discover the kind of services health and welfare professionals deliver to new and expectant fathers; why new and expectant fathers receive minimum services or are excluded from some services; and to suggest strategies to improve service delivery to them. A grounded theory approach was used to conduct and analyse 35 interviews with new and expectant fathers, their partners, health and welfare professionals and managers in the Richmond-Tweed area of northern NSW, Australia. The analysis suggests that current research and practice is dominated by medical and feminist ontology, both of which exclude fathers from service and engaging in pregnancy, birth and early parenting experiences. Further, it identifies several barriers emanating from cultural constructs and perceptions, work and family contexts, relationships and transitions, both in accessing fathers and in providing support to them. It argues that the best way for health and welfare professionals to improve service delivery to new and expectant fathers is to focus on the whole new and expectant family and accordingly, it suggests some possible strategies. The study has implications for both policy and practice to improve services to new and expectant families.
Principal Supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Kelly Marsh
An Exploration of Indigenous Values and Historic Preservation in Western Micronesia: A Study in Cultural Persistence

Drawing on interviews with key officials, documentary analysis, and participant observation this study demonstrated that Indigenous cultural values maintain a strong presence in the management processes and the public outputs of the Micronesian historic preservation offices (HPOs). The study also showed that the HPOs face numerous challenges from internal and external forces which need to be carefully navigated to ensure that appropriate consideration of Indigenous Islander values within their heritage operations is continued.
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann

Wayne Robinson
Invasion dynamics of exotic ants: interactions with native ants on Fraser Island, in south-east Queensland

This thesis investigates the mechanisms of invasion by the introduced ant Pheidole megacephala and interactions with native ant biodiversity in the World Heritage listed Fraser Island, an area with high biological diversity values. The research showed that Fraser Island is rich in ant fauna with 172 species from 57 genera collected, and predicted species richness approaching 300 species. The lack of behaviourally dominant taxa and high relative abundance of opportunistic species makes the Fraser Island ant fauna potentially susceptible to invasion by exotic taxa.
Principal Supervisor Professor Nick Klomp

Catherine Car
Millipede communities in south-eastern Australia : systematics, biogeography and short-range endemism"

This thesis aimed to address, in part, the lack of information on millipedes in Australia, by investigating the diversity and biogeography of one particular family, the Paradoxosomatidae (the so-called keeled or flat backed millipedes) in the state of New South Wales ... The results proved almost overwhelming. A combination of my own field surveys and examination of all known paradoxosomatid specimens from New South Wales revealed approximately 150 new species, half of which could not been assigned to established genera. The study also showed that, despite being prone to desiccation, many species were found to thrive in semi-arid areas of the state as well as in the wetter areas.

Penny Cooke
The Social Construction of Informal Adult Learning in Community-Based Environmental Groups

This thesis is about Landcare participants and how they learn while carrying out natural resource management activities. Three research questions guided the study: How can Education for Sustainability be understood and theorised in practices of Landcare groups? How can an understanding of Education for Sustainability and sustaining practice contribute to a theory of social practice? What are the implications of these understandings of Education for Sustainability for the development and critique of natural resource management policy? Informal adult learning in community-based natural resource management groups is integral to continuing natural resource management activities at the landscape level. The volunteer Landcare movement in Australia provides an example of a community-based natural resource management group.

Susan Culverston (Doctor of Business Administration)
Collaborations in the Not-for-Profit Sector 

Research into the field of collaboration has been ongoing for many years. However, there appears to be little focus on collaborations in the not-for-profit sector. In this sector there is increasing competition for donors, government funding and provision of services. This current climate sees the necessity to collaborate with other organisations, either in the not-for-profit or for-profit markets, driven by a desire to secure resources that are scarce in the sector and to promote the effective use of society's resources. Whilst there has been greater demand for collaborations, the evidence is that many collaboration attempts are plagued by unsatisfactory cooperation and poor performance. These failures appear to result from a lack of understanding of the complexity of collaborations in the not-for-profit sector, where mission and purpose are the 'reason d'être' for the not-for-profit organisation's existence. Additionally, the lack of understanding by managers of the complexity of collaborations and the need to share and preserve the mission and values of the notfor- profit organisation, can lead to internal and external contradictions that make collaborations dysfunctional.
Principal Supervisor Dr Glen Duncan

Binod Prasad Devkota
Socio-economic outcomes of community forestry for rural communities in Nepal.


Community-based forest management has been introduced in many developing countries, including Nepal, in response to the failure of previous government-centred forest policies. The Government of Nepal has developed its logic of community forestry over the past 30 years from a focus on subsistence forestry, to improving the livelihoods and welfare of rural communities. During the past three decades, 1.2 million hectares of Nepal's forests have been transferred to community management with the objectives of supplying forest products, reducing poverty and addressing local environmental problems. Although the transfer of forest management responsibility from government to local communities continues to gain momentum, there has been little detailed research concerning the extent to which the desired long-term socio-economic outcomes have flowed to targeted rural communities. This research explored the major socio-economic dimensions of community forestry on the livelihoods of rural communities in Nepal, with particular emphasis on identifying:* the socio-economic characteristics of, and forest management by, rural communities; * the main socio-economic outcomes of community forestry for rural communities; and * the major factors influencing the socio-economic outcomes of community forestry.
Principal Supervisor Dr Digby Race

Gill Earl
Applying a Statutory Duty of Care to Improve Biodiversity Outcomes at a Regional Scale


The decline in biodiversity is a worldwide phenomenon and current rates of extinction are more dramatic than those recorded previously. In Australia, despite substantial government investment in biodiversity conservation, there is a conspicuous mismatch between policy dependability and the scale of the problem. Catchment management organisations charged with delivering effective biodiversity conservation in regional landscapes, face a challenging task in deciding how to allocate limited resources fairly. This thesis explores the potential for a statutory duty of care for biodiversity to complement the existing suite of policy instruments employed to conserve biodiversity.
Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Sonia Graham
Social relations and natural resource management: the significance of trust and power to solving a collective weed management problem

Many of the world's most challenging environmental problems, such as biosecurity, climate change and water scarcity, are trans-boundary in nature and require cooperation of diverse actors. The degradation of rural land is one such problem. This thesis aims to explain the reasons why rural landholders and government agencies do or do not participate in environmental, collective action problems. It does this by asking two questions: Can study of a wide range of social relations explain the achievement of collective action in a real-world setting? And, are trust, power and their nexus useful concepts for explaining the nature of those social relations? The empirical example used in this thesis is serrated tussock (Nassella trichotoma), a highly invasive, noxius weed that covers more than two million hectares in south-eastern Australia. Semi-structured interviews, participant observation and newspaper analysis were used to explore the relations among the suite of actors responsible for controlling this weed in two case studies - Cooma, NSW and Bacchus Marsh, Victoria. Landholders and agency staff believed social relations were at the heart of the collective weed management problem, and also the key to the solution ..."

Janelle Levesque 
Benefit Finding in Parental Cancer: Types and Predictors of Benefits and their Influence on Depression and Well-being

Cancer is a disease that affects the entire family, therefore consideration must be given to the psychological needs of each member. Several studies have explored the impact of parental cancer, most commonly with a focus on psychopathology and/​or young children. The possibility of positive psychological growth in the adult offspring of cancer patients has been largely overlooked, a void that is filled by this thesis. The concept of benefit finding fits within the theoretical field of posttraumatic growth. Such theories argue that traumatic events challenge the individual's core psychological schemas, and prompt the individual to engage in cognitive processes to create positive changes. This thesis explores the suggestion that, for many people, parental cancer meets the criterion of a traumatic stressor, and therefore benefit finding can occur.
Principal Supervisor Dr Darryl Mayberry

Anna Lukasiewicz
Lost in translation: where is the social justice in Australian water reform?

This thesis explores how principles of social justice are incorporated into Australian water reform by investigating government intentions, implementation (at Commonwealth, state and local levels) and perceptions of government and stakeholders. Australia is currently undergoing fundamental and far-reaching reforms in water management, which became a source of frustration and anger in rural communities during the millennium drought.A semi-quantitative content analysis of eight key water reform documents was used to establish government intentions regarding social justice in water reform. A Social Justice Framework (SJF) was developed as a foundation for the content analysis and interviews. To narrow the focus of the thesis, social justice was evaluated in terms of three stakeholder groups: the environment, landholders and Aboriginal people, in two specific sites: the Lowbidgee Floodplain in NSW and the Chowilla Floodplain in SA.
Principal Supervisor Dr Penny Davidson

Wendy Minato
Exploring the influence of SOCIAL NORMS on the management of native vegetation on private land

This research examines the influence of social norms on the management of native vegetation in a small rural community in North-east Victoria, Australia. The findings are based on a qualitative study using in-depth interviews with landholders and government agency personnel as the primary source of data. The thesis describes some of the social norms operating within the case study community and looks at the role of government investment in maintaining and establishing social norms as well as social interactions between the farming community and newer lifestyle residents. The implications for future NRM investment are discussed, given the potential to develop interventions that capitalise on the power of social norms.
Principal Supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Saeed Sabri-Matanagh
Impact of a Learning Culture on Organisational Change

Organisational learning and organisational change are separate topics in the literature,and there appears to be a lack of practice considering these issues as interlinked factorsin one context. There exists a gap in literature and practice concerning the importance oflearning in facilitating sustainable change, and consequently, the sustainability of anorganisation. This study focuses on the impact of a learning culture on organisationalchange. The findings of the study aim to bridge the gap in practice within the field oforganisational learning, and explore the influence of a learning culture in supporting theimplementation of sustainable change initiatives.This study has the potential to obtain new insights and valuable information on the roleof organisational learning in organisational change. The primary objective of this studyis the empirical testing of the proposed organisational learning culture framework.

Harry Sakulas
Konsevason na Divelomen insait: An Evalution of Integrated Conservation and Development Projects in PNG

Since the signing of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil during the Earth Summit in June 1992, community participation in the conservation of natural resources, especially in biological diversity, has become the subject of much global discussion. The issue of how participation should be approached depends very much on the different cultural and social contexts from which it is viewed. Similarly there has been much global debate on various models of conservation and how best conservation should be approached. The Integrated Conservation and Development Model is a new paradigm that supersedes the old paradigm of strict nature conservation. It calls for social and economic incentives for the resource owners, who mainly inhabit the global forest systems of poor and marginalised communities in developing countries. The traditional owners are often willing to make available their forests, as well as human resources in terms of labour and locally acquired traditional knowledge, in order to implement appropriate and applicable practices for the better management or protection of biological diversity in that given area. While there is a genuine undertaking and desire by the Governments and peoples of the developing countries for conservation of biological diversity, there is however, differing and opposing perspectives between the leaders of developed and the developing countries on what, who, why and how such biodiversity should be managed for the benefit of humankind. Western countries that possess the financial resources and well established institutions of higher learning and research capabilities are often at the helm of a decision making process that often leads to the importation of culturally inappropriate concepts of conservation and natural resource management practices for developing nations.
Principal Supervisor Dr Jim Birckhead

Maggie Watson
Effects of parasites on the Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii

The effects of parasites on their hosts have been explored in detail in many systems resulting in two key schools of thought: (a) that parasites, by definition, take subsistence from their hosts and therefore cause harm or incur costs; and (b) that parasites are highly-evolved with their hosts and therefore can do little harm or risk killing the host and themselves. These two hypotheses are considered by many to be mutually exclusive, but the true effects of parasites may actually be a spectrum between these two extremes. Based on this idea, an exploration of the sub-lethal effects of parasites to their hosts was undertaken incorporating a meta-analysis of experimental studies in the literature and a focused medicated experiment on the Crested Tern Thalasseus bergii. In addition, the development of the immune system of very young Crested Tern chicks was documented; the parasites of the Crested Tern were identified; and a key for the lice of the Australian Laridae produced.
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Shane Raidal

Lukas Wibowo
Optimising the policy and institutional settings for community-based forest management in Indonesia

CBFM is a people-centred development approach, which involves local people in decisions that influence their well-being (Duinker et al., 1991). As such, public policy relating to CBFM is potentially an important instrument for community transformation, building a physical and institutional landscape for a better future. However, Policy-making is not simply a process of governance but is also a highly dynamic socio-political process. As a consequence, developing effective forest policy can be viewed as a 'battlefield' of ideas, knowledge and interests of differing actors. This study explored the extent to which CBFM policy development and implementation in Indonesia reflects the core policy objectives in the form of: 1) poverty alleviation; 2) empowering forest dwellers; and 3) reduction of deforestation (forest restoration, including support industry's timber supply).Two case studies of each of three CBFM (e.g. community participation in forest plantation, company-community partnership, and customary forestry) were chosen to explore the complexity of issues arising from the varied implementation of CBFM across Indonesia.
Principal Supervisor Dr Digby Race

Sylvia Zukowski
What information is required for sustainable recreational freshwater fishery regulations in Australia ?

The decline in abundance and distribution of many native freshwater species throughout the Murray-Darling Basin has occurred in parallel with degradation of riverine habitats as a result of river regulation, land clearing for agriculture, cattle grazing, and the introduction of exotic freshwater species. Over-fishing has also contributed to the decline of native freshwater species. Murray crayfish (Euastacus armatus), an iconic native species once found throughout the Murray-Darling Basin has been affected by these threats to the extent there has been a reduction in both the abundance and distribution of this species. Recreational fishing regulations are in place to conserve Murray crayfish; however anecdotal reports by fishers suggest that the sustainability of this species remains threatened and that current regulations may be inadequate. Furthermore, there are large gaps in knowledge of the distribution, ecology, biology and habitat requirements of this species as well as the effects of fishing pressure and current fishing regulations on biological dynamics (distribution, abundance, genetic diversity, size-frequency ratios and sex ratios). There is also a lack of documentation of fisher local ecological knowledge (LEK) of Murray crayfish. These knowledge gaps attribute to uncertainty about the accuracy of current fishing regulations and management protocols for this species.
Principal Supervisor Associate Professor Robyn Watts

Jodie Kleinschafer
Energy efficiency and household decision-making: Managing residential electricity demand

Increasing electricity demand and environmental concerns have meant that electricity retailers, governments and environmentally motivated NGOs are seeking to increase the efficiency of residential electricity consumption. However, to date attempts to manage household electricity demand or increase efficiency have had only sporadic success. In seeking to address these challenges there has been limited investigation into how households make energy efficiency choices. In this thesis it is argued that an understanding of how households make the choice to alter their electricity consumption will inform the development of more effective demand management strategies. Hence the research problem that forms the basis of this investigation is: how are household decisions made to reduce electricity consumption/increase efficiency? Research from both the household efficiency literature and the household decision-making literature (part of the consumer behaviour literature) has been used to inform this investigation.
Principal supervisor Professor Mark Morrison

Felicity Small
Imagination, Social Interactions and the Consumer Decision Process

The focus of this thesis is the relationship between mental imagery, social interactions and consumer purchasing intentions. Mental imagery is when the consumers can see in their mind a picture of the things they know, remember and want. Mental imagery is a useful and natural problems solving technique. The consumer can create mental images of anything from products to social relationships. The principal conclusion of this research is that consumers are using their imagery and social interactions to develop Purchase Intentions. The research was from a realism perspective, and the data were collected using an online questionnaire. The purpose of this research was to test the hypotheses created in the theoretical model, thus a quantitative approach was adopted. The sample for the main study was collected from an online research panel. The questionnaire consisted of established measures for each construct. Each scale was accessed for its appropriateness based on reliability (Cronbach Alphas) and content and construct validity. A pilot test was conducted and analysed to ensure the appropriateness of the measures and the analysis technique.
Principal supervisor Professor Mark Morrison

Kylie Eklom
Vegetation structure & food resources in drought affected semi-natural grasslands: Implications for the nationally vulnerable Plains-wanderer Pedionomus torquatus

This thesis investigates the availability of invertebrate and seed food resources in grasslands used by the Plains-wanderer Pedionmus torquatus, a nationally vulnerable grassland bird endemic to Australia. While there is good knowledge about the relationship between vegetation structure and habitat suitability for Plains-wanderers, less is known about how food resources vary across grasslands of different structural suitability and how stock grazing impacts on food abundance. Also, the diet of the Plains-wanderer is relatively well known (comprising fallen seeds and invertebrates), but there is no information about the nutritional importance of seeds and invertebrates as sources of assimilated nutrients.The overall aim of this thesis is to investigate the relationship between vegetation structure, grazing and food resources and the nutritional importance of these food resources for Plains-wanderers in semi-natural grasslands. Plains-wanderers occurred in very low numbers throughout this study which prevented any direct work being carried out on the interaction between Plains-wanderers and food resources.
Principal supervisor Professor Gary Luck

Nicole Bruce
A bird's eyeview: development of a remote sensing approach to monitoring semi-arid grasslands for biodiversity conservation.
Principal supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Andrew Carter
Improving Red Fox (Vulpes Vulpes) management for Bush Stone-Curlew (Burhinus Grallarius) conservation in South Eastern Australia.

In Australia, the Red Fox (fox; Vulpes vulpes) is a serious threat to livestock and a major predator of wildlife. Native ground-dwelling fauna are especially vulnerable to fox predation and one species of particular concern is the Bush Stone-curlew (curlew; Burhinus grallarius) which, in south-eastern Australia, is largely confined to privately-owned farmland. Fox control is a key management strategy in endeavours to halt curlew population declines, however it is unclear whether current efforts are employed at an appropriate scale or in areas for the most effective control. This thesis addresses these questions by examining fox predation pressure relative to landscape context and ground-layer habitat complexity, factors affecting den-site selection, home-range size and movements, and a community-based fox-baiting program specifically implemented to protect curlews. Bait-uptake experiments demonstrated that fox predation pressure was highest along roadsides and creek-lines; locations that provide important habitat for curlews in agricultural landscapes. This confirms the great risk that curlews face from foxes in farming areas and identifies landscape elements where fox control could be targeted for increased effectiveness.
Principal supervisor Professor Gary Luck

Janet Cohn
How are the dynamics of woodland dominants influenced by climate and disturbances in South Eastern Australia.

Woodlands in south eastern Australia are dominated by trees of contrasting functional types. Callitris glaucophylla is a slow growing, obligate-seeding conifer and Eucalyptus species are fast growing, resprouting angiosperms. The success of these functional types is likely to vary with climate and different levels and rates of disturbances along climatic gradients. I examined how climate and disturbances influenced the dynamics of these woodland dominants, by using surveys of varying scales. Regeneration failure of Callitris has led to ageing populations (mid - late 1800s) below 405 mm annual rainfall in the winter rainfall zone. Failure was associated with farms, which graze livestock and where rabbits are common. In contrast, Callitris populations are younger (since 1950s) and expanding on tenures other than farms (roadside, travelling stock routes, State Forests), where livestock grazing levels are low-moderate, and rabbits and fires are less frequent above 405 mm mean annual rainfall.
Principal supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Chris Harrington
Community as an organising concept in multi-scale natural resource governance: cohesive actor or chaotic subject - a study at The Living Murray.
The concept of community has become a fundamental organising idea for the improved governance of natural resources in contemporary society. Institutional arrangements such as state-community partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaborations often structure governance in third way democracies like Australia.In multi-scale and multi-level NRM cases, various socio-ecological scales, political jurisdictions, and stratum of society need to be represented and integrated. As a result, governments often assemble different actors to speak for others andshow a preference for governing community as a site of common association over a complex and diffuse society.Informed by governmentality and actor network theory, and drawing on an in-depth multi-scale case study, this thesis critically examines the concept of community as a useful signifier for different forms of societal organisation and good governance at The Living Murray (TLM) during the policy implementation phase.
Principal supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Alison Matthews
Climate change influences on the distribution and resource use of Common Wombats in the Snowy Mountains, Australia.

Shifts in the geographic range of species towards higher altitudes are anticipated for many species in south-eastern Australia in response to future climate warming. This is particularly the case in the Snowy Mountains, where a substantial reduction in the snow cover is expected to have a major impact on the distribution of species in this area. The aim of this thesis was to examine the population ecology of common wombats Vombatus ursinus in the subalpine zone in order to gain a greater understanding of the environmental factors which limit their present range, and to predict potential range shifts under future climate change.
Principal supervisor Dr Peter Spooner

Nicole McCasker
Of life and death in lowland rivers: Investigating mortality during the early life stages of Murray-Darling fishes.

The early life history is a crucial period for fish. Mortality rates are highest during this time, and because of the high fecundity of many fishes, slight variation in mortality rates can result in major fluctuations in recruitment strength. Knowledge of the magnitude and variation of mortality rates of fish species at different ages and developmental stages, and the biotic and abiotic conditions responsible for these, is the key to understanding the nature of recruitment variability in fish populations. The aim of this thesis was to investigate sources and severity of mortality in native Murray-Darling fishes during the larval period.
Principal supervisor Dr Paul Humphries

Emily Mendham
Changes in rural property ownership: Challenges and opportunities for Natural resource Management.

Rural areas throughout the developed world are undergoing significant restructuring owing to a number of socio-economic factors. One aspect of recent rural change has to do with demographic shifts and in-migration to rural areas formerly dominated by agricultural enterprises. The effect has been a challenge to the traditional dominance of production values in some rural areas. In other areas, farmers continue striving to maintain competitiveness by implementing changes to the size of their businesses, enterprise mix or business structure. Since land ownership is a major determinant of land use these ownership trends and changes to the types of people managing the land have important implications for natural resource management. There has been limited research into the effects of these changes on rural areas, with scholars focusing on the broad structure and composition of migration flows using census data. The various processes driving these changes and the resulting impacts from these phenomena on rural areas warrant investigation. It is important to explore these trends at the scales at which they are most evident. In this thesis I present and discuss results of research on trends in rural property ownership change in the Wimmera and Corangamite regions of Australia.
Principal supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Eloise Seymour
Community values for wetlands, forests and a river reach: A study of assigned values to inform regional Natural resource Management decision making.

Natural resource decision-makers in Australia, as in other parts of the world, face the problem of allocating limited public funding to deal with extensive environmental problems. Increased attention is being given to the targeting of resources to 'high-value' natural assets, known as the asset-based approach. Deciding which assets have sufficient 'high value' requires the use of biophysical, economic and social approaches. This PhD research has taken a social science perspective in examining community values for three different natural assets in the North Central region of Victoria, Australia: the Moolort wetlands, box-ironbark forests and the upper Loddon River. Much of the research focus on environmental 'values' over the past few decades has been on understanding general environmental concern, or specific conservation behaviours. An understanding of community assigned values (values expressed for specific natural places) is an underdeveloped area and is likely to be more useful for Natural Resource Management (NRM) decisionmakingthan information based on held values (values towards the environment in general). There have been very few studies exploring the factors influencing assigned values and the usefulness of assigned values for predicting environmental behaviour.
Principal supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Emily Sharp
Exploring community-agency trust before, during and after a wildfire.

Wildfire management is a complex and often contentious issue in fire-prone communities in Victoria, Australia. The challenge of managing increasingly frequent and severe fires has prompted fire management agencies to recognise the importance of community-agency trust in working with communities to prepare for, respond to and recover from wildfire. Previous research has identified components of trust important to wildfire management in general or for a specific management stage (e.g. fire preparation). However, our understanding of how factors affecting community-agency trust may be similar or different at each stage of fire management is limited. This research attempted to address this gap by using semi-structured interviews and a mail survey to identify and explore factors affecting community-agency trusting relationships in each management stage (i.e. before, during and after) and among the stages of a wildfire event.
Principal supervisor Dr Rik Thwaites

Alison Skinner
An investigation into the effects of understorey modification on woodland eucalypt recruitment.

Widespread tree clearing, grazing, cultivation and fertiliser use have had lasting effects on the understorey of grassy woodlands of south eastern Australia, creating novel systems where resource availability has been altered and ecosystem processes such as tree recruitment may now be impaired. While there is increasing emphasis within management agencies on using natural regeneration to achieve catchment revegetation targets in agricultural landscapes, the effects of understorey modification on woodland eucalypt recruitment are not well known. I compared the potential for tree recruitment in a range of variously modified grassland states based on a state and transition model of woodland vegetation change in agricultural landscapes. Specifically I investigated the effects on seedling germination, growth and survival of changes in species composition of the grass layer, biomass buildup following grazing exclusion, soil nutrient enrichment, and soil compaction in a series of field and laboratory experiments.
Principal supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Karen Bell
The experiences and support needs of non-metropolitan women who have used assisted reproduction clinics.

This thesis explores the experiences and support needs of non-metropolitan Australian women in relation to assisted reproduction. It is argued that women's experiential knowledge has not been adequately validated and that a more inclusive knowledge base is required to improve the quality of care in this context ... it is argued that the dominant paradigm in assisted reproduction remains quite traditional, conservative, biomedical and individualistic in its ontological orientation. Sustained feminist critique has established that women's experiential knowledge of reproductive technology remains largely outside of the dominant paradigm and women in particular are not afforded adequate epistemic agency ... This qualitative project focuses on the experiences and support needs of women living in non-metropolitan areas. In addition to general locational disadvantages these women often experience additional, specific service delivery issues and their voices have been particularly quiet in the discourse of assisted reproduction.
Principal supervisor Professor Margaret Alston (Monash)

Jennifer McKinnon
Towards a new consciousness of 'environment' for the social work profession: Perceptions of a sample of environmentally-conscious social workers in AustraliaThis thesis explores the relevance of the natural environment to social work. Although social work has a body of theory for practice known as ecological social work, 'ecological' has in effect referred to the socio-cultural environment and has largely ignored the natural world context in which social work practice takes place. A review of the social work literature indicates very little evidence of engagement with the topics of sustainability or environmental issues for social workers, and there is scant attention paid to these issues in accredited social work courses in Australia. Thus the research problem which this thesis addresses is: 'In what ways, if any, are nature and the broad environmental context of humanity relevant to the profession of social work?' Through addressing this question, the thesis sheds light on the reasons why the social work profession and social workers in the Western world have by and large ignored natural environment issues and imperatives in social work education and practice.
Principal supervisor Professor Manohar Pawar

Charles Tant
Social isolation in older Australians and the Home and Community Care program.

Social isolation is a widely discussed social ill and older people are at particular risk of suffering its consequences. HACC is the major funding mechanism for service provision for older Australians living in the community, including services to counter social isolation, but there is a lack of evidence that it does so. There are numerous definitions of social isolation and power. This thesis develops new multidimensional definitions based on a pluralistic theoretical framework incorporating elements of Putnam's and Bourdieu's notions of social capital and critical social work theories. Four discourses of relevance to socially isolated older people are considered: neo-liberalism, ageism, social democracy and positive ageing. The research was a mixed-method qualitative and quantitative process involving two studies.
Principal supervisor Dr Wendy Bowles

Dianne McGrath
Social accounting: A reporting model incorporating stakeholder dialogue in the credit union sector.

Social disclosures are one aspect of an organisation's sustainable performance, where sustainability reflects the ability of an organisation to be able to maintain the status quo. As such, sustainability requires an organisation or community to be: "financially secure (as evidenced through such measures as profitability); it must minimise (or ideally eliminate) its negative environmental impacts; and it must act in conformity with society's expectations" (Deegan 1999, p.38). Measures of financial security are generally accepted as being represented by the annual financial statements of the organisation, however, the environmental and social impacts are still to find a meaningful and consistent reporting medium. While many national and international firms have shown early signs of social reporting there is no recognised conceptual framework for reporting. The research reported in this thesis seeks to establish a framework for social reporting in the credit union sector based on a study of regional financial institutions. In proposing a reporting model for the credit union sector this thesis presents research which documents the social accounting information needs of members and management within this industry group.
Principal supervisor Prof Reg (Martin) Mathews

Lionel Bopage (Doctor of Business Administration)
Trade liberalisation and structural change in the Australian motor vehicle industry.

The Australian automotive industry has moved from a high protection environment to an increasingly open and competitive environment. This process of liberalisation has posed many challenges and opportunities to the industry. The industry outcomes have been heavily influenced by the protective policy calculus implemented by successive governments. Between 1983 and 1996, the industry went through major structural changes, fuelled by substantial tariff reductions, with an aim of improving industry competitiveness and making its orientation more outward.The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of trade liberalisation on the competitiveness and trade performance of the Australian automotive industry.
Principal supervisor Professor Kishor Sharma

Keller Kopf
Age, growth, and reproductive dynamics of striped marlin, Kajikia audax in the southwest Pacific Ocean

"Striped marlin, Kajikia audax (Philippi 1887) are the most commercially valuable species of billfish in the family Istiophoridae and are an important recreational and ecological resource in the Indo-Pacific Oceans. This thesis describes the first validated age and growth model for the species and offers new insight into the spatial dynamics of population age structure and reproductive dynamics in the southwest Pacific Ocean (SWPO; 0°-45°S latitude, 145°E-130°W longitude). First dorsal and anal fin spines, paired sagittal otoliths, and gonads were collected from a sample of 489 striped marlin. Fish were caught between January 2006 and December 2008, in commercial longline and recreational fisheries in Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, New Caledonia, and French Polynesia. Data suggested that the species utilises a wide-array of pelagic habitats over the life-time of an individual, but that specific age classes and reproductive stages are dependent on unique, and spatio-temporally confined environments. Knowledge gained by this research is intended to improve the accuracy of stock assessment for striped marlin and therefore benefit conservation and management of sustainable fisheries. The biological information quantified in this thesis is cautiously encouraging for population assessment and generally falls within the more productive range of values projected for the species. However, the sustainability of current fishing practices for this species remains uncertain and some biological parameters such as longevity and juvenile growth rate should be evaluated using direct methods of age validation."
Principal supervisor Professor Peter Davie

Anna Burns
Diversity and dynamics of the arthropod assemblages inhabiting mistletoe in eucalypt woodlands

"Patterns of biological diversity, including gradients of species richness and changes in community composition over different spatial and temporal scales (i.e. beta-diversity), have been elucidated for a variety of organisms. However, patterns and determinants of the beta-diversity of arthropods, i.e. insects, arachnids and other related animals (the most diverse organisms on Earth), have only recently been examined. The arthropod fauna inhabiting mistletoe plants and their host trees are a useful association with which to investigate patterns and determinants of beta-diversity.
Principal supervisor Associate Professor David Watson

David Dowell
Elements of trust in a business-to-business relationship.

"Trust is one of several variables such as commitment, cmmunication and liking that has been demonstrated to influence the success of business-to-business relationships. Trust is a multifaceted concept and has been shown in the marketing and psychology literatures to have both rational and emotional components. ... this research will investigate the cognitive elements of trust, competency, contractual and goodwill trust in conjunction with the emotional elements of trust faith and feeling.The primary aim of this research is to investigate the elements of cognitive and emotional trust and their influence on relationship performance. ... in this study it was found that the influence of the various elements of trust on relationship performance is mediated through other variables. Specifically, the effect of the emotional elements of trust - faith and feeling - on relationship performance is mediated by liking, while cognitive elements of trust are mediated by commitment. The use of these mediating variables was found to substantially improve the explanatory power of the models."
Principal supervisor Professor Mark Morrison

Jonathon Howard
Stakeholder committees and the broader struggle by advocacy groups to influence the NSW Water Reform process.

"This thesis explores how the participants who represent advocacy groups within stakeholder committees seek to influence decisions and are part of a broader struggle by these advocacy groups to influence environmental policy. It takes a structured multi-theoretical approach using the water reform process in NSW as a case study. The aim of the NSW water reform process was to pare back water extraction to a more sustainable level, ensure key environmental features were protected, and give water users adequate security. In the end, farmers gained a windfall gain of perpetual water rights, the process cost tax-payers over $100 million, and altered water allocations by a mere 0.5%, the Department fielded over 400 questions without notice from the government, after facilitating the process the Department was abolished, and several of the water-sharing plans are still to be activated."
Principal supervisor Associate Professor Ian Gray

Prue Laidlaw
A passing occupation: An exploration of the history and heritage of itinerant workers in rural New South Wales, 1850-1914.

The history of itinerant workers in Australia has been a long, interesting and varied one.  Itinerant workers in late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Australia were a mobile workforce who travelled in relation to work.  They occupied important economic and social niches, and fulfilled a vital role in the daily lives of many rural communities.  Yet, itinerant workers are virtually absent from Australian histories.  
In her PhD thesis An Exploration of the History and heritage of Itinerant Workers in Rural New South Wales, 1850-1914, Prue Laidlaw critically examined the contribution a wide range of itinerant professions made to the development of rural New South Wales. She shone a spot light on professions as diverse as scrub-cutters and timber-getters, travelling hawkers and salesmen, cameleers and bullock-drivers, travelling dentists and circus performers. What emerged was a picture that showed itinerant workers playing a far from peripheral role: rather, the labour provided by an itinerant workforce played a pivotal role in the economic development of the rural areas.
Prue Laidlaw's research has put in sharp relief the discrepancies between the historic significance of a sizable sector of society and its lack of recognition in modern public consciousness and heritage conservation.
Principal supervisor Associate Professor Dirk Spennemann

Michael Mitchell
Can the process of triple bottom line reporting lead to enhanced sustainability? A case study with Murrumbidgee Irrigation Pty Ltd.

Michael's PhD research investigated triple bottom line (TBL) reporting, where organisations use annual reporting to account for their impacts on the economy, society and environment. Focused around a regular and publicly available output, TBL reporting processes have the potential to enable an iterative and experiential cycle of interactive learning with organisational stakeholders. With this in mind, Michael developed and published a set of criteria that organisations can use to evaluate their TBL reporting processes for improved sustainability outcomes. He also collaborated with Murrumbidgee Irrigation (MI) to assess the extent that improvements in its TBL reporting process could lead to enhanced sustainability outcomes. He used organisational learning theory to examine the depth of learning that evolved through MI's TBL reporting process, concluding that even though potential existed for a deeper questioning of organisational assumptions, the sustainability issues being faced by MI required action beyond the scope of one organisation.
Principal supervisor Professor Allan Curtis

Hugh Stewart
Socio-economic dimensions of planted forests in changing landscapes: Exploring the future of forestry in south east Australia. Ideas on where to grow plantation forests in south-east Australia are contentious and changing, as community preferences, business viability and government policies change. Hugh's research explored the nature and extent of this change. He found that commercial forestry needs to be more strongly integrated into social and physical landscapes to achieve its potential contribution to regional economies. He argued that that a partnership approach between landholders, forestry industries, policy-makers and local communities needs to be forged, so that a range of planted forests can be developed as a positive part of Australia's future landscapes.
Principal supervisor Dr Digby Race

Robyn Whipp
Historical vegetation in relation to forest management in the Pilliga State Forests of northern NSW, Australia.
"Timber harvesting and increasingly woody vegetation density have been responsible for structural changes in Australian remnant native vegetation, but the magnitude and geographic extent of changes are poorly understood. Knowledge of past management and its effects on vegetation change would help guide future management. This study therefore aimed to quantify vegetation change in the controversial Pilliga State Forests, to describe their forest management history in detail and to tease out the relative effects of forest harvesting practices and increased vegetation density in causing structural changes since 1940s."
Principal supervisor Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Scott Glyde
Decision support systems, tacit knowledge and styles of farming: The case study of AusVit. 

Sanjeev Phukan
Impact of information technology enhanced globalization on corporate codes of conduct : case studies of US multinationals in Malaysia.

"While globalization is not a new phenomenon, the current 'wave' of this process exhibits some important and unique characteristics. One such characteristic is that many Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) have expanded their operations to vastly diverse areas of the world, enhanced materially by the remarkably rapid development of Information Technology (IT) and its equally quick proliferation. Thus, US-based MNEs today operate in countries that are quite different cuturally and otherwise form the United States, Malaysia being just one such example. While IT has proved to be a powerful and effective tool in the globalization process, it has had other repercussions as well. The rapid evolution and proliferation of IT have been accompanied by the emergence of an increasing number of IT-related ethical issues and concerns that of necessity should be addressed by corporate and professional codes of conduct. The focus of this research is to examine how globalization, especially when enhanced or enabled by the corporate use of IT, has meaningfully influenced and changed corporate codes of conduct in US-based MNEs."
Principal supervisor Associate Professor PK Basu

Susan Hughes
Remnants from the Past: Exploring the Impacts
of Post Colonial Settlement on Landscape Patterns in the NSW Wheat Sheep Belt


"Substantial modification to native vegetation has occurred in NSW since European settlement, primarily by clearing for cropping and grazing. As a result it has become increasingly important to locate and secure remnants with high conservation value. Scholars emphasise the importance of land-use history in understanding vegetation change. Governments have historically prescribed land-use through the land tenure system (e.g. grazing on leasehold land, forestry on Crown Land, and nature conservation in parks and reserves). However, many of these land tenures and land-uses, as well as the laws governing change, have been studied as disparate entities. This thesis makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of historic laws, land tenure types and their links to vegetation patterns. A greater understanding of these relationships assists to predict the likely location of high quality remnants in agricultural landscapes."
Supervisor: Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Catherine Harding
Media discourses of female medical practitioners : Mother Teresa not Einstein

"Increased numbers of women in the medical workforce have been described as threatening what has been perceived in the past as a predominantly male profession, particularly in rural areas. Despite there being an increase in the numbers of women in medicine more generally, their lower numbers in rural Australia has been seen as a challenge for rural workforce planning. While existing research in the field has focused on structural barriers for females' workforce participation, this thesis addresses the impact of the discursive representation of medical women in rural areas on this issue. The thesis provides evidence of women in the rural medical workforce but indicates problems with their representation. Focusing on one geographical area of rural New South Wales, this thesis shows how, despite recent research on the difficulties associated with attracting women to the rural medical workforce, women have had a history in rural medicine in this region that spans three quarters of a century. Their invisibility suggests problematic historical representation."
Supervisor: Professor Margaret Alston

Gail Gardner
The employment of people with disabilities in the Australian Public Service in the 20th & 21st centuries : a Catch-22 situation

"This thesis examines the question of how successful policy and program initiative have been, which aim to improve rates of employment of people with disabilities in Australia, in the Australian Public Service. As part of the analysis, a case study of disability employment policies within the Australian Public Service Agency Centrelink is undertaken, with a focus on the impact of the disAbility Coalition during its first year of operation."
Supervisor: Dr Wendy Bowles

Patty PleaseAspects of Self in Dryland Salinity Science"This thesis explores aspects of self of those involved in the science, management and remediation of dryland salinity in Australia. It aims to contribute to the discourse on the issue from a psychodynamic self psychological perspective. This perspective puts personal, subjective experience, the expressions of self, the affective/emotional dimension and the relationships of those involved in the science, management and remediation of dryland salinity at the centre of the investigation. The conceptual framework and methodology for the research were drawn from a variety of psychological and philosophical thinkers, including William James, Heinz Kohut, Russell Meares, Silvan Tompkins, Jessica Benjamin and Martin Buber.
Supervisors: Associate Professor Ian Gray and Tony Dunn

Jenny Kent
Power and trust as factors in the funding of disability services

"The not-for-profit (NFP) sector in Australia is significant in terms of its size and impact on Australians. It is a major employer, is tax-exempt and is often funded by governments and private businesses. NFP entities exist in a variety of legal forms including incorporated associations and companies limited by guarantee. Financial reporting by NFPs in Australia has been the subject of a number of studies which have considered accounting standard setting arrangements and suggested that sector specific standards should be developed. The inconsistency in government reporting requirements imposed on NFP organisations to meet the accountability requriements of government funding has also been a concern. This study focuses on the NFP sub-sector in which community based organisations provide a range of services to people with disabilities and their families. Reliance on government funding can render disability service organisations financially vulnerable and threaten their viability; however power can be exercised by service providers in a number of ways in the funding realtionship. This study has found that factors which can contribute to such an exercise of power include: the age and size of the organisation; the adoption of a 'business' as opposed to a 'charity' model of operations; organisational expertise and leadership; a skills based rather than a representative management committee; and access to alternative funding sources."

Amy Harris
The implications of habitat alteration on nesting Little Penguin"Kikuyu Grass is a major conservation issue on many offshore islands.  This highly invasive grass invades native vegetation, transforming it into a dense monoculture that can no longer be used by many species of nesting seabirds.  Previously, land managers viewed this environmental degradation as an intractable problem.  Thanks to the research undertaken by Amy this is no longer the case.  Working alongside conservation practitioners, Amy developed techniques to effectively eradicate Kikuyu grass from islands of high conservation significance, while minimising the negative impacts on nesting seabirds, particularly Little Penguins.  This landmark research provided the scientific underpinning for one of the most impressive biodiversity conservation projects undertaken in New South Wales—the restoration of seabird breeding habitat on Montague Island."
Supervisor: Professor Nick Klomp  and Dr David Priddel (NSW Dept of Environment and Climate Change)

Natasha Schedvin
Distribution of the Barking owl Ninox connivens connivens in Victoria, Australia.

"No other Australian owl species has experienced such a demonstrable population decline as barking owls Ninox connivens connivens in south-eastern Australia. The fragmentation of their preferred habitat (i.e., the woodlands inland of the Great Dividing Range) is considered responsible for their population decline; however their persistence in these highly fragmented habitats apparently contradicts this hypothesis. This raises the question whether extant barking owls are trapped in what remains of the most productive parts of these temperate woodlands, or whether they are able to capitalize on these altered landscapes. Much anecdotal data exists as to habitat preferences of barking owls but little quantitative analysis of their habitat preference exists. [The author] adapted a hierarchial approach to investigate habitat use as multiple spatial scales in north-east Victoria: regional, home range, nest and roost sites. Radio tracking data from 13 barking owls provided the basis for assessing territorial behaviour, home range estimates and spatial use of habitat in the study area. These estimates were then used subsequently in regional scale habitat models for Victoria. Drought and wildlife through the study area gave the opportunity to determine the short-term effects of these catastrophic events"
Principal supervisor Associate Professor David Watson

Helen Byles-Drage
Urban migration to inland rural areas: Issues in rural wellbeing and social cohesion

Ian Coldwell
Masculinities and farming practices in Australia

Laurence Barea
Interactions between Frugivores and their resources : case studies with the Painted Honeyeater Grantiella picta

"Food is a critical resource for heterotrophic organisms, influencing individual survival, reproductive success and driving the life-history characteristics of consumers. Animals spend most of their lives moving within and between habitats searching for food as they behave to optimise their individual fitness. Food resources vary in quality, however, and occur non-randomly in space and time. Studies of animals and their food resources frequently are confounded by difficulties associated with identifying and quantifying food resources in a biologically meaningful context. In this study conducted in an Australian semi-arid woodland between September 2004 and December 2006, [the author uses] a specialist frugivore and it's principle fruit resource - the painted honeyeater Grantiella picta (Passeriformes: Meliphagidae) and its principle food resource grey mistletoe Amyyema quandang (Santalales: Loranthaceae)-as a model system to conduct a series of case studies regarding the influence of spatial and temporal variation in food abundance and food quality on the ecology of frugivores."
Supervisor: Associate Professor David Watson

Alek Zander
The initial pulse of dissolved organic carbon from floodplain litter

"Most riverine ecosystems are net heterotrophic with much of the carbon being metabolised sourced outside of the aquatic environment. Carbon in these systems is present in an array of forms, one of the most important of which is dissolved organic carbon (DOC). DOC plays many roles in riverine ecosystems: as a source of nutrition, as a moderator of environmental conditions and as an information source. A number of models have been developed to describe the flow of carbon through riverine systems, the principal ones being the River Continuum Concept, the Flood Pulse Concept and the Riverine Productivity Model. However, there are ongoing differences between these models in respect of the emphasis that they place upon the relative importance of different sources of organic carbon. DOC has two fundamental and related properties: concentration and composition. The mass of DOC leaching from a range of source materials and the rate of leaching of DOC under various conditions has been determined using an optimised chromic acid digestion method. Patterns of concentration of DOC across the catchment of the Murrumbidgee River, N.S.W. have also been investigated across four seasons with particular emphasis upon the comparison of sub-catchments differing in vegetation coverage."
Supervisor: Dr Paul Prenzler

Leah Wiseman
Rural men's retirement as an occupational transition : a life history study

"This thesis explores the experience of retirement for older rural men. The life stories of eight men from the Riverina region of Australia provided the narrative data for this research. Methodologically, a phenomenological orientation complemented the life history approach and allowed for a focus on the retirement experience in the context of the physical and socio-cultural landscape within which the men's lives have unfolded. The study was inspired by the paucity of research specific to rural men, the rural environment as an occupational context and retirement as a life-stage transition with significant implications for well-being."
Supervisor: Professor Gail Whiteford 

Imogen Fullager
Translating conjunctive water management from concept to practice in mature irrigation systems

"Irrigation is Australia's biggest water user. If groundwater and surface water are managed as independent resources there is a risk of double-allocation of water across flow systems. This risk increases with demand for water. Conjunctive water management (CWM) refers to the concept of managing across water resources in a manner which takes advantage of the hydrological complementaries of groundwater and surface water. The research question addressed by this thesis is: How can social and formal institutions be used to translate CWM from concept to practice in mature irrigation systems?"
Funding partner: Cooperative Research Centre for Irrigation Futures
Supervisor: Dr Catherine Allan 

Jonathon Sobels
Investigating the impact of Landcare networks : the role of social capital

Supervisor: Professor Allan Curtis

Kim Alexander
Agricultural change in Lao PDR : pragmatism in the face of adversity
"Rural development in the uplands of Lao Peoples' Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has presented many challenges for farmers and their communities. Lao government policy is directed at reducing the production of upland rice and providing sustainable alternative livelihoods for upland farmers. This thesis has examined current agricultural systems in Xieng Ngeun District, in Luang Prabang Province, Lao PDR and the economic and agrarian transition occurring at individual, community and regional levels. The research investigated the effect of land and forest allocation policy and the implementation of swidden cultivation stabilisation measures by governmental and international organisations."
Supervisor: Dr Joanne Millar 

Jane Dowling
Women's contribution to Australian fishing industry sustainability

"This thesis applies a post structural feminist theoretical framework to explore the visibility and contributions of women in family based businesses in the Australian commercial fishing industry."
Supervisor: Professor Margaret Alston

Patricia Hamilton
Building and nurturing a learning community in the Australian grains industry : a study of the national Partners in Grain project

"During the last ten years, women's absence from leadership positions in government, industry and private organisations has received significant attention from feminist researchers. This study explores the gendered pathway to decision-making and leadership in the Australian grains industry through an appraisal of the effects of up-skilling women in the national Partners in Grain (PinG) project. The thesis adopts a feminist perspective in order to understand why women's participation in decision-making and leadership in the Australian grains industry remains limited. The narratives of women participants in the PinG project illustrate their struggle for equality against the background of the organisational culture of the Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC.)"
Funding partner: Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation
Supervisor: Professor Margaret Alston

Wendy March
The impact of an Australian mistletoe, Amyema Miquelii (Loranthaceae), on nutrient cycling in eucalypt forests and woodlands

"The importance of nutrient cycling in regulating ecosystem processes has long been recognised; however, the role of parasitic plants has been largely ignored. This thesis documents the significant effect a hemiparasitic mistletoe, Amyema miquelii (Lehm. ex Miq.) Tiegh., can have on nutrient cycling in red gum woodlands (Eucalyptus blakelyi, E. dwyeri and E. dealbata) and red gum dominated forests of south-eastern Australia. Litter is one of the main routes for the trasfer of nutrients from the plant to soil in the nutrient cycle (Adams & Attiwill, 1986) and as such is the topic of this study. The aim was to assess the effect of mistletoe presence in the tree canopy on litterfalll and nutrient transfers in the leaf litter, then on to the soil via decomposition, and the subsequent effects on the plant community."
Supervisor: Associate Professor David Watson

Julie Collins
Caring for country' in NSW : connection, identity, belonging

"This thesis deepens understanding of indigenous forms of 'caring for country' in NSW, describing the cultural practices that manifest Aboriginal attachment to land. A deepened understanding has implications for social justice and the empowerment of Indigenous Australians, working against stereotypes of Aboriginal people in the south-east as being 'non-traditional' and having lost their cultural connections to land. It facilitates a clearer and more comprehensive recognition of Indigenous rights, enhances opportunities for reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous Australians, and acknowledges cultural survival against tremendous odds ... This thesis concluded that projects on country, involving partnerships between Indigenous and non-indigenous people, can become the embodiment of reconciliation, with the healing of the land symbolic of the less tangible reconciliation occurring between the human participants."
Supervisor: Dr Jim Birckhead

Jessica MacGregor
Effects of inundation and grazing on floodplain soil carbon dynamics and microbial community structure

"Floodplains are some of the most sought after land for agricultural and pastoral use, as their alluvial soil makes them highly productive. As a result, grazing of domestic livestock is one of the major land uses on many floodplains. Clearing of the dominant native vegetation community (in the current study river red gum forest, Eucalyptus camaldulensis) is a secondary impact of grazing and a common practice to make way for more productive pasture. This study examined the effect of land use (grazing and/or land clearing) on microbial community structure and carbon dynamics; with particular emphasis on the soil's response to flooding. The study was carried out on the Ovens River floodplain, south-eastern Australia, one of the last remaining unregulated sub-catchments of the southern Murray Darling Basin."
Supervisor: Professor Nick Klomp

Lisa O'Neill
The breeding and feeding ecology of the Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata on Lord Howe IslandSupervisor: Professor Nick Klomp

Danny Rogers
Hidden costs : challenges faced by migratory shorebirds living on intertidal flats

"Many of the world's migratory shorebirds depend on intertidal environments during the non-breeding season and on migratory stopovers. This thesis examines the ploys they use to survive in these dynamic habitats, focussing mostly on one study site, Roebuck Bay in north-western Australia, and on two species, the Red Knot Calidris canutus and the Great Knot Calidris tenuirostris
Supervisor: Dr Iain Taylor