ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Dr Helen P. Waudby

Dr Helen P. Waudby

Dr Helen Waudby is a wildlife ecologist specialising in the study of small terrestrial vertebrates, including desert mammals. Her research interests include understanding the effect of environmental factors (e.g., livestock grazing and rainfall) and management interventions on diversity, particularly in rangeland systems. Dr Waudby is a Threatened Species Project Officer with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Her work focuses on the recovery of threatened species such as southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis) and Sloane's Froglet (Crinia sloanei), squirrel gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis), and southern ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae).

Dr Helen Waudby's upbringing on a cattle station bordering the Tanami Desert piqued her interest in the plants, animals, and people that characterise rangelands, and the processes that influence them. Her main research interests are wildlife ecology (especially of small mammals) and rangeland management. She is also interested in the ethical implications of wildlife research, including improved methods for wildlife trapping and handling. 

Dr Waudby has worked in the Lake Eyre Basin of arid South Australia where she investigated the role of cracking-clay systems in sustaining biodiversity, and the effects of cattle grazing on these systems. She has also dabbled in parasitology, studying the ecology of an invasive tick on coastal Yorke Peninsula (also in South Australia). 

Previously, Dr Waudby was employed by NSW Murray Local Land Services in Albury where she managed projects focused on the conservation of threatened squirrel gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis) and orchids, and the rehabilitation of wetlands for carbon storage purposes and biodiversity conservation. She was also responsible for the planning of the organisation's threatened and iconic species program, which included the development of a framework to guide investment in threatened species in the Murray region.



Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons, First Class), University of South Australia, 2006

Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Science), University of South Australia, 2013


Strategic Research Areas


Peer Reviewed Papers

Gofton, A.W., Waudby, H.P., Petit, S., Greay, T.L., Ryan, U.M., & Irwin, P.J. (2017) Detection and phylogenetic characterisation of novel Anaplasma and Ehrlichia species in Amblyomma triguttatum subsp. from four allopatric populations in Australia. Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.05.009 

Watkins, S., Baldwin, D., Waudby, H.P. & Ning, S. (2017) Managing rain-filled wetlands for carbon sequestration: a synthesis. The Rangeland Journaldoi.org/10.1071/RJ16077

Waudby, H.P., & Petit, S. (2016) Thermoregulatory value of soil-crack shelters for small vertebrates during extreme desert conditions. Integrative Zoology.  doi: 10.1111/1749-4877.12225  

Waudby, H.P.,& Petit,S. (2015) Disintegration of cattle hoof prints in cracking-clay soils of the arid South Australian Stony Plains region during a wet period. South Australian Geographic Journal.

Waudby, H.P. &  Petit, S. (2015) Small Australian desert vertebrate responses to grazing intensity during La Niña. Ecological Research 3, 715-722.

Waudby, H.P. & Petit, S. (2015) Ephemeral plant indicators of livestock grazing in arid rangelands during wet conditions. The Rangeland Journal 37, 323-330.

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S, & Robinson, G (2013) Pastoralists' knowledge of plant palatability and grazing indicators in an arid region of South Australia. The Rangeland Journal 35, 445-454.

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S., & Brown, G. (2013) Use of creeks and gilgaied stony plains by cattle in arid rangelands during a wet summer: a case study with GPS/VHF radio collars. Range Management and Agroforestry 34, 101-107.

Petit, S. & Waudby, H.P. (2013) Standard Operating Procedures for aluminium box, wire cage, and pitfall trapping, handling, and temporary housing of small wild rodents and marsupials. Australian Journal of Zoology 60, 392-401.

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S., & Robinson, G. (2012) Pastoralists' perceptions of biodiversity and of Natural Resource Management Strategies in the arid Stony Plains Region of South Australia: implications for policy makers. Journal of Environmental Management 112, 96-103.

Petit, S., Waudby, H.P., Walker, A., Zanker, R., & Rau, G. (2012) A non-mutilating method for marking small wild mammals and reptiles. Australian Journal of Zoology 60, 64-71.

Waudby, H.P. & Petit, S. (2011)Responses to a survey question on the distribution of western pygmy-possums (Cercartetus concinnus) on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Australian Mammalogy 34, 83-7.

Waudby, H.P. & Petit, S. (2011)Comments on the efficacy and use of visible implant elastomer (VIE) for marking lizards. South Australian Naturalist 85, 7-13.

Waudby, H.P. (2009) Population characteristics of house mice (Mus musculus) on southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Australian Mammalogy 31, 111-115.

Waudby, H.P. & How, T. (2008) An additional record of the dusky hopping mouse Notomys fuscus in South Australia, Australian Mammalogy 30, 4-49.

Waudby HP, Petit, S., & Weber, D. (2008) Human perception and awareness of ticks, and implications for their management on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Experimental and Applied Acarology 45, 71-84.

Waudby, H.P. & Petit, S. (2007) Seasonal density fluctuations of the exotic ornate kangaroo tick, Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum Koch, and its distribution on Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Parasitology Research 101, 1203-1208.

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S., Dixon, B., & Andrews, R. (2007) Hosts of the exotic ornate kangaroo tick, Amblyomma triguttatum triguttatum Koch, on southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. Parasitology Research 101, 1323-1330.

Selected reviews and technical reports

Dunlop, M., Gorddard, R., Ryan, P., Mackenzie, J., Waudby, H., Skinner, A., & Bond, T. (2016) Exploring Adaptation Pathways in the Murray Basin. CSIRO, Australia.

Petit, S. & Waudby, H.P. (2015) Two mosquito species of Billa Kalina Station, Stony Plains Region of South Australia. The South Australian Naturalist 89, 34-36.

Waudby, H.P. (2013) Book review: Linking Australia's Landscapes. Range Management Newsletter. Australian Rangeland Society 13/3.

Waudby, H.P. (2012) Book review: the Storm Leopard. Ecological Management and Restoration 13: e7. doi: 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2012.00643.x

Waudby, H.P. (2011)Book review: Dry Times. Blueprint for a Red Land. Ecological Management and Restoration 12, DOI: 10.1111/j.1442-8903.2011.00577.x

Waudby, H.P. (2010)The role of cracking clay soils as refugia for arid-zone biodiversity. Australian Wildlife 3, 27-30.

Waudby, H.P., How, T., Frazer, D., and Obst, C. (2007) South Australian recovery plan review 2007: findings, patterns, and recommendations. Report to the Federal Department for Environment and Heritage, Environmental and Biodiversity Services, Adelaide.