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 vertebrates. She is particularly interested in understanding the effect of environmental factors (e.g., herbivory and rainfall) and management interventions on the diversity and abundance of vertebrates in rangelands.

Dr Waudby is a Threatened Species Officer with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH). Her work with OEH focuses on the planning and implementation of conservation projects for threatened species such as southern bell frog (Litoria raniformis), Sloane's froglet (Crinia sloanei), squirrel gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis), and a suite of threatened mallee fauna, including southern Ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae).

For her PhD, Dr Waudby worked in the stony plains region of the southern Lake Eyre Basin, South Australia. She investigated the role of cracking-clay systems in supporting local biodiversity, and the effect of cattle grazing on native plants and animals. Most recently Dr Waudby has been working with researchers from the University of New South Wales to examine the influence of total grazing pressure on vegetation and soils in conservation reserves.


  • Factors influencing the abundance and distribution of desert biota
  • Ecology and conservation of small mammals
  • Integrated rangeland management
  • Improved methods for trapping, handling, and monitoring small vertebrates

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

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

Peer Reviewed Papers

Mills, C., Waudby, H., Finlayson, G., Parker, D., Cameron, N. & Letnic, M. (2020). Grazing by over-abundant native herbivores jeopardizes conservation goals in semi-arid reserves. Global Ecology and Conservation

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S. & Gill, M. (2019) The scientific, financial, and ethical implications of three common wildlife trapping designs. Wildlife Research

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S., Matthews, B., Sharp, A., Pradhan, R., & Dale, B. (2018 online) Investigation of ticks and red blood cell parasites of a population of reintroduced mainland tammar wallabies (Notamacropus eugenii eugenii). Australian Mammalogy.

O’Loughlin, T., O’Loughlin, L.S., Michael, D.R., Wood, J.T., Waudby, H.P., Falcke, P., & Lindenmayer D.B. (2018) The importance of travelling stock reserves for maintaining high-quality threatened temperate woodlands. Australian Journal of Botany 65: 507-516

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.

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

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 113: 5-12.

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.

Conference Papers and Proceedings

Wedrowicz, F., Hogan, F., Waudby, H.P., Callister, k., Westbrooke, M., Dayman, R., Florentine, S., Egan, D., Palmer, G., Todd, M. & Simpson, T. (2020) Population connectivity of southern Ningaui (Ningaui yvonneae) in the Scotia Mallee region, NSW, Australian Mammal Society, Online Conference, 17-18 November 2020.

Waudby, H.P., Petit, S. & Gill, M. (2019) Evaluation of the ethical, scientific, and financial performances of Elliott and pitfall traps for sampling small desert-dwelling mammals. 65th meeting of the Australian Mammal Society, University of Sydney, July 7 -11.

Waudby, H.P., Earl, G., Petit, S., Robinson, G. & Smith, B. (2019) Poster presentation: social-ecological systems approaches to dingo management. “The Dingo Dilemma: Cull, Contain or Conserve”, Forum of the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Taronga Zoo, Sydney, September 7.

Books and chapters

Waudby, H.P., Cameron, M., Robertson, G., Caynes, R., & Reiter, N. (2018) Wild orchids: saving three Endangered orchid species in southern New South Wales. Chapter 17 in: Recovering Australian Threatened Species. PP. 159-168. Eds. Stephen Garnett, Peter Latch, David Lindenmayer, John Woinarski. CSIRO Publishing.

Hunter, D. & Waudby, H.P. (2017) Frogs of south-west NSW: A glovebox guide to their identification, ecology, and conservation. 2nd Edition. Office of Environment and Heritage, Sydney NSW.

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.