ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Dale Nimmo

Associate Professor Dale Nimmo

Associate Professor Dale Nimmo is an animal ecologist with broad interests in how 'big' disturbances – things like fire, drought, and land clearing – influence biodiversity.  He completed his PhD at Deakin University in 2011, which focused on how animal species respond to fire regimes in the semi-arid Murray Mallee region of south eastern Australia. After that, he undertook a research fellowship with Professor Andrew F Bennett (La Trobe University) on the concept of ecological resilience and its relevance to applied ecology, which a particular focus on woodland bird communities and their response to an extreme climatic event: southern Australia's 'Millennium Drought'. A/Prof Nimmo was awarded an Alfred Deakin Postdoctoral Fellowship at Deakin University, during which he continued to work on fire ecology and ecological resilience, but also was persuaded to be interested in mammalian predators, namely dingoes, foxes and feral cats.

Research Interests

  • Managing landscapes to minimise the effects on biodiversity of large-scale disturbances, such as fire, climatic extremes, and habitat fragmentation

Bachelor  of Environmental Science (Hons) Deakin University, 2005
PhD Deakin University, 2011

External Appointments and Memberships

The Wildlife and Threatened Species Bushfire Recovery Expert Panel, Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and The Environment. (Panel Member)

Ecology Society of Australia (member)

Editor of ESA Hot Topics

Panel Chair, ESA Jill Landsberg Trust Fund Scholarship

Editorial roles on Journals

People and Nature ( Associate Editor)

Full Publications List CRO Research Outputs

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Papers

Michael, D.R., Moore, H., Wassens, S., Craig, M., Tingley, R., Chapple, D., O’Sullivan, J., Hobbs, R. & Nimmo, D. (2021) Rock removal associated with agricultural intensification will exacerbate loss of reptile diversity. Journal of Applied Ecology (in press)

Moore, H.A., Michael, D.R., Ritchie, E.G., Dunlop, J.A., Valentine, L.E., Hobbs, R.J. & Nimmo, D.G. (2021).  A rocky heart in a spinifex sea: occurrence of an endangered marsupial predator is multiscale dependent in naturally fragmented landscapes. Landscape Ecology

Cowan, M.A., Dunlop, J.A., Turner, J.M., Moore, H.A. & Nimmo, D.G. (2020). Artificial refuges to combat habitat loss for an endangered marsupial predator: How do they measure up? Conservation Science and Practice. 2020;e204.

Ward, M., Tulloch, A. I. T., Radford, J. Q., Williams, B. A., Reside, A. E., Macdonald, S. L., Mayfield, H. J., Maron, M., Possingham, H. P., Vine, S. J., O’Connor, J. L., Massingham, E. J., Greenville, A. C., Woinarski, J. C. Z., Garnett, S. T., Lintermans, M., Scheele, B. C., Carwardine, J., Nimmo, D. G., Lindenmayer, D. B., Kooyman, R. M., Simmonds, J. S., Sonter, L. J., & Watson, J. E. M. (2020). "Impact of 2019–2020 mega-fires on Australian fauna habitat." Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Verdon, S.J., Watson, S.J., Nimmo, D.G. & Clarke, M.F. (2020). Are all fauna associated with the same structural features of the foundation species Triodia scariosa ?  Austral Ecology doi:10.1111/aec.12894

Bliege Bird, R., McGuire, C., Bird, D. W., Price, M. H., Zeanah, D., & Nimmo, D. G. (2020). Fire mosaics and habitat choice in nomadic foragers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(23), 12904-12914.

Moore, H.A., Valentine, L.E., Dunlop, J.A. & Nimmo, D.G. (2020). The effect of camera orientation on the detectability of wildlife: a case study from north‐western Australia. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation. doi:10.1002/rse2.158

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

Kopf, R.K., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G., & Martin, J.K. (2019). Science communication in a post-truth world: promises and pitfalls. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17: 310-312. doi:10.1002/fee.2072

Moore, H.A., Dunlop, J.A., Valentine, L.E., Woinarski. J.C.Z., Ritchie, E.G., Watson, D.M. & Nimmo, D.  (2019). Topographic ruggedness and rainfall mediate geographic range contraction of a threatened marsupial predator. Diversity and Distributions, 00: 1– 14.

Geary, W.L., Nimmo, D.G., Doherty, T.S., Ritchie, E.G. & Tulloch, A I. (2019). Threat webs: reframing the co‐occurrence and interactions of threats to biodiversity. J Applied Ecology. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/1365-2664.13427

Geyle, H., Guillera-Arroita, G., Davis, H., Firth, R., Murphy, B., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G., Woinarski, J., Nicholson, E. (2018). Towards meaningful monitoring: a case study of a threatened rodent. Austral Ecology.

Webster, C., Massaro, M., Michael, D.R., Bambrick, D., Riley, J.L., Nimmo, D.G., (2018). Native reptiles alter their foraging in the presence of the olfactory cues of invasive mammalian predators, Royal Society Open Science, 5 DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180136

Nimmo, D. G., Avitabile, S., Banks, S.C., Bliege Bird, R., Callister, K., Clarke, M.F., Dickman, C.R., Doherty, T.S., Driscoll, D.A., Greenville, A.C., Haslem, A. , Kelly, L.T., Kenny, S.A., Lahoz‐Monfort, J.J., Lee, C., Leonard, S., Moore, H., Newsome, T.M., Parr, C.L., Ritchie, E.G., Schneider, K., Turner, J.M., Watson, S., Westbrooke, M., Wouters, M., White, M. & Bennett, A.F. (2018). Animal movements in fire‐prone landscapes. Biological Reviews. doi:10.1111/brv.12486

Ritchie, E.G., Smith, B.P., van Eeden, L.M., Nimmo, D.G. (2018). Species definitions shape policy. Science.

Bliege Bird, R. & Nimmo, D.G . (2018). Restore the lost ecological functions of people’ Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Geyle, H., Guillera-Arroita, G., Davis, H., Firth, R., Murphy, B., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G., Woinarski, J., Nicholson, E.  (2018). Towards meaningful monitoring: a case study of a threatened rodent. Austral Ecology.

Doherty, T.S., Davis, N.E., Dickman, C.R., Forsyth, D.M., Letnic, M., Nimmo, D.G., Palmer, R., Ritchie E.G., Benshemesh, J., Edwards, G., Lawrence, J., Lumsden, L., Pascoe, C., Sharp, A., Stokeld, D., Myers, C., Story, G., Story, P., Triggs, B., Venosta, M., Wysong, M., Newsome, T.M . (2018) Continental patterns in the diet of a top predator: Australia’s dingo. Mammal Review

Geschke, A., Bennett, A.F., James, S., Nimmo, D. G. (2018). Optimising the distribution of people in cities to maximise species diversity. Journal of Applied Ecology

Yen, J., Thomson, J., Keith, J., Paganin, D., Fleishman, E., Bennett, A.F., Nimmo, D.G., Bennett, J., Dobkin, D.S., MacNally, R. (2018). Linking species richness and size diversity in birds and fishes. Ecography.

Davis, H., Ritchie, E.G., Avitabile, S., Doherty, T., Nimmo, D.G. (2018). Testing the assumptions of the pyrodiversity begets biodiversity hypothesis for termites in semi-arid Australia. Royal Society Open Science.

Allan, B.M., Nimmo, D.G., Ierodiaconou, D., VanDerWal, J., Koh, L.P., Ritchie, E.G. (2018). Futurecasting ecological research: the rise of technoecology, Ecosphere

Geary, W.L., Ritchie, E.G., Lawton, J.A., Healey, T.R., Nimmo, D.G. (2018). Incorporating disturbance into trophic ecology: fire history shapes mesopredator suppression by an apex predator, Journal of Applied Ecology

Hall, M., Nimmo, D., Watson, S., & Bennett, A. F. (2018). Linear habitats in rural landscapes have complementary roles in bird conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation. doi:10.1007/s10531-018-1557-3

Belige Bird, R., Bird, D.W., Fernandex, L.E., Taylor, N., Taylor, W., & Nimmo, D. (2018). Aboriginal burning promotes fine-scale pyrodiversity and native predators in Australia’s Western Desert. Biological Conservation 219: 110-118

Geary, W.L., Ritchie, E.G., Lawton, J.A., Healey, T.R. & Nimmo, D.G. (2018). Incorporating disturbance into trophic ecology: fire history shapes mesopredator suppression by an apex predator. Journal of Applied Ecology. 1-29. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13125

Richardson, E., Nimmo, D.G., Avitabile, S., Tworkowski, L., Watson, S.J., Welbourne, D. & Leonard, S.W.J. (2018). Camera traps and pitfalls: an evaluation of two methods for surveying reptiles in a semiarid ecosystem. Wildlife Research 44: 637-647

Kopf, R.K., Nimmo, D.G., Humphries, P., Baumgartner, L., Bode, M., Bond, N., Byrom, A.E., Cucherousset, J., Keller, R.P, King, A.J., McGinness, H., Moyle, P.B., & Olden, J.D. (2017). Confronting the risks of large-scale invasive species control. Nature Ecology and Evolution. (1) 0172, 1-4.

Doherty, T.S., Dickman, C.R., Glen, A.S., Newsome, T.M., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G., Vanak, A.T., Wirsing, A.J. (2017). The global impacts of domestic dogs on threatened vertebrates.  Biological Conservation, DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2017.04.007

Doherty, T., Glen, A.S., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G. & Dickman, C.R. (2016). Invasive predators and global biodiversity loss.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.  Vol 113, No 40. pp 11261-11265 (This paper featured as a  Research Highlight , Rats and cats drive extinctions, in Nature 537, Issue 7622  (published online Sept 28, 2016) ; in Science magazine and New Scientist )

Farmilo, B., Morgan, J., Nimmo, D.G. (2016). Plant growth in a fragmented forest is a consequence of top-down and bottom-up processes, but not their interaction. Journal of Plant Ecology. Published online June 27.

Ritchie, R.G., Dorresteijn, I., Schultner, J., Nimmo, D.G., Hanspach, J., Kehoe, L., Kuemmerle, T., Fischer, J. (2016) Crying wolf: limitations of predator-prey studies need not preclude their salient messages. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B, 283: 20161244 Published online July 13DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1244.

Hale, S., Nimmo, D.G., White, J. et al. (2016) Fire and climatic extremes shape mammal distributions in a fire-prone landscape. Diversity and Distributions.

Hall, M., Nimmo, D.G., Bennett, A.F. (2016) At the crossroads: does the configuration of roadside vegetation affect woodland bird communities in rural landscapes? PloS One

Pryde, E.C., Nimmo, D.G., Holland, G., Watson, S.J. (2016) Species' traits affect the occurrence of birds in a native timber plantation landscape. Animal Conservation DOI: 10.1111/acv.12268

Callister, K., Girffioen, P., Avitabile, S.F., Haslem, A., Fraser, L., Taylor, R., Kenny, S., Farnsworth, L., Kelly, L.T., Nimmo, D.G., Watson, S. (2016) Historical maps from modern images: Using remote sensing to model and map century-long vegetation change in a fire-prone region. PloS One

Allan, B., Ierodiaconou, D., Nimmo, D.G., Herbert, M., Ritchie, E. (2015). Free as a drone: ecologists can add UAVs to their toolbox. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment volume 13, issue 7

Chia, E. K., Bassett, M., Nimmo, D. G.,   Leonard, S. W. J ., Ritchie, E. G.,   Clarke, M. F. and Bennett, A. F. (2015) Fire severity and fire-induced landscape heterogeneity affect arboreal mammals in fire-prone forests. Ecosphere 6(10):190.

Avitabile, S.C., Nimmo, D.G., Bennett, A,F., Clarke, M.F. (2015) Termites Are Resistant to the Effects of Fire at Multiple Spatial Scales. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0140114. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0140114

Haslem, A., Nimmo, D.G., Radford, J., Bennett, A.F. (2015) Landscape properties mediate the homogenization of bird assemblages during climatic extremes. Ecology.

Doherty, T., Dickman, C., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G. (2015) Multiple threats or multiplying the threats? Interactions between invasive predators and other ecological disturbances. Biological Conservation. Vol 190, pp 60-80

Nimmo, D.G., Mac Nally, R., Cunningham, S., Haslem, A., Bennett, A.F. (2015) Vive la resistance: reviving resistance for 21st century conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. Vol 30, Iss.9. pp 516-523

Dorresteijn, I., Schultner, J., Nimmo, D.G., Ritchie, E.G., Hanspach, J., Kehoe, L., Kuemmerle, T., Fischer, J. (2015). Incorporating anthropogenic effects into trophic ecology: predator-prey interactions in a human-dominated landscape. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B. Vol 282, Iss. 1814

Nimmo, D.G., Haslem, A., Radford, J., Hall, M., Bennett, A.F. (2015) Riparian tree cover enhances the resistance and stability of woodland bird communities during an extreme climatic event.  Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.12535

Nimmo, D.G., Watson, S.J., Forsyth, D., Bradshaw, C.J.A. (2015). Dingoes can help conserve wildlife and our methods can tell. Journal of Applied Ecology

Nimmo, D.G., Kelly, L.T., Farnsworth, L.M., Watson, S.J., Bennett, A.F. (2014) Why do some species have variable responses to fire history? Ecography

Bennett, A.F., Nimmo, D.G., Radford. J (2014) Riparian vegetation has disproportionately beneficial effects for woodland birds in highly modified landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology

Farnsworth, L.M., Nimmo, D.G., Kelly, L.T., Clarke, M.F., Bennett, A.F. (2014) Does pyrodiversity beget alpha, beta or gamma diversity? A case study using reptiles from semi-arid Australia. Diversity and Distributions

Nimmo, D.G., Kelly, L.T., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Watson, S.J., Taylor, R., Clarke, M.F., Bennett, A.F (2013) Fire mosaics and reptile conservation in a fire prone region. Conservation Biology 

Book Chapters

Beliakov, G., Geschke, A., James, S., Nimmo, D.G. (2016). Linear Optimization for Ecological Indices Based on Aggregation Functions. In Carvalso, J.P., Lesot, M., Kaymak, U., Viera, S. et al (Editors) Information Processing and Management of Uncertainty in Knowledge-Based Systems. Proceedings, Part II I of the 16th International Conference, IPMU 2016, Eindhoven, The Netherlands, June 20 - 24, 2016, Volume 611, of the Communications in Computer and Information Science series published by Springer.


Michael, D., Nimmo, D. & Wassens, S. (2020) Does Australia really have the deadliest snakes? We debunk 6 common myths. The Conversation, September 29.

Woinarski, J. Nimmo, D., Gallagher, R. & Legge, S. (2020) After the bushfires, we helped choose the animals and plants in most need.  Here’s how we did it. The Conversation, May 21.

Frew, A., Le Brocque, A., Nimmo, D., Egidi, E., Price, J. & Greenwood, L. (2020) How fungi’s knack for networking boots ecological recovery after bushfires. The Conversation, March 20

Parrott, M., Nimmo, D. & Ritchie, E. (2020) How you can help – not harm – wild animals recovering from bushfires. The Conversation, February 20.

Nimmo, D. (2020) Tales of wombat ‘heroes’ have gone viral. Unfortunately, they are not true. The Conversation, January 15.

Nimmo, D. (2020) Animal response to a bushfire is astounding. These are the tricks they use to survive. The Conversation, January 8.

Woinarski, J., Murphy, B., Nimmo, D., Braby, M.F., Legge, S. & Garnett, S. (2019) Scientists re-counted Australia’s extinct species, and the result is devastating, The Conversation,December 1.

Ritchie, E., Tulloch, A., Nimmo, D., Doherty, T. & Geary, W. (2019) Hunter, hunted: when the world catches on fire, how do predators respond?  The Conversation, December 26.

Ritchie, E., Christensen, B., Bateman, B., Nimmo, D., Driscoll, D., Wardell-Johnson, G., Preece, N.D., Luxton, S. (2018) “Australia’s draft “Strategy for nature” doesn’t cut it.  Here are nine ways to fix it. The Conversation, March 16.

Doherty, T., Wirsing, A.J., Dickman, C., Nimmo, D., Ritchie, E. (2017) The bark side: domestic dogs threaten endangered species worldwide. The Conversation May 2,

Kopf, R.K., Nimmo, D., Humphries, P. (2017) Widespread invasive species control is a risky business.  The Conversation May 24

Opinion Pieces CSU News

Michael, D. R., Nimmo, D. & Wassens, S. (2020) Aggressive? Poisonous? Deadly? Experts debunk myths about Australian snakes.  Charles Sturt University News Opinion, September 29

Current Projects

Acoustic Observatory: a network to monitor biodiversity across Australia. (2017-2020) ARC Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities project ($900,000) led by Queensland University of Technology with ILWS team members Watson, D., Luck, G. & Nimmo, D.

Can excluding feral livestock from waterholes recreate refuges for savannah birds? Massaro, M., Nimmo, D., Price, J., Mihailou, H. (PhD student) & Vincent, J. (2017-2020) Hermon Slade Foundation, $72,224. Project details

Can Indigenous land management forestall an extinction crisis? (2017-2020) Nimmo, D. ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, $372,000

Can Indigenous fire management restore mammal communities? Nimmo, D. Bird, R.B. (Pennsylvania State University), Bird, D. (Pennsylvania State University), Ritchie, E., (Deakin University) (2016-2020) Hermon Slade Foundation, $85,971 Project details

Compact cities or sprawling suburbs? Optimal design of growing cities to conserve biodiversity, Nimmo, D. (2017-2020) Australian Academy of Science-WH Gladstones Population & Environment Fund, $24,000 Project details

Estimating wildlife mortality during the 2019-20 bushfire season. Nimmo, D. (2020-2021) DAWE, $67,650. Project led by Queensland University

Grassland responses to the reintroduction of cultural burns. Price, J., Nimmo, D.  (2020-2023) Hermon Slade Foundation, $83,462 Project details

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

The effects of fire on arid fungal communities. Nimmo, D., Greenwood, L. (2020-2021) Australasian Mycological Society, $3000

The influence of invasive predators and fire regimes on northern quolls. Nimmo, D. & Moore, H. (PhD student) (2017-2020), WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, $78,000. Project details

Completed Projects

Can Indigenous fire management restore mammal communities? Nimmo, D. Bird, R.B. (Pennsylvania State University), Bird, D. (Pennsylvania State University), Ritchie, E., (Deakin University) (2016-2020) Hermon Slade Foundation, $85,971 Project details

The impact of buffel grass invasion on Indigenous food plants and animals in Australia’s Western Desert. Nimmo, D., Greenwood, L. (PhD student)   (2018-2019) Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, $6750. Project details

Can landscape structure enhance the resilience of biodiversity to climatic extremes? Insights from the Millennium Drought.  Nimmo, D., Bennett, A. (La Trobe Uni), Haslem, A. (LaTrobe Uni) & Radford, J. (Bush Heritage Australia) (2015-2018) Hermon Slade Foundation, $86,210 Project details

Compact cities or sprawling suburbs? Optimal design of growing cities to conserve biodiversity, (2017-2019) Nimmo, D. Australian Academy of Science-WH Gladstones Population & Environment Fund, $24,000

Ecology of the northern quoll (Dasyurus hallucatus) in the Pilbara. Nimmo, D. & Moore, H. (PhD student) (2017-2018), Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, $5500

Optimising acoustic monitoring for frogs in the Koondrook-Perricoota. Walcott, A., Hall, A., Wassens, S., Nimmo, D. (2018) Forestry Corporation of NSW $29,623 Project details

Automated call records evaluate frog responses to environmental watering. (2016-2017) Wassens, S., Hall, A., Nimmo, D & Walcott, A. Department of Environment & Climate Change, $30,000