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


Membership of Advisory Boards and Panels

Ecology Society of Australia (member)


Peer Reviewed Papers

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  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.01.008

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 https://doi.org/10.1071/WR16048

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 http://www.pnas.org/content/113/40/11261 (This paper featured as a  Research Highlight , Rats and cats drive extinctions, in Nature 537, Issue 7622  (published online Sept 28, 2016) http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v537/n7622/full/537589f.html ; in Science magazine http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6308/78.1 and New Scientist http://ct.moreover.com/?a=28213860114&p=1pl&v=1&x=QEGb2hbMQxgUVNQWnBBW2w )

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.http://jpe.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2016/07/22/jpe.rtw067.abstract?sid=f71d7de2-5ddb-4507-a76c-62c7be1c6899

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. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/283/1834/20161244

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. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12471/abstract

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 http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0155219

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 Onehttp://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0150808

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 http://euanritchie.org/2015/09/20/free-as-a-drone-ecologists-can-add-uavs-to-their-toolbox/

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. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1890/ES15-00327.1/pdf

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. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/14-2447.1

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 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320715002086

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 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0169534715001871

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 http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/282/1814/20151602

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.

The Conversation

Ritchie, E., Christensen, B., Bateman, B., Nimmo, D., Driscoll, D., Wardell-Johnson, G., Preece, N.D., Luxton, S. “Australia’s draft “Strategy for nature” doesn’t cut it.  Here are nine ways to fix it. https://theconversation.com/australias-draft-strategy-for-nature-doesnt-cut-it-here-are-nine-ways-to-fix-it-92345?

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

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


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 fire management restore mammal communities? Nimmo, D. Bird, R.B. (Pennsylvania State University), Bird, D. (Pennsylvania State University), Ritchie, E., (Deakin University) (2016-2019) Hermon Slade Foundation, $85,971 Project details

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

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

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

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

Completed projects

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