ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Dr Damian Michael

Dr Damian Michael

Dr Damian Michael is a postdoctoral researcher within the Murrumbidgee Long-Term Intervention Monitoring team. Over the past 18 years Damian has been involved in monitoring the response of arboreal marsupials to fire and forestry practices in the Central Highlands of Victoria, monitoring birds, reptiles and small mammal responses to ecological fire regimes and invasive weed control in Booderee National Park, and monitoring the response of terrestrial biodiversity and vegetation condition to temperate woodland intervention management and restoration in the box gum grassy woodland ecosystem of south-eastern Australia.

Damian’s research focuses on restoration ecology and applied herpetology in agricultural landscapes where he has worked on understanding the spatial ecology of pythons, sociality in lizards and snakes, morphological plasticity, habitat preferences and developing standardised methods for surveying reptiles. Damian’s PhD focused on understanding the ecological roles of insular granite outcrops in farming landscapes and he is the lead author of Reptiles in the NSW Murray Catchment: A Guide to their Identification, Ecology and Conservation and the award winning Rocky Outcrops in Australia: Ecology, Conservation and Management.

Research Interests

  • Wildlife conservation in agricultural landscapes
  • Applied herpetology
  • Rocky outcrop (inselberg) ecology
  • Restoration ecology and adaptive management

Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons), Charles Sturt University, 2001

Doctor of Philosophy (Landscape Ecology), The Australian National University, 2010

Full Publication List CRO Research Outputs

Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Papers

Michael, D.R., Bourke, G., Paris, D. & Wassens, S. (2020) A range extension for the endangered Grey Snake Hemiaspis damelii Günther (1876) in the Murrumbidgee catchment, southern NSW. Australian Zoologist doi: 10.7882/AZ.2020.008

Hansen, N.A., Driscoll, D.A., Michael, D.R. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2019) Movement patterns of an arboreal gecko in fragmented agricultural landscapes reveal matrix avoidance. Animal Conservation.

Tingley, R., Macdonald, S.L., Mitchell, N.J., Woinarski, J.C.Z., Meiri, S., Bowles, P., Cox, N.A, Shea, G.A., Böhm, M., Chanson, J., Tognelli, M.F., Harris, J., Walke, C., Harrison, N., Victor, S., Woods, C., Amey, A.P., Bamford, M., Catt, G., Clemann, N., Couper, P.J., Cogger, H., Cowan, M., Craig, M.D., Dickman, C.R., Doughty, P., Ellis, R., Fenner, A., Ford, S., Gaikhorst, G., Gillespie, G.T., Greenlees, M.J., Hobson, R., Hoskin, C.J., How, R., Hutchinson, M.N., Lloyd, R., McDonald, P., Melville, J., Michael, D.R., Moritz, C., Oliver, P.M., Peterson, G., Robertson, P., Sanderson, C., Somaweera, T., Teale, T., Valentine, L., Vanderduys, E., Venz, M., Wapstra, E., Wilson, S. and Chapple, D.J. (2019) Geographic and taxonomic patterns of extinction risk in Australian squamates. Biological Conservation 238

Lindenmayer, D.B., Lane, P., Foster, C., Westgate, M., Sato. C., Ikin, K., Crane, M., Michael, D., Florance, D. & Scheele, B. (2018) Do migratory and resident birds differ in their responses to interacting effects of climate, weather and vegetation? Diversity and Distribution DOI: 10.1111/DDI.12874 2018: 1-13.

Michael, D., Blanchard, W., Scheele, B.C., Florance, D., Crane, M. & Lindenmayer, D. (2018) Comparative use of active searches and artificial substrates to survey amphibians in terrestrial environments. Austral Ecology DOI:10.1111/aec.12677

Webster, C., Massaro, M., Michael, D.R., Bambrick, D., Riley, J. L. & Nimmo, D.G. (2018) Not naïve – two species of native reptile respond to the olfactory cues of invasive mammalian predators Royal Society Open Science 5: 180136.

Hansen, N.A., Sato, C.F, Michael, D.R., LindenmayerD.B. & Driscoll, D.A. (2018) Predation risk for reptiles is highest at remnant edges in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13269

Michael, D.R., Florance, D., Crane, M., Blanchard, W. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018) Barking up the right tree: Comparative use of arboreal and terrestrial artificial refuges to survey reptiles in temperate eucalypt woodland. Wildlife Research 45: 185-192.

Lindenmayer, D.B., Blanchard, W., Crane, M., Michael, D. & Sato, C. (2018) Biodiversity benefits of vegetation restoration are undermined by livestock grazing Restoration Ecology doi:10.1111/ree.12676

Michael, D.R., Crane, M., Florance, D. and Lindenmayer, D.B. (2018) Revegetation, restoration and reptiles in rural landscapes: Insights from long-term monitoring programmes in the temperate eucalypt woodlands of south-eastern Australia. Ecological Management and Restoration 19: 32-38.

O’Loughlin, T., O’Loughlin, L.S., Michael, D.R., Wood, J.T., Waudby, H.P., Falcke, F. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2017) The importance of Travelling Stock Reserves for maintaining high-quality threatened temperate woodlands Australian Journal of Botany http://

Fitzsimons, J. & Michael, D.R. (2017) Rocky outcrops: A hard road in the conservation of critical habitats. Biological Conservation 211: 36-44.

Bourke, G., Matthews, A. and Michael, D.R. (2017) Can protective attributes of artificial refuges offset predation risk in lizards? Austral Ecology 42: 497-507.

Michael, D.R., Ikin, K., Crane, M., Okada, S. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2017) Scale-dependent occupancy patterns in reptiles across topographically different landscapes. Ecography 40: 415-424.

Michael, D.R., Wood, J.T., O’Loughlin, T. & Lindenmayer, D.B. (2016) Influence of land sharing and land sparing strategies on vegetation patterns and terrestrial vertebrate richness and occurrence in Australian endangered eucalypt woodlands. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 227: 24-32.

Michael, D.R. and Johnson, G. (2016) Notes on a naturalised population of The Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog Litoria fallax (Peters) (Anuran: Hylidae) in North East Victoria. The Victorian Naturalist 133, 202-04.

Michael, D.R., Kay, G., Crane, M., Florance, D., MacGregor, C., Okada, S., McBurney, L., Blair D. and Lindenmayer D.B. (2015) Ecological niche breadth and microhabitat guild structure in temperate Australian reptiles: Implications for natural resource management in endangered grassy woodland ecosystems. Austral Ecology 40: 651-660.

Michael, D.R. and Alexander, J. (2015) Historical records of the Inland Carpet Python Morelia spilota metcalfei (Serpentes: Pythonidae) in North East Victoria and the implications for fire planning. The Victorian Naturalist 132 (2): 36-43.


Michael, D.R. & Lindenmayer, D.B (2018) Rocky Outcrops in Australia: Ecology, Conservation and Management. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Melbourne.

Lindenmayer, D.B. Michael, D.R., Crane, M., Florance, D. & Burns, E. (2018) Restoring Farm Woodlands for Wildlife. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Australia.

Lindenmayer, D.B., Michael, D.R., Crane, M., Barton, P., Ikin, K., Okada, S. (2016) Wildlife Conservation in Farm Landscapes. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Melbourne.

Hot topics in Ecology Online Article

Michael, D. (2019) Removal of critical rock habitat threatens biodiversity. Hot Topics in Ecology, Ecological Society of Australia.

Technical Reports

Bourke, G., Wassens, S. & Michael. D. (2019) Murrumbidgee Monitoring Evaluation and Research Program, ecological responses to Commonwealth environmental water, Field report. Number 2, December 2019. Charles Sturt University, Institute for Land, Water and Society. Prepared for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Bourke, G., Michael. D., Spencer, J., Amos, C. & Wassens, S. (2019) Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project, Murrumbidgee System Selected Area, Progress Report number 20, June 2019. Charles Sturt University, Institute for Land, Water and Society. Prepared for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Wassens, S., Bourke, G., Spencer, J., Amos, C., & Michael, D. (2019) Long Term Intervention Monitoring Project, Murrumbidgee System Selected Area, Progress Report Number 19, April 2019. Charles Sturt University, Institute for Land, Water and Society. Prepared for the Commonwealth Environmental Water Office.

Current Projects

Monitoring, Evaluation and Research – Murrumbidgee. Wassens, S., Hall, A. (2019-2022), CEWO Project webpage

Ecological roles of surface rocks in multi-use landscapes (2019-2021). O’Sullivan (PhD), Michael, D.R. & Lindenmayer, D.B. Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub top up scholarship $16,500