Catherine Ross ‘Bettongs, bulbs and biodiversity’

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Thursday, 15 March 2018 - 12:30pm

Digging mammals such as bettongs, bandicoots and bilbies are known as ecosystem engineers because they modify habitats and resource availability for other species. Unfortunately, many of these iconic species have all but disappeared and their vital digging role has been lost, and this is thought to have contributed to the decline of Australian ecosystems. But what happens when we bring them back? Can the return of an ecosystem engineer help to restore biodiversity in grassy woodlands?

Catherine is a PhD student at the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society. Her research interests include ecosystem engineering, restoration ecology, plant-animal interactions, and forest dieback. She is particularly interested in how assisted migration and reintroduction of species can help to restore degraded ecosystems and increase resilience under future climate change. Catherine also writes a blog about her research at