Student researcher

Diana Kuchinke Research Leader

This is a PhD project being undrtaken by Associate Student Ms Diana Kuchinke

The Royal Commission into the Black Saturday fires saw an increase in prescribed burning effectively trebling the area of land burnt in prescribed burns. Victoria’s woodland birds, already heavily impacted by continued urban development and a changing climate, may be further impacted by an increase in fire frequency.  We have little science behind what changes in fire frequency or severity will mean for these birds. This PhD monitored birds on 84 sites across western Victorian woodlands and determined the common species driving assemblage patterns on sites of differing fire ages and fire histories. The research also investigated predictions of fire impact and severity on birds using generalized linear mixed models based on a before-after-control-impact design.  Further modelling is currently underway investigating the relationships between fire effect, vegetation structure and bird presence.