Lab members

The lab is run by Jane Catford. I welcome interested postdocs, and undergraduate and postgraduate students to contact me about potential research projects. I have a number of ideas regarding projects, but welcome – and encourage – other ideas. Please get in touch if you’d like to chat (jane.catford[at]

Current members

Dr John Donohue, Postdoctoral Research Associate

John is developing empirically-grounded mechanistic models of alien plant invasions and their biodiversity impact, using temperate grasslands as a model system. Email: john.donohue[at]

Angela Bartlett, PhD student

Angela is researching the impact of rates of introduction, and introduction bias, on the richness and composition of alien plant and vertebrate species assemblages. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Tim Blackburn]. Email: angela.bartlett[at]

Abigail Mabey, PhD student

Abbie is identifying characteristics that enable species to become invasive across aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with a particular focus on plants and red seaweed. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Marc Rius, Dan Smale]. Email: A.L.Mabey[at]

Harry Shepherd, PhD student

Harry is examining the potential for plant-soil interaction to enhance ecosystem restoration, focusing on peatlands and grasslands. [Supervisors: Bjorn Robroek, Jane Catford, Marc Dumont]. Email: H.E.R.Shepherd[at]

Junru Shen, PhD student

Junru is researching the ecological impacts of dams and approaches for successful river restoration. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Michael Chadwick]. Email: junru.shen[at]

Stefanie Kaupa, PhD student

Stefanie is researching the impacts of agricultural land abandonment & associated vegetation change on hydrology
in the mountain environments of Nepal and Colombia. [Supervisors: Mark Mulligan, Jane Catford, Sampurno Bruijnzeel]. Email: stefanie.kaupa[at]

Sarah Fischer, PhD student

Sarah is using field experiments to understand drivers of regeneration in riparian trees in the critically endangered floodplain forest of Yellingbo Nature Conservation Park. [Supervisors: Joe Greet, Chris Walsh, Jane Catford]. Email: fischers[at]

Luis Moliner Cachazo, PhD student

Luis is evaluating ecological assembly rules for aquatic-terrestrial transition zones in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. [Supervisors: Michael Chadwick, Jane Catford, Ben Prize, Anson Mackay]. Email: luis.moliner_cachazo[at]

Former postdocs and students

Dr Elizabeth Wandrag, Postdoc 2015-2019

Lizzie worked with Richard Duncan and me on our ARC Discovery Project that aimed to predict the causes and consequences of plant invasions. 

Dr Joe Greet, Postdoc 2016-2019

Joe is a riparian plant ecologist. He worked on a project with Chris Walsh and me that aimed to quantify the interactive effects of flood regime restoration, native vegetation plantings, and removal of understorey vegetation in restoring a degraded wetland forest. 

Dr Laura Graham, Postdoc 2019

Laura used her mathematical prowess to help me with a mechanistic niche model of plant invasion in grasslands. 

Dr Annabel Smith, Postdoc 2015-2016

Annabel worked with me on a project examining trait-based interactions between invading plants and resident species in a Minnesotan prairie over a 20 year period.

Dr Nicki Munro, Postdoc 2013-2015

Nicki worked me on a project that aimed to develop and test a process-based model of invasion at the landscape scale.

Dr Andrew O’Reilly-Nugent, PhD (2015-2020), University of Canberra

Andrew used modern coexistence theory to understand species coexistence and invasion in grasslands using a series of greenhouse and field experiments. [Supervisors: Richard Duncan, Elizabeth Wandrag, Jane Catford]. Email: Andrew.Oreillynugent[at]

Dr Estibaliz Palma, PhD (2013-2019), University of Melbourne

Esti used empirical and quantitative approaches to explore opportunities and limitations of the use of functional traits to understand plant invasions in SE Australia. [Supervisors: Jane Catford, Peter Vesk]. Email: estibaliz.palma[at]

Dr Saras Windecker, PhD (2014-2019), University of Melbourne

Saras combined lab, field and quantitative research to examine relationships between plant traits and carbon storage in freshwater wetlands in SE Australia. [Supervisors: Peter Vesk, Jane Catford, Peter Macreadie]. Email: sm.windecker[at]

Dr Decky Junaedi, PhD (2014-2018), University of Melbourne

Decky used field surveys, questionnaires and statistical modeling to examine traits and perceptions of invasive exotic plants that have spread from tropical botanic gardens in Indonesia. [Supervisors: Mark Burgman, Jane Catford, Mick McCarthy]. Email: deqee82[at]

Dr David Johnson, PhD (2013-2018), Australian National University

David used field surveys and experiments to increase understanding of ways to restore forbs in modified woodlands in SE Australia. [Supervisors: Phil Gibbons, Jane Catford, Don Driscoll]. Email: david.johnson[at]

Dr Samantha Dawson, PhD (2013-2018), University of New South Wales

Sam’s PhD project focused on the impacts of flooding and agriculture on vegetation in the Macquarie Marshes, NSW, using field, experimental and quantitative approaches. [Supervisors: Richard Kingsford, Jane Catford, Peter Berney, David Keith]. Email: samantha.k.dawson[at]