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 PhD students

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]