Staff profile

Professor Michael Clarke

Head of School of Life Sciences, Professor

Faculty of Science, Technology and Engineering
School of Life Sciences
Department of Zoology

Biological Sciences Building 2, Room 354, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Area of study

Agricultural Sciences

Brief profile

 

Prof Mike Clarke is the Head of the School of Life Sciences, and Professor of Zoology at La Trobe University. He has a long-standing interest in the impact of fire upon fauna. He has published internationally on the ecology and conservation biology of birds, reptiles, mammals, fish and plants. He leads research, along with his colleague Prof Andrew Bennett from Deakin University, into the impact of fire in the mallee, the Box-Ironbark forests, the Central Highlands, and Wilsons Promontory. He also maintains an ongoing research interest in threatened species and threatening processes. He was the Convener of the Scientific Advisory Committee on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act to the Victorian Minister for the Environment for five years. In 2007 he was awarded the DL Serventy Medal by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union for his outstanding contribution to the scientific literature in ornithology. In 2010 he appeared as an expert witness in fire ecology at the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.

Teaching units

ZOO2FE – Australian Fauna and Ecology (Coordinator)

ZOO3EPA – Mallee Field Course (Coordinator)

WCB2IC – Issues in Conservation Biology

CBE3CA – Applications in Conservation Biology

Recent publications

 

  1. Taylor R.S., Watson S.J., Nimmo D.G., Kelly L.T., Bennett A.F. and Clarke M.F. (in press) Landscape-scale effects of fire on bird assemblages: does pyrodiversity beget biodiversity? Diversity and Distributions
  2. Watson S.J., Taylor R.S., Nimmo D.G, Kelly L.T., Haslem A., Clarke M.F., Bennett A.F. (in press) Effects of time-since-fire on bird species: how informative are generalized fire-response curves for conservation management? Ecological Applications
  3. Kelly, L.T., Nimmo, D.G., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Haslem, A., Watson, S.J., Clarke, M.F., & Bennett, A.F. (2011) Influence of fire history on small mammal distribution: insights from a 100-year post-fire chronosequence. Diversity and Distributions 17: 462-473
  4. Burbidge, A.H., Maron M., Clarke, M.F., Baker, J., Oliver, & Ford, G. (2011) Linking science and practice in ecological research: how can we do it better? Ecological Management and Restoration 12:54-60
  5. Clarke, M.F., Avitabile, S.C., Brown, L., Callister, K.E., Haslem, A., Holland, G.J., Kelly, L.T., Kenny, S.A., Nimmo, D.G., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Taylor, R.S., Watson, S.J., & Bennett, A.F. (2010) Ageing mallee eucalypt vegetation after fire: insights for successional trajectories in semiarid mallee ecosystems. Australian Journal of Botany 58: 363-372.
  6. Driscoll, D.A., Lindenmayer, D.B., Bennett, A.F., Bode, M., Bradstock, R.A., Cary, G.J., Clarke, M.F., Dexter, N., Fensham, R.J., Friend, G.R., Gill, A.M., James, S., Kay, G., Keith, D.A., MacGregor, C., Possingham, H.P., Russell-Smith, J., Salt, D., Watson, J.E.M., Williams, R.J., & York, A. (2010) Resolving conflicts in fire management using decision theory: asset-protection versus biodiversity conservation. Conservation Letters 3: 215-223.
  7. Driscoll, D.A., Lindenmayer, D.B., Bennett, A.F., Bode, M., Bradstock, R.A., Cary, G.J., Clarke, M.F., Dexter, N., Fensham, R.J., Friend, G.R., Gill, A.M., James, S., Kay, G., Keith, D.A., MacGregor, C., Russell-Smith, J., Salt, D., Watson, J.E.M., Williams, R.J., & York, A. (2010) Fire management for biodiversity conservation: key research questions and our capacity to answer them. Biological Conservation 143: 1928-1939.
  8. Haslem, A., Kelly, L.T., Nimmo, D.G., Watson, S.J., Kenny, S.A., Taylor, R.S., Avitabile, S.C., Callister, K.E., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Bennett, A.F., & Clarke, M.F. (2010) Habitat or fuel? Implications of long-term, post-fire dynamics for the development of key resources for fauna and fire. Journal of Applied Ecology 48:247-256
  9. Haslem, A., Callister, K.E., Avitabile, S.C., Griffioen, P.A., Kelly, L.T., Nimmo, D.G., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Taylor, R.S., Watson, S.J., Brown, L., Bennett, A.F., & Clarke, M.F. (2010) A framework for mapping vegetation over broad spatial extents: a technique to aid land management across jurisdictional boundaries. Landscape and Urban Planning 97: 296-305.
  10. Kelly, L.T., Nimmo, D.G., Spence-Bailey, L.M., Clarke, M.F. and Bennett, A.F. (2010) The short-term responses of small mammals to wildfire in semiarid mallee shrubland, Australia Wildlife Research 37: 293-300.
  11. Spence-Bailey, L.M., Nimmo, D.G., Kelly, L.T., Bennett, A.F., & Clarke, M.F. (2009) Maximising trapping efficiency in reptile surveys: the role of seasonality, weather conditions and moon phase on capture success. Wildlife Research 37:104-115.
  12. Brown, S., Clarke M.F., and Clarke R. (2009) Fire is a key element in the landscape-scale habitat requirements and global population status of a threatened bird: The Mallee Emu-wren (Stipiturus mallee) Biological Conservation 142:432-445.
  13. Oldland JM, Taylor R, Clarke MF, (2009) Habitat preferences of the noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala) - a propensity for prime real estate? Austral Ecology 34:306-316.
  14. Clarke MF, (2008) Catering for the needs of fauna in fire management: science or just wishful thinking? Wildlife Research 35:385-394.

Research projects

1. Mallee Fire and Biodiversity Project

2. Fire Refuge Project (Kilmore-Murrindindi Fire)

3. Long-term study of bird community recovery after fire at Wilsons Promontory

3. Mallee Hawkeye Project