Bushfire recovery research funded

Researchers from La Trobe's School of Life Sciences have successfully secured grant funding from the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program.

La Trobe Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) has congratulated researchers from the School of Life Sciences who have successfully secured grant funding from the Australian Government’s Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program.

Dr Ryan Phillips - Preventing extinction in bushfire affected orchids.

In 2020, key wilderness areas containing threatened orchids were affected by the bushfires. To prevent extinction of threatened orchid species in these regions, this project will survey the affected populations, determine limits to reproduction in a post-fire landscape, and develop extensive ex situ collections for future reintroductions and research.*

Associate Professor Pete Green - Impact of megafires on priority land snail species in south-eastern Australia

In this research project, the team will undertake targeted field surveys to determine the impact of the recent bushfires on 18 species of land snails listed as ‘Priority Matters’. This work will assess the impact of the fires on land snails and will identify priority actions needed to support their recovery and conservation.

Associate Professor Heloise Gibb - Rapid assessment and restoration of litter and log invertebrates.

Associate Professor Gibb will survey priority invertebrate species to determine the impact of fires on log and litter invertebrates, her research will test the effectiveness of relocating litter invertebrates from unburnt to nearby burnt areas to fast track recovery.

"This is the second tranche of this funding opportunity and I would also like to recognise Dr Julia Mynott who was successful in the first tranche, for her research into the conservation of Victoria’s unique alpine stonefly, following the 2020 bushfires. (more details are here)," Professor Dodds said.

"La Trobe has been awarded the highest number of grants across the two tranches and will receive almost $1.5m from this grant opportunity. I am delighted that La Trobe researchers have been successful in this important grant program which supports the immediate survival and long-term recovery for fire-affected Australian animals, plants, ecological communities and other natural assets and their cultural values for Indigenous Australians."

* This project is a collaboration with Dr Noushka Reiter (Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria), Dan Duval (Botanic Gardens of South Australia), and the following partner organisations: The Australasian Native Orchid Society (Victorian Branch), The Native Orchid Society of South Australia, The Australian National Botanic Gardens, The Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, The Australian Network for Plant Conservation, The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (Victoria), The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment (NSW), Parks Victoria, and Natural Resources Adelaide and Mt Lofty Ranges.

Media Contact: Kathryn Powley | k.powley@latrobe.edu.au | 9479 3491 | 0456 764 371