My research focuses on the consequences of disturbance on species and ecosystems. I integrate a number of approaches, including spatial analyses, statistical modelling and conservation planning, to investigate the potential for communities to respond to these disturbances, and assess how these findings can be used to design better management strategies.

I am currently a Research Assistant at the University of Edinburgh, working on a project investigating the responses of tropical savannas to fire. Specifically, we aim to 1) identify phylogenetic patterns in the ability of plant species to resprout, and 2) investigate the dominance of legumes in African savanna ecosystems.

Following my PhD, I worked as a Senior Research Officer during which I investigated how changes in community composition under climate change might drive changes in functional and phylogenetic diversity. I focused on the endemic vertebrates of the Australian Wet Tropics, a region in northeast Queensland where the cool, moist and relatively aseasonal environment has predisposed its biota to being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. 

My PhD research investigated the impacts of current and future climate change on Australian reptiles. I used data on species distributions to model range shifts across a large number of Australia's reptiles under a variety of future climate scenarios. I also identified the particular life history traits, such as poor dispersal abilities and temperature-dependent sex determination, which may make some species especially vulnerable. These results were used to develop a risk assessment framework for evaluating the vulnerability of Australia's reptiles to climate change.

Prior to my PhD, I worked as a research assistant at St Andrews University in Scotland as part of a multidisciplinary team investigating the impacts of underwater noise on the population dynamics of marine mammals. 

Copyright © 2016 Abby Cabrelli