Postdocs

Dr. Simon Clulow (January 2018-)

 

Simon won a highly competitive Macquarie University Research Fellowship (MQRF). He works in a variety of research fields including ecology, conservation, evolution and reproduction in terrestrial vertebrates.

Simon’s Google Scholar profile

Simon’s profile and publications on ResearchGate

Here is a personal summary of his work

A major component of my research career has been the investigation of the impact of invasive cane toads on terrestrial ecosystems in the Kimberley wilderness of northern Western Australia, where I have been gathering data on the fauna of the east Kimberley, before the onset of toads. This work has led to numerous high-impact publications on the impacts of toads on Australian ecosystems, and ways in which to mitigate this impact.

My interest in reproductive biology along with my passion for conservation has led me to become a major advocate for biotechnological approaches to conservation and stopping species extinctions, such as gene banking and assisted reproductive technologies. This work has also resulted in a cutting-edge collaborative project on de-extinction that saw the revival of live embryos of an extinct frog species through cloning – which was named in TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2013.

Due to my expertise and experience with frogs, I have been invited as a specialist expert scientist to participate in numerous workshops to inform and direct policy and management of Australia’s frog fauna, and have been invited to participate in Australian Geographic scientific expeditions as the lead amphibian biologist in 2011, 2012 & 2013.

Research Expertise

My research is diverse and interdisciplinary, focused in the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology and reproductive biology (specifically Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Gene Banking) within terrestrial vertebrates. I choose often to focus upon amphibians as my core model, although I also work on reptiles, mammals and birds. These research fields and techniques often integrate, with many of my projects incorporating both field and laboratory elements. My work in the fields of ecology, conservation, and evolutionary biology has often involved large-scale and/or long-term field projects that have collected significant long-term data sets to explain ecological and evolutionary processes over time. This has also involved gathering a large amount of data on species that are in remote/difficult areas and have been little studied. A good example of this is a current project investigating the impact of invasive cane toads on terrestrial ecosystems in the remote Kimberley wilderness of the Western Australia tropics, gathering long-term baseline data on the fauna of the east Kimberley before the onset of toads. Many of the projects that I have established in these fields as chief investigator have involved establishing good working relationships with external collaborators, some of which are at the top of their fields (e.g. Professor H. Carl Gerhardt – looking at the evolution of complex acoustic signalling in frogs; Professor Mike Archer – De-extinction and ART in Australian frogs; Dr Sean Doody – impact of invasive cane toads on Kimberley fauna). My interest in reproductive biology along with my passion for conservation has led me to become a major advocate for biotechnological approaches to conservation and stopping species extinctions, such as gene banking and assisted reproductive technologies. This work has also resulted in a cutting-edge collaborative project on de-extinction that saw the revival of live embryos of an extinct frog species through cloning – which was named in TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2013.

In my publications I have attempted to push new ground and have reported numerous novel findings e.g. investigating the drivers facilitating shifts between multiple spatio-temporal strategies in a single species (eastern grass owl) across its range. My work on de-extinction, which involved a collaborative project that saw the revival of live embryos of an extinct frog species through cloning, was named in TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2013 – the only Australian invention to make the list. Current research projects include (some collaborative): – Impact of invasive cane toads in the Kimberley ranges, Western Australia – The development of cloning, Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and gene banking for Australian frogs and reptiles – De-extinction of vertebrate fauna – Strategies for improving reproductive success in unpredictable environments using a model frog – Evolution of complex acoustic signalling in frogs – Social behaviour and complex nesting in the yellow-spotted monitor – Impact of introduced trout on threatened stream frogs in the NSW highlands – Investigations into the decline of the green and golden bell frog in NSW.