I am an ecologist, working as a consultant in Sydney. I started a PhD this year – my project involves aspects of fire ecology, specifically looking at appropriate fire intervals for fauna conservation.
The aims of my project are to:
– Review how historic fire intervals within Land Management Zones in New South Wales relate to the Guidelines for Ecologically Sustainable Fire Management (Kenny et al., 2003) for vegetation formations. This will use a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) approach, drawing on vegetation formation (Keith, 2004) and fire history layers;
– Investigate whether the Guidelines for Ecologically Sustainable Fire Management (Kenny et al., 2003) for vegetation formations have the same impacts on fauna habitat across vegetation classes within each formation (Keith, 2004). This will use a field-based approach comparing fauna habitat attributes among vegetation classes that have a similar fire history; and
– Examine whether patches of long-unburnt vegetation in a sub-set of formations (i.e. where the most recent fire is beyond the upper threshold of its recommended fire interval) are important for the conservation of fauna biodiversity. Selected habitat characteristics will be measured in long un-burnt vegetation and compared with vegetation burnt more recently.
My study area is NSW.