Dr Caragh Threlfall



I am a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with research interests including urban ecology and biodiversity, landscape ecology, and the social-ecological dynamics of human dominated landscapes.

I joined GIRG in 2011 after completing my PhD at the University of NSW. My PhD investigated changes in micro-bat diversity in relation to urbanisation, landscape structure, and critical resources including insect prey and tree hollows in Sydney’s urban landscape.

My research falls into three key areas of urban ecosystems:

  1. The impact of urban form and green infrastructure on biodiversity.
  2. The services biodiversity provides across different urban landscapes.
  3. The effectiveness of urban greening and management for biodiversity conservation and the maintenance of ecosystem function.

In my current role I am assessing the ecosystem services and biodiversity values of urban green spaces in south-east Melbourne.

Key Publications

Hudson, L.N., Newbold, T., Contu, S., Hill, S.L.L., Lysenko, I., De Palma, A., …Threlfall, C.G,… Purvis, A, (accepted November 2014). The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution. In press

Jung, K and Threlfall, C.G. (accepted July 2014) Bats in urban environments. Book chapter in ‘Bats in the Anthropocene: Conservation of bats in a changing world’. Voigt, C. and Kingston, T (Eds), Springer

Luck G.W., Smallbone L., Threlfall C. & Law B. (2013). Patterns in bat functional guilds across multiple urban centres in south-eastern Australia. Landscape Ecology, 28, 455 – 469.

Threlfall C., Law B. & Banks P.B. (2013). Odour cues influence predation risk at artificial bat roosts in urban bushland. Biology Letters, 9.

Threlfall C.G., Law B. & Banks P.B. (2013). Roost selection in suburban bushland by the urban sensitive bat Nyctophilus gouldi. Journal of Mammalogy, 94, 307-319.

Threlfall C.G., Law B. & Banks P.B. (2013). The urban matrix and artificial light restricts the nightly ranging behaviour of Gould’s long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi). Austral Ecology, in press.

Threlfall C.G., Law B. & Banks P.B. (2012). Influence of landscape structure and human modifications on insect biomass and bat foraging activity in an urban landscape. PLOS one, 7, e38800.

Threlfall C.G., Law B. & Banks P.B. (2012). Sensitivity of insectivorous bats to urbanization: Implications for suburban conservation planning. Biological Conservation, 146, 41-52.

Threlfall C.G., Law B., Penman T. & Banks P.B. (2011). Ecological processes in urban landscapes: mechanisms influencing the distribution and activity of insectivorous bats. Ecography, 34, 814-826.

Science communication and knowledge transfer

Threlfall, C.G., Williams, N.S.G., Hahs, A., and Livesley S.J. (2014) Green Havens. Australian Turfgrass Management Journal. (16.5) 6-13, available at http://www.agcsa.com.au/files/Biodiversity%2016.5%20pg%206-12pdf.pdf

Threlfall, C.G. (2013) Urban ecology: Boring as bats#!t or heaven scent? The Conversation, 10 May, available at http://theconversation.com/urban-ecology-boring-as-batshit-or-heaven-scent-14007

Wilson, L, Threlfall, C.G., Ossola, A., Williams, N.S.G., Hahs, A., Stork, N., and Livesley S.J. (2013) Remnant Refuges. Australian Turfgrass Management Journal. (15.2), 52-54.

Law, B and Threlfall, C.G. (2013) Bats of Sydney. Australasian Bat Society Poster, available at http://www.sydneybats.org.au/microbats/microbats-of-sydney-poster/

Threlfall, C.G. (2013) Landscape and urban design for bats and biodiversity. Australasian Bat Society Newsletter. (40), 29-30.

Threlfall, C.G. (2012). Why bats need dark skies. Australasian Bat Society Fact Sheet, available at http://ausbats.org.au/#/bats-and-lights/4569171624

Mata, L, Threlfall, C.G., Williams, N.S.G., Hahs, A., Stork, N., and Livesley S.J. (2012) Hidden Helpers. Australian Turfgrass Management Journal. (14.5), 7-9, available at http://www.agcsa.com.au/files/Biodiverstiy%2014.4%20pg%206-11.pdf

Research grants

Williams, N.S.G, Threlfall C.G, Walker, K. Understanding and enhancing urban pollinator biodiversity via wildlife gardening and citizen scientists, McCoy Seed Funding, Museum Victoria $19,795 2015 – 2016

Kendal, McDonnell, Livesley, van der Ree, Davern, Threlfall, Hughes, Cook, Taylor. Managing urban trees as keystone structures in the social and ecological fabric of cities, Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute $6,000 2014-2015

Williams, N.S.G, Threlfall C.G. Understanding pollination services and plant reproductive success in remnant and revegetated urban parks. Parks Victoria $10,8102014-2015

Threlfall, C.G., Williams, N.S.G., van der Ree, R., Livesley, S.J., and Harrison, L. Bushland and Urban Biodiversity in a Changing Climate. The City of Boroondarra. $50,000 2014-2015Threlfall, C.G. (2013) Bat and bird biodiversity controls insect pests in urban landscapes University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant $39,228

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