We actively research the origins and distribution of highly diverse flora found within Australian rainforests.
We do this by integrating a range of investigative approaches including:
Our genetic, functional and ecological research suggests that many rainforest species and communities can respond relatively rapidly to changing conditions. As a vegetation type, Australian rainforests are represented by areas of high concentration of diversity patchily distributed within a near-continuum of a smaller number of species (the ‘continental connectivity’ hypothesis). Such distribution along the eastern coast of the continent is very different from the original narrative of a ‘fragmented archipelago of islands isolated by fire-tolerant sclerophyll vegetation’. This dynamism has important implications for interpreting rainforest ecological and evolutionary processes, as well as for managing diversity.
We use continuously advancing analytical approaches to continue the exploration of our rainforests and support their management and conservation. In particular, we are interested in the impact of dispersal, historical climatic shifts, associations between genes and environment, colonization potential of new species, and much more.