Expert Consultant and Collaborator
Seabird foraging ecology in the eastern Indian Ocean
Rowan completed his PhD in 2017 as a member of the Research Ecology group. The PhD focussed on the movements and foraging ecology of frigatebirds breeding at Ashmore Reef and Adele Island. He is currently extending his research in this region by investigating the spatial ecology of boobies. Using the skills he acquired during his PhD, as well as integrating some new ones he picked up during some recent work for the Moore Plant Ecology and Conservation Group, Rowan hopes to deliver a better understanding of the ways the seabirds in this region interact with their environment.
Science communication is one of Rowan’s core interests and he is on the writing team for national nature engagement and science communication charity Remember the Wild and their regional branch Wild Melbourne. He has also been on the organising committee for the 3rd and 4th World Seabird Twitter Conferences (#WSTC3 and #WSTC4), helping spread seabird research to a global audience of more than 3.9 million people.
Rowan has previously worked on woodland bird projects across much of northern Victoria. These projects have had a focus on fire ecology, particularly how woodland bird assemblages are influenced by prescribed burning operations, as well as how woodland birds respond to revegetation works. These studies had a whole of landscape focus, aiming to document patterns beyond the site-specific scale.
Watching woodland birds is still one of Rowan’s favourite spare time activities, but when he’s not birding in a woodland somewhere, he likes to play his guitar, watch sport (especially AFL football), take photographs (usually of birds) and enjoy a beer with friends.