Britt is a PhD candidate at UNSW Sydney and the Australian Museum, previously studying a Bachelor of Science (Biology and Immunology) at the University of Sydney, and Honours (Class I) at UNSW Sydney. She has research interests in amphibian conservation – more specifically the effect anthropogenic activity, such as climate change and urbanisation, has on amphibian ecology, behaviour, and immunology.
Britt is also a passionate science communicator and has been involved in various initiatives at the University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, to inspire the next generation into STEM related careers. She also teaches ecology and evolutionary biology to first-year students at UNSW Sydney.
Project: Australia’s frog species in the Anthropocene – habitat loss, climate change, and disease
Supervised by: Dr Jodi Rowley, Prof Richard Kingsford, Prof Louise Rollins-Smith
Project Description: As human activities rapidly alter ecosystems across the globe, we need to understand how species are responding and/or adapting. For amphibians, a taxon under immense threat globally, understanding their responses is crucial. As such, my PhD (in conjunction with the Australian Museum Research Institute) broadly aims to understand how Australia’s frog species are responding to challenges of the Anthropocene, and more specifically:
- Characterise the habitat of urban biodiversity hotspots that maximises frog diversity and threatened species presence in urban and suburban areas
- The effect urbanisation has on disease susceptibility of Australian frogs through investigations of changes in their skin antimicrobial peptide profiles and immune system
- The effect of climate change on frog morphology over time
- Whether Australian frog species can persist after climate-induced megafires
Callaghan, C.T., Liu, G., Mitchell, B.A., Poore, A.G.B., Rowley, J.J.L. (2021) Urbanization negatively impacts frog diversity at continental, regional, and local scales. Basic and Applied Ecology 54, 64-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.baae.2021.04.003
Mitchell, B.A., Callaghan, C.T., Rowley, J.J.L. (2020) Continental-scale citizen science data reveal no changes in acoustic responses of a widespread tree frog to an urbanisation gradient. Journal of Urban Ecology 6: juaa002. https://doi.org/10.1093/jue/juaa002