Britt Mitchell
PhD Student

Britt Mitchell

Centre for Ecosystem Science
Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

Britt is a PhD candidate at UNSW Sydney and the Australian Museum, supervised by Dr. Jodi Rowley, Prof. Louise Rollins-Smith (Vanderbilt University), and Prof. Richard Kingsford. She has research interests in amphibian conservation in an ever-changing world – more specifically on the effect anthropogenic activity and climate has on amphibian behaviour, ecology, and immunology. In particular, she is interested in using this knowledge to directly inform conservation strategies for such a threatened taxon.

Britt is also a passionate science communicator and has been involved in various initiatives at the University of Sydney, University of Wollongong, SURGFM, and the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, to inspire the next generation into STEM related careers. She has previously studied a Bachelor of Science (Biology and Immunology) at the University of Sydney, with Honours (Class I) undertaken jointly at UNSW Sydney and the Australian Museum. If you would like to get in contact with Brittany about her research, feel free to email her.

Project: Australia’s frog species in the Anthropocene – habitat loss, climate change, behaviour, 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. Although seemingly well documented, how biodiversity is responding to anthropogenic change is relatively unknown. 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 acoustic communication/mating behaviour in frogs
- The effect of urbanisation 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, and persistence of Australian frog species in fire affected areas

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