Thomas Mesaglio
PhD Student

Thomas Mesaglio

Centre for Ecosystem Science | Evolution & Ecology Research Centre
UNSW Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences

I'm extremely passionate about citizen science, especially the biodiversity citizen science platform iNaturalist, where I'm a curator and forum moderator. I'm also a great proponent of BioBlitzes, and have organised, co-organised, participated in, and led surveys for a range of events, including the City Nature Challenge, Great Southern BioBlitz, Big Bushfire BioBlitzes, and a Desert Discovery expedition.

My main interests include urban ecology, Australian plants, beachcombing, invertebrates, and taxonomy.

Project: Understanding and improving our knowledge of Australian plant biodiversity

Supervised by: Will Cornwell and Hervé Sauquet

Project Description: My PhD is twofold:
1) Exploring what the current state of the playing field is with respect to our knowledge of Australian plants, addressing questions such as how many native species are there, which species have never been photographed, and traits associated with colonisation and extinction.
2) Developing frameworks, identification tools, education resources, and workflows for improving and better distributing this knowledge.

Journal articles
Mesaglio T, 2020, 'Get off my lawn!', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 18, pp. 260.

Kirchhoff C, Callaghan CT, Keith DA, Indiarto D, Taseski G, Ooi MK, Le Breton TD, Mesaglio T, Kingsford RT and Cornwell WK, 2021, 'Rapidly mapping fire effects on biodiversity at a large-scale using citizen science', Science of The Total Environment, 755, p. 142348.

Callaghan CT, Poore AG, Mesaglio T, Moles AT, Nakagawa S, Roberts C, Rowley JJ, Vergés A, Wilshire JH and Cornwell WK, 2021, 'Three Frontiers for the Future of Biodiversity Research Using Citizen Science Data', BioScience, 71, pp. 55-63.

Mesaglio TP, Schilling HT, Adler L, Ahyong ST, Maslen B and Suthers IM, 2021, 'The ecology of Lepas-based biofouling communities on moored and drifting objects, with applications for marine forensic science', Marine Biology, 168, pp. 1-16.

Mesaglio T and Callaghan CT, 2021, 'An overview of the history, current contributions and future outlook of iNaturalist in Australia', Wildlife Research, 48, pp. 289-303.

Mesaglio T, Soh A, Kurniawidjaja S and Sexton C, 2021, '‘First Known Photographs of Living Specimens’: the power of iNaturalist for recording rare tropical butterflies', Journal of Insect Conservation, 25, pp. 905-911.

Lantz CA, Leggat W, Bergman JL, Fordyce A, Page C, Mesaglio T and Ainsworth TD, 2022, 'Will daytime community calcification reflect reef accretion on future, degraded coral reefs?', Biogeosciences, 19, pp. 891-906.

Smith GB, Mitchell A and Mesaglio T, 2022, 'Two new Australian silverfish (Zygentoma: Lepismatidae: Ctenolepismatinae and Nicoletiidae: Subnicoletiinae)', Records of the Australian Museum, 74, pp. 59-74.

Mesaglio T and Shaw SR, 2022, 'Observations of oviposition behaviour in the long‐tailed wasp Megalyra fasciipennis Westwood, 1832 (Hymenoptera: Megalyridae)', Austral Ecology, 47, pp. 889-893.

Layton C, Vermont H, Beggs H, Brassington GB, Burke AD, Hepburn L, Holbrook N, Marshall-Grey W, Mesaglio T, Parvizi E and Rankin J, 2022, 'Giant kelp rafts wash ashore 450 km from the nearest populations and against the dominant ocean current', Ecology, 103, p. e3795.

Mesaglio T, Dowse M and McMartin G, 2022, 'First record of the barnacle Conchoderma virgatum on an ephippid fish', Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, pp. 1-4.

Mesaglio T, Callaghan CT, Samonte F, Gorta SB and Cornwell WK, 2022, 'Recognition and completeness: two key metrics for judging the utility of citizen science data', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Accepted, awaiting proofs.

Callaghan CT, Mesaglio T, et al. 2022, 'The benefits of contributing to the citizen science platform iNaturalist as an identifier', PLoS Biology. Accepted, awaiting proofs.

Mesaglio T, 2019, 'It’s Helico-pter, not Heli-copter: A Beginner’s Guide to Deconstructing Scientific Words and Names'.

Mesaglio T, 2021, 'Seashells of North Haven Beach', Sydney: Thomas Mesaglio.

Conference papers, abstracts and presentations
Attard A, Brander R, Fitzgerald T and Mesaglio T, 2017, 'Improving preparedness and community adaptation to coastal storms and sea level rise', NSW Coastal Conference 2017, Port Stephens Nov 2017.

Mesaglio T, 2020, 'iNaturalist: harnessing the power of citizen science', STANSW, K-12 Teachers Conference: BEEINS 2020 – BeInspired, Nov 2020.

Mesaglio T, 2021, 'Environment Recovery Project: leveraging iNaturalist to understand recovery from Australian bushfires', CitSciOz21: Celebrate, Communicate, Co-create, Oct 2021.

Chapman AD, Mesaglio T and Taseski G, 2022, 'Formulaic Unpublished Names: The need for a TDWG standard and for the inclusion of such names in apps such as iNaturalist', Biodiversity Information Science and Standards, 6, p. e91062.