Environmental science and conservation science aim to protect our planet – the natural resources and biodiversity within Earth’s many ecosystems. Research within environmental conservation looks to protect the world’s environments and provide solutions for their long-term sustainability.

At UNSW, honours projects in environmental science and conservation explore Australian environments, seeking to understand natural and human impacts on Earth’s ecosystems, marine, freshwater and terrestrial and their dependent organisms, to identify solutions for management. View our current projects and connect with an honours project supervisor to learn how you can get involved.

Echidna ecology in the arid zone

The project will use radio telemetry to look at the movement patterns and number of echidnas in the Fowlers Gap area. Supervisor: Dr Keith Leggett

How season & fire influences germination of threatened Zieria species

To unravel the complex dormancy mechanisms of Zieria, you’ll undertake a series of experiments using fire and seasonal temperature cues. Supervisor: Dr Mark Ooi

Environmental conditions associated with avian botulism outbreaks

This project aims to identify and quantify the presence of botulism spores at Lake Cowal. Supervisor: Dr Kate Brandis

Impact of kangaroos on temperate grasslands

This project will be based on field assessment of plants and soil function, laboratory assessment and statistical analyses of plant community composition over the last decade. Supervisors: Prof. David Eldridge | Dr Samantha Travers

Micro-habitat use by two species of Dasyurids in the arid zone

This project studies the habitat use of Sminthopsis macroura and Sminthopsis crassicaudata. Supervisor: Dr Keith Leggett

Vegetation change in a fragmented landscape

The aim of the project is to improve understanding of vegetation change in fragmented landscapes and the factors likely to promote persistence of local biodiversity. Supervisor: Prof David Keith

Is there an optimal camera-trap array?

Use high-resolution movement data from African large carnivores to optimize occupancy and density estimates. Supervisor: Dr. Neil Jordan

Factors affecting information accuracy in zoo signage

Establish a citizen science approach to understand factors affecting information accuracy in zoo signage. Supervisor: Dr. Neil Jordan

Resilience of soil moss and lichen communities after disturbance

Identify the relative importance of intensity and frequency of disturbance on biocrust communities. Supervisors: Prof. David Eldridge

Population dynamics of invasive shrubs

Compare the spatial distribution of exotic (European olive) and native (Bursaria, acacia) shrubs. Supervisors: Prof. David Eldridge

Community assembly and the maintenance of biodiversity

Real-world experimental test of the impact of colonization history, environmental disturbance and competition on the formation of ecological communities. Supervisor: A/Prof. Terry Ord

New methods to measure and forecast molecular biodiversity

Investigate the performance of new methods in molecular biodiversity, and maybe invent methods of your own. Supervisor: Em. Prof. Bill Sherwin

Do reintroduced greater bilbies change macroinvertebrate communities?

Use radiotelemetry and camera traps to determine bilby predation rates on macroinvertebrates. Supervisor: Dr Katherine Moseby, Dr Rebecca West, Prof Richard Kingsford

Optimum monitoring methods for assessing crest-tailed mulgara abundance

Compare camera trapping, track and burrow surveys and trapping techniques to determine crest-tailed mulgara abundance. Supervisor: Dr Rebecca West, Dr Katherine Moseby, Dr Reece Pedler, Prof Richard Kingsford

Do fenced conservation reserves benefit resident bat species?

Use ultrasonic surveys and light trapping to determine whether conservation fences benefit bat species. Supervisor: Dr Rebecca West, Dr Katherine Moseby, Dr Tanya Leary

Using spatial analysis to optimise feral cat control locations

Collect GPS data from feral cats to examine interactions with cat control measures across the Wild Deserts project area. Supervisor: Dr Reece Pedler, Dr John Read, Dr Katherine Moseby, Dr Rebecca West, Prof Richard Kingsford

Large-scale ecosystem regeneration at Fowlers Gap

Be part of the regeneration of Fowlers Gap Arid Zone station. Supervisor: Dr Keith Leggett or others

Use of acoustic deterrents to protect endangered Regent Honeyeater

This is zoo-based study where you will gain experience in developing techniques to protect critically endangered nesting Regent Honeyeaters from predation by small mammals. Supervisors: Drs Neil Jordan, Joy Tripovich and Ben Pitcher