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Dr Alexei Rowles Honorary Associate, Ecology, Environment & Evolution

I am broadly interested in questions around invertebrate ecology and biological invasions in natural systems, urban habitats and applied agricultural situations.I am also interested in conservation issues and land management at the landscape scale. I want to better understand ecological processes and use these principles to interpret impacts of human induced change.

In particular, I have always been fascinated by interactions including competition and mutualism. The importance of such interactions in structuring communities and driving ecosystem processes becomes evident where they are disrupted by biological invasions. Mutualisms also play an increasingly recognised role in facilitating invasion and exacerbating direct and indirect impacts. Studying the causes and impacts of invasions is valuable for improved management, but invasions also present a unique opportunity for fundamental ecological studies that provide insights into broader community and ecosystem-level processes.

Ants are an ideal group for use in exploring these issues. Australian ants are diverse, ubiquitous in most habitats and contribute a variety of roles in ecosystems. However, these attributes can be disrupted by invasive ants. Worldwide, a suite of ant species with particular traits have become successful invaders, exhibiting complex & diverse impacts outside of their native range.

Positions

selected publications