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Associate Professor Heloise Gibb Associate Professor, Ecology, Environment & Evolution

I am a community ecologist who works predominantly on terrestrial arthropods. My research is focussed in three key areas: 1) an experimental, mechanistic understanding of species interactions; 2) Conservation interventions in managed landscapes; and 3) Trait-based approaches to understanding community structure.

1) An experimental, mechanistic understanding of species interactions

My research takes a mechanistic approach to understanding the role of species interactions in structuring communities, with a strong emphasis on field experimentation. My earlier work focussed largely on competition in ant communities and its context-dependency. More recently, I have become interested in interactions between arthropods and ecologically extinct Australian mammals, using reintroductions as a model for ecosystems in Australia prior to European arrival.

2) Conservation interventions in managed landscapes

My research also investigates methods to improve conservation outcomes for terrestrial arthropods, focussing on the outcomes of active restoration efforts. This includes returning plants, resources, structures and animals to habitats. This restoration work is experimental, but also extends to landscape scales.

3) Trait-based approaches to understanding community structure

I am interested in functional trait-based approaches to understanding community structure. My research in this area explores insect morphological trait responses to habitat structure through both mensurative and experimental studies and looks for generalities in trait-based responses to the environment. I am one of the leaders of the Global Ants Collaboration, detailed at: http://globalants.org/, which has developed a database to test theories on the relationship between traits and the environment at a global scale.

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