I am a Post-doctoral researcher working with Fiona Fidler in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne. My time is split between two very interesting and very different projects SWARM and Research on Research.
The Research on Research project involves working on a range of projects aimed at understanding and redressing the reproducibility crisis. I am specifically interested in trying to improve reproducibility in ecology and related fields. At the Ecological Society of America 2017 conference Ashley Barnett and I presented a poster on the rates of questionable research practices in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The paper will hopefully be in the literature before too long but in the mean time, the headline is that we use questionable research practices a lot….but that’s the same as psychology researchers. The next thing on my list is working out how successful the Transparency and Openness Protocol (TOP) guidelines have been in increasing the openness of publications.
The SWARM project aims to advance collaborative reasoning. There are two branches of this work: one involves developing an online interface to assist group collaboration, the other involves conducting experiments on reasoning and group work to help inform the online interface. I’m involved in the latter and am currently trying to understand how anchoring and production loss are likely to influence the answers group members give in collaborative reasoning tasks
My training is in ecology. I submitted my PhD in January 2017 as part of the Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group, based in the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne. During my PhD I investigated uncertainty around ‘woodland birds’; how we classify them, why we classify them differently, how this effects our conclusions and what we can do about it. I was lucky to have supervision from Mick McCarthy, Libby Rumpff and Cindy Hauser from Melbourne Uni and Georgia Garrard of RMIT University.
I began my PhD in 2013 with a thirst to save the environment. However, working around researchers doing ground breaking research changed my perspective slightly. The knowledge that goes into these researchers’ work is phenominal and has the potential to provide important ecological insights but so often the work falls short of being used. I see it as my mission to make sure that the (fantastic) research these people are doing is as useful as it can possibly be.
In my ‘free time’ I put together a nomination to list the Temperate and Sub-tropical Woodland Bird Threatened Ecological Community as a Threatened Ecological Community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, working closely with researchers from all over Australia.