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James Vandersteen

PhD Student, UNSW Sydney

I am a PhD student at The University of New South Wales (UNSW). For my doctoral research I am investigating the role of dingoes as apex predators in the Australian Alps, with a focus on how anthropogenic control of their populations affects ecosystem structure and functioning in alpine environments.

Past work that I have been involved in has included scavenging ecology, the impacts of light pollution, recovery of critically endangered species, and beach/coastal ecology.

I am also keenly interested in predator ecology, human-wildlife conflict, and ecology and conservation biology in the context of sustainable development, especially in agricultural settings and in developing nations.


  • 2022–2022
    Research assistant, The University of the Sunshine Coast
  • 2019–2019
    Research assistant, Western Sydney University


  • 2022 
    The University of Sydney, Master of Philosophy (Science)
  • 2018 
    The University of Queensland, Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2017 
    Monash University, Bachelor of Environmental Science


  • 2023
    Carcass use by mesoscavengers drives seasonal shifts in Australian alpine scavenging dynamics, Wildlife Research
  • 2022
    The predatory impacts of invasive European wasps on flies are facilitated by carcasses with open wounds, Food Webs
  • 2020
    Risk aversion and uncertainty create a conundrum for planning of a critically endangered species , Conservation Science and Practice
  • 2020
    Quantifying the impact of light pollution on sea turtle nesting using ground-based imagery, Remote Sensing