PhD Candidate, Murdoch University

The focus of my research is species interactions (facilitation and competition) in the context of multiple plant functional types with an emphasis on the role of fire ephemeral species in the preliminary stages of restoration (emergence to juvenile plants). The first phase of my research will be mapping existing plant communities at various stages of development to determine natural species distributions and grouping patterns. The secondary phases will utilize the grouping patterns determined in the mapping effort to test for facilitative or competitive interactions between multiple species in both field trials (quarry mine site) and glass house studies. The role of species interactions in plant establishment and persistence is critical knowledge for restoration practitioners because it will help to inform success of application practices. In addition to informing local restoration practices, this research will provide quantitative evidence of multi-species interactions and build on global theories of plant facilitation and competition.