Alison O'Donnell

Dr, BSc PhD W.Aust.

  • The University of Western Australia (M092), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Crawley


  • 214 Citations
  • 9 h-Index

Personal profile


I have a broad research interest in biogeography and landscape ecology in relation to climate variability and fire regimes. I am particularly interested in utilising dendrochronology (tree ring) techniques to understand past climates and fire regimes of arid and semi-arid regions in Western Australia. I also have an ongoing interest in improving understanding of the interactions between climate and fire and vegetation, topography and ecosystem processes.

Funding overview

2015 A drought atlas for Western Australia from tree rings, Research Collaboration Award, The University of Western Australia

2014 ITRAX measurements of tree ring density and chemistry to reconstruct past rainfall patterns in NW Australia, Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) research award

Current projects

My current research is focused on reconstructing past rainfall variability of the Pilbara region in north-west Australia and the wheatbelt region of southwest Australia using the width and stable isotope composition of growth rings of Callitris columellaris trees.

Industrial relevance

Fire ecology and management
Sustainable management of semi-arid landscapes


Fire ecology – temporal and spatial patterns of wildfires
Semi-arid landscape ecology
Dendrochronology and paleoclimate research




  • Dendroclimatology and tree ring studies
  • Fire ecology
  • Landscape ecology

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

drought Earth & Environmental Sciences
paleoclimate Earth & Environmental Sciences
Little Ice Age Earth & Environmental Sciences
wildfire Earth & Environmental Sciences
tree ring Earth & Environmental Sciences
Droughts Medicine & Life Sciences
summer Earth & Environmental Sciences
dendrochronology Earth & Environmental Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2017

Research Output 2008 2017

  • 214 Citations
  • 9 h-Index
  • 13 Article
  • 1 Comment/debate
  • 1 Letter
  • 1 Doctoral Thesis

Reply to Comment on 'Drought variability in the eastern Australia and New Zealand summer drought atlas (ANZDA, CE 1500-2012) modulated by the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation'

Palmer, J. G., Cook, E. R., Turney, C. S. M., Allen, K., Fenwick, P., Cook, B. I., O'Donnell, A., Lough, J., Grierson, P. & Baker, P. J. 30 May 2017 In : Environmental Research Letters. 12, 6, 068002

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access
1 Citations

Better planning outcomes require adequate data and ecological understanding to be successful and credible: A reply to Evans et al., 2015

Gosper, C. R., O'Donnell, A. J., Yates, C. J., Prober, S. M. & Grierson, P. F. 2016 In : Biological Conservation. 200, p. 240-241 2 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

9 Citations

Evidence for climate-driven synchrony of marine and terrestrial ecosystems in northwest Australia

Ong, J., Rountrey, A. N., Zinke, J., Meeuwig, J., Grierson, P., O'Donnell, A., Newman, S. J., Lough, J. M., Trougan, M. & Meekan, M. 2016 In : Global Change Biology. 22, 8, p. 2776-2786

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

terrestrial ecosystem
marine ecosystem
9 Citations

Evidence for extreme floods in arid subtropical northwest Australia during the Little Ice Age chronozone (CE 1400-1850)

Rouillard, A., Skrzypek, G., Turney, C., Dogramaci, S., Hua, Q., Zawadzki, A., Reeves, J., Greenwood, P., O'Donnell, A. & Grierson, P. 2016 In : Quaternary Science Reviews. 144, p. 107-122

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Little Ice Age
natural disaster
intertropical convergence zone
5 Citations

Multidecadal variations in Southern Hemisphere atmospheric 14C: Evidence against a Southern Ocean sink at the end of the Little Ice Age CO2 anomaly

Turney, C. S. M., Palmer, J., Hogg, A., Fogwill, C. J., Jones, R. T., Bronk Ramsey, C., Fenwick, P., Grierson, P., Wilmshurst, J., O'Donnell, A., Thomas, Z. A. & Lipson, M. 18 Feb 2016 In : Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 30, 2, p. 211-218

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Little Ice Age
Southern Hemisphere
Northern Hemisphere