Alison O'Donnell

Dr, BSc PhD W.Aust.

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

    6009 Perth


  • 322 Citations
  • 10 h-Index

Research output per year

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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

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Research Output

  • 322 Citations
  • 10 h-Index
  • 15 Article
  • 1 Comment/debate
  • 1 Letter
  • 1 Doctoral Thesis
  • Potential for tree rings to reveal spatial patterns of past drought variability across western Australia

    O'Donnell, A., Cook, E. R., Palmer, J. G., Turney, C. S. M. & Grierson, P., 7 Feb 2018, In : Environmental Research Letters. 13, 2

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    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

    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

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    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

  • 17 Citations (Scopus)