Leonie Valentine

Dr, BSc GradDip PhD James Cook

  • The University of Western Australia (M090), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Personal profile


I am a conservation biologist working as a postdoctoral research fellow with Prof. Richard Hobbs and funded by the National Environmental Science Programme - Threatened Species Recovery Hub (NESP –TSR) and the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). A consistent theme of my research is investigating how and why fauna respond to disturbances, understanding the role of fauna in ecosystem function and restoration ecology, and more recently, exploring novel resource use by threatened fauna.

Originally from north Queensland, I completed a BSc at James Cook University and worked in the northern tropics as a research assistant and course coordinator for the School of Tropical Biology at James Cook University. My doctoral research (2007) examined the impacts of an invasive weed (rubbervine, Cryptostegia grandiflora) and fire management strategies on bird and reptile communities in tropical savannas. After moving to Western Australia, I worked as a conservation manager on biodiversity issues related to the Gnangara Sustainability Strategy for the WA Department of Environment and Conservation. I also worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Murdoch University with the WA Centre of Excellence for Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health, examining the role of fauna in ecosystem health.

In late 2012, I joined the Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology (ERIE) team at UWA. My current research examines the role of digging mammals as ecosystem engineers and how translocations of threatened species may be important for landscape restoration. I often work in collaboration with conservation management agencies and I hope that our research will result in greater conservation outcomes.

Funding overview

2012: School of Plant Biology, UWA – Equipment Grant; with RJ Hobbs
2012: City of Mandurah; with PA Fleming
2011: WA State Government Environmental Community Grant; with K Ruthrof, K Brown & L Stubbs
2011: WA Department of Environment & Conservation
2010: WA Department of Environment & Conservation
2008: Forest Products Commission, Gnangara Sustainability Strategy; with W Stock
2004-2005: Tropical Savannas CRC Student Research Grant
2002 – 2003: Norman Wettenhall Foundation & Birds Australia – Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award
2002: Linnean Society of New South Wales

Teaching overview

Current students:
Daniel Bohorquez (MSc, UWA): Does digging by the southern brown bandicoot facilitate litter decomposition and nutrient release in soils?
Gabrielle Beca (PhD, UWA): Restoring degraded landscapes: the role of digging mammals on seedling recruitment. http://www.science.uwa.edu.au/schools/biological-sciences/postgraduate?gabrielle.cristina.beca
Bryony Palmer (PhD, UWA): Reintroduction of digging mammals: interactions with novel ecosystem elements and their potential in ecosystem restoration. http://www.science.uwa.edu.au/schools/biological-sciences/postgraduate?bryony.palmer
Jon-Paul Emery (PhD, UWA): Evaluating conservation management options for two ‘Extinct in the Wild’ reptiles onChristmas Island: the blue-tailed skink (Cryptoblepharus egeriae) and Lister’s gecko (Lepidodactylus listeri). http://www.science.uwa.edu.au/schools/biological-sciences/postgraduate?jon-paul.emery
Emilia Haimbili (PhD, UWA, based in Namibia): Community conservation and restoration of degraded land in semi-arid Namibia in the context of climate change.
Harry Moore (PhD, Charles Stuart University): Northern quolls in the Pilbara region of WA. https://www.csu.edu.au/research/ilws/team/ilws-postgraduates/harry-moore

Previous students:
Dawn Dickinson (PhD, UWA 2018): A social-ecological study of urban green space in Perth, Western Australia: the importance of scale, naturalness and stewardship. http://www.plants.uwa.edu.au/student/postgrad-profiles?dawn.dickinson
Cathryn Ryan (MSc, UWA 2017): The influence of the southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus) on microhabitat and surface fuel loads in an urban reserve.
Sian Thorn (MSc, UWA 2017): The road to nowhere: assessing the effectiveness of biodiversity offsets in the Roe 8 Highway Extension.
Lauren Halstead (Honours, Deakin University 2017): Digging up the dirt: quantifying the effect of eastern barred bandicoots on soil properties.
Keren Raiter (PhD, UWA 2016): Mitigating mining’s enigmatic ecological impacts in Australia’s Great Western Woodlands. http://www.plants.uwa.edu.au/student/postgrad-profiles?profile/1/id/2453
Mike Wysong (PhD, UWA 2016): The ecology and interactions of dingoes and feral cats in the arid rangelands of Western Australia. http://www.erie-research.org/students.html
Helena Bowler (Honours, UWA 2016): Are southern brown bandicoots eating the endangered western swamp tortoise eggs?
Jelena May (Masters of NRM, UWA 2015): What happens after assessment? An evaluation of the effectiveness of environmental offsets in Western Australia.
Tracey Moore (PhD, Murdoch University 2014): The impact of Eucalyptus wandoo crown decline on wildlife. http://profiles.murdoch.edu.au/myprofile/tracey-moore/
Ayesha Kerimofski (Honours, UWA 2013): Habitat use of Tiliqua rugosa in tuart-banksia woodlands.
Michael Bretz (Honours, Murdoch 2012): The role of southern brown bandicoot (Isoodon obesulus fusciventor) biopedturbation in ecosystem processes.
John Stuart (Honours, Murdoch 2012): Microhabitat use of small skinks in Eucalyptus wandoo woodland.
Hannah Anderson (Honours, Murdoch 2011): The relationship between tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) health and medium-sized mammals.
Donna Simmons (Honours, Murdoch 2011): Impacts of Phytophthroa cinnamomi on reptiles in banksia woodlands.
Deborah Bower (Honours, James Cook University 2006): The responses of reptiles to management of an invasive weed, paragrass, in tropical savannas. https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/deborah.bower/
Brady Roberts (MSc, James Cook University 2005): Effects of non-native vegetation on fauna: determinants of habitat selection in two lizard species.


The role of fauna, especially digging mammals, in ecosystem function and restoration management
The response of fauna to disturbances including: fire, invasive species, Phytophthora dieback and tree health
Novel resource use by threatened fauna

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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