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Dr Matthew W. Rees
Ecologist, CSIRO
matt.rees@csiro.au

I am a scientist researching how to effectively conserve nature and manage “pest” species. My work tends to focus on (i) measuring outcomes of ecosystem interventions, (ii) estimating species populations dynamics, as well as (iii) uncovering interactions among coexisting species (particularly concerning invasive animals or top predators). I completed my PhD in 2022 with the Quantitative and Applied Ecology group at the University of Melbourne, which investigated behavioural and numerical ‘release’ of feral cats following poison-baiting programs targeting introduced red foxes, which may explain why some native prey species do not benefit from fox control. Currently I am based in Brisbane as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow with CSIRO. Here my projects focus on data integration and spatiotemporal methods to more accurately estimate current distributions of priority pest species, as well as near-term forecasting of mouse plagues. I also serve on the Executive Committee of the Queensland Conservation Council, which provides a united voice for environmental community groups across the state.

Interests

  • Conservation and agricultural decision-making
  • Statistical ecology
  • Invasive species and predator ecology
  • Optimal survey design

Academia

University of Melbourne
2017 - 2022
Ph.D. Quantitative Ecology
Queensland University of Technology
2013 - 2016
B.Sc. (Hons) Environmental Science

Publications

Population density and ranging behaviour of a generalist carnivore varies with human population, 2024, Ecology and Evolution
B Alting , B Pitcher , MW Rees , J Ferrier-Paris , J Neil
Dynamic shifts in predator diel activity patterns across landscapes and threat levels, 2024, Oikos
MW Rees , BA Wintle , JH Pascoe , M Le Pla , EK Birnbaum , BA Hradsky
Fox control and fire influence the occurrence of invasive predators and threatened native prey, 2023, Biological Invasions
MW Rees , BA Wintle , A Robley , JH Pascoe , M Le Pla , EK Birnbaum , BA Hradsky
Mesopredator release among invasive predators: Controlling red foxes can increase feral cat density and alter their behaviour, 2023, Journal of Applied Ecology
MW Rees , JH Pascoe , M Le Pla , A Robley , EK Birnbaum , BA Wintle , BA Hradsky
Managing Interacting Invasive Predators for Biodiversity Conservation, 2022, PhD thesis, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences; University of Melbourne
MW Rees
Genetic sampling and an activity index indicate contrasting outcomes of lethal control for an invasive predator, 2022, Austral Ecology
M Le Pla , EK Birnbaum , MW Rees , BA Hradsky , AR Weeks , A Van Rooyen , JH Pascoe
Counting the bodies: Estimating the numbers and spatial variation of Australian reptiles, birds and mammals killed by two invasive mesopredators, 2022, Diversity and Distributions
A Stobo-Wilson , BP Murphy , SM Legge , H Caceres‐Escobar , DG Chapple , HM Crawford , SJ Dawson , CR Dickman , TS Doherty , PA Fleming , ST Garnett , M Gentle , TM Newsome , R Palmer , MW Rees , EG Ritchie , J Speed , J Stuart , AF Suarez‐Castro , E Thompson , A Tulloch , J Turpin , JCZ Woinarski
Compounding and complementary carnivores: Australian bird species eaten by the introduced European red fox Vulpes vulpes and domestic cat Felis catus, 2021, Bird Conservation International
JCZ Woinarski , A Stobo-Wilson , HM Crawford , SJ Dawson , CR Dickman , TS Doherty , PA Fleming , ST Garnett , M Gentle , SM Legge , TM Newsome , R Palmer , MW Rees , EG Ritchie , J Speed , J Stuart , E Thompson , J Turpin , BP Murphy
A guide to surveying red foxes and feral cats in Australia, 2021, NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub Project 1.1.5 report, Brisbane.
BA Hradsky , HW McGregor , MW Rees , M Le Pla , J Keem , BA Wintle , S Legge
Sharing meals: predation of Australian mammals by the introduced European red fox compounds and complements predation by cats, 2021, Biological Conservation
A Stobo-Wilson , BP Murphy , HM Crawford , SJ Dawson , CR Dickman , TS Doherty , PA Fleming , M Gentle , SM Legge , TM Newsome , R Palmer , MW Rees , EG Ritchie , J Speed , J Stuart , E Thompson , J Turpin , JCZ Woinarski
Reptiles as food: predation of Australian reptiles by introduced red foxes compounds and complements predation by cats, 2021, Wildlife Research
A Stobo-Wilson , BP Murphy , SM Legge , DG Chapple , HM Crawford , SJ Dawson , CR Dickman , TS Doherty , PA Fleming , M Gentle , TM Newsome , R Palmer , MW Rees , EG Ritchie , J Speed , J Stuart , E Thompson , J Turpin , JCZ Woinarski
Variation in feral cat density between two large adjacent islands in Australia’s monsoon tropics, 2021, Pacific Conservation Biology
H Davies , Tiwi Land Rangers , MW Rees , D Stokeld , A Miller , G Gillespie , B Murphy
Rapidly assessing cobenefits to advance threat‐management alliances, 2020, Conservation Biology
MW Rees , J Carwardine , A Reeson , J Firn
Monitoring and managing critical weight range mammals in the Indigenous Protected Areas of the World Heritage Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, 2020, A report prepared for the Victorian Government, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
MW Rees
Unexpectedly high densities of feral cats in a rugged temperate forest, 2019, Biological Conservation
MW Rees , JH Pascoe , BA Wintle , M Le Pla , EK Birnbaum , BA Hradsky