Researcher biography

Al’s research aims to improve the understanding of the interaction between water availability, vegetation cover and composition, and associated impacts on threatened biodiversity in landscapes with highly variable water availability. He is using his background in remote sensing and spatial science to map increases in surface water availability, following the development of artificial water points in arid Australia. This work is complemented by research investigating the variable responses of arid zone vegetation to rainfall, using phenocams and satellite imagery. Small, higher productivity patches provide an important resource for arid specialist species such as the endangered night parrot (Pezoporus occidentalis). Identifying the availability of these resources through time and space requires accurate, consistent maps of variation in vegetation productivity. Without these maps, scientists, land managers and policy makers are unable to predict where, when and how patterns of rain and subsequent vegetation productivity might lead to changes in critical food and shelter resources for species of conservation concern.

Al is supervised by Stuart Phinn, Ayesha Tulloch and Rod Fensham.