bmDr Brad Murray (Google Scholar Profile) leads research in the lab on plant flammability in the context of wildfires and on plant-animal interactions in relation to the ecological impacts of exotic plants on native flora and fauna.


Dan Krix, PhD student, is working on the flammability of native plant species in the Blue Mountains (eastern Australia). He has expertise in ecological statistics and in the application of advanced analytical techniques using R.

Iphone Pictures 2012-2014 868Emily Quinn Smyth, MSc student, is examining the ecological impacts of invasion by the exotic plant Lantana on native flora and fauna. She is working in remnant vegetation on the coast of eastern Australia, where her work is funded by Lake Macquarie City Council.


Josh Stainlay, MSc student, is investigating the flammability of native and exotic plant species at the urban-bushland interface.

Aaron Greenville by Alison Foster

Dr Aaron Greenville, Research Associate, is a wildlife ecologist with research interests in biodiversity conservation, macroecology and statistical analysis.


Philippa Alvarez, internship student, is exploring plant flammability within Australian native plant species.

Noni Photo2

Noni Dowsett, research assistant, is working with Josh Stainlay on the flammability of native and exotic plant species at the urban-bushland interface.


Isabel Lyons, research assistant, is working with Emily Quinn Smyth on the impacts of invasion by the exotic plant Lantana on native flora and fauna.

Previous Lab Members, Projects and Publications

2017 Matthew Hingee – PhD thesis submitted in March 2017 – The Influence Of Depth-To-Groundwater On The Ecology Of Woodland Vegetation

  • Hingee MC, Eamus D, Krix DW, Zolfaghar S, Murray BR (2017) Patterns of plant species composition in mesic woodlands are related to a naturally occurring depth-to-groundwater gradient. Community Ecology 18: 21–30.

2015 Madeline Ross – Honours – Temperature And Leaf Flammability: The Influence Of Increasing Radiant Heat And Leaf Traits On Leaf Flammability

2014 Dan Krix – Honours – Sun, Seeds, Leaves And Height: The Influences Of Fire Trails On Plant Assemblies And Their Traits

2013 Rebecca Lay – Honours – The Ecology Of The Noisy Miner In An Urban Environment

2013 Leigh Martin – PhD – Impacts Of Invasive Exotic Plants On Reptile And Amphibian Assemblages

  • Martin LJ, Murray BR (2013) A preliminary assessment of the response of a native reptile assemblage to spot-spraying invasive Bitou Bush with glyphosate herbicide. Ecological Management & Restoration 14, 59–62.
  • Martin LJ, Murray BR (2011) A comparison of short-term marking methods for small frogs using a model species, the striped marsh frog (Limnodynastes peronii). Herpetological Journal 21, 271–273.
  • Martin LJ, Murray BR (2011) A predictive framework and review of the ecological impacts of exotic plant invasions on reptiles and amphibians. Biological Reviews 86, 407–419.
  • 2011, Society for Conservation Biology Prize for Best Spoken Paper on Conservation at the Ecological Society of Australia Annual Conference.

2013 Megan Phillips – PhD – Plant Life History And The Naturalisation To Invasion Transition: The Exotic Flora Of Australia

  • Phillips ML, Murray BR (2012) Invasiveness in exotic plant species is linked to high seed survival in the soil. Evolutionary Ecology Research 14, 83–94.
  • Phillips ML, Murray BR, Pyšek P, Pergl J, Jarošík V, Chytrý M, Kühn I (2010) Plant species of the Central European flora as aliens in Australia. Preslia 82, 465–482.
  • Phillips ML, Murray BR, Leishman MR, Ingram R (2010) The naturalization to invasion transition: Are there introduction-history correlates of invasiveness in exotic plants of Australia? Austral Ecology 35, 695–703.
  • 2010, Wiley-Blackwell Student Prize for Outstanding Poster Presentation at the Ecological Society of Australia Annual Conference.

2012 Tara Konarzewski – PhD – Clinal Variation In Life-History Traits Of The Invasive Plant Species Echium plantagineum L.

  • Konarzewski TK, Murray BR, Godfree RC (2012) Rapid development of adaptive, climate-driven clinal variation in seed mass in the invasive annual forb Echium plantagineum L. PLOS ONE 7, e49000.

2012 Ellen Mannix – Honours – Comparative Patterns Of Habitat Use By Bird Assemblages In An Urban Environment

2012 Emily Strautins – Honours – Habitat Selection By Frogs In A Peri-Urban Environment: Do Frogs Avoid Weeds?

2010 Lyndle Hardstaff – Honours – Relationships Between Leaf Flammability And Leaf Traits In Native And Exotic Species Of Dry Sclerophyll Forest

  • Murray BR, Hardstaff LK, Phillips ML (2013) Differences in leaf flammability, leaf traits and flammability-trait relationships between native and exotic plant species of dry sclerophyll forest. PLOS ONE 8, e79205.
  • 2010, Jim Rose Geography Award for Best Spoken Paper at the Geographical Society of NSW 14th Annual Honours Conference.

2010 Kien Nguyen – Honours – Impacts Of Invasive African Olive On Leaf-Litter Invertebrate Assemblages

  • Nguyen KQ, Cuneo P, Cunningham SA, Krix DW, Leigh A, Murray BR (2016) Ecological effects of increasing time since invasion by the exotic African olive (Olea europaea ssp. cuspidata) on leaf-litter invertebrate assemblages. Biological Invasions 18, 1689–1699.

2009 Andrew Baker – PhD – The Dynamics Of Litterfall In Eucalypt Woodland Surrounding Pine Plantations

  • Baker AC, Murray BR (2012) Seasonal intrusion of litterfall from non-native pine plantations into surrounding native woodland: Implications for management of an invasive plantation species. Forest Ecology and Management 277, 25–37.
  • Baker AC, Murray BR (2010) Relationships between leaf-litter traits and the emergence and early growth of invasive Pinus radiata seedlings. Weed Research 50, 586–596.

2009 Damian Licari – PhD – Long-Term Changes In Grassland, Woodland And Forest Vegetation Of South-Eastern Australia: Impacts Of Land-Use Change

2008 Carla Harris – PhD – Invasion Success Of Exotic Vines In Australia: The Importance Of Life-History, Introduction-History And Ecological Attributes

  • Harris CJ, Murray BR, Hose GC, Hamilton MA (2007) Introduction history and invasion success in exotic vines introduced to Australia. Diversity and Distributions 13, 467–475.

2008 Tara Vaughan – Honours – Relating Interspecific Variation In Seed Mass To Seedling Growth Under Climate Change

2007 Tessa Robson – Honours – The Effects Of Pine (Pinus radiata D. Don) Plantations On Leaf-Litter Invertebrates

  • Murray BR, Baker AC, Robson TC (2009) Impacts of the replacement of native woodland with exotic pine plantations on leaf-litter invertebrate assemblages: A test of a novel framework. International Journal of Ecology 2009, Article ID 490395.
  • Robson TC, Baker AC, Murray BR (2009) Differences in leaf-litter invertebrate assemblages between radiata pine plantations and neighbouring native eucalypt woodland. Austral Ecology 34, 368–376.

2006 Andrew Cantlay – Honours – Bird Assemblages Within Heath And Woodland Vegetation Invaded By Lantana camara L.

2006 Noni Dowsett – Honours – Distribution And Abundance Of Mammals In Vegetation Invaded By Lantana camara L.

2004 Andrew Baker – Honours – Ecosystem Responses To Pinus radiata D. Don Invasion

  • Baker AC, Murray BR, Hose GC (2007) Relating pine-litter intrusion to plant-community structure in native eucalypt woodland adjacent to Pinus radiata (Pinaceae) plantations. Australian Journal of Botany 55, 521–532.
  • Baker AC, Hose GC, Murray BR (2006) Vegetation responses to Pinus radiata (D. Don) invasion: A multivariate analysis using principal response curves. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 127, 191–197.

2003 Mark Hamilton – Honours – The Abundance, Distribution And Life History Of Exotic Plant Species In Royal National Park

  • Cadotte MW, Hamilton MA, Murray BR (2009) Phylogenetic relatedness and plant invader success across two spatial scales. Diversity and Distributions 15, 481–488.
  • Hamilton MA, Murray BR, Cadotte MW, Hose GC, Baker AC, Harris CJ, Licari D (2005) Life-history correlates of plant invasiveness at regional and continental scales. Ecology Letters 8, 1066–1074.