Thesis title: “Plant Life History and the Naturalisation to Invasion Pathway:The Exotic Flora of Australia”
Supervisors: Professor Greg Skilbeck
PhD conferred: 2013
I've always had a passion for learning about the environment and,in order to help conservation efforts protect the remaining native flora and fauna we have left I want to contribute to our understanding of issues driving change in the Australian landscape,
I am currently researching invasive exotic plant species in Australia, and how they differ from closely-related, naturalised non-invasive plant species. I am focussing, primarily, on researching life history comparisons as well as the predator-release theory, and the biological energy allocation of invasive and non-invasive species.
My PhD research encompasses extensive fieldwork in the Blue Mountains region, glasshouse research on phenotypic plasticity, as well as the creation of an Australia-wide database of naturalised and invasive plants.
Through my research I hope to be able to refine our understanding of the mechanisms driving plant invaders, and to contribute towards the future prevention, detection and eradication of problematic species.
Teaching and Previous Research Experience
- Subject Coordination for Landscape Design and Plant Culture
- Demonstrator for Ecology
- Guest Lecturer in Ecology (Topic: Invasion Ecology)
- Demonstrator for Biocomplexity
- Group tutor for The Biosphere
- Demonstrator for Ecology
- Demonstrator for Landscape Design and Plant Culture
- Creation of an Australia-wide database of all invasive and non-invasive naturalised exotic plant species and their life-history attributes.
- Assisting PhD student Carla Harris with temperature, light and moisture-controlled germination experiments of invasive vine species.
- Literature compilation for current publications on Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem research
- First Aid certified (as of 2009) specialising in Remote Area First Aid
- AUSRIVAS certified (as of 2008)
- SPSS training for environmental statistics
- Currently (2009)in training to use and manipulate large-scale environmentally-controlled glasshouses
Stohlgren T. J., Pysek P., Kartez J., Nishino M., Pauchard A., Winter M., Pino J., Richardson D. M., Wilson J., Murray B. R., Phillips M. L., Ming-yang L., Celestri-Grapow L. & Font X. Widespread plant species: native vs. aliens in our changing world. Biological Invasions. (accepted for publication)
Phillips M. L. (2011) Dispersal in Plants: A Population Perspective. Austral Ecology. (book review in press)
Phillips M.L., Murray B.R., Py šek P., Pergl. J., Jarošik V., Chytrý M. & Kühn I. (2010) Central European flora as aliens in Australia. Preslia, vol. 82: pp. 465–482.
Phillips M.L., Murray B.R., Leishman M.R. & Ingram R. (2010) The naturalization to invasion transition: are there introduction-history correlates of invasiveness in exotic plants of Australia? Austral Ecology, vol. 35: pp. 695-703.
Murray B. R. & Phillips M. L. (2010) Investment in seed dispersal structures is linked to invasiveness in exotic plant species of south-eastern Australia. Biological Invasions, vol. 12, no. 7, pp. 2265-2275.
Nevill J.C., Hancock P.J., Murray B.R., Ponder W.F., Humphries W. F., Phillips M.L. & Groom P.K. (2010) Groundwater dependent ecosystems and the dangers of groundwater overdraft: an Australian perspective. Pacific Conservation Biology, vol 16, no. 3, pp. 187-207.