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Career Summary

Biography

I am a biologist working in a variety of research fields including ecology, conservation, evolution and reproduction in terrestrial vertebrates.  I am passionate about amphibians and these often form the core models for my research, which has led me to work in the Amphibian Research Laboratory at the University of Newcastle.

Many of my research projects involve long-term field work collecting significant data sets to explain ecological and evolutionary processes over time. The conservation of Australia’s unique fauna is also a major driver for my work. This has seen a multi-million dollar research program established to investigate and reverse the decline of the green and golden bell frog.

A major component of my research career has been the investigation of the impact of invasive cane toads on terrestrial ecosystems in the Kimberley wilderness of northern Western Australia, where I have been gathering data on the fauna of the east Kimberley, before the onset of toads. This work has led to numerous high-impact publications on the impacts of toads on Australian ecosystems, and ways in which to mitigate this impact.

My interest in reproductive biology along with my passion for conservation has led me to become a major advocate for biotechnological approaches to conservation and stopping species extinctions, such as gene banking and assisted reproductive technologies. This work has also resulted in a cutting-edge collaborative project on de-extinction that saw the revival of live embryos of an extinct frog species through cloning – which was named in TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2013.

Due to my expertise and experience with frogs, I have been invited as a specialist expert scientist to participate in numerous workshops to inform and direct policy and management of Australia’s frog fauna, and have been invited to participate in Australian Geographic scientific expeditions as the lead amphibian biologist in 2011, 2012 & 2013.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Teaching, University of Newcastle, 11/12/2006

Research

Research keywords

  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Herpetology
  • Reproduction

Research expertise

My research is diverse and interdisciplinary, focused in the fields of ecology, evolutionary biology, conservation biology and reproductive biology (specifically Assisted Reproductive Technologies and Gene Banking) within terrestrial vertebrates. I choose often to focus upon amphibians as my core model, although I also work on reptiles, mammals and birds. These research fields and techniques often integrate, with many of my projects incorporating both field and laboratory elements.

My work in the fields of ecology, conservation, and evolutionary biology has often involved large-scale and/or long-term field projects that have collected significant long-term data sets to explain ecological and evolutionary processes over time. This has also involved gathering a large amount of data on species that are in remote/difficult areas and have been little studied. A good example of this is a current project investigating the impact of invasive cane toads on terrestrial ecosystems in the remote Kimberley wilderness of the Western Australia tropics, gathering long-term baseline data on the fauna of the east Kimberley before the onset of toads. Many of the projects that I have established in these fields as chief investigator have involved establishing good working relationships with external collaborators, some of which are at the top of their fields (e.g. Professor H. Carl Gerhardt - looking at the evolution of complex acoustic signalling in frogs; Professor Mike Archer – De-extinction and ART in Australian frogs; Dr Sean Doody – impact of invasive cane toads on Kimberley fauna).

My interest in reproductive biology along with my passion for conservation has led me to become a major advocate for biotechnological approaches to conservation and stopping species extinctions, such as gene banking and assisted reproductive technologies. This work has also resulted in a cutting-edge collaborative project on de-extinction that saw the revival of live embryos of an extinct frog species through cloning – which was named in TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2013.

Despite being in the early stages of my research career, I have made many significant contributions in my field to date. I have published in major international journals such as Biological Invasions, Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, Journal of Zoology and PLoS One. In my publications I have attempted to push new ground and have reported numerous novel findings e.g. investigating the drivers facilitating shifts between multiple spatio-temporal strategies in a single species (eastern grass owl) across its range. My work on de-extinction, which involved a collaborative project that saw the revival of live embryos of an extinct frog species through cloning, was named in TIME magazine’s top 25 inventions of 2013 – the only Australian invention to make the list.

Current research projects include (some collaborative):

  • Impact of invasive cane toads in the Kimberley ranges, Western Australia
  • The development of cloning, Assisted Reproductive Technologies (ART) and gene banking for Australian frogs and reptiles
  • De-extinction of vertebrate fauna
  • Strategies for improving reproductive success in unpredictable environments using a model frog
  • Evolution of complex acoustic signalling in frogs
  • Social behaviour and complex nesting in the yellow-spotted monitor
  • Impact of introduced trout on threatened stream frogs in the NSW highlands
  • Investigations into the decline of the green and golden bell frog in NSW

Fields of Research

CodeDescriptionPercentage
060208Terrestrial Ecology40
050202Conservation And Biodiversity30
060300Evolutionary Biology30

Collaboration

I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with several researchers at the top of their game which have led to ground breaking research outcomes including:

Professor H. Carl Gerhardt - Looking at the evolution of complex acoustic signalling in frogs

Professor Mike Archer – De-extinction and ART in Australian frogs

Dr Sean Doody & Dr Colin McHenry – Impact of invasive cane toads on Kimberley fauna

Teaching

Teaching keywords

  • Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Evolution
  • Herpetology
  • Reproduction

Teaching expertise

Teaching duties have included the preparation and delivery of lectures, tutorials, running practical classes such as laboratories and field trips, and course coordination roles. Lecturing duties have included preparing and delivering a series of 6 lectures on invasive species biology for a 3rd year biology course. I have also been the head tutor and had program convenor (course co-ordinator) responsibilities for a 1st year biology course (Organisms to Ecosystems) and a 2nd year course (Science in Practice), which is a compulsory course for all B. Sc. Students (approximately 165 students per year). Courses taught include BIOL1002 Organisms to Ecosystems; BIOL1003 Professional Skills for Biological Sciences 1; EMGT2050 Australian Fauna; BIOL2002 Laboratory Skills in Biological Systems; BIOL2070 Ecology; SCIT2000 Science in Practice; BIOL3350 Ecological Research and EMGT3030 Conservation Biology.

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Highlighted Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2013Lawson B, Clulow S, Mahony MJ, Clulow J, 'Towards Gene Banking Amphibian Maternal Germ Lines: Short-Term Incubation, Cryoprotectant Tolerance and Cryopreservation of Embryonic Cells of the Frog, Limnodynastes peronii', PLOS ONE, 8 (2013) [C1]
2012Clulow J, Clulow S, Guo J, French AJ, Mahony MJ, Archer M, 'Optimisation of an oviposition protocol employing human chorionic and pregnant mare serum gonadotropins in the Barred Frog Mixophyes fasciolatus (Myobatrachidae)', Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 10 60 (2012) [C1]

Co-authors: John Clulow

2011Clulow S, Peters KL, Blundell AT, Kavanagh RP, 'Resource predictability and foraging behaviour facilitate shifts between nomadism and residency in the eastern grass owl', Journal of Zoology, 284 294-299 (2011) [C1]

Publications

For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Click on a category title below to expand the list of citations for that specific category.

Journal article (10 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Pizzatto L, Stockwell M, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Chemical communication in green and golden bell frogs: do tadpoles respond to chemical cues from dead conspecifics?', Chemoecology, (2014)
2014Doody JS, Mayes P, Clulow S, Rhind D, Green B, Castellano CM, et al., 'Impacts of the invasive cane toad on aquatic reptiles in a highly modified ecosystem: the importance of replicating impact studies', Biological Invasions, 1-7 (2014)
2013Mahony MJ, Hamer AJ, Pickett EJ, McKenzie DJ, Stockwell MP, Garnham JI, et al., 'Identifying Conservation and Research Priorities in the Face of Uncertainty: A Review of the Threatened Bell Frog Complex in Eastern Australia.', Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 8 519-538 (2013) [C1]
2013Lawson B, Clulow S, Mahony MJ, Clulow J, 'Towards Gene Banking Amphibian Maternal Germ Lines: Short-Term Incubation, Cryoprotectant Tolerance and Cryopreservation of Embryonic Cells of the Frog, Limnodynastes peronii', PLOS ONE, 8 (2013) [C1]
2013Doody JS, James H, Dunlop D, D'Amore D, Edgar M, Fidel M, et al., 'Strophurus ciliaris (northern spiny-tailed gecko) communal nesting', Herpetological Review, 44 685 (2013) [C3]
2013Rhind D, Doody JS, Ellis R, Ricketts A, Scott G, Clulow S, McHenry C, 'Varanus glebopalma (black-palmed monitor) nocturnal activity and foraging', Herpetological Review, 44 687-688 (2013) [C3]
2012Clulow J, Clulow S, Guo J, French AJ, Mahony MJ, Archer M, 'Optimisation of an oviposition protocol employing human chorionic and pregnant mare serum gonadotropins in the Barred Frog Mixophyes fasciolatus (Myobatrachidae)', Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology, 10 60 (2012) [C1]

Co-authors: John Clulow

2011Clulow S, Peters KL, Blundell AT, Kavanagh RP, 'Resource predictability and foraging behaviour facilitate shifts between nomadism and residency in the eastern grass owl', Journal of Zoology, 284 294-299 (2011) [C1]
2011Clulow S, Blundell AT, 'Deliberate insectivory by the fruit bat Pteropus poliocephalus by aerial hunting', Acta Chiropterologica, 13 201-205 (2011) [C1]
2008Stockwell MP, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'The impact of the amphibian Chytrid Fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis on a Green and Golden Bell Frog Litoria aurea reintroduction program at the Hunter Wetlands Centre Australia in the Hunter Region of NSW', Australian Zoologist, 34 379-386 (2008) [C1]
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Conference (21 outputs)

YearCitationAltmetricsLink
2014Bainbridge L, Stockwell M, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Considering the effect of disturbance during late habitat succession on green and golden bell frog occupancy', Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014Lawson B, Clulow S, Mahony M, Clulow J, 'Cryoprotectant tolerance and cryopreservation of embryonic cells of the frog, Limnodynastes peronii', Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014James M, Stockwell M, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'The role of conspecific call attraction in the local distribution of the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea)', Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014Klop-Toker K, Stockwell M, Valdez J, Bainbridge L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Soft-release at a larger body size improves apparent survivorship of green and golden bell frogs (Litoria aurea) in a breed and release program', Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014Wright D, Stockwell M, Clulow J, Clulow S, Mahony M, 'Modelling landscape level distribution and habitat requirements for the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea)', The Australian Society of Herpetologists Conference. Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014Valdez J, Stockwell M, Klop-Toker K, Bainbridge L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Created habitat features selected for by the endangered green and golden bell frog', Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014Magin N, Clulow S, Clulow J, 'Limitations of CASA for the assessment of sperm motility of myobatrachid and hylid sperm stored in an inactivated state', Proceedings of the 37th Meeting of the Australian Society of Herpetologists, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia, Point Wolstoncroft, Australia (2014)
2014Valdez J, Stockwell M, Klop-Toker K, Bainbridge L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Ensuring successful habitat creation despite ecological experimental design constraints.', 4th International Statistical Ecology Conference, Montpellier, France (2014)
2013Klop-Toker K, Stockwell M, Valdez J, Bainbridge L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'A pathogen's impact on the reintroduction of a threatened frog species', EcoTas 13 Handbook, Auckland (2013) [E3]
2013Doody JS, Clulow S, Kay G, Wilson S, D'Amore D, Castellano C, et al., 'Mass movements across a landscape reveal that vertebrates use gorges as dry season refugia in a tropical woodland savannah', Proceedings of the 11th International Congress of Ecology, London, United Kingdom, London, Uk (2013) [E3]
2013Valdez J, Stockwell M, Klop-Toker K, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Comparison of habitat selection by an endangered amphibian in a natural and created landscape', EcoTas 13 Handbook, Auckland, New Zealand (2013) [E3]
2012Clulow S, Harris MS, Mahony MJ, 'Measuring amphibian immunocompetence: Validation of the Delayed-Type Hypersensitivity (DTH) assay in multiple Australian frogs', 2012 World Congress of Herpetology, Vancouver, CA (2012) [E3]

Co-authors: Merrilee Harris

2010Clulow S, Clulow J, 'Temporal and seasonal use of compensatory nest boxes by vertebrate fauna in the Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia', Australasian Wildlife Management Society: Book of Abstracts, Torquay, Victoria (2010) [E3]
2010Clulow S, Mahony MJ, 'Understanding phenotypic plasticity in amphibian metamorphosis: could the costs outweigh the benefits?', Australian Society of Herpetologists: Conference Abstracts, Barmera, South Australia (2010) [E3]
2009Clulow S, Peters K, Blundell A, Kavanagh R, 'Selective predator or opportunist? Diet of the Eastern Grass Owl in south-east Australia and its relation to prey availability', 10th International Congress of Ecology Abstracts, Brisbane, QLD (2009) [E3]
2009Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'Predicting amphibian occurrence and distribution by habitat association: A case study of two threatened stream frogs in south-east Australia', 10th International Congress of Ecology Abstracts, Brisbane, QLD (2009) [E3]

Co-authors: John Clulow

2009Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'The relationship between habitat attributes and the occurence and distribution of two threatened stream frogs in south-east Australia (stuttering frog, Mixophyes balbus and glandular frog, Litoria subglandulosa): Implications for conservation and management', Conservation Management of Herpetofauna: Second Meeting of the Australasian Societies for Herpetology, Auckland, NZ (2009) [E3]

Co-authors: John Clulow

2008Clulow S, Peters KL, Blundell AT, Kavanagh R, 'Diet of a permanently resident (non-nomadic) population of the Eastern Grass Owl Tyto longimembris on the mid-north coast of New South Wales and its relation to seasonality and prey availability', Australasian Raptor Association National Conference Programme, Coffs Harbour, NSW (2008) [E3]
2008Clulow S, Mahony MJ, Clulow J, 'Developmental plasticity in an Australian anuran wet forest ephemeral specialist: The Sandpaper frog, Lechriodus fletcheri', 6th World Congress of Herpetology CD-ROM, Manaus, Brazil (2008) [E3]

Co-authors: John Clulow

2008Blundell AT, Clulow S, Peters KL, Kavanagh R, 'Distribution, habitat usage and observed behaviour of a southern resident population of the Eastern Grass Owl Tyto longimembris near Newcastle, New South Wales', Australasian Raptor Association National Conference Programme, Coffs Harbour, NSW (2008) [E3]
2007Clulow S, Mahony MJ, Clulow J, 'The evolution of developmental plasticity in an amphibian ephemeral specialist: A density and food recouse independent model of phenotypic plasticity in the Sandpiper Frog, Lechriodus fletcheri', ASH 2007 Program and Abstracts, Albany, W.A. (2007) [E3]

Co-authors: John Clulow

Show 18 more
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants7
Total funding$2,447,959

- Indicates that the researcher may be seeking students for this project.

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

2012 (2 grants)

Faculty Visiting Fellowship 2012$10,000
Funding Body: University of Newcastle - Faculty of Science & IT

Project Team
Mr Simon Clulow
SchemeRole
Visiting FellowshipChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$10,00020122012
GNo:G1401122

Preventing an iconic species from decline: the magnificent tree frog and the toad$4,000
Funding Body: Australian Geographic

Project Team
Mr Simon Clulow
SchemeRole
Project GrantChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$4,00020122013
GNo:G1300014

2011 (1 grants)

Research and monitoring program for BHP Billiton's Litoria Aurea (Green and Golden Bell frog) compensatory habitat program for the period 2010-2015$1,405,781
Funding Body: Newcastle Innovation

Project Team
Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor John Clulow, Ms Michelle Stockwell, Mr Simon Clulow
SchemeRole
Administered ResearchInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$1,405,78120112015
GNo:G1000939

2010 (3 grants)

Landscape and population dynamics of Kooragang and Ash Island bell frogs$725,677
Funding Body: Port Waratah Coal Services Limited

Project Team
Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor John Clulow, Ms Michelle Stockwell, Mr Simon Clulow
SchemeRole
Research ProjectInvestigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$725,67720102012
GNo:G1000779

Establishing a captive breeding and translocation program for the reintroduction of the endangered Green and Golden Bell Frog into trial habitat areas on Kooragang and Ash Island$262,811
Funding Body: Newcastle Innovation

Project Team
Mr Simon Clulow, Ms Michelle Stockwell, Doctor John Clulow, Professor Michael Mahony
SchemeRole
Administered ResearchChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$262,81120102011
GNo:G1000440

Continuation of established transect monitoring for the study of trout impacts on endangered frog demographics in the Styx river catchment - Year 4$9,990
Funding Body: NSW Trade & Investment

Project Team
Professor Michael Mahony, Mr Simon Clulow, Doctor John Clulow
SchemeRole
Recreational Fishing Trust Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$9,99020102010
GNo:G1000370

2009 (1 grants)

Surveys for the endangered Booroolong Frog in the Central West Catchment of NSW$29,700
Funding Body: Newcastle Innovation

Project Team
Mr Simon Clulow
SchemeRole
Administered ResearchChief Investigator
Total AmountFunding StartFunding Finish
$29,70020092009
GNo:G1000412
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Research Supervision

Number of current supervisions0

No Supervisions.

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Mr Simon Clulow

Work Phone(02) 4921 5811
Email
PositionCasual Academic
Amphibian Research Group
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science and Information Technology
The University of Newcastle, Australia
Focus AreaBiological Sciences
Office
BLG10,
Biology Building,
Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan NSW 2308
Australia
URL:www.newcastle.edu.au/profile/simon-clulow