Dr Alex Callen

Dr Alex Callen

Postdoctoral Researcher

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

Alex is a post-doctoral research ecologist with the Conservation Biology Research Group, in the School of Environmental and Life Sciences. Her principal research interests are in the fields of conservation biology and ecology, particularly in applied research related to habitat manipulation and restoration and the success of animal reintroductions into these areas. She enjoys taking conservation methods developed in the laboratory and at small field scales and applying them at the more complex landscape scale to test their efficacy and improve conservation outcomes. She is particularly interested in using habitat manipulations to mitigate against novel wildlife diseases that are host-generalist and therefore remain prevalent in the environment. Alex has experience in general flora and fauna surveys, surveys of threatened amphibians, amphibian micro-chipping, habitat preference analysis, qPCR analysis (disease and infection analysis), water quality monitoring and analysis, statistical analysis and modelling, project management, impact assessment and industry liaison. She worked as an environmental scientist and ecologist in a variety of government and industry positions before returning to Newcastle University to pursue her research and teaching career.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Environmental Science, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours), University of Newcastle

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Conservation Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental management
  • Environmental monitoring
  • Habitat manipulation
  • Reintroduction
  • Restoration
  • Threatened species
  • Wildlife Disease

Languages

  • English (Mother)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity 40
060208 Terrestrial Ecology 30
050102 Ecosystem Function 30

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
Casual Web Learn Tutor Env & Life Sciences University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia
Casual Academic University of Newcastle
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Australia

Academic appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/2/2019 - 1/2/2020 Conjoint Lecturer The University of Newcastle, Australia
Australia

Teaching appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/7/2018 - 31/12/2018 Course Co-ordinator Biological Sciences University of Newcastle
Australia
28/2/2014 - 30/11/2018 Casual Academic School of Environmental & Life Sciences - Faculty of Science & IT - The University of Newcastle | Australia
Australia
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Publications

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


Journal article (4 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Callen A, Hayward MW, Klop-Toker K, Allen BL, Ballard G, Broekhuis F, et al., 'Envisioning the future with compassionate conservation : An ominous projection for native wildlife and biodiversity', Biological Conservation, 241 (2020)

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd The ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ movement is gaining momentum through its promotion of ¿ethical¿ conservation practices based on self-proclaimed principles of ... [more]

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd The ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ movement is gaining momentum through its promotion of ¿ethical¿ conservation practices based on self-proclaimed principles of ¿first-do-no-harm¿ and ¿individuals matter¿. We argue that the tenets of ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ are ideological - that is, they are not scientifically proven to improve conservation outcomes, yet are critical of the current methods that do. In this paper we envision a future with ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ and predict how this might affect global biodiversity conservation. Taken literally, ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ will deny current conservation practices such as captive breeding, introduced species control, biocontrol, conservation fencing, translocation, contraception, disease control and genetic introgression. Five mainstream conservation practices are used to illustrate the far-reaching and dire consequences for global biodiversity if governed by ¿Compassionate Conservation¿. We acknowledge the important role of animal welfare science in conservation practices but argue that ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ aligns more closely with animal liberation principles protecting individuals over populations. Ultimately we fear that a world of ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ could stymie the global conservation efforts required to meet international biodiversity targets derived from evidenced based practice, such as the Aichi targets developed by the Convention on Biological Diversity and adopted by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and the United Nations.

DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.108365
Citations Scopus - 3
Co-authors Ryan Witt, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Matthew Hayward
2019 Hayward MW, Scanlon RJ, Callen A, Howell LG, Klop-Toker KL, Di Blanco Y, et al., 'Reintroducing rewilding to restoration Rejecting the search for novelty', Biological Conservation, 233 255-259 (2019) [C1]

© 2019 Rewilding is emerging as a major issue in conservation. However, there are currently a dozen definitions of rewilding that include Pleistocene rewilding, island rewilding, ... [more]

© 2019 Rewilding is emerging as a major issue in conservation. However, there are currently a dozen definitions of rewilding that include Pleistocene rewilding, island rewilding, trophic rewilding, functional rewilding and passive rewilding, and these remain fuzzy, lack clarity and, hence, hinder scientific discourse. Based on current definitions, it is unclear how the interventions described under the rewilding umbrella differ from those framed within the long-standing term ¿restoration¿. Even projects held up as iconic rewilding endeavours invariably began as restoration projects (e.g., Oostvaaderplassen; Pleistocene Park; the return of wolves to Yellowstone, etc.). Similarly, rewilding organisations (e.g., Rewilding Europe) typically began with a restoration focus. Scientific discourse requires precise language. The fuzziness of existing definitions of rewilding and lack of distinction from restoration practices means that scientific messages cannot be transferred accurately to a policy or practice framework. We suggest that the utility of ¿rewilding¿ as a term is obsolete, and hence recommend scientists and practitioners use ¿restoration¿ instead.

DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.03.011
Citations Scopus - 9Web of Science - 7
Co-authors John Clulow, Matthew Hayward, Simon Clulow, Anita Chalmers, Rose Upton Uon, Andrea Griffin, John Rodger, John Gould
2019 Hayward MW, Jachowski D, Bugir CK, Clulow J, Krishnamurthy R, Griffin AS, et al., 'The search for novelty continues for rewilding', BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 236 584-585 (2019)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.05.041
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Anita Chalmers, Rose Upton Uon, John Clulow, Matthew Hayward, Andrea Griffin
2019 Hayward MW, Callen A, Allen BL, Ballard G, Broekhuis F, Bugir C, et al., 'Deconstructing compassionate conservation.', Conserv Biol, 33 760-768 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1111/cobi.13366
Citations Scopus - 5Web of Science - 2
Co-authors John Clulow, Ryan Witt, Matthew Hayward, Simon Clulow, Rose Upton Uon, Andrea Griffin
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 9
Total funding $702,943

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


20201 grants / $12,955

Status of Green and Golden Bell Frogs in Port of Newcastle managed zones of Kooragang Island$12,955

Funding body: Port of Newcastle

Funding body Port of Newcastle
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Colin McHenry, Doctor Alex Callen, Associate Professor John Clulow, Associate Professor Matthew Hayward
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2020
GNo G2000009
Type Of Funding C3111 - Aust For profit
Category 3111
UON Y

20194 grants / $452,402

Conserving vulnerable amphibian fauna in protected habitats$300,627

Funding body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Funding body NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Project Team

Prof Michael Mahony, Proff Brett Neilan, A/Prof Matthew Hayward, A/Prof John Clulow, Dr Kaya Klop-Toker, Dr Alex Callen

Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2022
GNo
Type Of Funding C2220 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Other
Category 2220
UON N

Population status, distribution, and demography of the Green and Golden Bell Frog on Kooragang Island$96,965

Funding body: Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG)

Funding body Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group (NCIG)
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Associate Professor John Clulow, Associate Professor Matthew Hayward, Doctor Colin McHenry, Doctor Alex Callen
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1901005
Type Of Funding C3111 - Aust For profit
Category 3111
UON Y

UoN Clyde Wetland Frog Survey 19 Monitoring, Environmental (PU)$44,300

Funding body: VIVA Energy Australia

Funding body VIVA Energy Australia
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Alex Callen
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1901192
Type Of Funding C3111 - Aust For profit
Category 3111
UON Y

Measurement of the genetic diversity of the population of the threatened green and golden bell frog in the Brickpit habitat at the Sydney Olympic Parklands$10,510

Funding body: Sydney Olympic Park Authority

Funding body Sydney Olympic Park Authority
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Alex Callen
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1900785
Type Of Funding C2220 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Other
Category 2220
UON Y

20184 grants / $237,586

Impact of closure works on Green and Golden Bell Frog populations on Koorangang Island$155,883

Funding body: Hunter Development Corporation

Funding body Hunter Development Corporation
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Colin McHenry, Doctor Alex Callen
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1800355
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Expert herpetology advice for restoration of green and golden bell frog habitat at Clyde terminal$31,703

Funding body: VIVA Energy Australia

Funding body VIVA Energy Australia
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Alex Callen
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2018
GNo G1800652
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Determining adaptive capacity of mountain top frogs to climate change predictions$30,000

Funding body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Funding body NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Alex Callen, Associate Professor Matthew Hayward
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1800796
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Establishing population status and identifying priority management sites for stuttering frog$20,000

Funding body: NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Funding body NSW Office of Environment and Heritage
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Alex Callen, Professor Stephen Donnellan
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2018
Funding Finish 2019
GNo G1800713
Type Of Funding C2220 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Other
Category 2220
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current2

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2020 PhD The Application of Environmental DNA (eDNA) for Detecting and Monitoring the Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) in Stream Habitats PhD (Environmental Sc), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2020 Masters Understanding the Drivers of Decline of Threatened Frog Populations in the NSW National Park Reserve System M Philosophy (EnvironmentalSc), Faculty of Science, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
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News

Researchers jump to action to save threatened frog species

January 24, 2019

As part of a new conservation initiative, community members in the Sydney Basin area will learn to identify frogs by their call.

Dr Alex Callen

Positions

Postdoctoral Researcher
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Research Associate
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Casual Academic
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Casual Academic
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Casual Web Learn Tutor Env & Life Sciences
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Faculty of Science

Contact Details

Email alex.callen@newcastle.edu.au
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