Dr Kaya Klop-Toker

Dr Kaya Klop-Toker

Casual Research Assistant

School of Environmental and Life Sciences

Career Summary

Biography

Dr. Kaya Klop-Toker is a conservation biologist specializing in population ecology and adaptive management of threatened amphibians. Kaya is passionate about understanding the often multi-faceted mechanisms behind amphibian decline, with her research having focused on disease, invasive species, habitat suitability, translocations, and mitigation.

In 2017, Kaya completed her PhD at the University of Newcastle, Australia, on a project investigating the impact of disease and invasive fish on captive bred and released green and golden bell frogs (Litoria aurea). Preceding her PhD, Kaya completed an honours thesis in Adelaide, South Australia, investigating the ecology of a remote population of desert tree frogs. In addition to her own academic research, Kaya has worked for the New Zealand Department of Conservation on a project monitoring endangered native frogs, as well as several volunteer positions researching herpetofauna or endangered species in Madagascar, Western Australia, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

Kaya is an author on 16 journal publications and 20 conference and community presentations, and is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in the Conservation Biology Research Group at the University of Newcastle. 

Kaya’s current research is investigating the impact of longwall mine subsidence on threatened stream breeding frogs. In the present study system, longwall mine subsidence can reduce stream flow, lower below-ground water tables, and altered water quality. These impacts can be temporary, however permanent water loss is common. To determine the impact longwall mining is having on target species, Kaya’s team is working towards quantifying the habitat disturbance of longwall mining, and modeling L. littlejohni’s breeding habitat requirements, population connectivity, and occupancy across the landscape.


Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science, University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Science, University of Otago - New Zealand
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Adelaide

Keywords

  • Amphibians
  • Chytridiomycosis
  • Conservation
  • Population modeling
  • Reintroductions
  • Threat mitigation
  • Wildlife disease

Professional Experience

Professional appointment

Dates Title Organisation / Department
1/6/2016 - 29/12/2017 Lab technician - Vision Sciences lab School of Psychology, Faculty of Science & IT, University of Newcastle
Australia

Awards

Award

Year Award
2019 Amphibian Survival Alliance future leader in amphibian conservation award
Amphibian Survival Alliance

Teaching

Code Course Role Duration
ENVS2006 Ecology and Management of Australian Fauna
School of Environmental & Life Sciences - Faculty of Science & IT - The University of Newcastle | Australia
Course Demonstrator 1/3/2013 - 27/3/2015
ENVS3003 Conservation Biology
School of Environmental & Life Sciences - Faculty of Science & IT - The University of Newcastle | Australia
Course Demonstrator 1/2/2013 - 27/6/2014
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Publications

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


Journal article (16 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2020 Klop-Toker K, Clulow S, Shuttleworth C, Hayward MW, 'Are novel ecosystems the only novelty of rewilding?', Restoration Ecology, 28 1318-1320 (2020) [C1]

Since the introduction of the term ¿rewilding¿ in 1998, several definitions have been proposed, sparking debate around terminology and how (or if) rewilding differs from restorati... [more]

Since the introduction of the term ¿rewilding¿ in 1998, several definitions have been proposed, sparking debate around terminology and how (or if) rewilding differs from restoration. Many papers attempt to distinguish between the two terms through a series of descriptive attributes: historic baselines, landscape-driven transformation, ongoing human intervention, the connection of people with nature, and the creation of novel ecosystems. Here, we discuss the overlap between these terms and illustrate that the creation of novel ecosystems provides the clearest distinction between rewilding and restoration. If the definition of rewilding is distilled down to its most unique component, the creation of novel ecosystems, perhaps scientists can then work to produce a clear framework for rewilding that is based on best conservation practice.

DOI 10.1111/rec.13241
Co-authors Matthew Hayward, Kaya Klop-Toker, Simon Clulow
2020 Meyer NFV, Balkenhol N, Dutta T, Hofman M, Meyer J-Y, Ritchie EG, et al., 'Beyond species counts for assessing, valuing, and conserving biodiversity: response to Wallach et al. 2019', CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, 35 369-372 (2020)
DOI 10.1111/cobi.13665
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Rose Upton Uon, Ninon Meyer, Matthew Hayward, Simon Clulow, Andrea Griffin, Kaya Klop-Toker, Alex Callen
2020 Griffin AS, Callen A, Klop-Toker K, Scanlon RJ, Hayward MW, 'Compassionate conservation clashes with conservation biology: Should empathy, compassion and deontological moral principles drive conservation', Frontiers in Psychology, 11 (2020) [C1]
DOI 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.01139
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 1
Co-authors Matthew Hayward, Kaya Klop-Toker, Alex Callen, Andrea Griffin
2020 Callen A, Hayward MW, Klop-Toker K, Allen BL, Ballard G, Beranek CT, et al., 'Response to comments on "Compassionate Conservation deserves a morally serious rather than dismissive response - reply to Callen et al., 2020"', BIOLOGICAL CONSERVATION, 244 (2020)
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108517
Citations Scopus - 1
Co-authors Matthew Hayward, Rose Upton Uon, Ryan Witt, Kaya Klop-Toker, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Alex Callen
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) [C1]

The ¿Compassionate Conservation¿ movement is gaining momentum through its promotion of ¿ethical¿ conservation practices based on self-proclaimed principles of ¿first-do-no-harm¿ a... [more]

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 - 12Web of Science - 12
Co-authors John Clulow, Alex Callen, Ryan Witt, Kaya Klop-Toker, Matthew Hayward, Ninon Meyer, Simon Clulow, Rose Upton Uon
2019 Valdez JW, Klop-Toker K, Stockwell MP, Fardell L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'Informing compensatory habitat creation with experimental trials: a 3-year study of a threatened amphibian', ORYX, 53 310-320 (2019) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/S0030605317000394
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 5
Co-authors John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker, Simon Clulow
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]
DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.03.011
Citations Scopus - 18Web of Science - 18
Co-authors Andrea Griffin, John Gould, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Matthew Hayward, Kaya Klop-Toker, Anita Chalmers, John Rodger, Rose Upton Uon, Alex Callen
2019 Hayward MW, Callen A, Allen BL, Ballard G, Broekhuis F, Bugir C, et al., 'Deconstructing compassionate conservation', Conservation Biology, 33 760-768 (2019) [C1]

Compassionate conservation focuses on 4 tenets: first, do no harm; individuals matter; inclusivity of individual animals; and peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Rece... [more]

Compassionate conservation focuses on 4 tenets: first, do no harm; individuals matter; inclusivity of individual animals; and peaceful coexistence between humans and animals. Recently, compassionate conservation has been promoted as an alternative to conventional conservation philosophy. We believe examples presented by compassionate conservationists are deliberately or arbitrarily chosen to focus on mammals; inherently not compassionate; and offer ineffective conservation solutions. Compassionate conservation arbitrarily focuses on charismatic species, notably large predators and megaherbivores. The philosophy is not compassionate when it leaves invasive predators in the environment to cause harm to vastly more individuals of native species or uses the fear of harm by apex predators to terrorize mesopredators. Hindering the control of exotic species (megafauna, predators) in situ will not improve the conservation condition of the majority of biodiversity. The positions taken by so-called compassionate conservationists on particular species and on conservation actions could be extended to hinder other forms of conservation, including translocations, conservation fencing, and fertility control. Animal welfare is incredibly important to conservation, but ironically compassionate conservation does not offer the best welfare outcomes to animals and is often ineffective in achieving conservation goals. Consequently, compassionate conservation may threaten public and governmental support for conservation because of the limited understanding of conservation problems by the general public.

DOI 10.1111/cobi.13366
Citations Scopus - 22Web of Science - 22
Co-authors Andrea Griffin, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Matthew Hayward, Kaya Klop-Toker, Alex Callen, Ryan Witt, Rose Upton Uon, Ninon Meyer
2018 Klop-Toker K, Valdez J, Stockwell M, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Community level impacts of invasive mosquitofish may exacerbate the impact to a threatened amphibian', Austral Ecology, 43 213-224 (2018) [C1]

Invasive fish threaten many native freshwater fauna. However, it can be difficult to determine how invasive fish impact animals with complex life cycles as interaction may be driv... [more]

Invasive fish threaten many native freshwater fauna. However, it can be difficult to determine how invasive fish impact animals with complex life cycles as interaction may be driven by either predation of aquatic larvae or avoidance of fish-occupied waterbodies by the terrestrial adult stage. Mosquitofish (Gambusia spp.) are highly successful and aggressive invaders that negatively impact numerous aquatic fauna. One species potentially threatened by Gambusia holbrooki is the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea). However, G.¿holbrooki's role in this frog's decline was unclear due to declines driven by the chytrid fungal disease and the continued co-existence of these fish and frogs in multiple locations. To clarify the extent to which Gambusia is impacting L.¿aurea, we conducted 3¿years of field surveys across a deltaic wetland system in south-east Australia. We measured the presence and abundance of aquatic taxa including G.¿holbrooki, and L.¿aurea frogs and tadpoles, along with habitat parameters at the landscape and microhabitat scale. Generalized linear models were used to explore patterns in the abundance and distributions of L.¿aurea and G.¿holbrooki. We¿found strong negative associations between G.¿holbrooki and tadpoles of most species, including L.¿aurea, but no apparent avoidance of G.¿holbrooki by adult frogs. Native invertebrate predators (Odonata and Coleoptera) were also absent from G.¿holbrooki-occupied ponds. Due to the apparent naivety of adult frogs toward G.¿holbrooki, the separation of G.¿holbrooki and tadpoles, plus the abundance of alternative predators in G.¿holbrooki-free ponds, we conclude that the impact of G.¿holbrooki on L.¿aurea recruitment is likely substantial and warrants management action.

DOI 10.1111/aec.12558
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 4
Co-authors John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker, Simon Clulow
2018 Fardell L, Valdez J, Klop-Toker K, Stockwell M, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Effects of vegetation density on habitat suitability for the endangered green and golden bell frog, Litoria aurea', Herpetological Conservation and Biology, 13 47-57 (2018) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
Co-authors John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker, Simon Clulow
2017 Klop-Toker KL, Valdez JW, Stockwell MP, Edgar ME, Fardell L, Clulow S, et al., 'Assessing host response to disease treatment: how chytrid-susceptible frogs react to increased water salinity', WILDLIFE RESEARCH, 44 648-659 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1071/WR16145
Citations Scopus - 6Web of Science - 4
Co-authors Simon Clulow, Kaya Klop-Toker, Michelle Stockwell, John Clulow
2017 Valdez JW, Klop-Toker K, Stockwell MP, Fardell L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'Differences in microhabitat selection patterns between a remnant and constructed landscape following management intervention', WILDLIFE RESEARCH, 44 248-258 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1071/WR16172
Citations Scopus - 8Web of Science - 7
Co-authors Kaya Klop-Toker, John Clulow, Simon Clulow, Michelle Stockwell
2016 Klop-Toker K, Valdez J, Stockwell M, Fardell L, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'We Made Your Bed, Why Won't You Lie in It? Food Availability and Disease May Affect Reproductive Output of Reintroduced Frogs', PLOS ONE, 11 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0159143
Citations Scopus - 10Web of Science - 9
Co-authors Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker
2016 Valdez J, Klop-Toker K, Stockwell MP, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'Microhabitat selection varies by sex and age class in the endangered green and golden bell frog Litoria aurea', Australian Zoologist, 38 223-234 (2016) [C1]

Although amphibians are one of the most threatened animal groups, little published evidence exists on effective management programs. In order for conservation initiatives to be su... [more]

Although amphibians are one of the most threatened animal groups, little published evidence exists on effective management programs. In order for conservation initiatives to be successful, an understanding of habitat use patterns is required to identify important environmental features. However, habitat use may differ between the different sexes and age classes due to different behavioural and resource requirements. For this study, we compared microhabitat use during the active breeding season among the sexes and age classes in the endangered green and golden bell frog Litoria aurea, a species which has had several failed management programs. We found aquatic vegetation was selected for by every L. aurea class, and should be the focus of future management plans for this species. Females were the only class to select for terrestrial vegetation more than availability. Increasing the amount of terrestrial vegetation around ponds may help encourage female occupancy, and possibly improve management outcomes, as they are typically a limiting resource. Although large rock piles have been used in past L. aurea habitat management, they were selected for by adults and juveniles, but not metamorphs. Therefore, large rocks may not be necessary for captive breeding portions of management initiatives, which typically only involve tadpoles and metamorphs prior to release. The results indicate that the most appropriate management plans should contain a habitat mosaic of various microhabitats, such as a large proportion of aquatic and terrestrial vegetation with patches of bare ground and a small proportion of rocks for basking and shelter. Recognizing differences in microhabitat use patterns between individuals in a population and implementing them into management strategies should be a pivotal step in any conservation plan.

DOI 10.7882/AZ.2016.031
Citations Scopus - 7
Co-authors Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker
2015 Valdez JW, Stockwell MP, Klop-Toker K, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony MJ, 'Factors driving the distribution of an endangered amphibian toward an industrial landscape in Australia', Biological Conservation, 191 520-528 (2015) [C1]

Although human-modified habitats often result in a loss of biodiversity, some have been found to serve as habitat refuges for threatened species. Given the globally declining stat... [more]

Although human-modified habitats often result in a loss of biodiversity, some have been found to serve as habitat refuges for threatened species. Given the globally declining status of amphibians, understanding why some species are found in heavily modified environments is of considerable interest. We used the endangered green and golden bell frog (. Litoria aurea) as a model to investigate the factors influencing their distribution toward industrial areas within a landscape. The number of permanent waterbodies within a kilometer of surveyed sites was the best predictor of L. aurea occupancy, abundance and reproduction. It appears that industrial activities, such as dredging and waste disposal inadvertently created refuge habitat for L. aurea to fortuitously persist in a heavily modified landscape. Future conservation plans should mimic the positive effects of industrialization, such as increasing the number of permanent waterbodies, especially in areas containing ephemeral or isolated waterbodies and threatened with drought. Our findings also suggest that despite amphibians being relatively small animals, some species may require a larger landscape than anticipated. Recognizing life history traits, in combination with a landscape-based approach toward species with perceived limited motility, may result in more successful conservation outcomes. Identifying why threatened species persist in heavily disturbed landscapes, such as industrial sites, can provide direction toward future conservation efforts to prevent and reverse their decline.

DOI 10.1016/j.biocon.2015.08.010
Citations Scopus - 20Web of Science - 17
Co-authors Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker
2015 Bainbridge L, Stockwell M, Valdez J, Klop-Toker K, Clulow S, Clulow J, Mahony M, 'Tagging tadpoles: retention rates and impacts of visible implant elastomer (VIE) tags from the larval to adult amphibian stages', HERPETOLOGICAL JOURNAL, 25 133-140 (2015) [C1]
Citations Scopus - 17Web of Science - 18
Co-authors Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker
Show 13 more journal articles

Conference (3 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2014 Valdez 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. Book of Abstracts, Montpellier, France (2014) [E3]
Co-authors Simon Clulow, Kaya Klop-Toker, Michelle Stockwell, John Clulow
2013 Klop-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]
Co-authors Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker
2013 Valdez 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]
Co-authors Simon Clulow, John Clulow, Michelle Stockwell, Kaya Klop-Toker
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Grants and Funding

Summary

Number of grants 5
Total funding $1,617,746

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


20212 grants / $814,914

Post-fire conservation action for the heath frog and giant burrowing frog$808,639

Funding body: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Funding body NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Project Team Doctor Kaya Klop-Toker, Doctor Alex Callen, Associate Professor John Clulow, Professor Matthew Hayward, Professor Michael Mahony
Scheme Environment and Energy Services
Role Lead
Funding Start 2021
Funding Finish 2024
GNo G2100713
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Employing Landscape genetics to determine quantify impacts of disturbance to genetic health and dispersal patterns of threatened Australia frog, Litoria littlejohni.$6,275

Funding body: The Ecological Society of Australia Ltd (ESA)

Funding body The Ecological Society of Australia Ltd (ESA)
Project Team Professor Matthew Hayward, Professor Matthew Hayward, Miss Sarah Stock, Doctor Kaya Klop-Toker, Professor Michael Mahony
Scheme Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2021
Funding Finish 2021
GNo G2000488
Type Of Funding C3120 - Aust Philanthropy
Category 3120
UON Y

20203 grants / $802,832

Securing threatened frogs from bushfire impact$751,982

Funding body: Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

Funding body Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Professor Matthew Hayward, Associate Professor John Clulow, Doctor Alex Callen, Doctor Kaya Klop-Toker, Dr Deb Bower, Dr Jodi Rowley, Dr S Donnellan, Mr Chris Slade, Dr Hobbs Rebecca, Dr Natalie Calatalyud, Dr Justine O’Brien, Mr Garry Daly
Scheme Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2021
GNo G2000511
Type Of Funding C1500 - Aust Competitive - Commonwealth Other
Category 1500
UON Y

Post-fire actions for Threatened Amphibians (L. littlejohni, H. australiacus, P. australis)$42,350

Funding body: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Funding body NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Project Team Professor Michael Mahony, Doctor Alex Callen, Doctor Kaya Klop-Toker
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2021
GNo G2000686
Type Of Funding C2210 - Aust StateTerritoryLocal - Own Purpose
Category 2210
UON Y

Identification of frog and disease diversity in a remote part of India (Nagaland)$8,500

Funding body: Australian Academy of Science

Funding body Australian Academy of Science
Project Team Doctor Kaya Klop-Toker, Prof. Qamar Qureshi, Dr Karthik Vasudevan
Scheme Australia-India Strategic Research Fund - Early and Mid Career Fellowship
Role Lead
Funding Start 2020
Funding Finish 2020
GNo G1901247
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112
UON Y
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Research Supervision

Number of supervisions

Completed0
Current2

Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2019 PhD Ecology and Population Viability of the Threatened Frog Species, Litoria Littlejohni, in a Landscape Impacted by Longwall Mining PhD (Environmental Sc), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, The University of Newcastle Co-Supervisor
2018 PhD Impact of Mining on the Conservation Ecology of Littlejohn's Tree Frog PhD (Environmental Sc), College of Engineering, Science and Environment, 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 Kaya Klop-Toker

Positions

Casual Research Assistant
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Casual Research Assistant
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
College of Engineering, Science and Environment

Contact Details

Email kaya.klop-toker@newcastle.edu.au
Link Twitter

Office

Building Behavioural Sciences Building
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