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Personal profile

Research Biography

Dr Mark Lethbridge has research interests in manned and unmanned aerial surveys of mammals using trained human observers and/or thermal imagery.  Mark has over 24 years of experience in undertaking aerail surveys and has trained over 20 government and non-government staff. Unmanned thermal camera missions are best flown at night, hence the use of Military-style UAVs with redundant systems.  Mark has also developed a number of autodetection algorithms.  

Mark has also focussed heavily in his research on animal movement behaviour with a lifetime of work on wallaby, camel and goat movement.  Of late his work has focussed on the development of algorthims using in adverse conditioning satellite collars that adapt to individiual behaviours and work with, rather than fight the animal in terms of moving it into or away from an area.  This work is in collaboration with Dr Ben Allen, Univesrity of Southern QLD.

Restoration ecology and decision support tools have dominated Mark's research work in the past.  Together with Dr Micheal Westphal, Mark developed OPRAH, a landscape restoration prioritization algorithm used in NRM. Dr Lethbridge has 15 years of field biology experience in radio tracking, mark recapture and mark resighting and has undertaken everything from small mammal pitfall trapping to medium-sized mammal treadle trapping to perfecting camel immobilization techniques with Dr Wayne Boardman. He is currently developing new and innovative ways to capture species vital rate and population growth rate data remotely using camera traps and improved aerial survey techniques.

Pest species and over-abundant species management (e.g. kanagroo commercial harvest) and pest impact work currently dominates Mark's research. 

With native species over the last 10 years he has also developed a spatially-explicit individual-based Population Viability Model (PVA) that also models pedigree structures to determine in-breeding depression at landscape scale.  Here Mark is well-known for his work on Yellow-footed Rock-wallabies.

Mark works with and resides on the advisory panel of AERF, a conservation and research NGO in India.

Research Interests

  • Manned and umnanned aeril surveys of mammals.
  • Camel industry development, unfenced herd management, camel dairy R&D.
  • Adverse conditioning collars.
  • Pest animal movement/density research, as well as sustainable commercial opportunities and chain of supply issues.
  • Population ecology, dynamic stochastic simulation modelling in space and time.
  • Bayesian Belief Networks for eliciting expert knowledge.
  • Decision support tools in NRM and agriculture.
  • Restoration prioritisation (OPRAH), landscape condition and species diversity (South Australia and the Western Ghats, India).
  • Native species field research (Mogurnda clivicola, Cacatua sanguinea, Lasiorhinus latifrons, Petrogale xanthopus xanthopus, Isoodon obesulus)
  • Herbivore pest impact (not damage) on native vegetation.

Past and present PhD, Masters and Honours students

  • 2020 Tia Kearney
  • 2019 Sameep Bimal Chhetri
  • 2018 Andrew Frost, Cecil Chand, Elvia Wiradi, Phongeun Thammavongsa
  • 2016 Kirra Bailey, Alison Roush, Cameron Wells, Blythe Schembri.
  • 2015 Andrew Morgan
  • 2014 Terry Menadue
  • 2012 Ellen Carter
  • 2013 Jem Shimmield
  • 2011 Jessica Strauss, Shaun Copley
  • 2008 Nicole Anderson, Erin Parham, Michael Stead
  • 2006 Alex Clarke, Nikki Mahoney
  • 2005 Erik Van Wijk, Alice Egan
  • 2004 Laura Mitchell
  • 2003 Jacqueline Best
  • 2002 Megan Harper, Elen Shute, Dainis Skabe
  • 2001 Shannon Waite, Sarah Gilmore


  • Registered

Supervisory Interests

  • Genetic diversity
  • GIS
  • Biological sciences
  • Applied ecology
  • Ecology


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