We are delighted to announce Dr Emma Sherratt has been awarded the prestigious ARC Future Fellowship.
An Environment Institute member and mid-career researcher, Dr Sherratt will receive up to $100,000 of non-salary funding over four years, which may be used for personnel, equipment, travel and field research costs directly related to the Future Fellow’s research.
The full list of ARC Future Fellowships is available online now.
Dr Sherratt’s research includes:
Adaptive morphology and evolution of invasive rabbits and hares
Application summary: This project aims to uncover the morphological variation that allows rapid adaptive evolution in two invasive species, the rabbit and hare. This project expects to generate new knowledge at the interface between invasion biology and evolutionary biology, using cutting-edge methods to phenotype widespread populations. This project will address key inter-related hypotheses of rapid adaptive evolution at temporal, spatial and phylogenetic scales, particularly about changing morphologies involved role in locomotion and dispersal ability. Expected outcomes of this project include a comprehensive phenotypic database of these two species and identifying how these invasive species are adapting to the Australian landscape.
Benefit and impact statement: Invasive species pose a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. Here in Australia, rabbits are arguably the foremost invasive pest devastating the country and costing the nation. This research will benefit the ongoing efforts to control and eradicate pest species in Australia, not only rabbits but other vertebrate pests, because it will elucidate the factors that facilitate and limit dispersal and uncover how invasives rapidly adapt and thrive in new environments. This project will improve policy and decision making for pest management by providing critical data on the rapidly adapting invasive species. This project will help reinforce Australia’s reputation as a world leader in the study of invasive species.
Collaborators: Prof. Brian Kraatz (Western University of Health Sciences, CA USA); A/Prof. Phillip Cassey (Invasion Science & Wildlife Ecology Group, UoA and former ARC Future Fellow); David Peacock and Greg Mutze (Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) Biosecurity SA division); Dr Natalie Warburton (Murdoch University), Dr Kate Sanders (UoA, former ARC Future Fellow).