We seek to understand the diversity and distribution of organisms in cities and how urbanisation affects their ecology and the ecosystem processes that sustain them. GIRG researchers are involved in projects investigating the ecology of vegetation, bees, birds, bats and bugs in a range of green infrastructure elements including remnant natural areas, parks, golf courses and green roofs as well as home gardens, rain gardens and community gardens. Ecosystem services we study include pollination, carbon sequestration, insect pest regulation and water infiltration.
TITLE: Ecosystem Services from large urban green spaces
FUNDING: Australian Research Council, The Australian Golf Course Superintendents Association, The Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) (2011 – 2014)
RESEARCHERS: Dr Steve Livesley, Dr Nick Williams, Prof Nigel Stork, Dr Amy Hahs, Dr Caragh Threlfall, Alessandro Ossola, Jess Mackie, Jarvis Mihsill and Jess Baumann
OVERVIEW: The objective of this project is to improve the understanding of biodiversity values and carbon storage provided by urban green spaces, and in particular golf courses. The fauna biodiversity status of birds, native bees, micro-bats and many other insect groups are being assessed in 13 urban golf courses, 13 adjacent residential areas and 12 smaller urban parks in south-east Melbourne……read more
TITLE: Biodiversity in Urban Community Gardens
FUNDING: University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant (2013)
RESEARCHERS: Dr Caragh Threlfall, Dr Dave Kendal, Caroline Wilson, Dr Rodney Van der Ree, Prof Gary Luck
OVERVIEW: The aim of this study is to investigate gardening behaviour in Melbourne’s community gardens, where we are focussing on what gardening practices people at community gardens are using, and how this influences biodiversity in community gardens. Urban community gardens provide many benefits to people and valuable habitat for wildlife in cities. Given the recent substantial increase in urban agriculture and community gardening, an opportunity exists to identify what gardening behaviours promote wildlife, and why people engage in such behaviours. This research will contribute substantially to our understanding of the way peoples behaviours shape animal communities in cities, and will investigate how gardening behaviours influence the effectiveness of animals, such as beneficial wasps, in the biological control of pest insects.