Prof Chris Dickman

The University of Sydney

The major focus of my research is the investigation of factors that influence the distribution and abundance of terrestrial vertebrates. This research has been stimulated by my curiosity on the one hand about the causes of many intriguing patterns of vertebrate distributions in the Australian fauna, and concern on the other that many species have declined or become extinct with the advent of European settlement.

For the last twenty five years my primary focus has been to elucidate, by observation and field experiment, the factors that regulate diversity in the small vertebrates of arid Australia. Research on the exceptionally rich communities of small mammals and lizards of this region provides an opportunity to contribute to theoretical debate about the importance of biotic and physical processes in shaping population and species dynamics, and to achieving practical conservation goals.