Christine lectures into the Environmental Science stream. She initially studied undergraduate botany and geography at the University of Melbourne and, after graduating worked, as an Ecological Consultant, in hands-on roles in bush regeneration projects and developed national park and forest policy at the Department of Sustainability and Environment. Christine subsequently returned to study to complete an honours project at Monash University, exploring vegetation change in box-ironbark forests of central Victoria over the Millennium Drought. She completed her PhD at Deakin University, submitting her thesis entitled “Exploring the effects of urbanisation on Eastern Yellow Robins” in late 2017. Her work in this field included a variety of interdisciplinary techniques for studying wildlife conservation, including spatial modelling and landscape genetics.

In the four years prior to submitting her PhD thesis, Christine worked at the not-for-profit Victorian National Parks Association coordinating a statewide citizen science program, ‘NatureWatch’. The NatureWatch coordinator role gave her the opportunity to work with a variety of stakeholders including Universities and other research institutions, funding bodies, students and the general public to develop and undertake a broad range of programs to monitor biodiversity in Victoria. Most recently, she established an exciting bioacoustics project in partnership with Museums Victoria and local community groups, to monitor birds and build Victoria’s first state-specific library of bird sounds.

Christine is interested in using a cross-disciplinary approach to solving biodiversity conservation issues in Australia. She has extensive experience in working with local communities to develop and implement bespoke, relevant and scientifically robust monitoring projects. She is especially interested in exploring how to promote biodiversity in highly human-modified landscapes such as urban environments. Christine has a strong interest in engaging the general public in positive ways to foster enthusiasm for nature conservation.

Teaching responsibilities

Research grants

2017 - $45,600 Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Community Volunteer Action Grant. Extending Caught on Camera – wildlife monitoring in Bunyip State Park. Awarded to VNPA.

2016 - $31,000 Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Threatened Species Initiative Community Volunteer Action Grants (two grants awarded). Caught on Camera – monitoring Southern Brown Bandicoots in Bunyip State Park and, Growling Grass Frog monitoring in Epping. Awarded to VNPA.

2015 - $186,650 Helen Macpherson Smith Trust, Land and Environmental Stewardship Social Impact Grant. Communities Listening for Nature. A new NatureWatch project, acoustic monitoring of Victorian birds, in collaboration with Museums Victoria. Awarded to VNPA.

2014 - $15,000 Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Grant. Caught on Camera. Awarded to VNPA.

2013 - $21,000 ANZ Trustees Foundation, Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (total awarded over 2011 to 2013). Investigating the effects of urbanisation on Eastern Yellow Robins. Awarded to Deakin University.

Publications

Refereed journal articles

Bennett, J. M., Cunningham, S. C., Connelly, C. A., Clarke, R. H., Thomson, J. R. and Mac Nally, R. (2013) The interaction between a drying climate and land use affects forest structure and above-ground carbon storage. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 22 (12), pp. 1238-1247. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12083

Goodger, J.Q.D., Connelly, C.A., Woodrow, I.E. (2007) Examination of the consistency of plant traits driving oil yield and quality in short-rotation coppice cultivation of Eucalyptus polybractea. Forest Ecology and Management, 250 (3), pp. 196-205. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2007.05.015

Sackett, O., Armand, L., Beardall, J., Hill, R., Doblin, M., Connelly, C., Howes, J. Stuart, B., Ralph, P., Heraud, P. (2014) Taxon-specific responses of Southern Ocean diatoms to Fe enrichment revealed by synchrotron radiation FTIR microspectroscopy. Biogeosciences, 11 (20), 5795–5808. DOI: 10.5194/bg-11-5795-2014

Conference presentations

Connelly, C. A. (2018) Citizen Science panel discussion. Victorian Biodiversity Conference (6-7 Feb) La Trobe University, Bundoora [Invited panelist].

Connelly, C. A. (2017) Communities listening for Nature: Citizen Scientists using bioacoustics to monitor birds. Biodiversity Across Borders Conference (6-7 June) Federation University, Ballarat [poster].

Connelly, C. A. and Griffith, C. G. (2015) Caught on camera, monitoring the response of mammals to fire. Maximising the Capacity of Citizen Science for Science and Society. A Fenner Conference on the Environment and inaugural Australian Citizen Science Association conference (24-25 July) Canberra, Australia. [Poster presentation]

Griffith, C. G. and Connelly, C. A. (2015) NatureWatch: A collaborative approach to citizen science. Maximising the Capacity of Citizen Science for Science and Society. A Fenner Conference on the Environment and inaugural Australian Citizen Science Association conference (24-25 July) Canberra, Australia. [Poster presentation]

Connelly, C.A., Isaac, B., Lennox, E., Aulich, V., Cooke, R., Weston, M. A., White, J. G. (2013) Identifying landscape connections for a small woodland bird in an urbanising ecosystem in Melbourne, Australia. Celebrating ecology on both sides of the Tasman: diversity and opportunity. EcoTas13, 5th joint conference of the New Zealand Ecological Society and the Ecological Society of Australia (24-29 November, 2013) Auckland, New Zealand. [Speaker]

Connelly, C. A., White, J. G., Weston, M. A., Cooke, R. (2013) 4th HDR Conference. Identifying landscape connections for a small woodland bird in an urbanising ecosystem. Deakin Centre for Integrative Ecology (24-25 October) Geelong, Australia. [Speaker] – Awarded second prize.

Connelly, C. A., White, J. G., Weston, M. A., Cooke, R. (2012) Investigating the effects of urbanisation on Eastern Yellow Robins. 3rd HDR Conference. Deakin Centre for Integrative Ecology (27-28 March) Geelong, Australia [Poster] – Awarded first prize.

Professional memberships

  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Australian Citizen Science Association
  • BirdLife Australia
  • Victorian National Parks Association
  • Victorian Volcanic Plain Biosphere Committee (current committee member).

Industry experience

Technical reports

Connelly, C., Barnett, E. (2015) Epping Quarry Growling Grass Frog Community Monitoring 2011-2015. Summary report prepared for City of Whittlesea.

Loyn, R., Marriott, K., Kotsiaris, J., Williamson, A., Connelly, C., Griffith, C. (2014) Caught on Camera: A Community Monitoring Project in the Wimmera Region. Community report, available online.

Appearances in the media

2015 Caught on Camera Wombat Forest, Victoria. Nature’s Keepers, Victoria, Australia (Les Sentinelles de la Nature - French nature documentary). Directed by Cécile Favier, Copyright Films Concept Associés. (Filmed on location 28 March, aired on USHUAÏA TV in France 16 October, repeated 20, 24, 28 October).

2014 Cattle grazing in the Wonnangatta Valley. Interview about the ecological value and threats of the Wonnangatta Valley and alpine region of Victoria and demonstration of survey methods. (Filmed on location 3-7 November for VNPA media package).

2013-4 Investigating the effects of urbanisation on Eastern Yellow Robins. Manningham Council Environment Seminar Series. Evening seminar and morning field trip in Warrandyte State Park (one of PhD banding locations) (August 2014). Field Naturalists Club of Victoria (May 2014). BirdLife Australia Melbourne branch (October 2013).

2014-8 Various, NatureWatch program. Presentations about NatureWatch to a variety of community audiences, including Friends of and other local conservation groups, local Landcare groups, FNCV, Bank Australia staff and customers. Featured in several media articles including Landcare Victoria magazine cover feature, Wimmera Mail Times, Macedon Ranges area local paper.

Areas of expertise

  • Conservation Biology
  • Ecology
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Citizen science

Contact details