My dog and I currently work for the Difficult Bird Research Group, from the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society.
Working with another detection dog, I’ve also undertaken detection dog work looking for invasive plant species for Tasmania’s NRM South and the City of Hobart.
Tasmanian Masked Owl (Pellets)
I’m a researcher, field ecologist and detection dog handler, working primarily with my dog, Zorro, to identify Tasmanian masked owl habitat.
I have a Bachelor of Science with Honours from UTAS, and almost twenty years experience working in the Tasmanian environment, conducting flora and fauna habitat assessments, and providing advice for invasive species management.
In 2019, I started my Masters by Research with the Fenner School of Environment and Society’s Difficult Birds Research Group at ANU, in collaboration with the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dogs for Conservation Lab. My dog Zorro and I work with Dr. Dejan Stojanovic and PhD candidate Adam Cisterne, looking at the potential for using conservation dogs to identify Tasmanian masked owl habitat by finding masked owl pellets (castings).
I also sometimes work with Melanie Kelly and her dog, Fonzie, looking for invasive plants (serrated tussock and orange hawkweed).
Zorro is a border-collie/springer spaniel, who’s been in training to find Tasmanian masked owl pellets (castings) since he was nine weeks old.
Zorro and I work with the ANU Difficult Birds Research Group in Tasmania, and has been trained by and in consultation with the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Detection Dogs for Conservation Lab.
Zorro passed his field trials with flying colours in early 2020, and is now working with the Difficult Birds Research Group to conduct masked owl pellet surveys in Tasmanian forests. Zorro is a toy enthusiast, and will do almost anything for a squeaky ball.