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Dr Thomas Prowse

Telephone +61 8 8313 9861
Position Research Associate
Fax +61 8 8313 3696
Building Ingkarni Wardli
Floor/Room 6 63
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Mathematical Sciences

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Biography/ Background

My research focuses on developing new, flexible methods for solving problems in mixed human-wildlife systems. Specifically, I use empirical analyses and simulation modelling to address applied ecological questions in the fields of wildlife management, fisheries, conservation biology, invasion ecology and disease ecology. I currently hold a joint position with the Invasion Ecology Laboratory (led by Associate Professor Phillip Cassey) and the Global Ecology Laboratory (chaired by Professor Corey Bradshaw).


PhD, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

BSc (Hons), Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

Teaching Interests

Enquiries are welcome from students wishing to pursue PhD, Masters or Honours degrees.

Current students

  • Jack Tatler (PhD commenced 2015). Biodiversity responses to the management of top predators and mesopredators.
  • Wayne Boardman (PhD commenced 2014). Eco-epidemiological models of bat-vectored diseases.
  • Rachel Correll (PhD commenced 2011, Flinders University). Environmental determinants of geographic body size variation within Australian mammals.
  • Melanie Crossley (Honours commenced 2015). The efficacy of wild dog control in South Australia’s sheep rangelands.

Past students

  • Calum Cunningham (1st Class Honours, 2013). Modelling cost-effective eradication strategies for invasive peacocks on Kangaroo Island, South Australia.
  • Danielle Pedler (Masters completed 2014). Modelling the spread of marine invasive species under climate change.

Research Interests

A strong focus of my current work is the management of mixed human-wildlife systems in Australia. In these ecosystems, the control of predators to protect livestock create new problems, necessitating further wildlife control because populations of native and feral species increase. My work is attempting to quantify the ecosystem-level effects of wildlife control strategies, to establish whether the resulting landscapes make ecological and economic sense, and to identify opportunities where restoring ecological components or functions can produce environmental and financial benefits. I have also contributed applied ecological models to guide the management of various species (e.g., feral goats, koalas, giant cuttlefish) by government agencies.

Currently, I am leading collaborative projects with The University of Queensland and the Nature Conservation Council of South Australia (impacts of the increased frequency of prescribed burning on avian diversity), the South Australian Research and Development Institute (management models for giant Australian cuttlefish), and members of The University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute (biodiversity modelling of environmental DNA libraries).


Refereed Journal Articles

Prowse TAA, Bradshaw CJA, Delean S, Cassey P, Lacy RC, Wells K, Aiello-Lammens Matthew, Akçakaya HR, Brook BW (in press) An efficient protocol for the global sensitivity analysis of stochastic ecological models. Ecosphere

Cope RC, Ross JV, Wittmann TA, Prowse TAA, Cassey P (in press) Integrative analysis of the physical transport network into Australia. PLoS ONE

Correll RA, Prowse TAA, Prideaux GJ (2016) Lean-season primary productivity and heat dissipation as key drivers of geographic body-size variation in a widespread marsupial. Ecography 39: 77-86

Prowse TAA, Johnson CN, Cassey P, Bradshaw CJA, Brook BW (2015) Ecological and economic benefits to cattle rangelands of restoring an apex predator. Journal of Applied Ecology 52: 455-466

Prowse TAA, Correll RA, Johnson CN, Prideaux GJ, Brook BW (2015) Empirical tests of harvest-induced body-size evolution along a geographic gradient in Australian macropods. Journal of Animal Ecology 84: 299-309

Prowse TAA, Gillanders BM, Brook BW, Fowler AJ, Hall KC, Steer MA, Mellin C, Clisby N, Tanner JE, Ward TM, Fordham DA (2015) Evidence for a broad-scale decline in giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) abundance from non-targeted survey data. Marine and Freshwater Research 66: 692-700

Cope RC, Prowse TAA, Ross JV, Wittman TA, Cassey P (2015) Temporal modelling of ballast water discharge and ship-mediated invasion risk to Australia. Royal Society Open Science 2: 150039

Cassey P, Prowse TAA, Blackburn TM (2014) A population model for predicting the successful establishment of introduced bird species. Oecologia 175: 417-428

Prowse TAA, Johnson CN, Bradshaw CJA, Brook BW (2014) An ecological regime shift resulting from disrupted predator-prey interactions in Holocene Australia. Ecology 95: 693-702

Blackburn TM, Prowse TAA, Lockwood JL, Cassey P (2013) Propagule pressure as a driver of establishment success in deliberately introduced exotic species: fact or artefact? Biological Invasions 15: 1459-1469

Haby NA, Prowse TAA, Gregory SD, Watts MJ, Delean S, Fordham DA, Foulkes J, Brook BW (2013) Scale dependency of metapopulation models used to predict climate change impacts on small mammals. Ecography 36: 832-841

Prowse TAA, Johnson CN, Lacy RC, Bradshaw CJ, Pollak JP, Watts MJ, Brook BW (2013) No need for disease: testing extinction hypotheses for the thylacine using multi-species metamodels. Journal of Animal Ecology 82: 355–364

Prowse TAA, Byrne M (2012) Evolution of yolk protein genes in the Echinodermata. Evolution & Development 14: 139-151

Bradshaw CJA, McMahon CR, Miller PS, Lacy RC, Watts MJ, Verant ML, Pollak JP, Fordham DA, Prowse TAA, Brook BW (2012) Novel coupling of individual-based epidemiological and demographic models predicts realistic dynamics of tuberculosis in alien buffalo. Journal of Applied Ecology 49: 268-277

Swanson RL, Byrne M, Prowse TAA, Mos B, Dworjanyn SA, Steinberg PD (2012) Dissolved histamine: a potential habitat marker promoting settlement and metamorphosis in sea urchin larvae. Marine Biology 159: 915-925

Blackburn TM, Prowse TAA, Lockwood JL, Cassey P (2011) Passerine introductions to New Zealand support a positive effect of propagule pressure on establishment success. Biodiversity and Conservation 20: 2189-2199

Prowse TAA, Brook BW (2011) Climate change, variability and management impacts in Australia. Pacific Conservation Biology 17: 168-178

Prowse TAA, Falkner I, Sewell MA, Byrne M (2009) Long-term storage lipids and developmental evolution in echinoderms. Evolutionary Ecology Research 11: 1069-1083

Soars NA, Prowse TAA, Byrne M (2009) Overview of phenotypic plasticity in echinoid larvae, 'Echinopluteus transversus' type vs. typical echinoplutei. Marine Ecology Progress Series 383: 113-125

Byrne M, Prowse TAA, Sewell MA, Dworjanyn S, Williamson JE, Vaitilingon D (2008) Maternal provisioning for larvae and larval provisioning for juveniles in the toxopneustid sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla. Marine Biology 155: 473-482

Byrne M, Sewell MA, Prowse TAA (2008) Nutritional ecology of sea urchin larvae: influence of endogenous and exogenous nutrition on echinopluteal growth and phenotypic plasticity in Tripneustes gratilla. Functional Ecology 22: 643-648

Prowse TAA, Sewell MA, Byrne M (2008) Fuels for development: evolution of maternal provisioning in asterinid sea stars. Marine Biology 153: 337-349

Byrne M, Sewell MA, Selvakumaraswamy P, Prowse TAA (2006) The larval apical organ in the holothuroid Chiridota gigas (Apodida): Inferences on evolution of the ambulacrarian larval nervous system. The Biological Bulletin 211: 95-100

Prowse TAA, Pile AJ (2005) Phenotypic homogeneity of two intertidal snails across a wave exposure gradient in South Australia. Marine Biology Research 1: 176-185


Gillanders BM, Donnellan SC, Prowse TAA, Fordham DA, Izzo C, Myers S, Rowling K, Steer M, Woodcock SH (2016) Giant Australian cuttlefish in South Australian waters. Final Report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, FRDC Project No 2013/010, 79 pages.

Delean S, Prowse TAA, Cassey P (2014) Goat population trends in South Australia’s rangelands. Report for the Australian Landscape Trust, 54 pages.

Delean S, Prowse TAA, Cassey P (2014) Kangaroo Island koala management model. Report for the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, South Australia, 30 pages.

Woodcock SH, Johansen JL, Steer MA, Gaylard SG, Prowse TAA, Gillanders BM (2014) Regional sustainability planning in upper Spencer Gulf. Investigating potential impacts of shipping on giant Australian cuttlefish. Final Report to the Department of the Environment. 54 pages.

Gillanders BM, Goldsworthy S, Prowse TAA, Doubell M, Middleton J, Rogers P, Tanner JE, Clisby NA, James C, Luick J, van Ruth P, Bradshaw CJA, Ward TM (2014). Spencer Gulf Research Iniative: Development of an ecosystem model for fisheries and aquaculture. Final Report to the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, FRDC Project No 2011/205, 74 pages.

Gillanders BM, Doubleday Z, Cassey P, Clarke S, Connell SD, Deveney M, Dittmann S, Divecha S, Doubell M, Goldsworthy S, Hayden B, Huveneers C, James C, Leterme S, Li X, Loo M, Luick J, Meyer W, Middleton J, Miller D, Moller L, Prowse TAA, Rogers P, Russell BD, van Ruth P, Tanner JE, Ward T, Woodcock SH, Young M (2013) Spencer Gulf Ecosystem & Development Initiative. Report on scenario development, stakeholder workshops, existing knowledge and information gaps. Report for Spencer Gulf Ecosystem and Development Initiative. The University of Adelaide, Adelaide. 94 pages.

Prowse TAA, Brook BW (2010) Climate variability and the impacts of climate change in South Australia. Report commissioned by the Department of Water, Land and Biodiversity Conservation (South Australia), 20 pages.


Professional Associations

Editorial Boards

Associate Editor for Wildlife Research (

Associate Editor for Management of Biological Invasions (


Entry last updated: Thursday, 24 Nov 2016

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