tom le breton

Tom Le Breton

Postgraduate Research Student
Field of Research
Conservation, plant ecology, fire ecology

Ecological consequences of anthropogenic driven shifts in fire seasonality

Anthropogenic changes to fire regimes are a significant threat to Australian species. However, most research has focussed on the effects of altered fire frequency, while other aspects of the fire regime, such as shifts in fire season, have received less attention. The ecological impacts of changes to fire seasonality are poorly understood, despite timing of burn being one of the biggest human-caused shifts of the fire regime. How the seasonality of fires has shifted in Australia, the size and direction of any shift, and the potential consequences for plant species, have yet to be quantified. In this project I aim to:

(1) quantify the shift in fire seasonality across different climates (Mediterranean vs. aseasonal rainfall) and management areas (NSW vs. WA), including the direction and size of that shift over time using remote sensing.

(2) determine what effect fire seasonality shifts can have on the persistence of flora adapted to historical fire regimes.

Supervisor: Dr Mark Ooi



Le Breton, T.D., Zimmer, H.C., Gallagher, R.V., Cox, M., Allen, S. and Auld, T.D., 2019. Using IUCN criteria to perform rapid assessments of at-risk taxa. Biodiversity and Conservation28(4), pp.863-883.


Level 5 EastBiological Sciences South (E26)UNSW, Kensington 2052