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The Forest Practices Authority

Opportunities for students

The FPA invites higher degree students to conduct research related to forest practices. FPA staff co-supervise and/or provide advice and support to a number of higher degree students. Student projects often provide information that help improve forest management practices in Tasmania. The FPA's Research Working Group has identified a number of potential higher degree projects in each of the program areas.

On this page:

FPA student research grant

FPA supported student projects

Student research project suggestions

    FPA student research grant

    The FPA has established a student research grant to encourage applied research that will contribute to the continual improvement of the forest practices system. Research proposals must be consistent with the current priority research areas. The research grants are available for university post-graduate students (or equivalent) for research expenses up to the value of $1000 per project. In addition to the grants, logistic, technical and in-kind support may be available. Contact the FPA specialists for further details.


    Applications for research grants are assessed for relevance to the forest practices system, their contribution to the current research priorities and the applicant's ability to complete the project. See examples of previously-supported projects and suggested student projects.

    Applicants must outline the aim and scope of their proposed project and its relevance to the FPA priority research areas, within the space of an A4 page. A table detailing funds requested - which should be for research expenses only (for example travel, materials, equipment, or services required) - must also be attached, along with an outline of the student's academic history and contact details for three referees (curriculum vitae).

    Applications can be submitted at any time and should be directed to:
    Forest Practices Research Working Group
    c/o Dr Amy Koch
    Forest Practices Authority
    30 Patrick Street, Hobart, Tasmania, 7000

    For more information contact Dr Amy Koch by phone: 03 6233 8187, fax: 03 6333 7954, or email:, or contact the FPA specialist in the subject area of interest.

    FPA supported student projects

    The FPA has provided financial, logistic, technical and/or supervisory support to a number of student research projects. Some examples of previously-supported projects are outlined below.


    The abundance and type of hollows in Eucalyptus obliqua forest and the use of these hollows by vertebrate fauna (Amy Koch: PhD, University of Tasmania)
    Koch, AJ, Munks, SA, and Woehler, EJ 2008, 'Hollow-using vertebrate fauna of Tasmania: distribution, hollow requirements and conservation status', Australian Journal of Zoology 56: 323-349.
    Koch, AJ, Driscoll, DA; Kirkpatrick, JB 2008, 'Estimating the accuracy of tree ageing methods in mature Eucalyptus obliqua forest, Tasmania', Australian Forestry 71: 147-159.
    Koch, AJ, Munks, SA, Driscoll, DA, Kirkpatrick, JB 2008, 'Does hollow occurrence vary with forest type' A case study in wet and dry Eucalyptus obliqua forest', Forest Ecology and Management 255: 3938-3951.
    Koch, AJ, Munks, SA, Driscoll DA 2008, 'The use of hollow-bearing trees by vertebrate fauna in wet and dry Eucalyptus obliqua forest, Tasmania', Wildlife Research 35: 727-746.
    Koch, AJ 2008, 'Errors associated with two methods of assessing tree hollow occurrence and abundance in Eucalyptus obliqua forest, Tasmania', Forest Ecology and Management 255: 674-85.
    Koch AJ 2007, 'Tree hollows in Tasmanian Eucalyptus obliqua forest and their use by vertebrate fauna', PhD Thesis, Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart.
    Koch, AJ, Woehler, EJ 2007, 'Results of a survey to gather information on the use of tree hollows by birds in Tasmania', The Tasmanian Naturalist 129: 37-64.

    Distribution and habitat of the threatened burrowing crayfish, E. granulatus (Suki Hopgood-Douglas: Honours, University of Tasmania)

    An ecological, morphological and molecular investigation of Beddomeia Species (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae) in Tasmania (Karen Richards: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Richards, K 2010, 'An ecological, morphological and molecular investigation of Beddomeia species (Gastropoda: Hydrobiidae) in Tasmania', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

    Landscape ecology of the spotted tailed quoll (Shannon Troy: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Characteristics, occurrence & management of habitat for large hollow nesters, particularly the threatened masked owl (Michael Todd: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Contribution of forest remnants to the persistence of micro bats in the landscape: local and landscape factors that affect their use (Lisa Cawthen: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Use by brushtail possums of hollow-bearing trees retained in harvested areas (Lisa Cawthen: Honours, University of Tasmania)
    Cawthen, L and Munks, S 2011, 'The design and testing of linen thread weak-links in brushtail possum radio-collars', Australian Mammalogy, 2011, 33, pp 33-35.
    Cawthen, L 2007, 'Den use by the brushtail possum in logged and unlogged dry forest in south-eastern Tasmania', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

    Assessing the effect of environmental disturbance on milk composition and physiological parameters in the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) (Erin Flynn: PhD, University of Tasmania)
    Flynn, EM, Jones, SM, Jones, ME, Jordan, GJ and Munks, Sarah A 2011,'Characteristics of mammal communities in Tasmanian forests: exploring the influence of forest type and disturbance history', Wildlife Research, 2011, 38, pp 13-29.
    Flynn, EM 2011, 'Exploring the influence of disturbance history and forest type on an arboreal marsupial, the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), using a multi-disciplinary approach', PhD Thesis, University of Tasmania.

    Does aggregated retention provide suitable habitat for mammal conservation in old growth forests? (Helen Stephens: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Do oestrogenic chemical compounds have endocrine disrupting effects in lizards? (Laura Parsley: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    The benthic macroinvertebrate communities in upper catchment streams across a gradient of catchment forest operation history (Bradley Smith: Honours, University of Tasmania)
    Smith, BJ, Davies, PE, Munks, SA 2009, 'Changes in benthic macroinvertebrate communities in upper catchment streams across a gradient of catchment forest operation history/, Forest Ecology and Management 257, 2166-2174.
    Smith, BJ 2005, 'The downstream effects of logging on benthic macroinvertebrate communities in Tasmania', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

    Responses of ecosystem processes to forest practices in headwater streams (Joanne Clapcott: PhD, University of Tasmania)
    Clapcott, J, Gooderham, J, Barmuta, L, Davies, P, Munks, S and McIntosh, P 2008, Monitoring the effectiveness of Forest Practices Code headwater stream provisions in wet dolerite terrain at Warra, south-east Tasmania, Forest Practices Authority Scientific Report 7, Forest Practices Authority, Hobart.
    Clapcott, J 2007 'The metabolic signature of small headwater streams: Natural variability and the response to forestry', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

    Biogeochemical cycling and habitats in small headwater streams - assessing the effects of forest management (Ryan Burrows: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Distribution and individual characteristics of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the Plenty River, Southeast Tasmania (Rachel Herrin: Honours, University of Tasmania)
    Rachel Olsson Herrin, 2009, 'Distribution and individual characteristics of the platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) in the Plenty River, Southeast Tasmania', Honours thesis, University of Tasmania.

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    Earth sciences

    The fluvial geomorphology and sedimentology of Class 4 streams affected by clearfell logging in northeast Tasmania (Sarah Bunce: Honours, University of Tasmania)
    Davies, PE and McIntosh, P and Wapstra, M and Bunce, S and Cook, LSJ and French, B and Munks, SA 2005, 'Changes to headwater stream morphology, habitats and riparian vegetation recorded 15 years after pre-Forest Practices Code forest clearfelling in upland granite terrain, Tasmania, Australia', Forest Ecology and Management, 217 (2-3), pp. 331-350.
    Bunce, SEH, McIntosh, PD, Davies, PE and Cook, LSJ 2001, 'Effects of pre-Code forest clearfelling on the geomorphology and sedimentology of headwater streams in upland granite terrain, Tasmania',  Proceedings of the Third Australian Stream Management Conference, 27-29 August, 2001, Brisbane, Queensland, pp. 87-93.

    Understanding landscape history and erosion-deposition cycles from key stratigraphic sections in the Huon Valley in southeastern Tasmania (Jorge Martins: PhD, University of Tasmania)

    Geomorphology of the middle Huon Valley, Tasmania (Adrian Slee: Honours, University of Tasmania)
    McIntosh, PD, Price, DM, Slee, AJ, Eberhard, R, Barrows, T and Bottrill, R 2009, 'Periglacial and associated deposits of Tasmania: a review', Abstracts of presented papers from CANQUA-CGRG Biennial Meeting, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby Campus, Vancouver, Canada, 3-8 May 2009, p. 128.
    McIntosh, PD, Price, DM, Eberhard, R and Slee, AJ 2009, 'Late Quaternary erosion events in lowland and mid-altitude Tasmania in relation to climate change and first human arrival', Quaternary Science Reviews 28: 850-872.
    Slee, A, Hammond, A and McIntosh, PD 2009, 'Management of sinkholes in plantations: implications for the Tasmanian Forest Practices Code', Abstract presented at the 7th International Conference on Geomorphology (ANZIAG), karst geomorphology, Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia, 6-11 July 2009, p.63.
    McIntosh, P, Price, D, Eberhard, R, Slee, A 2008, Late quaternary erosion chronology in lowland and mid-altitude Tasmania, Forest Practices Authority Scientific Report 5, Forest Practices Authority, Hobart.

    Inventory and assessment of karst features in the Breganti Area, Florentine Valley, central southern Tasmania (Katherine Whiteside: Honours, University of Tasmania)
    A brief report on the project appears in Forest Practices News, April 2011.

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    Cultural heritage

    Contested heritage, contested Aboriginality, and the Blue Tier, north-eastern Tasmania (Silas Piotrowski: University of Queensland)

    An examination of the distribution of lithic material from the Armistead Property, Kimberley, Tasmania (A. McGifford: Honours, La Trobe University)

    Examining variation between north and north-western Tasmanian stone artefacts assemblages: A comparative study of the Armistead property and Rocky Cape. (Chris Kaskadanis: Honours, La Trobe University).

    Kaskadanis, C 2007 'Examining variation between north and north-western Tasmanian stone artefact assemblages: a comparative study of the Armitstead Property and Rocky Cape', Honours project, School of Historical and European Studies, La Trobe University, Victoria.

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    Student research project suggestions

    Despite the amount of research that has occurred, many of the Forest Practices Code provisions are still based on limited knowledge and require further research. Below is a list of higher degree projects, which would enhance the applied research being undertaken in the FPA in the fields of:

    Please note that these projects are dependent on the support of an academic (university) supervisor (or multiple supervisors) within the appropriate disciplines. FPA staff may be able to suggest possible supervisors to interested students. The student should also ensure that they have the required pre-requisites to enrol for a higher degree at the chosen University.

    Biodiversity project suggestions

    1. Projects to assist the development of management recommendations for threatened species and priority species listed in the RFA.

    Investigation of the characteristics of microhabitat utilised by the broad-toothed stag beetle (Honours).
    This project would build on a study which examined the distribution of the broad-toothed stag beetle. This study found that the species prefers wet forest and gullies running through dry forest throughout its range in south-eastern Tasmania. However, further information is required on its microhabitat requirements, particularly its association with rotting logs, to refine current management prescriptions.

    Distribution and characteristics of habitat utilised by Skemps snail (Honours)
    Unpublished information suggests that this snail which is listed on the Threatened Species Protection Act 1995, occupies a small range in north-eastern Tasmania. It appears to prefer riparian areas where it is believed to graze on detritus on the underside of logs. A detailed study is required to determine the actual distribution of the species and to determine the characteristics of its preferred habitat.

    Diet and foraging range of the grey goshawk (PhD)
    This project would expand on a pilot project undertaken by the FPA looking at the foraging range of female grey goshawks in north-western Tasmania. Provided continuing research funds are available the FPA would be able to provide technical assistance and supervisory support.

    Assessing the relationship between stream flow and viability of Tasmanian galaxiid populations (PhD)
    Harvesting can alter the flow of some streams. A change in peak and low flows could affect populations of some threatened galaxiid species. This project would assess the effect that changes in flow would have on threatened galaxiid populations.

    A retrospective assessment of swift parrot foraging resource in dry eucalypt forests that have been partially harvested. (Masters or PhD)
    Eucalyptus globulus and E. ovata dry forests are an important foraging resource for the endangered swift parrot. It has been suggested that partial harvesting of these forest types may actually 'enhance' the potential foraging resource by allowing tree crowns to grow in size, thereby increasing flowering. There is very little literature on the response of Eucalyptus globulus and E. ovata flowering after partial harvesting. A retrospective study in areas of E. globulus and E. ovata forest subject to partial harvesting in the past (e.g. 5, 10, 15 years ago) to assess the regeneration of foraging trees and the crown size and flowering density of the trees compared to 'control' (unharvested) sites will provide data on this unique Tasmanian threatened species issue.

    Investigating behavioural responses of wedge-tailed eagles to nest site disturbance (Honours)
    Wedge-tailed eagles are shy nesters and readily affected by activities surrounding nest sites. While many disturbance factors are known, their impacts have not been quantified. This project would investigate behavioural responses to different types of disturbance, by means of direct observation and remote camera technology, and determine how present management prescriptions should be modified.

    Foraging behaviour of wedge-tailed eagles in production and non-production forests (Hons or PhD)
    There is some evidence from previous work conducted by the FPA that changes to normal foraging behaviour may be impacting breeding success. This project would consider the time eagles spend foraging in various forest types in production and non-production forests.  The project aims to better understand the influence of land clearance on nesting and foraging behaviour. 

    Investigating aspects of the ecology of a threatened carabid beetle (Catadromus lacordairei) (Hons)
    This project would investigate the habitat requirements and identify the larval cycle of the green-lined carabid beetle.

    Investigating aspects of the ecology of a threatened jewel beetle (Castiarina insculpta) (Hons)
    This project would investigate the habitat requirements, including identifying the food plant and the larval requirements of the Miena jewel beetle.

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    2. Assessing the effectiveness of Forest Practices Code provisions relating to the retention of habitat for hollow-dependant fauna

    Investigation of the use of retained areas by hollow-using birds (Honours)
    Hollow-dependent fauna are considered to be the group of forest-dependent fauna most vulnerable to the impacts of timber harvesting, as harvesting most often results in a reduction in the number of suitable hollows. One of the main management prescriptions for the maintenance of faunal diversity at the coupe level advocated in the Tasmanian Forest Practices Code involves the retention of 'wildlife habitat clumps' containing habitat trees (i.e. trees with old-growth characteristics such as hollows). The degree to which the Forest Practices Code wildlife habitat clump prescriptions result in the retention of habitat for hollow dependent fauna has not been tested for birds. This project would complement our larger research project looking at this issue.

    Assessing the contribution of wildlife habitat strips to landscape-scale management of the hollow resource (Honours)
    Wildlife habitat strips are one of the features that have been implemented by the forest industry to connect larger forested areas and provide some habitat (such as tree hollows) for fauna. Wildlife habitat strips were originally implemented where there was a perceived lack of other reserves in an area. The distribution of habitat strips and areas containing hollows has not been examined for some time. This study will examine the distribution of formal and informal reserves (including wildlife habitat strips) to determine which areas lack reserves. When coupled with species-distribution data, this information can be used to make recommendations for landscape scale management of the forest estate.

    Using nest boxes to promote use of plantation areas by hollow-using species, especially bats
    This project would examine whether placing nest boxes in plantation areas would encourage their use by hollow-using fauna. This project is particularly relevant for promoting bat activity in an area, as insectivorous bats may help control insect outbreaks in plantation areas.

    Assessing the impact of firewood harvesting on the tree hollow and coarse woody debris resources (Masters)
    It has been suggested that the amount of wood collected for firewood can rival the amount collected for timber production. Firewood is collected on both state forest and private land. Wood collection can include fallen timber and standing live or dead trees. This study would assess the impact of firewood harvesting on state forest and private land in dry forest areas of Tasmania.

    Investigation of tree colonisation by wood decaying fungi that contribute to hollow formation (PhD)
    Tree hollows provide important habitat for fauna and in Australia hollows are formed by wind, fire, invertebrates and fungi. Different fungal species have different dispersal mechanisms which probably affects their ability to colonise large regenerating areas (e.g. clearfall-burn and sow coupes). The study would examine the spore dispersal abilities of wood rot fungi, and the colonisation of young trees subject to different management regimes.

    Assessing the conservation status and hollow requirements of the yellow-tailed black cockatoo (PhD)
    The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest hollow-users in Tasmania. The availability of tree hollows is declining due to timber harvesting, land clearance and tree senescence. Tree hollows take long periods of time to develop and the large hollows required by the yellow-tailed black cockatoo may take hundreds of years to form. The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is not currently listed as threatened, but concern has been expressed about the future status of this species. This project would assess the current conservation status of this species as well as threatening processes including the availability of suitable hollows in the landscape. This project would help improve management prescriptions for this species.

    Assessing the distribution of and use of tree hollows by the Australian owlet-nightjar (Honours or PhD)
    The Australian owlet nightjar is one of Tasmania's most hollow-dependent species. They require a large number of hollows for both nesting and roosting. However, little information is available on the specific hollow requirements of this species and so it is uncertain if current land management practices will be detrimental to this species. This project will assess the distribution and hollow use of this species.

    Assessing the use of coarse woody debris by vertebrate fauna (Honours or PhD)
    Logs on the forest floor have received a lot of recent attention because of their value to invertebrate fauna. They also have value as refuge sites for vertebrates. This study will use methods developed on the mainland to investigate the characteristics of rotting logs important for vertebrate fauna in both dry and wet forest types of importance to the forest industry. This project would assess the availability of the coarse woody debris resource in dry forest areas. Typically most research has focused only on wet forest areas but dry forest areas are more heavily used for activities such as firewood harvesting which would potentially have a large impact on coarse woody debris availability.

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    3. Assessing the effectiveness of Forest Practices Code provisions relating to the management of biodiversity

    Assessing the implementation and effectiveness of Phytophthora cinnamomi management prescriptions under the forest practices system (Honours or Masters)
    Phytophthora cinnamomi (PC) is an introduced pathogen that attacks the roots of susceptible plants and can result in death of individual plants or even a localised population. Many of Tasmania's threatened flora species and communities are susceptible to PC. Introduction of PC into an area can cause local extinction of species and change the floristic structure and composition of the vegetation community, which in turn can affect fauna. It is important to reduce the risk of spreading this pathogen into sites supporting threatened vegetation communities or species. This study will monitor the implementation and effectiveness of PC prescriptions applied to forest practices plans involving road construction or maintenance in State forest.

    Use by arboreal mammals of isolated trees, patches and continuous forest in the variable retention trials at Warra Long-Term Ecological Research site (Honours or PhD)
    Detailed tracking studies are required to determine the degree to which fauna use single trees and large clumps retained as part of variable retention silviculture.

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    4. Projects to assess and refine the Forest Practices Code provisions for the maintenance of aquatic fauna

    Which culvert designs impede movements of platypus and the giant freshwater crayfish? (Honours)
    There is evidence that two of our high profile aquatic fauna species, the platypus and the giant freshwater crayfish, avoid certain culvert crossings. Some work has looked at culverts which restrict fish passage. Guidelines for forest managers have been developed from this work but more information is required on factors which impede the passage of the platypus and giant freshwater crayfish.

    Distribution and habitat requirements of a narrow-range burrowing crayfish, Ombrastacoides denisoni, in south-eastern Tasmania (Honours)
    Unpublished information suggests that this recently described species occupies a small range in the southern forests of Tasmania. It appears to prefer riparian areas. A detailed study is required to determine the actual distribution of the species and to determine the characteristics of its preferred habitat.

    Occurrence of hydrobiid snails in large streams (Honours)
    A recent PhD study suggests that threatened hydrobiid snails generally occupy headwater streams, though some threatened species are known to occur in large streams. This needs further investigation to assist in the development of management actions for these species.

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    5. Projects to improve our understanding of the ecological importance and appropriate management of treeferns (Dicksonia antarctica)

    Treeferns as a substrate for epiphytic ferns and bryophytes in Tasmania's north-west (Honours)
    How does Dicksonia compare to other prominent wet forest substrates (e.g. logs) as a host for epiphytes in Tasmania's north-west? Part of this project would be to establish a list of epiphytic species associated with Dicksonia for the north-west of the state, to compare with that published in Roberts et al. 2003 for the south-east. This project would also examine the diversity and abundance of epiphytes on Dicksonia at multiple wet forest sites in the north-west of the state (preferably in a range of forest types).

    Is spore/gemmae dispersal a limiting factor in the re-establishment of epiphytes on Dicksonia trunks in re-growth forests in Tasmania? (Honours)
    This study would examine epiphyte diversity in regrowth forests at various distances from retained mature forest with diverse epiphytic assemblages. The project could potentially be done for vascular epiphytes only, depending on the student's familiarity with bryophyte flora.

    Epiphyte re-establishment on Dicksonia trunks in regrowth forest (Honours)
    This project would examine how epiphytic assemblages associated with Dicksonia trunks change over time in regrowth forests, and the age at which diversity and composition approaches that of old-growth forest.

    The role of Dicksonia trunks in understorey re-establishment in regrowth forest (Masters)
    This project would examined whether the presence of treefern trunks in a regenerating coupe expedite colonisation by other understorey species typical of the pre-logging forest-type, either through functioning as a nursery site for seed germination or through live ferns creating a canopy even in relatively young regrowth. This is an applied resource-management question relevant to determining the appropriateness of harvesting treeferns from forest prior to logging and regeneration.

    The relative importance of Dicksonia as a habitat structure for invertebrates in Tasmanian wet forests
    This project would examine how Dicksonia compares to other, possibly similar, wet forest habitats (e.g. other large fern species or bark and leaves of trees and shrubs) as habitat for invertebrates in Tasmania. This project would involve devising a sampling method that allows comparison of the invertebrate species assemblages and population densities in a variety of microhabitats in wet forest, including Dicksonia trunks and crowns.

    Dispersal ability of invertebrates that use Dicksonia as habitat
    This project would examine if dispersal is a limiting factor in the re-establishment of invertebrates on Dicksonia after logging. Invertebrate diversity associated with Dicksonia would be examined in regrowth forests at various distances from retained mature forest containing Dicksonia. The project could potentially examine only a subset of species.

    Interactions between vertebrate fauna and Dicksonia (Honours or PhD)
    This project would examine which vertebrate fauna use Dicksonia as habitat or a food source in Tasmanian wet forests.

    The role of Dicksonia in facilitating recolonisation of regrowth forest by invertebrates (Masters or PhD)
    This project would examine whether the presence of trunked Dicksonia surviving from pre-logging expedite recolonisation of regrowth forest by invertebrates (those both associated with the Dicksonia themselves and with other understorey elements such as logs and leaf-litter).

    Changes to invertebrate assemblages that use Dicksonia based on regrowth forest age (Honours or PhD)
    This project would examine how invertebrate assemblages associated with Dicksonia trunks change over time in regrowth forests, and the forest age at which diversity and composition approaches that of old-growth forest.

    Evaluation of Dicksonia as a keystone structure in Tasmanian wet forests (Honours or PhD)
    Research to date indicates that Dicksonia provides suitable habitat for large suite of epiphytic ferns and bryophytes as well as invertebrate fauna in Tasmanian wet forests. As such it may be described as a keystone species or the fibrous trunk might be considered as a keystone structure. This project would examine the extent to which the concepts of 'keystone species' or 'keystone structure' are appropriate and helpful in describing Dicksonia, and how this could inform harvesting guidelines and conservation measures. The scope of this project is expected to include an examination of the ecological role of retained Dicksonia in regrowth forests. The project could focus on flora or fauna.

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    Earth sciences project suggestions

    Proposals from students wishing to pursue one of the projects below at any level (Hons, Masters, PhD) will be considered. The Earth Sciences Program also welcomes project proposals which are not included in the list below.

    Effect of plantation harvest on karst development
    What are the effects of plantation harvest on karst hydrology and sinkhole development in areas such as the Florentine Valley and Mole Creek?

    Identifying inactive and active landslides in the forest estate
    Many forested hillslopes show signs of previous mass movement. Dating mass movement events is an important tool for assessing whether mass movement landforms are relict or presently inactive but likely to move again.

    Glacial and periglacial landforms and deposits in the Picton and Huon forests
    Although they are obscured by forest cover, the Picton and Huon valleys contain evidence of glaciations, some of which reached to low altitudes. Correctly identifying relict landforms is important if the geological and climatic history of Tasmania is to be understood. Further mapping and dating of these features is required.

    Hydrological modelling of storm events in plantation forest of north-eastern Tasmania
    Periodically the northeast of Tasmania experiences intense rainfall, in the range 100-300 mm a day. This can cause stream erosion and damage to forest infrastructure such as bridges and culverts. Understanding the hydrology of these events will assist in the better planning of forest distribution and the design of infrastructure.

    Dating aeolian deposits in the southern forests
    Several ages have been obtained for aeolian deposits in the Derwent, Huon and Arve valleys, but these need to be corroborated and extended by dates using optically-stimulated luminescence, if the Quaternary geological history of these areas is to be better understood and Tasmania's climatic record extended. Several significant sites occur in the forest estate and require protection as important scientific locations.

    Effectiveness monitoring of riparian restoration in plantations
    Where streams in plantation show erosion, an FPA standard prescription is for plantations to be felled, but for replanting not to occur in the riparian area and for this area to be replanted in native species. Both the implementation of this prescription and its effectiveness need to be monitored.

    Studies into landform assemblage and hydrology of the Blackwater and Sumac karst systems in north-western Tasmania
    The dolomite rocks present in the Blackwater and Sumac areas have long been known to host karst of conservation significance; however, the broad scale nature of the karst development in these areas is poorly understood and requires further study.

    Assessment of karst development in Permian bedrock exposures throughout Tasmania
    Permian-age limestone and mudstone units are common throughout central and eastern Tasmania. Some of these units have been mapped as limestone and listed as karst on the Tasmanian Karst Atlas. However, only a handful of sites with Permian limestone beds are known to have karst present. A large proportion of Permian-age limestone units have never been explored for karst. The following questions require investigation: How extensive is karst in Permian limestone? How accurate is the Tasmanian karst atlas in defining the extent and development of karst areas in Permian limestone?

    The process and formation of tunnel gully erosion and piping caves in thick dolerite slope deposits
    Streams in wet sclerophyll forest flowing across dolerite slope deposits commonly flow underground through tunnel gullies, or in extreme cases, in caves for long distances. What processes lead to the development of these unusual channel morphologies and what impacts does forest development have on the stability and development of these features?

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    Heritage and landscape project suggestions

    The physical remains of cultural heritage in Tasmania's forests are important in its potential to yield information that will enhance an understanding of Tasmania's history. A number of base line studies focussing on historic timber getting, mineral extraction sites, Chinese miner's camps and obtaining a general over view of the numbers and types of sites in these forests have been completed. Future studies that will benefit heritage management are encouraged that focus on:

    • Aboriginal use of forests
    • individuals in the forest
    • detailed analysis of specific industrial sites
    • cultural landscape studies 
    • other topics assessed as adding to our knowledge of the human story in the forests.

    Visual landscape projects include:

    • community appreciation of the visual values of native forest harvesting
    • the affect of plantation forestry on scenic quality in regional contexts.  

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    Content last modified September 26, 2011, 12:35 pm