Ruth McPhail, WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions
What are your research interests as they relate to northern Australia?
I enjoy a variety of work in land management but having a research focus on bilbies means I get to work over much of the southern Kimberley. Bilbies have been reduced to 20% of their former range and have a north west trend in their reducing distribution. Its important to know why they are being restricted to the southern Kimberly and Pilbara areas for future management. They are also a difficult species to work with as they can move large distances within the landscape, are only visible at night and burrow deep into the ground which makes GPS tracking difficult. Nothing like a good challenge.
What do you love about working in northern Australia?
Working in Northern Australia means you are so much closer to some of the most amazing and remote areas. I get to explore and do some adventurous work with wildlife ranging from nesting turtles to crocodiles to quolls to bilbies. I think my favourite places to visit are the most remote and untouched. The northern areas of the great sandy desert are both beautiful and remote, and it’s amazing how diverse this harsh landscape can be.