Research Group

Welcome to the Mammal Ecology Research Group led by Dr Andrew Baker (QUT).

Our group has discovered 5 new species of carnivorous marsupial Antechinus since 2012.

the fantastic five species raw for webpage aa

Research Group Member Activities

Andrew Baker (Group Leader): Lectures in Ecology and Environmental Science (@ QUT) and is Honorary Research Fellow (@ QM). Andrew is co-editor of the Field Companion to the Mammals of Australia (New Holland: 2013) and wrote the dasyurid chapter of Volume 5 (Marsupials) in Handbook of the Mammals of the World (Smithsonian: 2015; Winner of the 2016 Whitley Medal). Andrew is currently editing a new edition of Mammals of Australia (Volume 4) (New Holland: with Ian Gynther), and authoring a new popular science book on the Secret Lives of Carnivorous Marsupials (CSIRO: with Chris Dickman). Andrew is also author of a book on philosophy of science (Questions of Science: 3rd edition, 2012, Pearson).

ab field photo - final - with female arktos at springbrook may 2015

 Thomas Mutton (PhD Student; complete, 2017): Evolutionary Biology of the Genus Antechinus. This project has resulted in the discovery of 5 new Antechinus species and provides insight into the evolution of the entire group under a range of spatiotemporal scales.

Thomasfield website raw zz

Buff-footed Antechinus, Antechinus sp.


Emma Gray (PhD Student; 2014-present; thesis under examination, August 2017): Ecology, distribution and status of the new endangered dasyurid marsupial, Black-tailed Dusky Antechinus, Antechinus arktos. This rare species was once found in various parts of the Tweed Volcano caldera, but now may be limited to the wettest, coldest mountain tops in the World Heritage Listed rainforests of Springbrook National Park.

emma photo webpage zz  arktos april 2015 - emma emma in springbrook may 2015 with arktos



Eugene Mason (PhD Student; 2014-present; thesis under examination, August 2017): Ecology, distribution and status of the new vulnerable dasyurid marsupial, Silver-headed Antechinus, Antechinus argentus. This species may have one of the smallest distributions of any Australian mammal. Thus far, it has been found across just 10km2, among the clouds of the south-eastern escarpment on Kroombit Tops, south-west of Gladstone in Queensland.

argo june 2015 - held by gene - edited gene cleaning trap at kroombit june 2015 edited gene holding argo june 2015

argo blackdown np 4


Coral Pearce (MSc Student; complete 2017): Comparative breeding ecology and diet in two populations of Buff-footed Antechinus, Antechinus mysticus. Nothing to date is known of diet in the new species of Antechinus; this study will provide this vital baseline information. The two populations surveyed, one in open forest of western Brisbane and the other 800km north in the rainforested escarpment at Eungella near Mackay, represent the southern and northern known limit of the species. Interestingly, only a few museum records exist of this species across most of its geographic range and numerous surveys in recent years have failed to find the species between Cooloola (south of Fraser Island) and Rockhampton (mid-east Qld).

coral field photo mysto april 2015 - coral. editJPG

Antechinus sp.


Rachael Collett (PhD Student; 2015 – present): Rach’s project aims to provide explanations for the distribution and abundance of rare antechinus species in Qld. Rach is jointly supervised by Diana Fisher (UQ), Robbie Wilson (UQ) and Andrew Baker (QUT).

RACH FIELD PHOTO - final with stewie at springbrook

Morgan Thomas (Hons; 2017): Morgan is testing the relative efficacy of metal box traps, versus whiteflash cameras vs detection dogs with the aim of understanding Antechinus arktos distribution and abundance.

morgan with stewie at best of all

Caitlin Riordan (Hons; 2017): Caitlin is assessing the habitat preferences of Antechinus arktos in the Scenic Rim to better understand both broad and fine-scale requirements for this endangered mammal species.

caitlin with springbrook arktos

Other Collaborative Projects: Mammals of Australia (Vol 4) (New Holland); Secret Lives of Carnivorous Marsupials (CSIRO); Genetics and aging in Antechinus; Pseudantechinus systematics, taxonomy and ecology; Evolution of Australian Rattus.


Dr Andrew Baker; (ph) +61 7 313 84443;  (fax) +61 7 313 81535;  (mob)  0424 272 051;  (email); (post)  Queensland University of Technology, School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Gardens Point Campus, 2 George Street, GPO Box 2434, Brisbane,  Queensland, 4001, Australia

swains portrait side for website cc



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