Penny Pascoe

Penny is passionate about understanding remote and wild ecosystems and undertaking research applicable to conservation and management. Islands are global biodiversity hotspots but are often threatened by invasive mammals. Whilst successful eradication of invasive mammals from islands is becoming more common, evaluating ecosystem response post-eradication is both challenging and expensive. Penny’s PhD is investigating the recovery of island ecosystems following the eradication of invasive mammals. Collaborating with leading researchers at NIU, Penny will investigate the use of stable isotopes to monitor the progression of recovery in island ecosystems by undertaking a large-scale natural experiment across more than 30 Australian, New Zealand and sub-Antarctic islands. Seabird guano provides significant nutrient input to many non-invaded islands, and these nutrients have a traceable stable isotope signature. By comparing never-invaded islands to islands at different stages post-eradication, Penny’s research will investigate a novel cost and time-efficient technique for assessing the progression of ecosystem recovery in Australia.