Dr Caragh Threlfall 

Current Position

Research Fellow, Urban Ecology

Clean Air & Urban Landscapes Hub, National Environmental Science Program

School of Ecosystem & Forest Sciences, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne

Email: caragh.threlfall AT unimelb.edu.au


Area of Research

I am an urban ecologist and have worked with international and national experts on a diversity of taxa, including bats, birds and invertebrates using experimental and modelling techniques. My research has led to significant advances in urban ecology theory, and urban land management.

My research focuses on three keys areas of urban ecosystems: 1) assessing the impact of urban form on biodiversity; 2) measuring the services biodiversity provides across different urban landscapes; and 3) quantitatively evaluating the effectiveness of habitat restoration on biodiversity and ecosystem function.

Areas of current research interest: Urban biodiversity, urban planning and design, social-ecological interdisciplinary studies, landscape ecology, ecology and conservation of insectivorous bats, vertebrate & invertebrate field survey techniques.



2012     PhD in Biological Sciences, University of New South Wales, Australia

2006    Bachelor of Environmental Science (Honours Class 1) Advanced, University of Wollongong, Australia


Research Grants

Livesley, Kendal, Threlfall, van der Ree, Davern, Hochuli, Fuller. Managing urban trees for people and wildlife, ARC Linkage Grant $320 000, 2016-2019

Williams, N.S.G, Threlfall C.G, Walker, K. Understanding and enhancing urban pollinator biodiversity via wildlife gardening and citizen scientists, McCoy Seed Funding, Museum Victoria $19,795 2015 - 2016

Kendal, McDonnell, Livesley, van der Ree, Davern, Threlfall, Hughes, Cook, Taylor. Managing urban trees as keystone structures in the social and ecological fabric of cities, Melbourne Sustainability Society Institute $6,000 2014-2015

Williams, N.S.G, Threlfall C.G. Understanding pollination services and plant reproductive success in remnant and revegetated urban parks. Parks Victoria $10,810 2014-2015

Threlfall, C.G., Williams, N.S.G., van der Ree, R., Livesley, S.J., and Harrison, L. Bushland and Urban Biodiversity in a Changing Climate. The City of Boroondarra. $50,000 2014-2015

 Threlfall, C.G. Bat and bird biodiversity controls insect pests in urban landscapes. University of Melbourne Early Career Researcher Grant $39,228 2013-2014

 Threlfall, C. G., Law, B. & Banks, P. B. Microbat diversity in urban landscapes: mechanisms influencing regional persistence: Australian Geographic Society: $2,300 2009

 Threlfall, C. G. Microbat diversity in urban landscapes: mechanisms influencing regional persistence: Jill Landsberg Trust Fund, Ecological Society of Australia: $6,000 2008


Research & Professional Experience

2015 - 2016    Biodiversity Research Officer – NSW Department of Primary Industries 0.8 FTE

2015 - 2016    Research Associate – The University of Sydney 0.2 FTE

2012 - 2015          Research Fellow - Dept Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, The University of Melbourne. The Green Infrastructure Research Group (thegirg.org)

2014 - 2016    Urban Ecologist – Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Royal Botanic Gardens                 Melbourne  (part-time role)

2014                     Urban Ecologist - City of Melbourne, Urban Landscapes Team  (part-time role)

2006 - 2009       Ecological Consultant, Total Earth Care Pty Ltd


Teaching Experience

Lecturer and Subject Co-ordinator – The University of Melbourne, Dept of Resource Management and Geography 2013

  • Ecology of Urban Landscapes, 3rd Yr Undergraduate.
  • Plants in the Urban Environment, 1st Yr Masters.

Additionally, I have developed lectures and case studies for:

  • Managing Urban Landscapes – Capstone subject in a coursework Masters
  • Ecology, Soils and Plants - 1st Yr Associate Degree
  • Climate Change II – 2nd Yr Undergraduate
  • National School of Parks Management - Professional Certificate