Andrea Griffin
Newcastle University

Andrea Griffin profile imageDr Andrea Griffin

Senior lecturer, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, Newcastle University

See Dr Griffin’s full research profile here.

Bio

Dr Andrea Griffin is a zoologist with core expertise in animal behaviour. Her research interests lie in understanding how animals respond and adjust to environmental change and in finding ways of applying this knowledge to better manage and conserve species. She pioneered the use of associative learning to prepare captive bred endangered marsupials for reintroduction and has demonstrated that invasive birds learn to recognise people who trap them and are becoming more cryptic in areas where they are heavily trapped. She is trained in biology, animal behaviour and ecology at the Universities of Lausanne, Geneva and Zurich in Switzerland and completed her PhD at Macquarie University followed by a Swiss National Post-doctoral Fellowship at McGill University in Canada. She joined the University of Newcastle in 2005 as Australian Research Council post-doctoral fellow and earned a lectureship in 2009. She is currently a Senior Lecturer in the School of Environmental Science where she co-leads a large group of student researchers in Conservation Science and teaches Animal Behaviour and Conservation Biology to final year undergraduate students.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Dr Griffin pioneered the development of predator avoidance training methodologies based on conditioning for endangered marsupials using tammar wallabies as a model system. These techniques and the animal learning framework that underpins them have formed the foundation for multiple pre-release preparation programs for endangered animals in Australia and worldwide to increase post-release survival.
  • Dr Griffin has shown invasive birds change behaviour in response to heavy population control in ways that are likely to affect the effectiveness of control measures. Her research has explored the mechanisms of behavioural change experimentally and this understanding has helped improve how invasive birds are trapped in Australia.
  • Dr Griffin has made recommendations to federal government on land clearing and climate change and the 10-year review of the federal legislation EBPC Act 1974, and is the lead author of a 2019 Scientist Declaration warning of the compounding effects of land clearing and climate change

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2015–present: Senior lecturer, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle

Major prizes, medals and honours

  • 2019: Women in Leadership Award, University of Newcastle
  • 2020: Women in Research Award, University of Newcastle.

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