Darren Southwell
University of Newcastle

Darren Southwell profile imageDr Darren Southwell

Lecturer, University of Newcastle

See Dr Southwell’s full research profile here.


Dr Southwell develops quantitative models to inform conservation decision-making. He has experience in collecting field data as well as statistical and simulation modelling to address theoretical and applied conservation issues of national and international significance.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Dr Southwell recently led a project for the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water that designed reconnaissance surveys to detect the impact of the 2019–20 wildfires on native species. This research helped allocate fire-recovery funds for threatened species.
  • Dr Southwell led a collaborative project that aimed to understand the impact of predator control on fox populations and malleefowl breeding activity across semi-arid Australia. The research has informed malleefowl recovery planning.
  • Dr Southwell developed a population viability model to help the Tasmanian government decide how best to manage Tasmanian devil populations in response to the ongoing outbreak of facial tumour disease.
  • Dr Southwell developed an integrated monitoring and evaluation framework to support the Australian Government’s Wild Otway Initiative in southern Australia. The framework is designed to maximise what can be learned about the effectiveness of managing threatened mammals.
  • Dr Southwell helped evaluate ‘sand-track’ monitoring in arid Australia and its potential to detect changes in invasive and native species.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2022–present: lecturer, School of Environmental and Life Sciences, University of Newcastle
  • 2016–2021: post-doctoral researcher, School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, University of Melbourne.

Highest qualification

  • 2016: PhD, University of Melbourne.

Major prizes, medals and honours

  • 2018: Whitley Award for the book ‘Monitoring Threatened Species and Ecological Communities’.


My Projects

Current projectCompleted project
NESP RLH, 2021-2027NESP, 2015-2021NERP, 2012-2015TRaCK, 2005-present