People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

From 2005 to 2022, the main node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies was headquartered at James Cook University in Townsville, Queensland (Australia)

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Is curiosity the best way to kill a cat? The significance of social factors in planning and implementing an invasive species management campaign.


Tuesday 1st December 10:00 to 11:00 hrs (AEST)

https://jcu.zoom.us/j/81109159083 Password: 651568
Brooke Deak
Brooke Deak

Abstract: Invasive species management can be the the subject of debate in many countries due to conflicting ecological, ethical, economic, and social reasons, especially when dealing with a species such as the feral cat. Social perceptions and attitudes around the various possible feral cat management methods influence socially and politically acceptable management in different countries. A study was conducted to establish global differences in feral cat management approaches, and to improve the understanding of how social factors influence attitudes around different feral cat management methods.
A sentiment analysis was conducted as part of the study to investigate international as well as regional views of feral cats to determine differences in how various countries and groups approached feral cat management. Later, a landholder questionnaire was used to establish the attitudes and perceptions of stakeholders and the general public on Kangaroo Island, SA and near the Grampians National Park region of Victoria around potential feral cat management methods that could be used in management campaigns in these areas. This study highlights the importance of communication and information sharing in feral cat and other invasive species management campaigns, including knowledge about control tools, and demonstrates that education about species impacts can increase support for management.

Biography: Originally from Florida in the USA,  Brooke moved to Melbourne, Australia in 2013 to complete a Master of Environment degree at the University of Melbourne. She has recently submitted her thesis for a Ph.D in Sciences at the University of Adelaide and is currently residing in Cairns, Australia and working as a Research Assistant investigating human sentiments around coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef with Dr. Michele Barnes at JCU. Her thesis work involved examining the social and societal issues around feral cat management by using a combination of ecology and social science to look at people’s perceptions and attitudes towards feral cat management methods in various areas. She hopes to continue her work in the area of environmental and social research to aid in the creation and implementation of future environmental management campaigns.


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