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A/Prof. John White

STAFF PROFILE

Position

Associate Professor

Faculty

Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env

Department

School of Life & Env. Sciences

Campus

Melbourne Burwood Campus

Qualifications

Doctor of Philosophy, Queensland Univ. of Technology, 1999
Bachelor of Applied Science, Queensland Univ. of Technology, 1994

Biography

John has been an academic at Deakin since 1998.  He is a dedicated educator & researcher in the area of wildlife conservation.  John led the development and implementation of the Bachelor of Environmental Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology) and was the leader in the design and delivery of our remote field based learning units which scaffold learning from 1st year to 3rd year. With a passion for creating highly experiential learning environments, John is often in remote areas of Victoria or even in the jungles of Borneo training students in the skills they need for a career in wildlife conservation. As a passionate researcher, John’s research focuses on how our unique biota are responding to threats such as fire, climate change, urbanisation and invasive species. 

John has held a number of leadership roles in the University in the past.  He has held the roles of Associate Dean (Development), Associate Head of School (Teaching and Learning) and Deputy Head of School.  He currently is an active contributor to the Faculty team driving an increase in international mobility of our undergraduate students.

Read more on John's profile

Research interests

John is an active researcher focusing largely on how species and ecosystems respond to external threats such as fire, climate change, urbanisation and invasive species. A large focus of John’s research has been the development and maintenance of a long-term ecological research program in the Grampians National park. Since 2008 John has led his team in establishing how small mammals respond to major fire events and changes in climatic conditions. This research has provided a lens in which to view the potential impacts of climate change as well as informing improved conservation management of this unique landscape. In recognition of this research, John and his team was awarded the 2016 Nancy Millis Award for science in Parks. This award recognises science that changes the way parks are managed.
John leads an active research team of honours students and postgraduates who work on small mammal ecology, invasive species ecology, urbanisation, fire ecology and conservation management in response to climate change.

Teaching interests

John led the development and delivery of our highly successful remote field based education program.  These field based units see our students in remote areas gaining the hands-on experience needed for a successful transition into conservation based employment.  It is not just about getting into the field though, it is about helping students find their strengths and enhance their capacity to work in high functioning team environments.  John also developed and still delivers the first international based undergraduate unit in the School, where he takes students into the jungles of Borneo and introduces them to the indigenous tribes and government agencies associated with conservation in this biodiversity hot-spot.  This opportunity to help students see conservation situations from the perspective of other people is transformational in developing a more empathetic approach to conservation in our students. John has been awarded for his teaching approaches at both the university and national levels.

Units taught

SLE226 Team Based Environmental Research (Unit Chair)


SLE226 Asian Conservation and Environment Sustainability: International Study Tour (Unit Chair)


SLE114 Introduction to Parks and Wildlife Management (Teaches into)


SLE302 Wildlife Field Studies (Teaches into)

Awards

2017  Vice Chancellors Award for Teaching Excellence
2016  Nancy Millis Award for Science in Parks
2015  Vice Chancellors Award for Outstanding Contributions to Global Experiences
2006  Carrick Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (National Award)
2006  WJC Banks Award for Distinguished Contributions to Teaching and Learning
2006  Vice-Chancellors Award for Distinguished Teaching
2006  Deakin University Award for Teaching Excellence

Publications

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2020

Photography can determine the sex of a predator with limited sexual dimorphism: A case study of the powerful owl

R Cooke, A Rendall, M Weston, N Porch, N Bradsworth, J White

(2020), Vol. 22, pp. 1-8, Global Ecology and Conservation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article
2019

Zonation of a small mammal community within coastal dunes

A Rendall, R Cooke, J White, M Weston

(2019), Vol. 217, pp. 206-210, Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Joining the dots: how does an apex predator move through an urbanizing landscape?

N Carter, R Cooke, J White, D Whisson, B Isaac, N Bradsworth

(2019), Vol. 17, pp. 1-12, Global ecology and conservation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article
2018

Urbanization and raptors: trends and research approaches

R Cooke, F Hogan, B Isaac, M Weaving, J White

(2018), pp. 64-75, Urban raptors: ecology and conservation of birds of prey in cities, Washington, D. C., B1

book chapter

Powerful owls: possum assassins move into town

R Cooke, F Hogan, B Isaac, M Weaving, J White

(2018), pp. 152-165, Urban raptors : ecology and conservation of birds of prey in cities, Washington, D. C., B1

book chapter
2017

Species distribution models derived from citizen science data predict the fine scale movements of owls in an urbanizing landscape

N Bradsworth, J White, B Isaac, R Cooke

(2017), Vol. 213 : Part A, pp. 27-35, Biological conservation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Can owls be used to monitor the impacts of urbanisation? A cautionary tale of variable detection

R Cooke, H Grant, I Ebsworth, A Rendall, B Isaac, J White

(2017), Vol. 44, pp. 573-581, Wildlife research, Clayton, Vic., C1

journal article
2016

Adaptation to urban environments promotes high reproductive success in the tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides), an endemic nocturnal bird species

M Weaving, J White, B Isaac, A Rendall, R Cooke

(2016), Vol. 150, pp. 87-95, Landscape and urban planning, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Fire and climatic extremes shape mammal distributions in a fire-prone landscape

S Hale, D Nimmo, R Cooke, G Holland, S James, M Stevens, N De Bondi, R Woods, M Castle, K Campbell, K Senior, S Cassidy, R Duffy, B Holmes, J White

(2016), Vol. 22, pp. 1127-1138, Diversity and distributions: a journal of conservation biogeography, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article
2015

Environmental sustainability in higher education : What do academics think?

B Christie, K Miller, R Cooke, J White

(2015), Vol. 21, pp. 655-686, Environmental Education Research, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article
2014

Sex-biased space-use response to urbanization in an endemic urban adapter

M Weaving, J White, K Hower, B Isaac, R Cooke

(2014), Vol. 130, pp. 73-80, Landscape and Urban Planning, Amsterdam , Netherlands, C1

journal article

Camera trapping: a contemporary approach to monitoring invasive rodents in high conservation priority ecosystems

A Rendall, D Sutherland, R Cooke, J White

(2014), Vol. 9, pp. 1-10, PLoS One, San Francisco, Calif., C1

journal article

Does urbanization have the potential to create an ecological trap for powerful owls (Ninox strenua)?

B Isaac, R Cooke, D Ierodiaconou, J White

(2014), Vol. 176, pp. 1-11, Biological conservation, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Simplification of arboreal marsupial assemblages in response to increasing urbanization

B Isaac, J White, D Ierodiaconou, R Cooke

(2014), Vol. 9, pp. 1-15, PLoS One, San Francisco, Calif., C1

journal article

Urban to forest gradients: suitability for hollow bearing trees and implications for obligate hollow nesters

Bronwyn Isaac, John White, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Raylene Cooke

(2014), Vol. 39, pp. 963-972, Austral ecology, Richmond, Vic, C1

journal article
2013

Environmental sustainability in higher education : how do academics teach?

B Christie, K Miller, R Cooke, J White

(2013), Vol. 19, pp. 385-414, Environmental education research, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Techniques for optimising long-term, large-scale capture-mark-resighting raptor studies: Climb hard, band fast

V Hurley, J White, R Cooke

(2013), Vol. 40, pp. 269-280, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Response of a cryptic apex predator to a complete urban to forest gradient

B Isaac, J White, D Ierodiaconou, R Cooke

(2013), Vol. 40, pp. 427-436, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article
2012

Predicting the century-long post-fire responses of reptiles

D Nimmo, L Kelly, L Spence-Bailey, S Watson, A Haslem, J White, M Clarke, A Bennett

(2012), Vol. 21, pp. 1062-1073, Global Ecology and Biogeography, C1

journal article

Short-term impact of a mega-fire on small mammal communities during prolonged drought

M Stevens, J White, R Cooke

(2012), Vol. 124, pp. 61-70, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article
2011

Potential competition between two top-order predators following a dramatic contraction in the diversity of their prey base

R Bilney, R Cooke, J White

(2011), Vol. 61, pp. 29-47, Animal Biology, C1

journal article

Spatial ecology of Sooty Owls in south-eastern Australian coastal forests: Implications for forest management and reserve design

R Bilney, J White, F L'Hotellier, R Cooke

(2011), Vol. 111, pp. 92-99, Emu, C1

journal article

Stable isotopes reveal inter-annual and inter-individual variation in the diet of female Australian fur seals

J Arnould, Y Cherel, J Gibbens, J White, C Littnan

(2011), Vol. 422, pp. 291-302, Marine Ecology Progress Series, C1

journal article

The distribution of three nocturnal bird species across a suburbanforest gradient

M Weaving, J White, B Isaac, R Cooke

(2011), Vol. 111, pp. 52-58, Emu, C1

journal article

Reversed sexual dimorphism and altered prey base: The effect on sooty owl (Tyto tenebricosa tenebricosa) diet

R Bilney, J White, R Cooke

(2011), Vol. 59, pp. 302-311, Australian Journal of Zoology, C1

journal article
2010

A comparison of the effectiveness of camera trapping and live trapping for sampling terrestrial small-mammal communities

N De Bondi, J White, M Stevens, R Cooke

(2010), Vol. 37, pp. 456-465, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Underestimated and severe: Small mammal decline from the forests of south-eastern Australia since European settlement, as revealed by a top-order predator

R Bilney, R Cooke, J White

(2010), Vol. 143, pp. 52-59, Biological Conservation, C1

journal article
2009

Surviving urbanisation: Maintaining bird species diversity in urban Melbourne

J White, J Fitzsimons, G Palmer, M Antos

(2009), Vol. 126, pp. 73-78, Victorian Naturalist, C1

journal article

The response of ground and bark foraging insectivorous birds across an urban-forest gradient

S Trollope, J White, R Cooke

(2009), Vol. 93, pp. 142-150, Landscape and Urban Planning, C1

journal article
2008

Towards ecological management of Australian powerline corridor vegetation

D Clarke, J White

(2008), Vol. 86, pp. 257-266, Landscape and Urban Planning, C1

journal article

Recolonisation of powerline corridor vegetation by small mammals: Timing and the influence of vegetation management

D Clarke, J White

(2008), Vol. 87, pp. 108-116, Landscape and Urban Planning, C1

journal article

Determinants of native avian richness in suburban remnant vegetation: Implications for conservation planning

G Palmer, J Fitzsimons, M Antos, J White

(2008), Vol. 141, pp. 2329-2341, Biological Conservation, C1

journal article

Where exactly do ground-foraging woodland birds forage? Foraging sites and microhabitat selection in temperate woodlands of southern Australia

M Antos, A Bennett, J White

(2008), Vol. 108, pp. 201-211, Emu, C1

journal article

Detection of owls, owlet nightjars and arboreal mammals in edge environments of Cape Otway, south-western Victoria

J Pascoe, R Cooke, J White

(2008), Vol. 120, pp. 206-215, Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria, C1

journal article

Management of Power Line Easement Vegetation for Small Mammal Conservation in Australia: A Case Study of the Broad-Toothed Rat (Mastacomys Fuscus)

D Clarke, J White

(2008), pp. 467-477, Environment Concerns in Rights-of-Way Management 8th International Symposium, E1

conference
2007

A morphological model for sexing nestling peregrine falcons (Falco peregrinus macropus) verified through genetic analysis

V Hurley, F Hogan, J White, R Cooke

(2007), Vol. 34, pp. 54-58, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article
2006

Powerline corridors: Degraded ecosystems or wildlife havens?

D Clarke, K Pearce, J White

(2006), Vol. 33, pp. 615-626, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Understanding Student Expectations in Developing Environmental Science Courses

Raylene Cooke, Kelly Miller, John White

(2006), Vol. 13, pp. 9-20, The International Journal of Learning: Annual Review, C1

journal article

The diet of powerful owls (Ninox strenua) and prey availability in a continuum of habitats from disturbed urban fringe to protected forest environments in south-eastern Australia

R Cooke, R Wallis, F Hogan, J White, A Webster

(2006), Vol. 33, pp. 199-206, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Change in the diet of sooty owls (Tyto tenebricosa) since European settlement: From terrestrial to arboreal prey and increased overlap with powerful owls

R Bilney, R Cooke, J White

(2006), Vol. 33, pp. 17-24, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Home range, habitat selection and diet of foxes (Vulpes vulpes) in a semi-urban riparian environment

J White, R Gubiani, N Smallman, K Snell, A Morton

(2006), Vol. 33, pp. 175-180, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Introduced birds in urban remnant vegetation: Does remnant size really matter?

M Antos, J Fitzsimons, G Palmer, J White

(2006), Vol. 31, pp. 254-261, Austral Ecology, C1

journal article
2005

Non-uniform bird assemblages in urban environments: The influence of streetscape vegetation

J White, M Antos, J Fitzsimons, G Palmer

(2005), Vol. 71, pp. 123-135, Landscape and Urban Planning, C1

journal article
2004

Birds of remnant vegetation on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria, Australia: The role of interiors, edges and roadsides

M Antos, J White

(2004), Vol. 9, pp. 294-301, Pacific Conservation Biology, C1

journal article
2003

Refugees and Residents: Densities and Habitat preferences of Lorikeets in Urban melbourne

J Fitzsimons, G Palmer, M Antos, J White

(2003), Vol. 20, pp. 2-7, Australian Field Ornithology, C1

journal article

Habitat manipulation and rodent damage control: reducing rodent damage in Australian macadamia orchards

J White, J Wilson, K Horskins

(2003), pp. 213-216, Rats, mice and people : rodent biology and management, Canberra, A.C.T., E1

conference
2002

The red fox Vulpes vuples L. in the Dandenong Creek Valley: impacts on wildlife and an integrated program for their control

A Morton, D Tagg, R Wallis, J White

(2002), Vol. 119, pp. 269-275, Victorian naturalist, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

Use of vegetative structure by powerful owls in outer urban Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Implications for management

R Cooke, R Wallis, J White

(2002), Vol. 36, pp. 294-299, Journal of Raptor Research, C1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Revegetation and restoration in rural landscapes: identifying the benefits for biodiversity

Prof Andrew Bennett, A/Prof John White, Dr Jim Radford

  • 2008: $135,087
  • 2007: $131,380
  • 2006: $138,504

Long-term responses of wildlife populations to landscape-scale wildfire: Grampians National Park case study

A/Prof John White, A/Prof Raylene Cooke

  • 2020: $14,000
  • 2019: $24,000
  • 2018: $9,000
  • 2017: $20,000
  • 2016: $36,500
  • 2015: $35,000
  • 2013: $30,000
  • 2012: $25,000
  • 2010: $10,000
  • 2009: $5,000
  • 2008: $15,000

Spatial ecology of top-order predators across a gradient of urbanized parks

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, A/Prof John White

  • 2007: $8,400

Response of masked and sooty owls to intensive and long-term fox baiting in Cape Conran Coastal park

A/Prof John White, A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Mr Andrew Murray

  • 2007: $5,200

Springing ecological traps: Prompting Powerful Owl breeding in urban remnants by manipulating breeding resources

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, A/Prof John White

  • 2008: $2,000
  • 2006: $9,500

Research and monitoring protocols for selected vertebrates

Prof Andrew Bennett, A/Prof John White

  • 2009: $15,000

The effective management and monitoring of cats and foxes in the Grampians national park

A/Prof Euan Ritchie, A/Prof John White

  • 2011: $8,200

Grampians Ark Predator Monitoring Project 2015

A/Prof Euan Ritchie, A/Prof John White

  • 2020: $16,500
  • 2019: $16,500
  • 2016: $40,000

Movement ecology of a top-order predator in an urbanizing landscape: Powerful owls and their response to urbanisation

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Mr Nicholas Bradsworth, A/Prof John White

  • 2019: $500
  • 2018: $2,000

Industry and Other Funding

Factors affecting the breeding success of Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus macropus): Implications for management and conservation

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, A/Prof John White, Mr Victor Hurley

  • 2006: $2,000

Co-existing native top order predators: their response to mass extinction and decline of ground mammals

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, A/Prof John White, Mr Rohan Bilney

  • 2008: $5,000
  • 2007: $5,000
  • 2006: $4,000

A preliminary study of the distribution and habitat requirements of the Broad-toothed Rat, Mastacomys fuscus, in the Mt Buller Alpine Resort

Dr Desley Whisson, A/Prof John White

  • 2009: $5,279
  • 2008: $5,279

Spatial ecology of the tawny frogmouth in an urban landscape

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Ms Marian Weaving, A/Prof John White

  • 2012: $7,500
  • 2010: $2,500
  • 2009: $10,400

Geographical Information Systems: Powerful Owl (Ninox strenua) home ranges and resource use in habitats with varying gradients of urbanization

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, A/Prof John White, Miss Bronwyn Isaac

  • 2006: $4,500

Behaviour and ecology of the tawny frogmouth in an urban landscape

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, A/Prof John White, Dr Fiona Hogan, Ms Marian Weaving

  • 2010: $2,500

Coping in the big city: Investigating the effects of urbanization on eastern yellow robin populations in Melbourne, Victoria

A/Prof John White, Ms Christine Connelly

  • 2013: $7,500
  • 2012: $7,000
  • 2011: $6,500

Coping in the big city: Investigating the effects of urbanization on eastern yellow robin populations in Melbourne, Victoria

A/Prof John White, Ms Christine Connelly

  • 2011: $5,000

Mesopredator interactions and prey preferences in Australia

A/Prof John White, Ms Eloise Dowd, A/Prof Euan Ritchie, A/Prof Raylene Cooke

  • 2012: $6,000

Climate change, fire, and small mammals: The Grampians National Park case study

A/Prof John White, A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Dr Dale Nimmo, Miss Susannah Hale

  • 2016: $3,500
  • 2015: $7,300
  • 2014: $5,000

Invasive species on islands: Trophic Cascades, Diet and Impact

A/Prof John White, A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Mr Anthony Rendall, Dr Duncan Sutherland

  • 2017: $3,200
  • 2016: $7,500

Examining the effects of urbanisation on bird assemblages in Melbourne's urban fringe and riparian networks

A/Prof John White, A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Ms Erin Lennox

  • 2019: $6,605

Movement ecology of a top-order predator in an urbanizing landscape: Powerful owls and their response to urbanisation

A/Prof Raylene Cooke, Mr Nicholas Bradsworth, A/Prof John White

  • 2020: $2,750
  • 2019: $8,989

Supervisions

Principal Supervisor
2019

Christine Connelly

Thesis entitled: Exploring the effects of urbanisation on Eastern Yellow Robins.

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2018

Anna Moodie

Thesis entitled: Effects of prescribed burning on the yellow-footed antechinus Antechinus flavipes

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2013

Victor Hurley

Thesis entitled: Factors affecting breeding success in Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus macropus) across Victoria 1991 - 2012

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Bronwyn Isaac

Thesis entitled: Spatial Ecology of an Apex Predator over an Urban to Forest Gradient

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2009

Meghan Cullen

Thesis entitled: Vascular Plant and Small Mammal Communities over an Elevational Gradient

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2008

Donna Clarke

Thesis entitled: The Effect of Powerline Corridor Management on Small Mammal Communities

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2005

Ian Temby

Thesis entitled: Superabundance and Economic Impacts of the Silver Gull in Melbourne

Master of Applied Science, School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Associate Supervisor
2016

Marian Jane Weaving

Thesis entitled: Ecology of an urban-adapted species over an urbanization gradient

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2014

Belinda Christie

Thesis entitled: Environmental Sustainability in Higher Education: Academic opinion, practice, pedagogy & philosophy

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Amy Shaw

Thesis entitled: BACKYARD BIODIVERSITY: COMMUNITY AND WILDLIFE GARDENER ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2011

Dale Nimmo

Thesis entitled: Fire, Energy and the Ecology of Reptiles in Semi-arid Australia

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Luke Kelly

Thesis entitled: Distribution, Ecology and Conservation of Small Mammals in Fire-prone Landscapes

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2009

Rohan Bilney

Thesis entitled: Sooty Owl Ecology and Recent Small Mammal Decline

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2007

Grant Palmer

Thesis entitled: Ecological Value of Riparian Zones to Birds in Forest Landscapes

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2006

Mark Antos

Thesis entitled: Ecology and Conservation of Ground-Foraging Birds of Temperate Woodlands

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

2002

Christopher Tzaros

Thesis entitled: Importance of Reparian Vegetation to Terrestrial Avifauna along the Murray River, SE Australia

Master of Science (Ecology & Environment), School of Life and Environmental Sciences