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Dr Nicholas Porch



Senior Lecturer


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env Sciences


Melbourne Burwood Campus


Graduate Certificate of Higher Education, Deakin University, 2013
Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2007



Educated initially in archaeology and geology I have come to focus on the Holocene palaeoecology of invertebrates and human impacts on Indo-Pacific ecosystems. I am especially interested in how we can use the palaeo-archive of island histories to reconstruct prehuman island diversity and the changes that took place when humans colonised islands across the planet's oceans.

Additionally, I have a interest in Australian invertebrate ecology and biogeography, especially in relation to Australia's largely endemic beetle fauna. 

Read more on Nicholas's profile

Research interests

At present I am studying the recent fossil record (the last several thousand years) to characterise the nature and extent of human impacts on the ecosystems of Indo-Pacific islands.

My research focusses and the role of human colonistation in driving species extinctions and invasions and changes in the nature of the ecosystems more generally. I'm interested in how the fossil record can contribute to island ecology, biogeography and evolution by providing novel insights that are only available through the prism of the fossil record.


Centre for Integrated Ecology (Member)

Associate in Science (Bishop Museum, Honolulu)

Teaching interests

Landscape Evolution and Physical Geography; Invertebrate Ecology and Diversity

Knowledge areas

Quaternary Palaeoecology; Island Biogeography; Indo-Pacific and Australia Beetles (Coleoptera); Biological Invasions; Invertebrate Extinctions


Australian Research Council DECRA (DE130101453 - 2013-2016): Developing predictions of extinction risk for tropical arthropods in the face of global environmental change.

Australian Academy of Science (German-Australian Mobility Call for Collaboration in Science and Technology (2013-2014): Predicting global change impacts on Australian aquatic biodiversity.

US National Science Foundation (as funded collaborator) (2014-2016): CNH: Socio-Ecosystem Dynamics of Natural-Human Networks on Model Islands.


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Original plant diversity and ecosystems of a small, remote oceanic island (Corvo, Azores): Implications for biodiversity conservation

S Connor, T Lewis, J van Leeuwen, W van der Knaap, H Schaefer, N Porch, A Gomes, S Piva, P Gadd, P Kuneš, S Haberle, M Adeleye, M Mariani, R Elias

(2024), Vol. 291, pp. 1-13, Biological Conservation, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Seasonal Changes of Surface-Active Beach Invertebrate Assemblages in Southern Central Victoria, Australia

D Surdo, M Weston, A Rendall, N Porch

(2024), Estuaries and Coasts, Berlin, Germany, C1

journal article

Do different camera trap lures result in different detection rates of vertebrates because of their attractiveness to invertebrates?

M Weston, N Porch, D Whisson, J White, R Cooke, J Gagliardi, A Rendall

(2024), pp. 1-7, Ecological Management and Restoration, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Review of the Australian endemic genus Tasmosalpingus Lea, 1919 (Coleoptera, Cucujoidea, Tasmosalpingidae)

Z Liu, N Porch, A Ślipiński

(2023), Vol. 5301, pp. 292-300, Zootaxa, Auckland, N.Z., C1

journal article

Rainforest litter invertebrates decimated by high severity burns during Australia's gigafires

H Gibb, J Grubb, D Black, N Porch, O Decker, M McGeoch, D Deane, N Murphy

(2023), Vol. 48, pp. 1328-1343, Austral Ecology: a journal of ecology in the Southern Hemisphere, London, Eng., C1-1

journal article

The Family Lagrioididae Abdullah and Abdullah, stat. nov. (Coleoptera: Tenebrionoidea), with Descriptions of Two New Australian Species

J Lawrence, R Leschen, M Elgueta, N Porch, A Šlipiński

(2023), Vol. 73, pp. 261-292, Annales Zoologici, Warsaw, Poland, C1

journal article

Lost bioscapes: Floristic and arthropod diversity coincident with 12th century Polynesian settlement, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands

Melinda Allen, Tara Lewis, Nick Porch

(2022), Vol. 17, pp. 1-21, PLOS ONE, San Francisco, Calif., C1

journal article

An illustrated checklist of the insects of Tasmania. Part 1, Coleoptera beetles

S Grove, L Forster, N Porch

(2021), Hobart, Tas., A1


Options for shorebird-exclusion devices for pitfall traps on sandy shores

M Evans-Clay, N Porch, G Maguire, M Weston

(2021), Vol. 48, pp. 175-180, Wildlife Research, C1

journal article

Hooves on the Beach; Horses Disrupt the Sand Matrix and Might Alter Invertebrate Assemblages on Beaches

M Evans-Clay, N Porch, G Maguire, M Weston

(2021), Vol. 67, pp. 398-411, Environmental Management, United States, C1

journal article

Extinct and extant Pacific Trogossitidae and the evolution of Cleroidea (Coleoptera) after the Late Triassic biotic crisis

J Kolibáč, M Bocakova, J Liebherr, T Ramage, N Porch

(2021), Vol. 191, pp. 846-882, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, C1

journal article

Indigenous plants promote insect biodiversity in urban greenspaces

L Mata, A Andersen, A Morán-Ordóñez, A Hahs, A Backstrom, C Ives, D Bickel, D Duncan, E Palma, F Thomas, K Cranney, K Walker, I Shears, L Semeraro, M Malipatil, M Moir, M Plein, N Porch, P Vesk, T Smith, Y Lynch

(2021), Vol. 31, Ecological Applications, United States, C1

journal article

Systematic revision of the trans-bassian moriomorphine genus theprisa moore (Coleoptera, carabidae)

J Liebherr, N Porch, M Shaw, B Sinclair, D Maddison

(2021), pp. 339-373, ZooKeys, Sofia, Bulgaria, C1

journal article

A preliminary phylogeny and review of the genus tasmanitachoides, with descriptions of two new species (Coleoptera, carabidae, bembidarenini)

D Maddison, N Porch

(2021), Vol. 2021, pp. 153-196, ZooKeys, Bulgaria, C1

journal article

Extinct before discovered? Epactoides giganteus sp. nov. (coleoptera, scarabaeidae, scarabaeinae), the first native dung beetle to Réunion island

M Rossini, F Vaz-De-mello, O Montreuil, N Porch, S Tarasov

(2021), Vol. 1061, pp. 75-86, ZooKeys, Bulgaria, C1

journal article

Evolution of male antennal size in moths (Lepidoptera): a comparative test of potential trade-offs and correlated growth in Australian species

S Weedon, N Porch, M Symonds

(2020), Vol. 59, pp. 156-166, Austral Entomology, C1

journal article

Five new Pycnomerus Erichson (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Pycnomerini) from Raivavae, French Polynesia

N Porch, T Smith, K Greig

(2020), Vol. 4718, pp. 239-250, Zootaxa, New Zealand, C1

journal article

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, Global Ecology and Conservation, C1

journal article

A new and likely extinct species of antilissus sharp, 1879 (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Colydiinae) from Makauwahi Cave, Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

N Porch

(2020), Vol. 4868, pp. 135-141, Zootaxa, Auckland, N.Z., C1

journal article

Phylogeny of the beetle supertribe Trechitae (Coleoptera: Carabidae): Unexpected clades, isolated lineages, and morphological convergence

D Maddison, K Kanda, O Boyd, A Faille, N Porch, T Erwin, S Roig-Juñent

(2019), Vol. 132, pp. 151-176, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, United States, C1

journal article

Early tropical crop production in marginal subtropical and temperate Polynesia

Matthew Prebble, Atholl Anderson, Paul Augustinus, Joshua Emmitt, Stewart Fallon, Louise Furey, Simon Holdaway, Alex Jorgensen, Thegn Ladefoged, Peter Matthews, Jean-Yves Meyer, Rebecca Phillipps, Rod Wallace, Nicholas Porch

(2019), Vol. 116, pp. 8824-8833, Proceedings of the national academy of sciences of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

New Pycnomerus Erichson (Coleoptera: Zopheridae: Pycnomerini) from Rimatara, French Polynesia

N Porch, T Smith

(2017), Vol. 4237, pp. 154-166, Zootaxa, New Zealand, C1

journal article

Algal subsidies enhance invertebrate prey for threatened shorebirds: a novel conservation tool on ocean beaches?

T Schlacher, B Hutton, B Gilby, N Porch, G Maguire, B Maslo, R Connolly, A Olds, M Weston

(2017), Vol. 191, pp. 28-38, Estuarine, coastal and shelf science, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Pliocene reversal of late Neogene aridification

J Sniderman, J Woodhead, J Hellstrom, G Jordan, R Drysdale, J Tyler, N Porch

(2016), Vol. 113, pp. 1999-2004, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, United States, C1

journal article

Evolutionary history of a secondary terrestrial Australian diving beetle (Coleoptera, Dytiscidae) reveals a lineage of high morphological and ecological plasticity

E Toussaint, L Hendrich, H Escalona, N Porch, M Balke

(2016), Vol. 41, pp. 650-657, Systematic entomology, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Abrupt late Pleistocene ecological and climate change on Tahiti (French Polynesia)

M Prebble, R Whitau, J Meyer, L Sibley-Punnett, S Fallon, N Porch

(2016), Vol. 43, pp. 2438-2453, Journal of biogeography, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

The early shorebird will catch fewer invertebrates on trampled sandy beaches

T Schlacher, L Carracher, N Porch, R Connolly, A Olds, B Gilby, K Ekanayake, B Maslo, M Weston

(2016), Vol. 11, PLoS ONE, United States, C1

journal article

Unveiling the diversification dynamics of Australasian predaceous diving beetles in the Cenozoic

E Toussaint, F Condamine, O Hawlitschek, C Watts, N Porch, L Hendrich, M Balke

(2015), Vol. 64, pp. 3-24, Systematic biology, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Mid- to late Holocene landscape change and anthropogenic transformations on Mo'orea, Society Islands: a multi-proxy approach

J Kahn, C Nickelsen, J Stevenson, N Porch, E Dotte-Sarout, C Christensen, L May, J Athens, P Kirch

(2015), Vol. 25, pp. 333-347, The holocene: a major interdisciplinary journal focusing on recent environmental change, Thousand Oaks, Calif., C1

journal article

Plantations, not farmlands, cause biotic homogenisation of ground-active beetles in South-Eastern Australia

N Sweaney, D Driscoll, D Lindenmayer, N Porch

(2015), Vol. 186, pp. 1-11, Biological Conservation, C1

journal article

Stratigraphy and chronology of karst features on rodrigues island, southwestern Indian ocean

D Burney, J Hume, G Middleton, L Steel, L Burney, N Porch

(2015), Vol. 77, pp. 37-51, Journal of cave and karst studies, Huntsville, Ala., C1

journal article

Reassembling a lost lowland carabid beetle assemblage (Coleoptera) from Kauai, Hawaiian Islands

J Liebherr, N Porch

(2015), Vol. 29, pp. 191-213, Invertebrate systematics, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

A review of the dodo and its ecosystem : insights from a vertebrate concentration lagerstätte in Mauritius

K Rijsdijk, J Hume, P De Louw, H Meijer, A Janoo, E De Boer, L Steel, J De Vos, L Van Der Sluis, H Hooghiemstra, F Florens, C Baider, T Vernimmen, P Baas, A Van Heteren, V Rupear, G Beebeejaun, A Grihault, J Van Der Plicht, M Besselink, J Lubeek, M Jansen, S Kluiving, H Hollund, B Shapiro, M Collins, M Buckley, R Jayasena, N Porch, R Floore, F Bunnik, A Biedlingmaier, J Leavitt, G Monfette, A Kimelblatt, A Randall, P Floore, L Claessens

(2015), Vol. 35, pp. 3-20, Journal of vertebrate paleontology, Abingdon, Eng., C1

journal article

Late pleistocene of Australia

N Porch

(2013), pp. 191-199, Encyclopedia of quaternary science, Edinburgh, Scotland, B1

book chapter

Subfossils of extinct and extant species of Simuliidae (Diptera) from Austral and Cook Islands (Polynesia): anthropogenic extirpation of an aquatic insect?

D Craig, N Porch

(2013), Vol. 3641, pp. 448-462, Zootaxa, Auckland, N. Z., C1

journal article

Decline of a biome : evolution, contraction, fragmentation, extinction and invasion of the Australian mesic zone biota

M Byrne, D Steane, L Joseph, D Yeates, G Jordan, D Crayn, K Aplin, D Cantrill, L Cook, M Crisp, J Keogh, J Melville, C Moritz, N Porch, J Sniderman, P Sunnucks, P Weston

(2011), Vol. 38, pp. 1635-1656, Journal of biogeography, Oxford, U. K., C1

journal article

Ecological niche modelling and DNA sequencing support a new, morphologically cryptic beetle species unveiled by DNA barcoding

O Hawlitschek, N Porch, L Hendrich, M Balke

(2011), Vol. 6, pp. 1-14, PLoS ONE, San Francisco, Ca., C1

journal article

Mid-Holocene (4200 kyr BP) mass mortalities in Mauritius (Mascarenes): insular vertebrates resilient to climatic extremes but vulnerable to human impact

K Rijsdijk, J Zinke, P de Louw, J Hume, H van der Plicht, H Hooghiemstra, H Meijer, H Vonhof, N Porch, F Florens, C Baider, B van Geel, J Brinkkemper, T Vernimmen, A Janoo

(2011), Vol. 21, pp. 1-16, Holocene, London, U. K., C1

journal article

Comparative AMS 14C dating of plant macrofossils, beetles and pollen preparations from two late pleistocene sites in southeastern Australia

N Porch, A Kershaw

(2010), pp. 395-404, Altered ecologies : fire, climate and human influence on terrestrial landscapes, Canberra, A.C.T., B1-1

book chapter

Climate space, bioclimatic envelopes and coexistence methods for the reconstruction of past climates : a method using Australian beetles and significance for Quaternary reconstruction

N Porch

(2010), Vol. 29, pp. 633-647, Quaternary science reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

The first record of an Amycterine weevil (Coleoptera : Curculionidae: Amycterinae) feeding on Orchidaceae

N Porch

(2009), Vol. 36, pp. 29-32, Australian entomologist, Brisbane, Qld., C1-1

journal article

Last interglacial climates of south-eastern Australia : plant and beetle-based reconstructions from Yarra Creek, King Island, Tasmania

N Porch, G Jordan, D Price, R Barnes, M Macphail, M Pemberton

(2009), Vol. 28, pp. 3197-3210, Quaternary science reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Mid-Holocene vertebrate bone Concentration-Lagerstätte on oceanic island Mauritius provides a window into the ecosystem of the dodo (Raphus cucullatus)

K Rijsdijk, J Hume, F Bunnik, F Florens, C Baider, B Shapiro, J van der Plicht, A Janoo, O Griffiths, L van den Hoek Ostende, H Cremer, T Vernimmen, P De Louw, A Bholah, S Saumtally, N Porch, J Haile, M Buckley, M Collins, E Gittenberger

(2009), Vol. 28, pp. 14-24, Quaternary science reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Quantitative reconstruction of early pleistocene climate in southeastern Australia and implications for atmospheric circulation

J Sniderman, N Porch, A Kershaw

(2009), Vol. 28, pp. 3185-3196, Quaternary science reviews, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1-1

journal article

Terrestrial invertebrates in landscape archaeology

N Porch

(2008), pp. 457-467, Handbook of landscape archaeology, Walnut Creek, Calif., B1-1

book chapter

Birth of a biome : insights into the assembly and maintenance of the Australian arid zone biota

M Byrne, D Yeates, L Joseph, M Kearney, J Bowler, M Williams, S Cooper, S Donnellan, J Keogh, R Leys, J Melville, D Murphy, N Porch, K Wyrwoll

(2008), Vol. 17, pp. 4398-4417, Molecular ecology, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal article

First record of Stenus Latreille (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae: Steninae) from Tasmania, Australia

N Porch

(2008), Vol. 62, pp. 62-62, Coleopterists bulletin, Washington, D.C., C1-1

journal article

A high-resolution record of vegetation and climate through the last glacial cycle from Caledonia Fen, southeastern highlands of Australia

A Kershaw, G McKenzie, N Porch, R Roberts, J Brown, J Heijnis, M Orr, G Jacobsen, P Newall

(2007), Vol. 22, pp. 481-500, Journal of quaternary science, Oxford, England, C1-1

journal article

The OZPACS database : a resource for understanding recent impacts on Australian ecosystems

K Fitzsimmons, P Gell, S Bickford, T Barrows, S Mooney, T Denham, S Gale, S Garcia, S Haberle, G Hancock, J Harrison, T Lewis, N Porch

(2007), Vol. 24, pp. 2-6, Quaternary Australasia, Sydney, N. S. W., C1-1

journal article

Origins of agriculture at Kuk Swamp in the highlands of New Guinea

T Denham, S Haberle, C Lentfer, R Fullagar, J Field, M Therin, N Porch, B Winsborough

(2003), Vol. 301, pp. 189-193, Science, Washington, D.C., C1-1

journal article

FxJj43: A window into a 1.5-million-year-old palaeolandscape in the Okote Member of the Koobi Fora Formation, northern Kenya

N Stern, N Porch, I McDougall

(2002), Vol. 17, pp. 349-392, Geoarchaeology, New York, N. Y., C1-1

journal article

Quaternary beetles : a review and issues for Australian studies

N Porch, S Elias

(2000), Vol. 39, pp. 1-9, Australian journal of entomology, Carlton, Vic., C1-1

journal article

Tasmania : archaeological and palaeo-ecological perspectives

N Porch, J Allen

(1995), Vol. 69, pp. 714-732, Antiquity, Gloucester, England, C1-1

journal article

Cyclical patterns in the pleistocene human occupation of Southwest Tasmania

S Holdaway, N Porch

(1995), Vol. 30, pp. 74-82, Archaeology in oceania, Sydney, N. S. W., C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Australian Competitive Grants

Developing predictions of extinction risk for tropical arthropods in the face of global environmental change

Dr Nicholas Porch

ARC DECRA - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

  • 2015: $130,955
  • 2014: $137,005
  • 2013: $130,566

Refuges for narrow range endemic invertebrates, butterflies and jewel beetles

Prof Don Driscoll, Dr Nicholas Porch, Dr Chloe Sato

Wildlife and Habitat Bushfire Recovery Program

  • 2021: $192,791
  • 2020: $192,791

Tasmania's Forgotten Riparian Ground Beetles

Dr Nicholas Porch

Tasmanian Government - Plomley Foundation Grant

  • 2022: $4,070

Conservation biogeography of the endangered invertebrate fauna of the SE Australian montane archipelago

Dr Nicholas Porch

Hermon Slade Foundation CAT1-A2

  • 2023: $15,000

Other Public Sector Funding

Assessing the impacts to shorebirds of an emerging threat in critical habitat ¿ horses on exposed sandy shores

A/Prof Mike Weston, Miss Madison Jamie Evans-Clay, Dr Nicholas Porch

Balnarring Foreshore and Parks Reserve Committee of Management

  • 2019: $3,100

Industry and Other Funding

Predicting Global Change impacts on Australian Aquatic Biodiversity

Dr Nicholas Porch

Australia Academy of Science

  • 2014: $11,000


Associate Supervisor

Yang Zhang

Thesis entitled: Permian-Triassic brachiopod fauna and the end-Permian mass extinction

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