Dr Christine Schlesinger

PhD (Science), BSc (Hons), DipEd (Adult & Vocational)

Lecturer in Environmental Science and Ecology

Christine Schlesinger conducted her doctoral research in Alice Springs, based at the CSIRO Centre for Arid Zone Research, with the Northern Territory University (NTU - now Charles Darwin University).

She also holds a teaching degree from NTU and a Science degree with Honours from the University of Sydney.

Christine is based in central Australia at CDU's Alice Springs campus. She has lived and worked in arid environments for more than 15 years and has held previous appointments as a researcher at CSIRO in Canberra and lecturer at Bachelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education's Alice Springs campus.

Research interests

  • Arid -zone ecology
  • Effects of invasive weeds on biodiversity
  • Aboriginal interests in land-management and conservation
  • Ecology of vertebrate animals
  • Impacts of pastoralism and fire on vertebrate populations
  • Conservation biology of lizards

Current projects

Monitoring the effects of controlling buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris) in protected areas in central Australia on lizard communities

Project team: Christine Schlesinger (CDU), Keith Christian (CDU), Shane Muldoon (NRETA), Scott Pullyblank (NRETA)

Funding: CDU Internal Project grant


Current students:

  • Bruce Pascoe (PhD): Community Ecology of the avifauna of tall shrublands in arid Australia Supervisors: Dr Christine Schlesinger (CDU), Dr Chris Pavey (NRETA), Dr Keith McGuinness (CDU)
  • Rachel O’Leary (Masters): Environmental, social and economic benefits and costs of delivering a recycling service in Alice Springs Supervisors: Prof Rolf Gerritsen (SSPR, CDU), Dr Christine Schlesinger (SELS, CDU), Dr Kerstin Zander (SER, CDU)

Recent completions:

  • Jane Walker (PhD): The culture of conservation: Valuing Aboriginal land management in arid Australian Protected areas
    Supervisors: Prof Rolf Gerritsen (SSPR, CDU), Dr Christine Schlesinger (SELS, CDU), Dr Jocelyn Davies (CSIRO/Desert Knowledge CRC) (completed 2011)
  • Dianne Bell (Honours): Temporal Patterns of Terrestrial Beetle Assemblages in Central Australia: The Influence of Climate
    Supervisors: Dr Christine Schlesinger (SELS, CDU), Dr Chris Palmer (NRETAS) (completed 2011)
  • Lauren Young (Honours): The effects of the invasive grass, Cenchrus ciliaris (buffel grass) on the habitat use and behaviour of birds in semi-arid Australia.
  • Matt Gillis (Masters of Tropical Environmental Management): Bird species of Mulga (Acacia aneura): Diversity and abundance within a conservation reserve (completed 2009)
    Supervisor: Dr Christine Schlesinger (CDU), Dr Richard Noske (CDU), Dr Penny Wurm (CDU)
  • Megan Ford (Honours): Foraging behaviour and burrow use of the endangered skink Egernia slateri (completed 2009)
    Supervisors: Dr Christine Schlesinger (CDU), Dr Chris Pavey (NRETAS
  • Amelia Graham (Masters of Tropical Environmental Management): Analysis of wild harvest, enrichment and horticultural approaches to the production of bush foods (completed 2008)
    Supervisors: Dr Christine Schlesinger (CDU), Prof Stephen Garnett (CDU), Dr Tony Cunningham (CDU), Dr Penny Wurm (CDU)
  • Heidi Groffen (Masters of Captive Vertebrate Management, Charles Sturt University): Does weed management on land for wildlife properties in Alice Springs affect biodiversity? Working toward a self-assessment approach to encourage good management (completed 2008)
    Supervisor: Dr Christine Schlesinger (CDU)

Teaching areas

Christine currently coordinates the following units:

  • SBI201 Introductory Ecology
  • SES360 Field Studies in Tropical and Desert Landscapes

She has a particular interest in teaching external students and in field-based units or those that include a field work component.

Administrative duties

Christine is the School of Environmental and Life Sciences' representative in Alice Springs. She is the local contact for Environmental Science students in central Australia.


Schlesinger, C.A., Christian, K., James, C.D. & Morton, S.R. (2010) Seven Lizard species and a blind snake: body condition and growth of desert herpetofauna in relation to rainfall and activity Australian Journal of Zoology 58: 273-283

Barbour, W.E.  & Schlesinger C.A. Who’s the Boss? (invited paper, in review) Post-colonialism, ecological research and conservation management on Aboriginal land Ecological Management and Restoration

Schlesinger, C. & Gerritsen, R. (2010) Conservation in the northern deserts: Issues and agendas In North Australian political economy: Issues and agendas.  Rolf Gerritsen (Ed.) Charles Darwin University Press, Darwin, Australia.

Schlesinger, C. A. (2007) Does vegetation cover affect the efficiency of pitfall trapping as a technique for sampling the abundance of lizards? Wildlife Research 34:359-365.

Schlesinger, C.A., Noble, J.C. & T. Weir (1997) Fire studies in mallee (Eucalyptus spp.) communities of western New South Wales: Reptile and beetle populations in sites of differing fire history. Rangeland Journal 19(2): 109-205.

Schlesinger, C.A. & R. Shine (1994) Choosing a rock: Perspectives of a bush-rock collector and a saxicolous lizard. Biological Conservation 67: 49-56.

Schlesinger, C.A. & R. Shine (1994) Selection of diurnal retreat sites by the nocturnal gekkonid lizard Oedura lesueurii. Herpetologica 50(2): 156-163.

Dr Christine Schlesinger


P: +61 8 8959 5218
F: +61 8 8959 5293
E: christine.schlesinger@cdu.edu.au

Location: Building 15, Level 2, Room 11, Alice Springs Campus

Postal Address:
School of Environmental and Life Sciences
Charles Darwin University
PO Box 795
Alice Springs NT 0871