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Dr Stefanie Oberprieler

Dr Stefanie Oberprieler with microscope

Research project title

Incorporating terrestrial invertebrates in conservation planning: diversity, distribution and cross-taxon congruence in an Australian tropical savanna landscape.

Abstract

Invertebrates constitute 80% of biodiversity as well as majority of species lost under the current global extinction crisis. Still, they continue to be largely overlooked in conservation planning because of challenges associated with documenting and understanding their vast diversity. This research aimed to improve our knowledge of terrestrial invertebrate diversity and distribution in northern Australia, and to identify practical and robust ways of documenting their diversity patterns in the context of conservation planning. It documented high levels of regional endemism, and remarkable levels of diversity and cryptic speciation, highlighting the very significant but under-appreciated conservation value of the invertebrate fauna. It also demonstrated that vertebrates are poor ‘umbrellas’ for invertebrates and so effective conservation planning for all biodiversity requires the incorporation of invertebrates into faunal surveys, and that this is can be achieved by using simplified sampling methods and a subset of complimentary invertebrate target taxa.

Research interests

Stefanie holds an International Baccalaureate Diploma (Copland College, 2007), Bachelor of Science (Honours) with majors in Biology and Ecology/Evolution (Australian National University, 2013), and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Entomology (Charles Darwin University, 2019). She has worked in both research and applied sciences on invertebrates across various fields, including taxonomy, paleoentomology, conservation, ecosystem restoration and biosecurity.

Links

(Newsroom) Researcher: time to conserve the North’s insects
(eNews) Researcher: time to conserve the North’s insects
Katherine region a hotspot for undiscovered insects, never seen before by science
Stefanie Oberprieler
Getting amongst nature
NSF REVSYS summer intern project 2012 Canberra