Ecologist and lecturer, Dr Thomas Newsome, is investigating how humans and animals shape ecosystems.
Thomas Newsome spent his early teens tagging along with his ecologist father on field trips. “It exposed me to all of the problems we face in Australia, such as the impacts of introduced species and native animal extinctions,” says Thomas, who now works in wildlife ecology himself and is based at the University of Sydney.
Thomas is researching how humans and wildlife drive ecosystem changes, particularly scavengers and large predators like dingoes. Today he could be setting up camera traps, while tomorrow could involve measuring nutrients in the soil.
“There is a real academic side to wildlife ecology, but you also need to be able to dig a hole, trap an animal, or fire a darting rifle,” says Thomas.
Thomas’ advice for aspiring wildlife ecologists? Get experience during your degree.
“There are a lot of opportunities, but they are often not sitting on a platter,” says Thomas. “Don’t be afraid to write that email or ask someone.”
Thomas’ study and career pathway to becoming an ecologist and lecturer
- Bachelor of Science (Environmental), University of Sydney
- Master of Applied Science (Wildlife Health and Population Management), University of Sydney
- Research Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney
- Postdoctoral Research Assistant, Desert Ecology Research Group, University of Sydney
- Lecturer, University of Sydney
This profile originally appeared in Careers with STEM: Science 2021
Author: Gemma Conroy
Gemma is a freelance journalist with a passion for making science accessible to everyone. Gemma has a degree in biology from Macquarie University and loves sharing amazing discoveries with the world.