Rachel Bergeron


Eastern grey kangaroo population dynamics
Understanding the mechanisms that drive population dynamics is of central interest in ecological research, particularly as environments are changing and many populations are in decline. The population dynamics of large herbivores are typically influenced by complex interactions between stochastic environmental variation and density dependence. My project aims to untangle the effects of population density, age structure, and environmental conditions on population dynamics of the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). I will evaluate the relative influences of density, weather, and forage availability on age-specific survival, reproduction, and growth, and determine how these effects drive changes in population growth rate. I will analyze and contribute to a long-term database, which presently includes over 1250 identified individuals of known sex and age class in a population monitored since 2008 at Wilsons Promontory National Park, Victoria (Australia). This study will further our understanding of the factors driving changes in population size, and will therefore provide knowledge useful within the contexts of wildlife management and conservation.