Faculty of Science and Technology

Florentine, Singarayer (A/Prof) - Research

Current research projects/students

Research projects

  • Restoration of arid woodlands
  • Investigation of the spread of native Acacia longifolia subsp longifolia species into native habitats SE Victoria: understanding the causes of, and management strategies for, this native invasive species
  • NSW - Managing Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) populations: Using aerial photography and fire age history

PhD Students

  • Joji Abraham

    Joji Abraham

    Email: Joji.abraham@outlook.com

    Title: The influence of controlled burning on the remobilizing arsenic and selected metals from the soils in historic mining districts of Central Victoria, Australia.

    Summary: We live in a mining affected landscape where controlled burns and intense bush fires are more and more common. The mobilization of significant quantities of arsenic, and other toxic metals during and after fire regimes that have the potential to affect ecological and human health adversely, warrants investigation.

  • Samantha Barron

    Samantha Barron

    Email: Samanthabarron88@hotmail.com

    Title: Invasion by a native Australian shrub Acacia longifolia ssp. longifolia in southeastern Australia.

    Summary: Acacia longifolia ssp. longifolia is an invasive plant within the Grampians National Park. The shrub is a transformer species, which threatens the diverse, and in some cases endemic, flora of fauna of the area. This overall aim of this project is to determine the environmental factors and plant traits which may enhance the invasiveness of the species, as well as predict the future distribution and abundance of Acacia longifolia ssp. longifolia, and thus focus and create achievable and efficient management strategies.

  • Daniel Clements

    Daniel Clements

    Email: daniel.clements@ecodev.vic.gov.au

    Title: Optimising the management of invasive aquatic plants targeted for extirpation from catchments and waterways; utilising alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) as an indicator species.

    Summary: This research project aims to develop effective management strategies for one of the world's most invasive aquatic weed species, alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) in an early stage of invasion, to achieve extirpation from catchments and waterways. Developing methods to manage viable fragment production post herbicide application and improving the effectiveness of detection in early stages of invasion, will result in an increased likelihood of extirpating invasive aquatic weeds that pose a biosecurity risk and reduce the impacts on agricultural productivity, social amenity and biodiversity values.

  • Ako Hussein Mahmood

    Ako Hussein Mahmood

    Email: akohusseinmahmood@students.federation.edu.au

    Title: Investigations into the ecology and management of the invasive plant Galenia pubescens within the native temperate grasslands of Victoria, Australia.

    Summary: Galenia pubescens (carpet weed or coastal galenia) belongs to the family Aizoaceae and is also commonly known as blanket or carpet weed. This species is a woody prostrate perennial species native to South Africa, however it has been introduced to and become well established in other localities such as California, central Chile and various states in Australia. It was introduced as a fire retardant in the USA and for its erosion control properties in Australia. This study will investigate aspects of the ecology and management of G. pubescens in western regional Victoria. The project aims to provide management solutions which enhance the competitiveness of native grasslands species.

  • Rachael Martin

    Rachael Martin

    Email: r.martin@federation.edu.au

    Title: Investigating the physical distribution of arsenic in mining wastes as a function of particle size and the implications for human exposure.

    Summary: One of the factors governing the fractionation of arsenic in mining wastes is particle size. The objective of this research is to systematically examine the distribution of arsenic, and other potentially toxic elements, in particles that are considered relevant to mobility (i.e. dust particles) and human exposure (i.e. ingestible and inhalable particles). The analysis presented in this study may be used for guiding strategies for future site management and remediation in settings with similar characteristics.

  • Shakir Bahaddin Shakir

    Shakir Bahaddin Shakir

    Email: shakirbahaddin@students.federation.edu.au

    Title: Investigating factors affecting restoration of native grassland in ex-cropland.

    Summary: The ecological barriers to restoring ex-arable land to native grassland include soils that contain high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus, and an extensive seed bank of exotic weeds. These factors give exotic species a competitive advantage over native species, which can prevent the reintroduction of native species. In order to address this situation, we have established a replicated field experiment in former crop land near Werribee, Victoria, to test some novel methods for grassland restoration. This work includes the determination of the individual effects of high N and P levels, and the role of the exotic soil stored seed bank as barriers to restoration. Results will improve our understanding of these barriers to grassland restoration, and provide a stronger theoretical framework for further research.

  • Sandra Weller

    Sandra Weller

    Email: wellersandra0@gmail.com

    Title: Detection and prevention of the dispersal of the seeds of Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana Trin. & Rupr (Barkworth)) in hay bales.

    Summary: It has been established that hay bales may be a significant vector for the dispersal of weeds. Besides the everyday requirements of the livestock industry, bales sent to graziers affected by drought, floods, and fire may also risk the dispersal of weeds. My work has investigated the application of non-destructive core sampling of bales to detect seeds of N. neesiana. This work will enable the use of a rapid, inexpensive method to enforce biosecurity on baled fodder. I have also investigated the use of silage fodder preservation to reduce infestations of this weed in grazed pastures.

Consulting and other activities

Investigating tree death and decline (including from Mundulla Yellows) in South Australia (Coorong District and Tatiara Local Action Plan Committees).

Publications/conferences

Book Chapter

  1. Doronila, A., Bellette, M., and Florentine, S. K. (2015). Developing closure criteria for reconstruction of Eucalypt grassy woodland in a mined landscape which has been subjected to more than 150 years of gold mining in the goldfields of Victoria, Australia. In Responsible Mining: Sustainable Practices in the Mining Industry edited by Dr. Michelle Jarvie-Eggart, Barr Engineering and University of Maryland University College, USA and Dr. Helen E. Muga, University of Mount Union, USA. ISBN 978-0-87335-373-1 Pages 639-662.
  2. Greenslade, P. and Florentine, S. K. (2014). Collembola (Springtails) In: The distributions of invertebrate species along the Warra-Mt Weld Altitudinal Transect in 2001-2002 and identification of taxa restricted by altitude. Eds. By. Michael Driessen and Stephen Mallick. Nature Conservation Report 13/4. Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment.

Refereed Journal Papers

  1. Sandra Weller, Singarayer Florentine, James Sillitoe, Charles Grech, David McLaren, Bhagirath Singh Chauhan. (2015). Needles in a haystack: detecting weed seeds in large round hay bales by means of non-destructive core sampling. PLoS One.
  2. Martin, R., Dowling, K., Pearce, D., Florentine, S. K., Bennett, J. W., and Stopic, A. (2015). Size-dependent characterisation of historical gold mine wastes to examine human pathways of exposure to arsenic and other potentially toxic elements. Environmental Geochemistry and Health. 37: DOI 10.1007/s10653-015-9775-z
  3. Florentine, S.K., C.L. Pohlman, M. Westbrooke (Accepted). Is twenty-one years adequate for recruitment of tropical rainforest species following restoration efforts on ex-rainforest land in north-east Queensland, Australia? Restoration Ecology.
  4. Velupillai, R. Florentine, S. K. and Dahlhaus P. (2015) Assessing the impact of reforestation of deforested creek banks on selected soil condition- A case study in Victoria, Australia. Agroforestry Systems 89: 345-355.
  5. Florentine, S. K., Milberg, P., Julian, S., Westbrooke, M., and Graz, P. (Accepted) Over ten years of post-development of arid land vegetation subject to fire, flooding and grazing. Journal of Arid Environments.
  6. Roberts, C., Westbrooke, M., and Florntine S. K. (2015). Dietary preferences of introduced red deer (Cervus elaphus) in woodland vegetation in the Grampians National Park, central western Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 37: 107-112
  7. Weller, S., Florentine, S. K., Sillitoe, J., Grech, C., McLaren, D., and Chauhan, B. C. (2015). The need for speed: Timely prevention of the dispersal of noxious weeds in relief fodder using efficient sampling procedures. Crop Protection.
  8. Martin R., Dowling, K., Pearce D., Sillitoe, J. and Florentine S. K., (2014). Health effects associated with inhalation of airborne arsenic arising from mining operations. Geoscience 4: 128-175.
  9. Wevill, T and Florentine, S.K. (2014). An audit of riparian restoration; following a restoration trajectory or meandering through a changed landscape? Ecological Management and Restoration. 15: 133-139.
  10. Florentine, S. K., Gardner, J., Moloney, S., Graz, P. (2013). Restoration of abandoned pasture land in Nurcoung, VIC, Australia: Recruitment and survival indicators of ecological restoration success. Ecosystem Process. DOI: 10.1186/10.1186/2192-1709-2-34
  11. Monie, K., Florentine, S. K., Palmer, G. (2013). Plant recruitment and functionality traits as bioindicators of ecological restoration success in Lurg Hills district, VIC, Australia: Towards a standardized monitoring protocol for rehabilitated ecosystems. Ecosystem Process. doi:10.1186/2192-1709-2-27
  12. Dunstan, H., Florentine, S. K.., Calviño-Cancela, M., Westbrooke, M. E., and Palmer, G., (2013). Dietary characteristics, seed dispersal and germinability of ingested seeds by Emu (Dromaius novaehollandiae) in the semi-arid landscape in NSW, Australia. Emu- AustralOrnithology. 113: 168-176. doi.org/10.1071/MU12061
  13. Marriott, J. Florentine, S. K., and Raman, A. (2013). Effects of Tetranychus lintearius (Acari: Tetranychidae) on the structure and water potential in the foliage of the invasive Ulex europaeus (Fabaceae) in Australia. International Journal of Acarology. 1-10. doi.org/10.1080/01647954.2013.770065
  14. Florentine, S.K., F. Patrick Graz, Graeme Ambrose and Luke O'Brien, (2013). The current status of different age, direct-seeded revegetation sites in an agricultural landscape in the Burrumbeet region, Victoria, Australia. Land Degradation and Development. 24: 81-89. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.1110.
  15. Penelope Greenslade, S. K. Florentine, G. Horrocks, (2012). Long term effect of fire, flood and grazing on invertebrates in Australia's arid zone: Collembolan and Formicidae. Soil Organisms, 84: 569-587.
  16. Rasiah, V., J. D. Armour and S. K. Florentine (2012). Hydraulic heterogeneity in a highly weathered basaltic regolith: Impact on lateral-flow and solute transport. Environmental Hydrology. 20: 1- 14.
  17. Warnock D. A, Florentine*, S. K., Graz, P. & Westbrooke, M.E. (2012) Short term gain and long term pain - Lessons learnt from the control of Lachnagrostis filiformis (Fairy Grass) in Victoria, Australia. Weed Biology and Management. 12: 156-167 DOI: 10.1111/j.1445-6664.2012.00448.x
  18. Graz, F. P. M. E. Westbrooke, Florentine, S. K. (2012). Modelling the effects of water-point closure and fencing removal: a GIS approach. Journal of Environmental Management. 104: 186-194.
  19. Greenslade, P. L. Bell and Florentine, S. K. (2011) Auditing revegetated catchments in southern Australia: decomposition rates and collembolan species assemblages. Soil Organisms. 83: 433-450.
  20. Rasiah V., Armour JD, Cogle AL, Florentine SK (2010). Nitrate import-export dynamics in groundwater interacting with surface-water in a wet tropical environment. Australian Journal of Soil Research. 48: 361 - 370. (DOI: 10.1071/SR09120)
  21. Rasiah, V, J. D. Armour, P. W. Moody, A. B. Pattison, S. Lindsay, and S. K. Florentine. (2009). Characterising and improving the deteriorating trends in soil physical quality under banana. Australian Journal of Soil Research. 47: 574 - 584. (DOI: 10.1071/SR08256)
  22. Florentine, S. K. (2008) Species persistence and natural recruitment after 14 years in a restoration planting on ex-rainforest land in NE Queensland. Ecological Management and Restoration 9: 217-221. (10.1111/j.1442-8903.2008.00421.x About DOI)
  23. Florentine, S. K., P. Milberg, M. Gibson, M. Westbrooke. (2008). Post wildfire seedling colonisation patterns in Eucalyptus delegatensis (Myrtaceae) windthrow site at Snowy River National Park, Victoria. Australian Forestry. 71: 48-53.
  24. Warnock, A. D., M. E. Westbrooke, S. K. Florentine and C. P. Hurst (2007). Does Geijera parviflora Lindl. (Rutaceae) facilitate understorey species in semi-arid Australia? The Rangeland Journal. 29: 207- 216. [Impact Factor -0.4 - CSIRO Publication]
  25. Florentine, S.K. Westbrooke, M.E. K. Gosney and G. Ambrose (2006). The arid land invasive weed Nicotiana glauca R. Graham (Solanaceae): population and soil seed bank dynamics, seed germination patterns and seedling response to flood and drought. Journal of Arid Environments. 66: 218-230. [Impact Factor 1.238- Elsevier Publication]
  26. Raman, A, Madhavan, S., Florentine, S. K. and Dhileepan, K (2006). Stable isotope ratio analyses of metabolite mobilization in the shoot galls of Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) induced by Epiblema strenuana (Lepidoptera, Tortricidae). Entomologia Experimentalis et Applicata. 119: 101-107. [[Impact Factor 1.391- Blackwell Publication- Rank 17/69 Entomology section]
  27. Florentine, S.K, Raman, A, and Dhileepan, K (2005). Effects of gall induction by Epiblema strenuana (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) on gas exchange, nutrients, and energetics in Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae). Biocontrol 50: 787-801. [Impact Factor 1.324-Springer Publication-Rank 16/66 Section Entomology]
  28. Westbrooke, M.E. and Florentine, S.K. (2005). Rainfall-driven episodic flood events: Are they a major factor in moulding Australian arid land vegetation patterns? Australian Geographer. 36: 171-181. [Impact Factor 0.947; ranked 18/35 in Geography in the Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI).
  29. Florentine, S.K. and Westbrooke, M.E. (2005). Exotic species invasion in southwest New South Wales: influence of a rare flooding event and grazing. Plant protection Quarterly 20: 42-45.
  30. Adkins, M.F. Westbrooke, M.E. Florentine, S.K. and McDonald, S. P. (2005). Fire and hollow formation in Box Ironbark eucalypts of the Warby Range State Park. The Victorian Naturalist. 111: 47-56.
  31. Florentine S. K. and M.E. Westbrooke. (2005). Invasion of the noxious weed Nicotiana glauca R. Graham after an episodic flooding event in the arid zone of Australia. Journal of Arid Environments. 60: 531-545. [Impact Factor 1.238- Elsevier Publication]
  32. Westbrooke, M.E, Florentine, S.K. Milberg, P. (2005). Arid land vegetation dynamics after a rare flooding event: influence of fire and grazing. Journal of Arid Environments. 61: 249-260. [Impact Factor 1.238- Elsevier Publication]
  33. Seidel, J. E., Ambrose, G. J., Florentine, S. K. and Wilson, M. E., (2005) Ecology of the Endangered Southern Shepherd's Purse Ballantinia antipoda (Brassicaceae) and the Associated Moss Mat Community on Mount Alexander. Victorian Naturalist. 122: 179-188.
  34. Fox, J.E.D., Florentine, S.K. Westbrooke, M.E. and Hurst. C. (2004) Observations on survival and early growth of natural regeneration in floodplain coolibah Eucalyptus victrix (Myrtaceae) in the Pilbara, Western Australia. The Rangeland Journal. 26: 150-160. [Impact Factor -0.4 - CSIRO Publication]
  35. Florentine, S.K. and Westbrooke, M.E. (2004). Restoration on abandoned tropical pasture lands- Do we know enough? Journal for Nature Conservation. 12: 85-94.
  36. Graham, R.A. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (2004). The Germinable Soil Seed-bank in the Eucalyptus victrix L. Johnson and K. Hill Grassy Woodlands of Roy Hill Station, Pilbara, Western Australia. The Rangeland Journal. 26: 17-34. [Impact Factor -0.4 - CSIRO Publication]
  37. Florentine S.K. and Westbrooke, M.E. (2004). Effects of windthrow on Eucalyptus delegatensis (Myrtaceae) stand and early understorey succession at Snowy River National Park, Victoria, Australia, Australian Forestry. 67: 54-59.
  38. Florentine, S.K. and Westbrooke, M.E. (2004). Evaluation of alternative approaches to rainforest restoration on abandoned pasturelands in tropical north Queensland, Land Degradation and Development. 15: 1-13. (DOI: 10.1002/ldr.586)
  39. Rasiah, V., Florentine, S.K., Williams, B.L. and Westbrooke, M.E. (2004) Soil properties dynamics under abandoned pasture in deforested tropical rainforest in Australia. Geoderma. 120: 35-45. [Impact Factor 2.124- Elsevier Publication].
  40. Florentine, S.K. and Westbrooke, M.E (2003). Evaluation of allelopathic potential of the newly emerging weed Solanum mauritianum Scop. (Solanaceae) in wet tropics of north east Queensland. Plant Protection Quarterly. 18: 23-25.
  41. Florentine, S.K. Craig, M and Westbrooke, M.E. (2003). Flowering, fruiting, germination and seed dispersal of the newly emerging weed Solanum mauritianum Scop. (Solanaceae) in the wet tropics of north Queensland, Plant Protection Quarterly. 18: 116-120.
  42. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (2003). Competition between seedling Eucalyptus victrix and grass species. Ecological Research. 18: 1-25. [Impact Factor 1.012- Springer Publication - Rank 75/114 Ecology filed]
  43. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (2003). Allelopathic effects of Eucalyptus victrix on Eucalyptus and grasses. Allelopathy Journal. 11: 77-84.
  44. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (2002). Seed longevity of Eucalyptus victrix in grassland in the floodplain of the Fortescue River, Pilbara, Western Australia. Biologia Plantarum. 45: 477-479.
  45. Florentine, S.K, Raman, A, and Dhileepan, K. (2002). Responses of the Weed Parthenium hysterophorus (Asteraceae) to the Stem Gall-inducing Weevil Conotrachelus albocinereus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Entomologia Generalis 26: (3) 195-206.
  46. Graham, R.A. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (2002). Heat Requirement for Germination of the Grass Panicum laevinode Lindl. International Journal of Ecology and Environmental Sciences 28: 143-145.
  47. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (2002). Morphological and physiological adaptations to waterlogging by seedlings of semi arid Eucalyptus species, in Pilbara Western Australia. Journal of Royal Society of Western Australia 85: 61-70.
  48. Florentine, S.K, Raman, A, and Dhileepan, K. (2001). Gall inducing insects and biological control of Parthenium hysterophours L. (Asteraceae). Plant protection Quarterly, 16: 1-6.
  49. Dhileepan, K, Raman, A, and Florentine, S.K. (2001). Efficiency of Gall-Inducing Insects in the Biological Control of Parthenium Weed: Structural and Physiological Changes. Antenna 25: 47-52.

Full Refereed Conference papers

  1. Weller, S., Florentine, S. K., Ambrose, G. A., Grech, C. J., McLaren, D. A. (2012). Finding needles in a haystack: an investigation of a non-destructive method to detect the seeds of Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana (Trin. & Rupr.) Barkworth) in round hay bales. 18th Australasian Weeds Conference. pp. 222-223
  2. Weller, S., Florentine, S. K., Ambrose, G. A., Grech, C. J., McLaren, D. A. (2010). Detection, quantification and management of the dispersal of Nassella neesiana (Chilean needle grass) seeds in hay bale. 17th Australasian Weeds Conference. New Zealand. 428-430.
  3. Warnock, A.D., S.K. Florentine, F.P. Graz and M.E. Westbrooke (2008) A unique weed problem - the control of fairy grass Lachnagrostis filiformis seedheads on Lake Learmonth in western Victoria. Proceedings of the 16th Australian Weeds Conference, eds R.D. van Klinken, V.A. Osten, F.D. Panetta and J.C. Scanlan, pp. 165-167. (Queensland Weeds Society, Brisbane).
  4. Gosney, K., Florentine, S. K., Cameron, H., (2006). Dry lakes and drifting seed-heads: the ecology of fairy grass Lachnagrostis filiformis. pp. 772-775. Proceeding of the 15th Australian Weeds Conference, (eds.) C. Preston, J. H. Watts., and N. D. Crossman (weed Management Society of South Australia, Adelaide).
  5. Dhileepan, K., Florentine, S. K., Lockett, C. (2006). Establishment, initial impact and persistence of Parthenium summer rust Puccinia melampodii in north Queensland. pp. 577-580. Proceeding of the 15th Australian Weeds Conference, (eds.) C. Preston, J. H. Watts., and N. D. Crossman (weed Management Society of South Australia, Adelaide).
  6. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (1997). Morphological, physiological and anatomical adaptations to waterlogging by seedlings of Eucalyptus victrix Proceedings of the IUFRO Conference on Silviculture and Improvement of Eucalypts. Salvador, Brazil. 4: Environmental and social impacts of eucalypt plantations pp. 172-180.
  7. Florentine, S.K. and Fox, J.E.D. (1997). Is there an association between the coolibah tree, Eucalyptus victrix L. Johns and K. Hill and the grass Setaria dielsii Herrn.? Proceedings of the IUFRO Conference on Silviculture and Improvement of Eucalypts. Salvador, Brazil. 4: Environmental and social impacts of eucalypt plantations pp. 155-160. Salvadoe Brazil. August 24-29.

Edited Conference Proceedings

  1. Florentine, S.K., and Ambrose, G., (2015). (Eds.). Biodiversity Across the Borders, "Biodiversity in Rural Lndscapes" Conference held in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 12 June 2015. Federation University Australia. pp. 53. ISBN 978-1-876851-88-0.
  2. Florentine, S.K., and Ambrose, G., (2013). (Eds.). Biodiversity Across the Borders, "Enhancing Ecosystems Management and Restoration" Conference held in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 7 June 2013. University of Ballarat. pp. 38. ISBN 978-1-876851-74-3.
  3. Florentine, S.K., and Ambrose, G., (2011). (Eds.). Biodiversity Across the Borders, "Vulnerability and Resilience of Ecosystems" Conference held in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 9 June 2009. University of Ballarat. pp. 39. ISBN 9781876851521.
  4. Florentine, S.K., Graz, P. and Ambrose, G., (2009). (Eds.). Biodiversity Across the Borders, "Biodiversity in the face of climate change" Conference held in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 19 June 2009. University of Ballarat. pp. 41. ISBN 9781876851507
  5. Florentine, S.K., and Ambrose, G., (2007). (Eds.). Biodiversity Across the Borders, "Biodiversity in modified landscapes" Conference held in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 15 June 2007. University of Ballarat. pp. 44. ISBN 9781876851514
  6. Florentine, S.K., Ambrose, G., and Westbrooke, M. E. (2004). (Eds.) Biodiversity Across the Borders. Conference Proceedings held in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, 10 June 2004. University of Ballarat. pp. 39. ISBN 9781876851538.

Professional memberships and associations

  • Member of Weed Society of Victoria
  • The Institute of Foresters Australia
  • Member of Institute of Biology United Kingdom (CBiol., M. I. Biol.)
  • Member of Ecological Society of Australia

Research interests

  • Restoration Ecology and mine site rehabilitation
  • Weed invasion after natural disturbances
  • Interaction of fire, flooding and grazing

Other information

  • Advisory Group Member of Glenelg-Hopkins CMA
  • Advisory Group Member of Victorian Gorse Task Force