Prof Wendy Wright

Phone: (03) 51226854
2W257 Gippsland
Position: Professor, Conservation Biology and Dean of the Graduate School
Discipline: Wildlife conservation research and ecology


  • Graduate Certificate Higher Education Monash University 2000
  • PhD (Zoology) University of Reading, United Kingdom 1992
  • Bachelor of Science (Honours, Zoology) Monash University 1988

Teaching areas

  • Environmental and conservation science
  • Veterinary and wildlife science
  • Ecology

Professional associations

  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • BirdLife Australia
  • Birding Asia
  • Australasian Wildlife Management Society
  • British Ecological Society
  • Australian Council of Graduate Studies

Research interests

Wendy’s research is focussed at the intersection between human populations, modified landscapes, wildlife and wild places; and is informing the development of evidence-based environmental management policy in Australia and internationally. She has worked in collaboration with the Victorian State Government to understand the effects of fire and harvesting on wildlife in public forests. Other work in Australia is focused on the effects of past and present ecological disturbances on species of interest (i.e. rare, threatened species, important populations or invasive species) including Strzelecki Gum, Sallow Wattle, Koala and Sambar Deer. International collaborations include projects in China (investigating the biodiversity value of reconstructed forests in Sichuan Province), Indonesia (the role of Rattan agroforestry in biodiversity conservation) and Nepal (the role of women in Nepalese forestry governance, addressing human-tiger conflict in subsistence farming communities and contributing to training of wildlife guides in Bardia and Chitwan National Parks). An interest in local and traditional ecological knowledge has led to collaborations with historians and sociologists and to projects which examine the historical use of fire in ecosystem management by Indigenous Australians in Victoria; and the role of traditional ecological knowledge in managing protected areas in the Ngawa Tibetan and Qiang Autonomous Prefecture in China. Important themes in Wendy’s research include: Wildlife conservation; disturbance ecology, conservation in highly modified environments and ecological anthropology.


Wagle, R., Pillay, S. and Wright, W. (2020) Feminist Institutionalism and Gendered Bureaucracies: Forestry Governance in Nepal. Palgrave MacMillan, Singapore.

Bhattarai, B.R., Morgan, D. and Wright, W. (2021) Equitable sharing of benefits from tiger conservation: Beneficiaries’ willingness to pay to offset the costs of tiger conservation. Journal of Environmental Management 284 112018

Bhattarai, B.R., Wright, W. and Morgan, D. (2021) Review of Nepal’s protected area laws in relation to human wildlife conflict. IN Scott, J.A  Protected Areas: Management, Benefits and Social Impacts.  Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA ISBN: 978-1-53619-276-6

O’Donnell, P.P. and Wright, W. (2021) Assessing the conservation and enhancement value of revegetated strips on arthropod assemblages in a pasture landscape. Journal of Environmental Management 278

Davies, C., Wright, W., Hogan, F.E. and Davies, H. (2020) Detectability and activity patterns of sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) in Baw Baw National Park, Victoria. Australian Mammalogy.

Davies, C., Wright, W., Hogan, F.E. and Visintin, C. (2019) Predicting deer-vehicle collision risk across Victoria, Australia. Australian Mammalogy.

Davies, C., Wright, W., Wedrowicz, F. and Hogan, F.E. (2019) A DNA toolbox for non-invasive genetic studies of sambar deer (Rusa unicolor). Australian Mammalogy 42:58-66

Khatiwada, A.P., Suwal, T.L., Wright, W., Roe, D., Kaspal, P., Thapa, S. and Paudel, K. (2019) Community conservation in Nepal – opportunities and challenges for pangolin conservation. Chapter 25 IN Challender, D.W.S., Nash, H.C. and Waterman, C.  Pangolins: Science, Society and Conservation.  Elsevier, London.

Bhattarai BR, Wright W, Morgan D, Cook S and Baral HS (2019) Managing human-tiger conflict: lessons from Bardia and Chitwan National Parks. European Journal of Wildlife Research 65:34 9–229

Steel KM, Thompson H and Wright W (2019) Opportunities for intra-university collaborations in the new research environment. Higher Education Research and Development 38:3, 638-652

Clark ID, McMaster S, Roberts P, Cahir F and Wright W (2019) The tourism spectacle of fire making at Coranderrk Aboriginal Station, Victoria, Australia – a case study. Journal of Heritage Tourism. Published online 19 Feb 2019.

Wedrowicz F, Mosse J, Wright W, Hogan FE (2019) Isolating DNA from non-invasive samples: a comparison of four commercial stool kits. Conservation Genetics Resources 11(2):219-229.

Wedrowicz F, Mosse J, Wright W, Hogan FE (2018) Using non-invasive sampling methods to determine the prevalence and distribution of Chlamydia pecorum and koala retrovirus in the South Gippsland koala population. Wildlife Research 45:366-380.

Wedrowicz F, Mosse J, Wright W, Hogan FE. (2018) Genetic structure and diversity of the koala population in South Gippsland, Victoria: a remnant population of high conservation significance. Conservation Genetics 19(3):713-728.

Afentina, A., McShane, P., Plahe, J. and Wright, W. (2017) Cultural ecosystem services  in rattan gardens: the hidden values. European Journal of Sustainable Development 6(3):360-372

Aryal, A., Acharya K., Shrestha, U., Dhakal, M., Raubenheimer, D. and Wright, W. (2017) Global lessons from successful rhinoceros conservation in Nepal. Conservation Biology.

Bhattarai, B., Wright, W., Poudel, B.S., Aryal, A., Yadav, B. and Wagle, R. (2017) Shifting paradigms for Nepal’s protected areas: history, challenges and rewards.  Journal of Mountain Science 14(5):964-979.

Khanal S, Aryal A, Singh NB, Morely, CG, Wright W (2017) Challenges of conserving Blue Bull (Boselaphus tragocamelus) outside the protected areas of Nepal. Proceedings of the Zoological Society. Available online via:

Manandhar S, Thapa, S, Shrestha, TJ, Jyakhwo R, Wright W, Aryal A (2017) Population status and diurnal behaviour of the Indian Flying Fox Pteropus giganeus (Brunnich, 17892) in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. Proceedings of the Zoological Society. Available online via:

Wedrowicz F, Mosse J, Wright W, Hogan FE (2017) Validating the use of non-invasively sourced DNA for population genetic studies using pedigree data. Web Ecology 17, 9-18.

Wedrowicz, F., Wright, W., Schlagloth, R., Santamaria, F. and Cahir, F. (2017) Landscape, koalas and people: A historical account of koala populations and their environment in South Gippsland. Australian Zoologist 38(4): 518-536.

Lugli, S., Wright, W., Tang, Y., Du, J., Qiao, X. and Fisher, S. (2016) Conquests of the Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve. A World Heritage Site at the edge of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (China) IN  Conquering Mountains: the history of an idea.  Kalak, M.a. and Guarienti, C.B (Eds) Pearson Italia, Milano-Torino.

Wright, W., Mosse, J. and Panther, B. (2016) The basics of getting biology online.  IN Teaching Science Online. Kennepohl, D. (Ed). Stylus Publishing. USA

Bhattarai B, Wright W, Khatiwada A (2016). Illegal Hunting of Prey Species in the Northern Section of Bardia National Park, Nepal: Implications for Carnivore Conservation. Environments 3(4):32

Cahir F, McMaster S, Clark I, Kerin R and Wright W (2016) Winda Lingo Parugoneit or Why Set the Bush [On] Fire? Fire and Victorian Aboriginal People on the Colonial Frontier. Australian Historical Studies 47(2): 225-240

Mahmood A, Florentine S, Chauhan B, McLaren D, Palmer G and Wright W (2016) Influence of various environmental factors on seed germination and seedling emergence of a noxious environmental weed: Green Galenia (Galenia pubescens) Weed Science 64(3): 486-494

Wagle R, Pillay S and Wright, W (2016) Examining Nepalese Forestry Governance from Gender Perspectives.  International Journal of Public Administration 40(3): 205-225.

Wedrowicz  F, Saxton T, Mosse J, Wright W, Hogan FE (2016) A non-invasive tool for assessing pathogen prevalence in koala populations. Conservation Genetics Resources 8: 511-521.

Wright, W., Francis, S., Fisher, S. and Tang, Y. (2015) Observations of the Yunnan Parrotbill Sinosuthora brunnea ricketti in the lower Jinsha valley, China. BirdingAsia 21: 34-36

Previous publications links

PhD and masters supervision


Briggs, C. Genetic investigation of greater glider populations in Victoria, using non-invasive sampling. PhD, Federation University Australia (Associate supervisor)

Adhikary, S. The gender dimension of community-based conservation in Gaurishankar Conservation Area (GCA), Nepal. Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand (External supervisor)

Khatiwada, A. Pangolin ecology, illegal trafficking, communities and conservation in Nepal.  University of Oviedo, Spain (External supervisor)

Cole, M. Determination of effective deer management using DNA isolated from scats. PhD, Federation University Australia

Fox, E. Genetic rescue, restoration and adaptation: changing the trajectory of threatened species.  PhD, Federation University Australia.



Islam, R. Interactions between a gall-inducing wasp (Trichilogaster acaciaelongifoliae) and its host plant (Acacia longifolia) PhD, Federation University Australia.

Thakur, S.  Application of molecular diagnostic methods for the detection and quantification of Fasciola hepatica infection in cattle faecal samples. Masters, Federation University Australia (Associate Supervisor).

Christian, K. Challenges faced by early-career researchers in the sciences in Australia and the consequent effect of those challenges on their careers: a mixed methods project. PhD, Federation University Australia (Associate supervisor)


Bhattarai, B. Conflict and Conservation: Sharing the costs and benefits of Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris) conservation in communities adjacent to wildlife reserves in Nepal. PhD, Federation University Australia. (Principal supervisor)

Davies, C. Population structure and movement patterns of introduced sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) in southeastern Australia. PhD, Federation University Australia. (Associate supervisor)


Wagle, R. The inclusion of Women in Nepalese Forestry Governance: Perspectives from Feminist Institutionalism. PhD, Monash University (Principal supervisor)

McMaster, S. Fear, resistance and reverence. European colonists’ observations of Aboriginal fire use in Victoria. PhD, Federation University Australia. (Associate supervisor)


Panozzo, J. Wild deer as reservoirs of agriculturally important gastrointestinal parasites in Eastern Australia. PhD, Federation University Australia. (Associate supervisor)

Afentina Afentina. Economic development and environmental sustainability in Indonesia PhD, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University. (Associate supervisor)

Jabed Bhuiyan, J. Use of Global Satellite Data for Flash Flood Forecasting in Bangladesh. PhD, School of Applied Science and Engineering, Monash University. (Associate supervisor)

Wedrowicz, F. Genetic data from koala scats: method development and investigation of a unique population in South Gippsland. PhD, School of Applied Science and Engineering, Monash University. (Associate supervisor)


O’Donnell, P.  Agroecology:  an interdisciplinary study involving farmers, restored native vegetation and beneficial invertebrates in South-eastern Gippsland, Victoria, Australia. PhD, School of Applied Science and Engineering, Monash University. (Principal supervisor)


Mahmood, M. The ecology and management of the invasive plant Galenia pubescens in the volcanic grasslands of Victoria, Australia. PhD, Centre for Environmental Management, Federation University Australia.(Associate supervisor)

Prior to 2016

Lester, R. Wood to water: reintroducing wood to streams in agricultural landscapes as a biodiversity enhancement tool. PhD, Monash University (Principal supervisor)

MacHunter, J. Spatial and temporal dynamics of bird communities, West Gippsland, Australia. PhD, Monash University (Principal supervisor)

Rossi, S. Birds, mammals and their habitat in a variegated landscape in the western Strzelecki Ranges comparing native forest, eucalypt plantation, pine plantation and cleared farmland. MSc, Monash University (Principal supervisor)

Reid, S.  Fire, fauna and habitat: influences on appropriate release site selection for rehabilitated wildlife. MSc, School of Applied Sciences and Engineering, Monash University. Thesis: (Principal supervisor)


2018 : $230,000  From: Victorian State Government/Department of Environment, Land  Water and Planning.

With Dr F Hogan, Dr F Wedrowicz and Assoc Prof J Mosse and collaboration with: Victorian State Government, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, West Gippsland Catchment Management Authority, Trust for Nature, Hancocks Victoria Plantations, Gippsland Water, Baw Baw Shire Council and Latrobe City Council.

“Landscape-scale conservation of threatened invertebrates of the Western Strzeleckis”

2017: $2,000  From Sporting Shooters Associate of Australia

With Chris Davies (PhD candidate) and Dr F Hogan

GPS telemetry to inform sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) management on public land in South Eastern Australia.

2016: $15,637  From Rufford Foundation (UK)

With Babu Bhattarai (PhD candidate)

Conflict and Conservation: managing human-tiger conflict in two of Nepal’s National Parks

2016: $10,000 Repeat funding from HVP Plantations Pty Ltd (via Monash)

With Faye Wedrowicz (PhD candidate), Dr F Hogan and Assoc Prof J Mosse

A genetically significant koala population in South Gippsland.

2016: $7,300 Repeat funding from Holsworth Wildlife Foundation (via Monash)

With Faye Wedrowicz (PhD candidate), Dr F Hogan and Assoc Prof J Mosse

A genetically significant koala population in South Gippsland.

2016: $6,000 From Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

With Chris Davies (PhD Candidate) and Dr F Hogan

Combining genetics and GPS telemetry to inform sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) management on public land in South Eastern Australia

2016: $4,800  Sourced via Crowdfunding

With Babu Bhattarai (PhD Candidate)

Tigers and People: managing human-tiger conflict in Nepal

2016: $1,000  From Bill Borthwick Scholarship

With Sarah McMaster (PhD candidate)

Indigenous fire history in Victoria, Australia

2015: $18,167  From Rufford Foundation

With National Trust for Nature Conservation, Nepal

Documenting illegal hunting in Bardia National Park, Nepal

2015: $7,300   From Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (via Monash)

With Faye Wedrowicz (PhD candidate), Dr F Hogan and Assoc Prof J Mosse

A genetically significant koala population in South Gippsland.

2015: $10,000 From HVP Plantations Pty Ltd (via Monash)

With Faye Wedrowicz (PhD candidate), Dr F Hogan and Assoc Prof J Mosse

A genetically significant koala population in South Gippsland.