School of Science, Psychology and Sport

Dr Philip Barton

Phone: (03) 53276868
Mt Helen Y Building
Position: Lecturer
Discipline: Environmental Science


Doctor of Philosophy - Australian National University – 2010

Master of Science – Deakin University – 2005

Bachelor of Science – Deakin University - 2001



  • Bachelor of Environmental and Conservation Science


  • Ecosystem Conservation and Management (SCENV3800)
  • Wildlife Conservation and Management (SCENV2202)
  • Field-Based Investigation (SCENV2500)


Dr Philip Barton is a Lecturer in Environmental Science working in the School of Science, Psychology and Sport. Philip joined Federation University Australia in 2020, and previously worked at the Australian National University where he was an ARC DECRA Fellow in the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Philip is an ecologist with expertise in insect biodiversity and landscape ecology. He has developed interdisciplinary research projects and collaborations within Australia and internationally to examine how insects can be used as indicators of environmental change and landscape restoration, and the role of insects in nutrient cycling and the decomposition of dead animals and plants. Key project collaborations include:

Philip’s research has a strong applied focus and provides information to government agencies and land managers. Philip has published over 100 research articles and book chapters on insect ecology, landscape ecology, decomposition ecology, and biodiversity conservation, and has received funding from the Australian Research Council, Hermon-Slade Foundation, and Australian Academy of Science. He supervises the research of several PhD students, and is an Editor at the journal Austral Ecology.


Current students.

  • Blake Dawson (University of Wollongong), PhD. “Comparison of the entomofauna colonising dead pigs and humans”. Associate Supervisor, with Prof James Wallman (UTS).
  • Stefanie Bonat (University of Sydney), PhD. “Ecological effects of animal mass mortality events”. Associate Supervisor, with Dr Tom Newsome (USyd), Dr Aaron Greenville (USyd).
  • Emma Spencer (University of Sydney), PhD. “The ecological role of carrion in Australian ecosystems”. Associate Supervisor, with Dr Tom Newsome (USyd), Dr Aaron Greenville (USyd), Prof Chris Dickman (USyd).

Completed students.

  • Dr Catherine Ross (Australian National University), PhD. “Bringing back the bettong: Reintroducing ecosystem engineers for restoration in Box-Gum grassy woodland“. Associate Supervisor, with Prof Adrian Manning (ANU), Prof Sue McIntyre (CSIRO), Prof Saul Cunningham (ANU).
  • Dr Katherina Ng (Australian National University), PhD. “From plantings to the paddock: are ground-dwelling beetles and beneficial arthropods moving through fragmented agricultural”. Supervisor, with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU), Prof Don Driscoll (Deakin), Prof Sue McIntyre (CSIRO).
  • Christine Mauger (Australian National University), BSc Honours. “Native animal responses to predator odours, Canberra ACT”. Associate Supervisor, with Prof Adrian Manning (ANU), Dr Will Batson (ANU), Dr Maldwyn Evans (ANU).
  • Dr Stephanie Pulsford (Australian National University), PhD. “Reptile and frog responses to different farm management practices in grazing landscapes”. Associate Supervisor, with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU), Prof Don Driscoll (Deakin).
  • Ciara Fitzgerald (Australian National University), MSc. “Response of insects to luminous pavements, Canberra ACT”. Associate Supervisor, with Dr Karen Ikin (ANU).
  • Tim Andrewartha (Australian National University), BSc Honours. “Fox responses to novel odours in a landscape, Canberra ACT”. Supervisor, with Prof Adrian Manning (ANU).
  • Dr Yong Ding Li (Australian National University), PhD. “Cross-taxon surrogacy in modified landscapes”. Supervisor, with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU).
  • Dr Claire Foster (Australian National University), PhD. “The interactive effects of grazing and fire on vegetation and its dependent biota”. Supervisor, with Prof David Lindenmayer (ANU), Dr Chloe Sato (Deakin).

Selected Publications

A full list of publications can be found here: Google Scholar


Lindenmayer DB, Barton PS, Pierson J (Eds.) (2015). Indicators and Surrogates of Biodiversity and Environmental Change. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne. CRC Press, London.

Book chapters

Barton PS, Archer M, Quaggiotto MM, Wallman J (2020). Insect succession in natural environments. In, Forensic Entomology: The Utility of Arthropods in Legal Investigations (Eds. Byrd and Tomberlin). CRC Press.

Barton PS, Bump JK (2019). Carrion decomposition. In, Carrion Ecology and Management. Wildlife Research Monographs 2. (eds. Pedro P Olea, Patricia Mateo-Tomás, J.A. Sánchez-Zapata). Springer.

Eldridge D, Travers S, Manning A, Barton PS (2017). Direct and indirect effects of herbivore activity on Australian vegetation. In, Vegetation of Australia (ed. Groves). pp 135-155. Cambridge University Press.

Barton PS. (2015). The role of carrion in ecosystems. In, Carrion Ecology, Evolution, and Their Applications (Eds ME Benbow, J Tomberlin, A Tarone). CRC Press, Boca Raton, Florida.

Refereed journal articles

Barton PS, Reboldi A, Dawson B, Ueland M, Strong C, Wallman JF (2020). Soil chemical markers distinguishing human and pig decomposition islands: a preliminary study. Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology.

Westgate M, Barton P, Lindenmayer DB, Andrew N, (2020). Quantifying shifts in topic popularity over 44 years of Austral Ecology. Austral Ecology. 45, 663-671

Spencer EE, Barton PS, Ripple WJ, Newsome T. (2020). Invasive European wasps alter scavenging dynamics around carrion. Food Webs. 24, e00144

Yong DL, Barton PS, Okada S, Crane M, Cunningham SA, Lindenmayer DB (2020). Conserving focal insect groups in woodland remnants: the role of landscape context and structure on cross-taxon congruence. Ecological Indicators. 115, 106391

MJ Evans, JF Wallman, PS Barton (2020). Traits reveal ecological strategies driving carrion insect community assembly. Ecological Entomology. 45, 966-977

Brown J, Barton PS, Cunningham SA (2020). Flower visitation and land cover associations of above-ground and below-ground nesting bees in an agricultural landscape. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment. 295, 106895

Samways MJ, Barton PS, Birkhofer K, Chichorro F, Deacon C, Fartmann T, Fukushima CS, Gaigher R, Habel J, Hill MJ, Hochkirch A, Kaila L, Kwak ML, Maes D, Mammola S, Noriega JA, Orfinger AB, Pedraza F, Pryke JS, Roque FO, Settele J,  Simaika JP, Stork NE, Suhling F, Vorster C, Cardoso P. (2020). Solutions for humanity on how to conserve insects. Biological Conservation. 242, 108427.

Cardoso P, Barton PS, Birkhofer K, Chichorro F, Deacon C, Fartmann T, Fukushima C, Gaigher R, Habel J, Hallmann C, Hill M, Hochkirch A, Kwak M, Mammola S, Noriega JA, Orfinger AB, Pedraza F, Pryke JS, Roque FO, Settele J,  Simaika JP, Stork NE, Suhling F, Vorster C, Samways MJ. (2020). Scientists’ warning to humanity on insect extinctions. Biological Conservation. 242, 108426

Barton PS, Westgate M, Foster CN, Cuddington K, Hastings A, O’Loughlin L, Sato CF, Willig M, Lindenmayer DB (2020). Using ecological niche theory to avoid uninformative biodiversity surrogates. Ecological Indicators. 108, 05692

Cunningham SA, Evans MJ, Neave M, Armstrong J, Barton PS. (2019). Pollination and resources as controlling factors in almond yield. Plant Biology. 22, 113-119

Ross C, McIntyre S, Barton PS, Evans MJ, Cunningham S, Manning A. (2019). A reintroduced ecosystem engineer provides a germination niche for native plant species. Biodiversity and Conservation. 29, 817–837.

Quaggiotto MM, Evans MJ, Higgins A, Strong C, Barton PS (2019). Dynamic soil nutrient and moisture changes under decomposing vertebrate carcasses. Biogeochemistry. 146, 71–82

Barton PS, Evans MJ, Foster CN, Pechal J, Bump J, Quaggiotto MM, Benbow ME (2019). Towards quantifying carrion biomass in ecosystems. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 34, 950-961

Evans MJ, Cunningham SA, Manning AD, Barton PS (2019). Beetle ecological indicators – A comparison of cost vs reward to understand functional changes in response to restoration actions. Ecological Indicators.  104, 209-218

Olea PP, Mateo-Tomás P, Barton PS. (2019). Invertebrate scavengers matter (Letter). Science 363 (64), 1162

Lindenmayer DB, Blanchard W, Westgate M, Foster C, Banks S, Barton PS, Crane M, Ikin K, Scheele B (2019). Novel bird responses to successive large-scale, landscape transformations. Ecological Monographs. 89, e01362

Barton PS, Strong C, Evans MJ, Higgins A, Quaggiotto MM (2019). Nutrient and moisture transfer to insect consumers and soil during vertebrate decomposition. Food Webs. 18, e00110.

Benbow, M.E., Barton, P.S., Ulyshen, M.D., Beasley, J.C., DeVault, T.L., Strickland, M.S., Tomberlin, J.K., Jordan, H.R., Pechal, J.L., 2019. Necrobiome framework for bridging decomposition ecology of autotrophically- and heterotrophically-derived organic matter. Ecological Monographs, 89, e01331

Ng K, Barton PS, Lindenmayer D, Driscoll D. (2017) Edge effects on beetles in an agricultural landscape. Landscape Ecology. 33, 109–125

Foster C, Barton PS, Robinson N, MacGregor C, Lindenmayer D (2017). Effects of a large wildfire on vegetation structure in a variable fire mosaic. Ecological Applications. 27, 2369-2381

Ross CE, Barton PS, McIntyre S, Cunningham SA, Manning AD. (2017). Fine-scale drivers of beetle diversity are affected by vegetation context and agricultural history. Austral Ecology. 42, 831-843

Pulsford S, Driscoll D, Barton PS, Lindenmayer DB. (2017). Remnant vegetation, plantings, and fences are beneficial for reptiles in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology. 54, 1710-1719

Barton PS, Evans MJ (2017). Insect biodiversity meets ecosystem function: differential effects of habitat and insects on carrion mass loss. Ecological Entomology. 42, 364-374

Barton PS, Evans MJ, Foster CN, Cunningham SA, Manning AD (2017). Environmental and spatial drivers of spider diversity at contrasting microhabitats. Austral Ecology. 42, 700-710

Barton PS, Evans MJ, Pechal JL, Benbow ME (2017). Necrophilous insect dynamics at small vertebrate carrion in a temperate eucalypt woodland. Journal of Medical Entomology. 54, 964-973.

Barton PS, McIntyre S, Evans MJ, Bump JK, Cunningham SA, Manning AD (2016). Substantial long-term effects of carcass addition on soil and plants in a grassy eucalypt woodland. Ecosphere. 7, e01537

Gibb H, Retter B, Cunningham SA, Barton PS (2016). Does wing morphology affect recolonisation of restored farmland by ground-dwelling beetles? Restoration Ecology. 25, 234-242

Barton, Sato, Kay, Florence, Lindenmayer (2016). Environmental variation and not livestock grazing affects ant community structure. Insect Conservation and Diversity. 9, 124-134

Foster CN, Sato CF, Lindenmayer DB, Barton PS (2016). Integrating theory into empirical studies of disturbance interactions to improve management outcomes. Global Change Biology. 22, 1325–1335

Pierson, Mortelliti, Barton, Lane, Lindenmayer (2015). Evaluating a biodiversity surrogate’s effectiveness for predicting both community diversity and population trends. Ecological Indicators. 61, 790–798

Barton PS, Lentini P, Alacs E, Bau S, Buckley Y, Burns E, Driscoll D, Guja L, Kujala H, Lahoz-Montfort J, Mortelliti A, Nathan R, Rowe R, Smith A (2015). A guide for using movement science to inform biodiversity policy. Environmental Management. 56, 791-801.

Foster CN, Barton PS, Wood JT, Lindenmayer DB (2015). Response of web-building spiders to fire, large herbivores and their interaction. Oecologia. 179, 237-248

Barton PS, Pierson J, Westgate MJ, Lane PW, Lindenmayer DB (2015). Learning from clinical medicine to improve the use of surrogates in ecology. Oikos. 124, 391-398

Lindenmayer DB, Lane P, Westgate M, Barton PS, (2014). An empirical assessment of the focal species hypothesis. Conservation Biology. 28, 1594–1603

Westgate MJ, Barton PS, Lane PW, Lindenmayer DB (2014). Global meta-analysis reveals low consistency of biodiversity congruence relationships. Nature Communications. 5:3899.

Barton PS, Ikin K, Smith AL, MacGregor C, Lindenmayer DB (2014). Vegetation structure moderates fire effects on bird assemblages in a heterogeneous landscape. Landscape Ecology. 29, 703-714.

Macdonald B, Farrell M, Tuomi S, Barton P, Cunningham S, Manning A (2014). Carrion decomposition causes large and lasting effects on soil amino acid and peptide flux. Soil Biology & Biochemistry, 69, 132-140

Barton PS, Weaver HJ, Manning AD (2014). Contrasting dynamics of phoretic mites and beetles at vertebrate carrion. Experimental and Applied Acarology. 63:1-13

Barton PS, Colloff MJ, Pullen KR, Cunningham SA (2013). Grassland area determines beetle assemblage dissimilarity from surrounding floodplain forest. Journal of Insect Conservation, 17, 1209–1219

Driscoll D, Banks SC, Barton PS, Lindenmayer DB, Smith AL. (2013) Conceptual domain of the matrix in fragmented landscapes. Trends in Ecology an Evolution. 28, 605–613

Barton PS, Colloff MJ, Pullen KR, Cunningham SA. (2013) Arthropod assemblages in a focal tree species (Eucalyptus microcarpa) depends on the species mix in restoration plantings. Biodiversity and Conservation, 22, 2091–2110

Barton PS, Cunningham SA, Manning AD, Gibb H, Lindenmayer DB, Didham RK. (2013). The spatial scaling of beta diversity. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 22, 639–647

Barton PS, Cunningham SA, Macdonald B, McIntyre S, Lindenmayer DB, Manning AD. (2013). Species traits predict biodiversity dynamics at ephemeral resource patches created by carrion. PLoS ONE. 8: e53961.

Barton PS, Cunningham SA, Lindenmayer DB, Manning AD. (2013). The role of carrion in maintaining biodiversity and ecological processes in terrestrial ecosystems. Oecologia, 171, 761-772.

Barton, P.S., Manning, A.D., Gibb, H., Wood, J.T., Lindenmayer, D.B., & Cunningham, S.A. (2011). Experimental reduction of vertebrate grazing and addition of logs benefit beetle diversity at multiple scales. Journal of Applied Ecology, 48, 943-951.

Barton, P.S., Gibb, H., Manning, A.D., Lindenmayer, D.B., & Cunningham, S.A. (2011) Morphological traits as predictors of diet and microhabitat use in a diverse beetle assemblage. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 102, 301-310.

Barton, P.S., Manning, A.D., Gibb, H., Lindenmayer, D.B., & Cunningham, S.A. (2010). Fine-scale heterogeneity in beetle assemblages under co-occurring Eucalyptus in the same subgenus. Journal of Biogeography, 37, 1927-1937.