Ricky-John Spencer

Brief Introduction

Name:Ricky-John Spencer
Highest qualification and awarding universityPhD, University of Sydney
DesignationAssociate Professor
EmployerWestern Sydney University
Contact details:Email:WhatsApp number/Mobile number
Home page link on your employer web site if availablehttps://www.westernsydney.edu.au/staff_profiles/WSU/associate_professor_ricky_spencer
Key areas of interestInterfaces between Biophysical and Physiological Ecology and the Population Ecology of Aquatic Vertebrates; Aquatic ecology; Ecosystem function and sustainability; Biodiversity conservation; Green infrastructure. Citizen Science
Web links for your research profile on Google scholar; ORCID or ResearchGate (if available); only one of them please.Google Scholar:  https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=TzDVI8YAAAAJ&hl=en

Ricky Spencer is an Associate Professor in ecology, environment and sustainability and has over 20 years’ teaching, research and outreach experience. His current research has a particular focus on: conservation of endangered freshwater turtles, ecosystem function of freshwater vertebrates; importance of urban wetlands for green infrastructure, space and their potential as urban biodiversity arks for reducing the risks of extinction for endangered species. He has established frameworks for integrating Citizen Science into any project and is passionate about engaging communities, governments and other stakeholders to address local and regional wetland issues. He has more than 200 publications to his name, including over 50 articles in peer-reviewed, international journals and led several major externally funded research projects.

Research Project

  1. Survival of the Bellinger River Snapping Turtle. $200K NSW Office of Environment and Heritage 
  2. Eliminating risks of extinction of Murray River turtles. $800K ARC Linkage (+ 9 partners).

Key Publications/Reports

  1. Stanford, C.B., Iverson, J.B., Rhodin, A.G.J., Paul van Dijk, P., Mittermeier, R.A., Kuchling, G., Berry, K.H., Bertolero, A., Bjorndal, K.A., Blanck, T.E.G., Buhlmann, K.A., Burke, R.L., Congdon, J.D., Diagne, T., Edwards, T., Eisemberg, C.C., Ennen, J.R., Forero-Medina, G., Frankel, M., Fritz, U., Gallego-García, N., Georges, A., Gibbons, J.W., Gong, S., Goode, E.V., Shi, H.T., Hoang, H., Hofmeyr, M.D., Horne, B.D., Hudson, R., Juvik, J.O., Kiester, R.A., Koval, P., Le, M., Lindeman, P.V., Lovich, J.E., Luiselli, L., McCormack, T.E.M., Meyer, G.A., Páez, V.P., Platt, K., Platt, S.G., Pritchard, P.C.H., Quinn, H.R., Roosenburg, W.M., Seminoff, J.A., Shaffer, H.B., Spencer, R., Van Dyke, J.U., Vogt, R.C., Walde, A.D. (2020), Turtles and Tortoises Are in Trouble. Current Biology, 30 (12), pp. R721-R735. I.F= 9.2. The first global study of turtle and tortoise species has highlighted that half of all species are at risk of extinction, and painted a roadmap to recovery.
  2. Gabites H., and Spencer R-J. 2020. Quantifying Costs of Urbanisation: Wetland Loss and Impacts in a Rapidly Developing Global City. bioRxiv 2020.06.22.127365; doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.06.22.127365. The loss of urban wetlands in Sydney, Australia, due to development, was quantified and species impacted, assessed.
  3. Spencer, R.-J., Van Dyke, J. U. and Thompson, M. B. (2016), The ethological trap: functional and numerical responses of highly efficient invasive predators driving prey extinctions. Ecol Appl, 26: 1969–1983. I.F= 5.0 This study is at the forefront of theoretical ecology, developing new ecological theory to understand the impact of invasive predators driving native species to extinction.
  4. Spencer R-J, Janzen F, Thompson M, 2006, Counterintuitive density-dependent growth in a long-lived vertebrate after removal of nest predators, Ecology, vol 87, no. 12, pp 3109-3118 I.F= 4.8. This study provides a template of how to experimentally assess genotypic x environment interactions in long-lived organisms in the field. It also provides the first evidence of density-dependent processes in turtles.

Spencer, R-J., Van Dyke, J., Petrov, K., Ferronato, B., McDougall, F., Austin, M., Keitel, C., & Georges, A. (2018). Profiling a possible rapid extinction event in a long-lived species. Biological Conservation, 221, 190-197. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2018.03.009