PhD student Ben Wagner receives Paddy Pallin research grant

Benjamin Wagner has received one out of only four Paddy Pallin Science grants for his proposal to map the habitat of the Greater Glider possum, a tree-dwelling marsupial that eats only Eucalyptus leaves and is found along the eastern coast of Australia.

Mr Wagner’s project will evaluate the habitat and management of the Glider populations on a landscape scale and seeks to understand the decreases in population numbers in Victoria. The grant is funded by the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife and administered through the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales. Mr Wagner will receive $7,000.

He says the grant enables him to acquire an autonomous operating drone and special camera to analyze Victorian forests in a unique way.

“I started my studies at the University of Melbourne earlier this year, and receiving this grant for a project we developed so early on makes me proud of the work we have done so far as a research group, and reaffirms my efforts for the future,” Mr Wagner says.

“It is a great success for me, my two supervisors Craig Nitschke and Patrick Baker at the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences, and our partners at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARI) and VicForests, who encourage us that our project is well perceived and worth pursuing.”

The Paddy Pallin Foundation, together with the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, offer annual Science Grants of up to $7,000 to support field-based, high-quality ecological research. The objective of the grants is to provide financial support for conservation-based research of Australian ecosystems that will ultimately lead to tangible outcomes for management. The scope of the research is open to terrestrial, marine and freshwater research on animals and/or plants.