Mr Joe Atkinson1
1University Of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
The Tasman and Forestier Peninsulas contain an unusually high concentration of Tasmanian endemic plant species for eastern Tasmania. Understanding the mechanisms that give rise to endemic plant species and their distributions is important not only for our understanding of ecological processes, but for the conservation of the many species of rare or threatened plants restricted to this region, which is currently being heavily developed for tourism. Spatial and environmental analyses of the distributions of these species tested the hypothesis that a distinct environment and long-term environmental constancy have resulted in this centre of local endemism. There are distinct combinations of climatic and edaphic environments that are associated with high concentrations of endemics. The places with the high concentrations tend also to be much closer to the Last Glacial coastline than other parts of Tasmania.
Joe has a keen interest in plant ecology, and is currently undertaking his honours year in geography, while concurrently working as an ecologist in the private sector. He hopes to continue to do research for as long as there is the resources for him to do so (as well as willing supervisors/collaborators).