Dr David Newell


B App Sci (Hons)


Ecology, Conservation Biology, Zoology, Herpetology, Australian Frogs, Wildlife diseases, Mark-Recapture, Calling Phenology, Biogeography, Climate Change, GIS

Research Interests and Background

My research focuses on the conservation, ecology and management of Australian forest fauna. I undertake applied research that allows improved management outcomes. I have worked extensively with endangered herpetofauna and use capture mark recapture frameworks to describe population demographics. My primary focus is on understanding the ecology of frogs and the factors that have caused declines, in particular the amphibian chytrid fungus.

I supervise postgraduate students within the Forest Research Centre and these projects include calling phenology of endangered frogs and using bioclimatic modelling to understand future distributions under climate change. More recently, I have been applying these modelling techniques to endangered molluscs and am interested in understanding distributional patterns in rainforest molluscs.

Awards and Distinctions

Taylor and Francis Achievement Award - Best Early Career publication

Recent Publications

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Parkyn, J. Specht, A. Brooks, L. and Newell, D (in Press) Estimating abundance and site occupancy for the critically endangered Australian land snail Thersites mitchellae. PLoS One

Skerratt, L.F, Berger, L, Clemann  N, Hunter, D.,  Marantelli ,G. Newell, D., Philips, A. McFadden, M, Hine H, Scheele, B. Brannelly, L  Speare, R,  Versteegen S, Cashins S, and Matt West (In Press) Priorities for management of chytridiomycosis in Australia: saving frogs from extinction.  Wildlife Research

Quick, G., Goldingay, R. L., Parkyn, J., and Newell, D. A. (2015). Population stability in the endangered Fleay's barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi) and a program for long-term monitoring. Australian Journal of Zoology, 63(3) 214-219

Willacy, R., Mahony. M, and Newell, D. (2015).  If a frog calls in the forest: Bioacoustic monitoring reveals the breeding phenology of the endangered Richmond Range mountain frog (Philoria richmondensis) Austral Ecology. doi:10.1111/aec.12228

Knowles, R., Thumm, K., Mahony, M. Hines, H. Newell, D and Cunningham, M. (2015). Oviposition and egg mass morphology in barred frogs (Anura: Myobatrachidae: Mixophyes Günther, 1864), its phylogenetic significance and implications for conservation management. Australian Zoologist.. doi:10.7882/AZ.2014.040

Parkyn, J., Challisthianagara, A., Brooks, L., Specht, A., McMullan-Fisher, S., and Newell, D. (2015) The natural diet of the endangered camaenid land snail Thersites mitchellae (Cox, 1864) in northern New South Wales, Australia, Australian Zoologist. doi: 10.7882/AZ.2014.042

Koehler, S.L, Gilmore, D.C and Newell, D.A. (2015) Translocation of the threatened Growling Grass Frog Litoria raniformis: a case study. Australian Zoologist.. doi: 10.7882/AZ.2014.043


McCann, S., Greenlees, M. J., Newell, D., Shine, R. (2014), Rapid acclimation to cold allows the cane toad to invade montane areas within its Australian range. Functional Ecology, 28: 1166-1174. doi: 10.1111/1365-2435.12255

Parkyn, J., Brooks, L., and Newell, D. (2014). Habitat and movement patterns of the endangered land snail Thersites mitchellae (Cox, 1864) (Camaenidae). Malacologia, 57 (2): 295-307.


Newell, D.A., Goldingay R.L. and Brooks, L., (2013). Population recovery following decline in an endangered stream-breeding frog (Mixophyes fleayi) from subtropical Australia PLoS ONE 8(3): e58559. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058559

Parkyn, J and Newell D.A. (2013). Australian land snails: a review of ecological research and conservation approaches. Molluscan Research 33:2, 116-129


Newell, D.A, Pembroke M.M. and Boyd, W. (2012). Crowd Sourcing for conservation: Web 2.0  a powerful tool for Biologists Future Internet 4: 551-562


Newell, D.A. (2011)  Recent Invasions of World Heritage Rainforests in north-east NSW by the Cane Toad Bufo marinus.  Australian Zoologist  35(3): 876-883.