1979 …2019
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Personal profile


Professor Ralph Mac Nally is Australia’s principal expert and a globally significant leader in spatial ecology, making enduring contributions in the related themes of the ecology of whole catchments and geographic ecology. He unifies research in terrestrial, aquatic and transitional (floodplains and estuaries) ecosystems to bring understanding to how integrated catchments work ecologically. Mac Nally has contributed important new findings to the challenging problem of the concurrent management of carbon sequestration through landscape reforestation, water yields, and terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity. Professor Mac Nally has focused on south-eastern Australia, where he has provided keystone contributions to the understanding of the ecological dynamics of the nation’s most important catchment, the Murray-Darling Basin. His pioneering method for measuring forest health over vast areas is the standard adopted by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority to report on vegetation condition for the entire basin (> 1 million km2), which is updated annually. Mac Nally has linked that work with climate-change projections to estimate the viability of bird and frog species over the next 50 years. Mac Nally has internationally recognized leadership that has led to long-term, significant collaborations in geographic ecology, specifically in major research programs in western North America on birds and butterflies and in the dynamics of US west coast estuaries, with a United Kingdom–Brazil collaboration to understand and respond to the impacts of land-use change on the Amazonian terrestrial and aquatic biota, and with catchment dynamics in response to human pressures in Spanish landscapes.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, Melbourne University

PhD, Melbourne University

External positions

Adjunct Professor, La Trobe University

1 Jan 2017 → …

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

bird Earth & Environmental Sciences
birds Agriculture & Biology
floodplains Agriculture & Biology
Victoria (Australia) Agriculture & Biology
habitat Earth & Environmental Sciences
floodplain forest Earth & Environmental Sciences
floodplain Earth & Environmental Sciences
habitats Agriculture & Biology

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2012 2019

Research Output 1979 2019

4 Citations (Scopus)

Biological interactions mediate context and species-specific sensitivities to salinity

Bray, J. P., Reich, J., Nichols, S. J., Kon Kam King, G., Mac Nally, R., Thompson, R., O’Reilly-Nugent, A. & Kefford, B. J., 21 Jan 2019, In : Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 374, 1764, p. 1-10 10 p., 20180020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

toxic substances
6 Citations (Scopus)

Assessment of ecosystems: A system for rigorous and rapid mapping of floodplain forest condition for Australia's most important river

Cunningham, S., Griffioen, P., White, M. & MAC NALLY, R., Jan 2018, In : Land Degredation & Development. 29, 1, p. 127-137 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

floodplain forest
natural resource
4 Citations (Scopus)

Carbon-focused conservation may fail to protect the most biodiverse tropical forests

Ferreira, J., Lennox, G. D., Gardner, T. A., Thomson, J. R., Berenguer, E., Lees, A. C., Mac Nally, R., Aragão, L. E. O. C., Ferraz, S. F. B., Louzada, J., Moura, N. G., Oliveira, V. H. F., Pardini, R., Solar, R. R. C., Vieira, I. C. G. & Barlow, J., 2018, In : Nature Climate Change. p. 1-6 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Catchment land use predicts benthic vegetation in small estuaries

Cook, P., Warry, F., Reich, P., MAC NALLY, R. & Woodland, R., 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : PEERJ.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

benthic plants
Land use

Environmental correlates of food-chain length, mean trophic level and trophic level variance in invaded riverine fish assemblages

Maceda-Veiga, A., Mac Nally, R. & de Sostoa, A., 2018, In : Science of the Total Environment. 644, p. 420-429 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle