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Dr David Westcott

Senior Principal Research Scientist


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Contact details:

PO BOX 780


David Westcott is a zoologist whose research focuses on the ecology and behaviour of tropical species. While most of his work is on birds and flying-foxes, David has studied a broad range of taxa, from plants to invertebrates, in terrestrial and marine systems, in Australia, Asia and the Americas.

Much of David’s research focuses on how the behaviour of individual organisms influences the outcomes of higher-order social and ecological processes. He and his colleagues use this approach to i) describe key social and ecosystem processes, ii) to design ecologically novel technologies and approaches for addressing current research questions, and iii) to develop ecologically-based strategies for the management of threatening processes, threatened species and pest species. His research draws on skills in field ecology, mathematical and statistical modelling, and technology development in national and international collaborations. David also often works in collaboration with managers on projects which have the explicit aim of guiding on-ground management or policy development.

David has served on a number of advisory committees and boards. He currently co-ordinates the National Flying-Fox Monitoring Program, chairs the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar Working Group and the Christmas Island Flying-Fox Advisory Committee, and is a member of the , is a member of the Wet Tropics Management Authority’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the Cassowary Recovery Team. He is a member of the Editorial Board for the journal Biodiversity and Conservation, and, is a past Subject Editor for the journal Biotropica.

Other Interests

Flying-fox ecology and management, vector ecology, cassowary conservation and ecology, crown-of-thorns seastars, seed dispersal, movement ecology

Academic Qualifications

  • 1995

    Ph.D., Zoology
    University of British Columbia

  • 1991

    M.Sc., Zoology
    University of British Columbia

  • 1986

    B.Sc., Zoology
    Australian National University

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-2019

    Wet Tropics Management Authority Scientific Advisory Committee

  • 2016-Present

    Chair, Christmas Island Flying-Fox Advisory Panel, Dept. Environment and Energy

  • 2008-Present

    Editorial Board, Biodiversity and Conservation

  • 2012-2015

    ZoaTrack Steering Committee

  • 2011-2014

    Wet Tropics Management Authority Scientific Advisory Committee


We have publications by Dr David Westcott