Since the arrival of Europeans in Australia, just over 200 years ago, there has been an extraordinary increase in the rate of environmental change and in the loss of biodiversity. This biodiversity loss has been largely caused by habitat loss due to the clearing of land by Europeans for farming. The introduction of alien species has also lead to increased predation on, and competition with, Australian native species for food and habitat. This has caused most terrestrial native animals to experience large changes and reductions in range at best, and extinction at worst. In most cases the process of habitat loss happened so quickly that the only record of pre-European faunal distributions available is the subfossil record.
The collection and the expertise of the Honorary Research Associate are widely used by SA (UniSA, Adelaide and Flinders Universities) and interstate researchers. Several Honors student projects have been undertaken using the collection, and a current collaboration involves a PhD student from the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA, School of Earth & Environmental Sciences, at the University of Adelaide, working on extracting ancient DNA from the hair of prey species in scats from extinct Ghost Bats. Another PhD candidate, Matt McDowell from Flinders University, has also been using the subfossil collection regularly during 2009 and 2010 as part of his research on subfossil deposits on Kangaroo Island and Yorke Peninsula.
Mahoney, J.A., Smith, M.J. and Medlin, G.C. (2008). A new species of hopping-mouse, Notomys robustus sp. nov. (Rodentia: Muridae), from cave deposits in the Flinders and Davenport Ranges, South Australia. Australian Mammalogy 29: 117–135.
Mahoney, J.A., Smith, M.J. and Medlin, G.C. (2008). Broad-cheeked Hopping-mouse Notomys robustus. PP. 609–611 in The Mammals of Australia edited by S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan. Third edition, Reed New Holland, Sydney.
Medlin, G.C. (2008). Long-eared Mouse Pseudomys auritus. PP. 615–616 in The Mammals of Australia edited by S. Van Dyck and R. Strahan. Third edition, Reed New Holland, Sydney.
McDowell, M. C. (1997). Taphonomy and palaeoenvironmental interpretation of a late Holocene deposit from Black’s Point Sinkhole, Venus Bay, SA. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 117, 79–95.
McDowell, M. C. and Medlin, G. C. (2009a). The effects of drought on prey selection of the barn owl (Tyto alba) in the Strzelecki Regional Reserve, north-eastern South Australia. Australian Mammalogy 31, 47–55.
McDowell, M. C. and Medlin, G. C. (2009b). Using the diet of the barn owl (Tyto alba) as an indicator of small vertebrate abundance in the Channel Country, south-western Queensland. Australian Mammalogy 31, 75–80.
McDowell, M. C. and Medlin, G. C. (2010). Natural resource management implications of the pre-European non-volant mammal fauna of the southern tip of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. Australian Mammalogy 32, 67–93.
Baynes, A. and McDowell, M. C. (2010). The original mammal fauna of the Pilbara biogeographic region of north-western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 78, 285–298.