Position

Associate Professor
Biological Sciences

Key responsibilities

  • Co-coordinator of BSc Degree in Biodiversity & Conservation
  • Leader (with Dr Kleindorfer) of the Biodiversity & Ecology cluster
  • Coordinator of BSc Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Major

Research expertise

  • Ecology
  • Plant biology

Research interests

My research interests are in plant-animal interactions, plant ecology and systematics, and conservation biology, and my research program combines systematic, ecological and population genetic approaches. Dr. Duncan Mackay and I jointly supervise a lab focusing on the study of plants, insects and their interactions.

Plant-animal interactions

I am particularly interested in the ecological and behavioural aspects of plant-animal mutualisms such as pollination and seed dispersal, the evolutionary dynamics of these relationships, and their conservation biology.

Conservation biology

My interests in this area include the biology and management of both rare plants and weedy plants, the conservation of soil seed banks (particularly in relation to fire and grazing impacts), the reproductive ecology of weedy plant species and their impacts on native plant communities, and the effects of fragmentation, urbanization and climate change on plant-animal interactions.

Systematics, evolution and ecology of the Australian flora

I am also interested in the systematics and evolution of the Australian flora. I have recently been involved in a collaborative project on the systematics of exotic Rubus species in Australia and we are currently investigating the ecology and population biology of weedy blackberry species in South Australia. Another group in which I have a particular interest is the halophytic plant family Frankeniaceae which occurs in Mediterranean and dry climatic regions in habitats ranging from coastal salt marshes to saline and gypseous habitats in desert regions. My interest in the Frankeniaceae is part of a broader interest in the ecology and conservation of wetland and halophytic communities, including salt marsh and mangrove communities, and the evolution of halophytic and wetland plant groups.

RHD research supervision

Current

Principal supervisor : Plant systematics (1) ; Plant ecology and conservation biology (2) ; Plant ecology and pollination biology (1) ;

Associate supervisor : Population genetics of aquatic invertebrates (1) ; Insect ecology (1) ; Plant ecology (1) ;

Completion

Principal supervisor : Plant ecology (2) ; Plant systematics (1) ;

Associate supervisor : Insect-plant interactions (1) ; Plant conservation biology (1) ; Plant ecophysiology (2) ;

Publications

  • Whalen, M.A. (2015). Frankeniaceae. In Flora of North America - North Mexico. New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 409-412.
  • Clarke, L., Whalen, M. and Mackay, D.A. (2013). Flora of the GAB springs: Ecology of GAB vegetation. In T Gotch, ed. Allocating Water and Maintaining Springs in the Great Artesian Basin, Vol. V: Groundwater-dependent Ecosystems of the Western Great Artesian Basin. Canberra, ACT: National Water Commission, pp. 43-69.
    [Web Link]
  • Qiner, Y. and Whalen, M.A. (2007). Frankeniaceae. In Wu Zhengyi, Peter H. Raven, and Hong Deyuan, ed. Flora of China. St. Louis, Missouri, USA: Missouri Botanical Garden Press, pp. 57-57.
  • Whalen, M.A. (2006). Bebbia. In Flora of North America - North Mexico. New York, USA: Oxford University Press, pp. 177-177.
  • Dittmann, S., Pichler, M., Bestland, E., Whalen, M., Stangoulis, J., Guan, H., et al. (2013). Investigation of Field Methodologies for Measuring Coastal Wetland Carbon Capture and Storage Values, pp. 1-52.
  • Evans, K.J., Symon, D.E., Whalen, M.A., Barker, R., Hosking, J.R. and Oliver, J.A. (2004). Taxonomic update and Lucid key for introduced blackberry in Australia. In Weed management: balancing people, planet, profit: 14th Australian Weeds Conference: Papers and Proceedings. Sydney, NSW: Weed Society of NSW. Weed Management: Balancing People, Planet, Profit. Wagga Wagga, NSW, pp. 509-512.
  • Bestland, E.A., George, A., green, G., Olifent, V., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2017). Groundwater dependent pools in seasonal and permanent streams in the Clare Valley of South Australia. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 9 pp. 216-235.
    [10.1016/j.ejrh.2016.12.087] [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K.P., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2016). Ant defence of a dioecious shrub, Adriana quadripartita (Euphorbiaceae), with extrafloral nectaries. Australian Journal of Botany, 64 pp. 539-546.
    [10.1071/BT16034] [Scopus]
  • Gellie, N., Beaumont, K.P., Mackay, D.A., Whalen, M.A. and Clarke, L.J. (2015). Growth responses of Baumea juncea (Cyperaceae) plants from inland artesian spring and coastal habitats to salinity and water logging treatments. Australian Journal of Botany, 63 pp. 517-525.
    [10.1071/BT15005] [Scopus]
  • Clarke, L., Whalen, M. and Mackay, D.A. (2013). Cutting grass on desert islands: genetic structure of disjunct coastal and central Australian populations of Gahnia trifida (Cyperaceae) Journal of Biogeography, 40(6) pp. 1071-1081.
    [10.1111/jbi.12066] [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K., Mackay, D. and Whalen, M. (2013). Multiphase myrmecochory: the roles of different ant species and effects of fire. Oecologia, 172(3) pp. 791-803.
    [10.1007/s00442-012-2534-2] [Scopus]
  • Rawson, T., Davies, R., Whalen, M. and Mackay, D.A. (2013). Fire-related cues and germination from the soil seed bank of senescent remnants of mallee vegetation on Eastern Kangaroo Island. Austral Ecology, 38(2) pp. 139-151.
    [10.1111/j.1442-9993.2012.02386.x] [Scopus]
  • Davies, R., Whalen, M., Mackay, D.A., Taylor, D. and Pisanu, P. (2013). Does soil seed bank diversity limit post-fire regeneration in small, fragmented, long-unburnt remnants of fire adapted vegetation? Biological Conservation, 158 pp. 287-295.
    [10.1016/j.biocon.2012.08.013] [Scopus]
  • Koerber, G.R., Seekamp, J., Anderson, P., Whalen, M. and Tyerman, S. (2012). A putative hybrid of Eucalyptus largiflorens growing on salt- and drought-affected floodplains has reduced specific leaf area and leaf nitrogen. Australian Journal of Botany, 60(4) pp. 358-367.
    [10.1071/BT12012] [Scopus]
  • Green, D.J., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M. (2012). Next generation insect light traps: The use of led light technology in sampling emerging aquatic macroinvertebrates. Australian Entomologist, 39(3) pp. 189-194.
    [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M. (2012). The effects of prescribed burning on epigaeic ant communities in eucalypt forest of South Australia. Forest Ecology and Management, 271 pp. 147-157.
    [10.1016/j.foreco.2012.02.007] [Scopus]
  • Green, D.J., Clarke, L., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2011). Microsatellite markers for the freshwater shrimp Paratya australiensis (Atyidae) Conservation Genetics Resources, 3 pp. 295-297.
    [10.1007/s12686-010-9346-7] [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K.P., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2011). Interactions between ants and seeds of two myrmecochorous plant species in recently burnt and long-unburnt forest sites. Austral Ecology, 36(7) pp. 767-778.
    [10.1111/j.1442-9993.2010.02215.x] [Scopus]
  • Clarke, L., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2011). Isolation of microsatellites from Baumea juncea (Cyperaceae) Conservation Genetics Resources, 3 pp. 113-115.
    [10.1007/s12686-010-9303-5] [Scopus]
  • Davies, R.J.P., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2010). Competitive effects of Phragmites australis on the endangered artesian spring endemic Eriocaulon carsonii. Plant Ecology, 92(4) pp. 245-249.
    [10.1016/j.aquabot.2009.12.003] [Scopus]
  • Green, D.J., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2010). Macroinvertebrate Sampling Methodology in Deep Instream Pools: A Comparison of Methods. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Australia, 134(1) pp. 143-145.
    [Scopus]
  • Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2009). An experimental study of the pollination biology of the perennial halophyte Frankenia pauciflora var. gunnii (Frankeniaceae) in a South Australian salt marsh. Australian Journal of Botany, 57(1) pp. 31-36.
    [10.1071/BT08153] [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K.P., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2009). Combining distances of ballistic and myrmecochorous seed dispersal in Adriana quadripartita (Euphorbiaceae) Acta Oecologica-International Journal of Ecology, 35(3) pp. 429-436.
    [10.1016/j.actao.2009.01.005] [Scopus]
  • Whalen, M.A. and Mackay, D.A. (2007). Geographic variation in extrafloral nectaries in the ant-associated plant genus Adriana (Euphorbiaceae) and its relationship to water availability. Australian Journal of Botany, 55(5) pp. 568-575.
    [10.1071/BT06105] [Scopus]
  • Evans, K.J., Symon, D.E., Whalen, M.A., Hosking, J.R., Barker, R.M. and Oliver, J.A. (2007). Systematics of the Rubus fruticosus aggregate (Rosaceae) and other exotic Rubus taxa in Australia. Australian Systematic Botany, 20(3) pp. 187-251.
    [10.1071/SB06044] [Scopus]
  • Davies, R.J.P., Craigie, A.I., Mackay, D.A., Whalen, M.A., Cheong, J.P.E. and Leach, G.L. (2007). Resolution of the taxonomy of Eriocaulon (Eriocaulaceae) taxa endemic to Australian mound springs, using morphometrics and AFLP markers. Australian Systematic Botany, 20(5) pp. 428-447.
    [10.1071/SB07019] [Scopus]
  • Nicolle, D., Whalen, M.A. and Mackay, D.A. (2006). Morphological variation and phylogenetic relationships within Eucalyptus series Subulatae (Myrtaceae) of southern Australia. Australian Systematic Botany, 19(1) pp. 59-86.
    [10.1071/SB04036] [Scopus]
  • Nicolle, D. and Whalen, M.A. (2006). A taxonomic revision and morphological variation within Eucalyptus series Subulatae subseries Spirales (Myrtaceae) of southern Australia. Australian Systematic Botany, 19(1) pp. 87-112.
    [10.1071/SB04037] [Scopus]
  • Nicolle, D., Byrne, M. and Whalen, M.A. (2005). A taxonomic revision and morphological variation within Eucalyptus series Subulatae subseries Oleaginae (Myrtaceae), including the oil mallee complex, of south-western Australia. Australian Systematic Botany, 18(6) pp. 525-553.
    [10.1071/SB04038] [Scopus]
  • Bestland, E.A., George, A., green, G., Olifent, V., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2017). Groundwater dependent pools in seasonal and permanent streams in the Clare Valley of South Australia. Journal of Hydrology: Regional Studies, 9 pp. 216-235.
    [10.1016/j.ejrh.2016.12.087] [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K.P., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M.A. (2016). Ant defence of a dioecious shrub, Adriana quadripartita (Euphorbiaceae), with extrafloral nectaries. Australian Journal of Botany, 64 pp. 539-546.
    [10.1071/BT16034] [Scopus]
  • Gellie, N., Beaumont, K.P., Mackay, D.A., Whalen, M.A. and Clarke, L.J. (2015). Growth responses of Baumea juncea (Cyperaceae) plants from inland artesian spring and coastal habitats to salinity and water logging treatments. Australian Journal of Botany, 63 pp. 517-525.
    [10.1071/BT15005] [Scopus]
  • Rawson, T., Davies, R., Whalen, M. and Mackay, D.A. (2013). Fire-related cues and germination from the soil seed bank of senescent remnants of mallee vegetation on Eastern Kangaroo Island. Austral Ecology, 38(2) pp. 139-151.
    [10.1111/j.1442-9993.2012.02386.x] [Scopus]
  • Davies, R., Whalen, M., Mackay, D.A., Taylor, D. and Pisanu, P. (2013). Does soil seed bank diversity limit post-fire regeneration in small, fragmented, long-unburnt remnants of fire adapted vegetation? Biological Conservation, 158 pp. 287-295.
    [10.1016/j.biocon.2012.08.013] [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K., Mackay, D. and Whalen, M. (2013). Multiphase myrmecochory: the roles of different ant species and effects of fire. Oecologia, 172(3) pp. 791-803.
    [10.1007/s00442-012-2534-2] [Scopus]
  • Clarke, L., Whalen, M. and Mackay, D.A. (2013). Cutting grass on desert islands: genetic structure of disjunct coastal and central Australian populations of Gahnia trifida (Cyperaceae) Journal of Biogeography, 40(6) pp. 1071-1081.
    [10.1111/jbi.12066] [Scopus]
  • Green, D.J., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M. (2012). Next generation insect light traps: The use of led light technology in sampling emerging aquatic macroinvertebrates. Australian Entomologist, 39(3) pp. 189-194.
    [Scopus]
  • Beaumont, K., Mackay, D.A. and Whalen, M. (2012). The effects of prescribed burning on epigaeic ant communities in eucalypt forest of South Australia. Forest Ecology and Management, 271 pp. 147-157.
    [10.1016/j.foreco.2012.02.007] [Scopus]
  • Clarke, L., Whalen, M. and Mackay, D.A. (2013). Flora of the GAB springs: Ecology of GAB vegetation. In T Gotch, ed. Allocating Water and Maintaining Springs in the Great Artesian Basin, Vol. V: Groundwater-dependent Ecosystems of the Western Great Artesian Basin. Canberra, ACT: National Water Commission, pp. 43-69.
    [Web Link]

Expertise for media contact

Subject Titles

  • Plants

Interests

  • Plant-Animal Interactions and Plant Reproductive Biology
  • Plant Systematics
  • Conservation Biology

Contact

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Phone: +61 8 82013002, +61 8 82012723
Email:
Location: Biological Sciences (009/011A)
Postal address: GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
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