About

My research and teaching interests focus on biodiversity: what's out there, how we discover and describe it, how it arises and adapts through time, and how we can conserve it.

I'm very interested in speciation and rapid adaptation, including to human-induced change like climate change and invasive species. To date, I've done a lot of evolutionary biology and species discovery but I'm increasingly focussing on conservation projects. My research methods include field data, genetics, and modelling. Many of my projects involve frogs and lizards because they show biogeographic patterns and evolutionary processes on a fine scale, and because Australia has a rich diversity. However, I'm interested in all groups and current projects include mammals (e.g., Spotted-tailed Quolls) and invertebrates (e.g., Drosophila experiments). 

Current projects include: phylogenetics and taxonomy of various reptile and frog groups; mating trait evolution in geckos, frogs and flies; speciation in hybrid zones; reinforcement and character displacement; conservation genetics of endangered frogs and mammals; climate change adaptation in native Drosophila; impacts of invasive geckos and toads; recovery of frogs from chytrid disease; and decline and threatened species recovery in all vertebrate groups.

Teaching
  • BZ2725: Australian Terrestrial Diversity (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • BZ3220: Population and Community Ecology (Level 3; TSV)
  • BZ3450: Ecological and Conservation Genetics (Level 3; TSV)
  • BZ3740: Wildlife Ecology and Management (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • BZ5740: Wildlife Ecology and Management (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • BZ5925: Australian Terrestrial Diversity (Level 5; TSV)
  • BZ5940: Evolutionary Adaptation in a Changing World (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
Interests
Research
  • Biodiversity: what's out there, how we discover and describe it, how it arises and adapts throught time, and how we can conserve it.
Teaching
  • Biodiversity: what's out there, how we discover and describe it, how it arises and adapts throught time, and how we can conserve it.
Experience
  • 2011 to 2019 - ABRS Fellowship, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2007 to 2011 - ARC Fellowship, ARC postdoc, Australian National University (Canberra)
  • 1996 to 2006 - Honours, PhD, Research Assistant on various projects, University of Queensland (Brisbane)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2009 - Eureka Prize - ABRS Early Career Species Discovery
  • 2003 - Henry Seibert Award - Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles (International)
Fellowships
  • 2011 to 2014 - ABRS BushBlitz Research Fellowship (2011-2014)
  • 2007 to 2010 - ARC Australian Postdoctoral (APD) Research Fellowship (2007-2010)
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 110+ research outputs authored by A/PROF Conrad Hoskin from 1999 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Skyrail Rainforest Foundation - Research Funding

Understanding fine-scale distribution and climate resilience in microhylid frogs - the Wet Tropics' most threatened vertebrates

Indicative Funding
$4,700 over 3 years
Summary
This grant will help fund field trip and equipment costs (e.g., acoustic monitoring devices) for my PhD project. My research aims to resolve current elevational ranges of threatened Cophixalus frog species in the Wet Tropics and determine what factors drive distributions and breeding activity, ultimately contributing to future management actions.
Investigators
Emma L Carmichael and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Cophixalus frogs; Mountains; Climate change; Elevational shifts; Acoustic monitoring; Breeding biology

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Can parental care behaviour and breeding microhabitat protect Critically Endangered nursery frogs from rising temperatures on Wet Tropics mountaintops?

Indicative Funding
$6,000 over 1 year
Summary
Nursery frogs are terrestrial breeders with `direct development? and the male stays with the eggs until hatching. While climate change is their biggest threat and their breeding biology of is very poorly known. I will study parental care across Nursery frog species, under varied environmental conditions in the field (low elevation, upland areas, heatwaves, drought) to uncover the details of nest choice and parental care. I will use non-invasive cameras and data loggers in natural nesting sites to determine how variation in parental behaviour impacts larval survival and differs between species and microhabitats under different climatic conditions.
Investigators
Jordy Groffen and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Amphibians; Parental care; Behaviour; Tropics; Climate; Microhabitat

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Distribution, ecology and conservation of the Magnificent Broodfrog in the mountains of north Queensland

Indicative Funding
$5,570 over 1 year
Summary
This project aims to resolve the knowledge gaps surrounding the ecology and key threatening processes to the Magnificent Broodfrog, Pseudophryne covacevichae (MBF). We will do this by determining appropriate survey methods, investigating aspects of breeding behaviour and the associated climatic conditions; resolving the fine-scale distribution, determining connectivity among the known populations, and determining genetic diversity within populations. This project will also include an assessment of the genetic relatedness between MBFs and three isolated populations of the Great Brown Broodfrog, P. major in the Bowen and White Mountains regions. The genetic results will contribute to management actions for populations of the MBF and will shed light on the taxonomic status of these northern populations of P. major and, in turn, whether the MBF is a well-supported species.
Investigators
EMILY Rush and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Pseudophyrne covacevichae; Pseudophyrne major; Distribution; Monitoring; Conservation genomics; Threats

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

Predicting genetic exchange between species under climate change

Indicative Funding
$73,912 over 3 years (administered by ANU)
Summary
This project aims to resolve the factors that lead to the mixing of species? gene pools, with a focus on whether climate change will increase such mixing, possibly leading to extinction by genetic swamping. The significance is that the project would improve our understanding of speciation and species? vulnerability to rapid climate change through genetic mixing; a largely overlooked process. Key outcomes would be to generate new knowledge of a fundamental evolutionary process and extend the toolbox of biodiversity managers facing rapid environmental change. The project would benefit Australia by highlighting our unique biodiversity and scientific capability, and by training early career researchers in advanced evolutionary biology.
Investigators
Craig Moritz, Megan Higgie, Conrad Hoskin and Stephen Zozaya (Australian National University and College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Climate Change; Introgression; Genetic swamping; Pheromones; Heteronotia geckos (Family Gekkonidae); Gehyra geckos (Family Gekkonidae)

Wet Tropics Management Authority - Climate Action Grants - 2021

Monitoring the Wet Tropic?s endangered upland frogs

Indicative Funding
$10,000 over 2 years
Summary
This grant will fund equipment and fieldwork costs for two PhD students, working on upland frog population monitoring in north Qld. The project involves setting up monitoring techniques to assess population trends in threatened species on the Wet Tropics mountain-tops, and conduct that monitoring at regular intervals.
Investigators
Conrad Hoskin, Emma L Carmichael and Jordy Groffen (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Population monitoring; Climate Change; Cophixalus frogs; Litoria frogs; Mountains

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Conservation genomics and population status of the endangered Mahogany Gliders (Petaurus gracilis)

Indicative Funding
$6,665 over 1 year
Summary
Habitat loss and fragmentation have been threatening population connectivity and genetic diversity of Mahogany Gliders, a rare and endangered gliding possum endemic to the Australian Wet Tropics. Substantial habitat loss and fragmentation have brought concerns to the status of remnant populations. I will use distribution models to refine the distribution and guide camera trapping to find unknown populations. Connectivity between populations will be assessed using genomics, which also allows estimations of population structure and effective population size. Knowledge of distribution and genetics will be used to choose populations for long-term monitoring, and to guide conservation actions for Mahogany Gliders recovery.
Investigators
Yi-yin Chang and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Petaurus gracilis; Wet Tropics; Species distribution modelling; Conservation; Genomics; SNPs

Ecological Society of Australia - Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment

Genetic `health? assessments and a decision-making framework for some of Australia?s most endangered frogs and reptiles

Indicative Funding
$5,335 over 1 year
Summary
According to expert assessment, more than half of Australia?s endangered and critically endangered frogs and reptiles are endemic to Queensland and at risk from imminent extinction. A major threat to threatened species like this is a loss of genetic diversity which leads to inbreeding depression, inability to adapt, and heightened extinction risk. This project aims to provide essential genetic assessment of five severely threatened study systems: Oedura lineata, Nangura spinosa, Litoria lorica, Phyllurus geckoes, and Cophixalus frogs. These species represent a range of threats and genetic scenarios. Through discussions with managers, results will be synthesised into a broader conservation framework.
Investigators
Nicholas Bail, Megan Higgie and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Conservation genomics; Conservation Management; Extinction; Frogs; Reptiles; Queensland

Skyrail Rainforest Foundation - Research Funding

Conservation genomics of the Critically endangered Kuranda Treefrog

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year
Summary
This project aims to assess the conservation status of the Critically Endangered Kuranda Treefrog using a population genomics approach. The last sampling for this declining and localised species took place more than 10 years ago, and continuing declines have been detected in the field. It is unclear whether the population is retaining genetic diversity despite the small and declining population size or whether it is rapidly losing genetic diversity. Resolving this will be crucial for the management of this species. In this project I aim to assess genetic diversity, connectivity and population size of this Critically Endangered species using population genomics.
Investigators
Lorenzo Bertola, Megan Higgie and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Litoria myola (Pelodryadidae); Critically Endangered; Management; Conservation; Genomics; Kuranda Treefrog

Skyrail Rainforest Foundation - Research Funding

Conservation Geonomics of Nursery Frogs

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year
Summary
Nursery Frogs of the Cophixalus genus make up 5 of 7 critically endangered vertebrate species. They are vulnerable to climate change and restricted to extremely small ranges on mountain-tops and boulder-fields. Without conservation action, they are predicted to go extinct within 20 years. A major threat to threatened species like this is a loss of genetic diversity which leads to inbreeding depression, inability to adapt, and heightened extinction risk. This project aims to provide essential genetic assessment of one widespread and three threatened Nursery Frogs. Managers will be engaged with directly to inform conservation decisions in wild and captive populations.
Investigators
Nicholas Bail, Megan Higgie and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Conservation genomics; Conservation management; Nursery Frogs; Wet Tropics; Climate Change

FNQ NRM Ltd (Terrain Natural Resource Management) - Consultancy - Grant

Survey for mahogany gliders and monitor population trends

Indicative Funding
$14,250 over 3 years
Summary
The Mahogany Glider is an Endangered mammal of north Queensland. I have been doing research of this species, with my PhD student Eryn Chang. The project is to better resolve the distribution and population size of this species and to work out whether it is declining. Terrain is an NRM group (funded by Qld and Federal government) that does community-based conservation work in the Wet Tropics of north Qld. They also want to know the distribution, population size and population trends in this species, so they are contributing funding to Eryn?s PhD project.
Investigators
Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Mahogany glider; Surveys; Distribution modelling; Habitat fragmentation; Endangered Species; Population monitoring

Australian Wildlife Society - Sponsorship

Donation of Armoured Mist Frog translocation program

Indicative Funding
$2,000 over 1 year
Summary
Donation of $2,000 from AWS to my upcoming translocation of Armoured Mist Frogs to establish another breeding population in the wild.
Investigators
Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Litoria lorica (Pelodryadidae); Translocation; Conservation; Endangered Species; Frog

Humane Society Australia - Contract Research

Queensland threatened species listing.

Indicative Funding
$28,000
Summary
Humane Society International (HSi) is a charity that works towards ?an ecologically sustainable and humane world for all animals?. This includes ensuring that threatened species are nominated to be listed under legislation. An opportunity has arisen for HSI to work with the Queensland Government to list a number of reptile species that are in dire need of conservation recognition. These are reptiles that I am an expert on, so they have contacted me to provide funding to me to help them write the nominations. I would use this funding to employ a recently graduated JCU PhD student to draft these nominations for me to then check and submit with HSI. Any left-over funding would be used for research on these threatened species. This is a `for the greater good? project that I?d like to help out with.
Investigators
Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Threatened species; Conservation legislation; reptile
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

Current
  • Characterizing the Genomic Signal of Speciation by Reinforcement (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Patterns, drivers, and consequences of pheromone variation in Australian gecko radiations. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Cane toads in Wet Tropics upland rainforest and their current and potential impact on native fauna (Masters , Primary Advisor)
  • The effect of the pasasite Waddycephalus on native reptile communities and the role of the invasive Asian House Gecko (Masters , Secondary Advisor)
  • Unravelling genomic patterns of population structure and fitness in the Australian koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Investigating the long term Viability and Resilience of the Northern Great Barrier Reef Green Turtle Population based on Hatchling Production and Hatchling Sex Ratio (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Conservation genomics and population status of endangered Mahogany gliders (Petaurus gracilis) (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Breeding Biology and Climate Change Resilience of Endangered Frog Species of the Wet Tropics Uplands (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Conservation of the threatened Magnificent Broodfrog, Pseudophryne covacevichae (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Understanding the determinants of fine-scale distribution in microhylid frogs, to better predict future change (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Management of genetic diversity in Australian threatened species (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Biogeography and speciation of spiny-backed tree frogs in Amazonia (PhD , Primary Advisor)
Completed
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
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jcu.me/conrad.hoskin

Email
Phone
Location
  • 142.202, The Science Place (Townsville campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advanced Advisor
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