About

I am broadly interested in the evolutionary ecology of ecological communities, and my background is in entomology and statistics. I use theoretical and empirical methods and try to combine the two as often as possible. My empirical research generally focuses on insect communities, but I have also worked on other systems through collaboration. Some of my research interests include:

How does coevolution alter the effects of climate change on ecological communities?

How do community structure and interactions alter ecosystem functions, such as natural pest control by insect predators?

How does climate change alter ecosystem functions provided by ecological communities?

How do land management regimes influence biodiversity conservation?

More information on me and my labgroup is available at northfieldlab.org

Teaching
  • BZ3225: Field Ecology (Level 3; CNS)
  • BZ3745: Tropical Entomology (Level 3; CNS)
  • BZ5225: Field Ecology (Level 5; CNS)
  • BZ5745: Tropical Entomology (Level 5; CNS)
  • MB2080: Invertebrate Biology (Level 2; CNS)
  • MB5380: Invertebrate Biology (Level 5; CNS)
  • SC1102: Modelling Natural Systems (Level 1; CNS)
  • SC1109: Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced (Level 1; CNS & TSV)
Interests
Research
  • Community ecology
  • Theoretical ecology
  • Statistical ecology
  • Biological control
Experience
  • 2013 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University
  • 2011 to 2013 - Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Wisconsin
Research Disciplines
Honours
Awards
  • JCU Inclusive Practice Award
  • JCU Early Career Researcher Rising Star
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 25+ research outputs authored by Dr Tobin Northfield from 2008 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Lions Foundation - Scientific and Medical Research on Marine Species Dangerous to Humans

Where are they? Using eDNA as a bio-indicator of Box Jellyfish abundance.

Indicative Funding
$4,000
Summary
Environmental DNA (eDNA), relates to short snippets of genetic material, released into the environment by an organism, through natural process such as cell sloughing and excretion. Very recently, methods have evolved, allowing this DNA to be filtered out of the environment and used as bio-indicators for processes such as species abundance, and, distribution modeling. This project proposes to run a pilot study, testing efficacy of eDNA as a tool to detect and quantity the abundance of Carukia barnesi polyp. If successful, this information will be used, alongside existing physiological and distribution data, to locate these polyps in the field.
Investigators
Olivia Rowley, Jamie Seymour and Tobin Northfield (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Cubozoa; Box jellyfish; eDNA; Ecology; Statistical Modelling; Global Climate Change

Wet Tropics Management Authority - Student Research Grant Scheme

Evaluating butterfly conservation status in the Wet Tropics bioregion of Queensland, Australia

Indicative Funding
$4,000
Summary
The project aims to investigate general butterfly abundance and diversity in three land management practices (forested, agricultural with a focus on sugarcane cultivation, and urban areas) within the Wet Tropics, Queensland. This is being done over a 12-month period to capture seasonal trends. Butterflies are being sampled using fruit-baited traps, and are marked and released following identification. A species-specific survey is also being done on the Ulysses butterfly using visual encounter techniques. In addition to the ecological survey, sugarcane farmers and residents of urban areas sampled are being interviewed to gauge their level of awareness of butterflies in their surroundings.
Investigators
Hemchandranauth Sambhu and Tobin Northfield (College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Fruit feeding butterflies; Local Knowledge; Urban area; Sugar Cane; Human disturbance; Conservation

Powerlink Queensland - Contract Research

Abrasive Blasting - Are There Any Environmental Concerns

Indicative Funding
$74,284 over 2 years
Summary
The re-surfacing and re-use of existing high voltage towers instead of removing and replacing with new structures has the potential to alter the way that power transmission infrastructure is used in the long term in Queensland. This project will look at using abrasive blasting in the high value and sensitive landscape of the rainforests of the Wet Tropics and will develop the science narrative around how the process interacts with the local environment.
Investigators
Michael Liddell, Tobin Northfield, Lucas Cernusak, Anthony Morrison, Simon Berryman and Nicole Lashmar (College of Science & Engineering, Macquarie University and Powerlink Queensland)
Keywords
Invertebrate Physiology; Ecophysiology; Aerosols
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
  • The Impacts of Soil Physicochemicol Properties on Suppression of Fusorium wilt of Bananas in North Queensland, Australia. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Fruit Development in Theobroma Cacao: Understanding the Limitations to Optimized Cacao Production (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Butterfly (nymphalidae) Diversity and Land Managment Practices Along the Coastline of Guyana and The Wet Tropics Bioregion of Queensland Australia. (PhD , Primary Advisor)
  • Physiology and Ecology of Cubozoa (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Data

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit the JCU Research Data Catalogue.

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/tobin.northfield

Email
Phone
Location
  • E1.102D, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
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