Meet the team


Associate Professor Julie Old is an animal scientist/zoologist at the Western Sydney University in Richmond. Julie is passionate about wildlife conservation. She has extensive experience in native mammal research, having completed a PhD and Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in marsupial immunology. In 2006 Julie joined WSU as an academic in Animal Science. In between teaching, Julie also manages the WSU Small Native Mammal Facility and conducts her own research. Julie has been exploring mange in wombats for several years and is very concerned about the plight of wombats. Using WomSAT Julie hopes to enhance the profile of wombats in the wider community. In the longer term, she hopes everyone gains a greater appreciation of wombats and their role in the environment. She hopes WomSAT is a tool that will help in successfully managing and conserving these wonderful Australian animals for future generations.


Dr Ricky Spencer is currently a Senior Lecturer of Zoology at the Western Sydney University, Richmond. Prior to joining the team at WSU, Ricky was a Senior Research Scientist within the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre. In this role he helped to develop new vertebrate pest control methodologies. Ricky has continued to explore pest management through his role at WSU. Through a linkage project with the Australian Research Council Ricky, Ricky has devoted the past 20 years studying turtles, as well as evaluating optimal fox management strategies for managing nest predation on turtles and water birds. In 2014 Ricky launched TurtleSAT to help determine the factors affecting turtle populations.


Peter West is based at Orange as a Research Officer with the NSW Department of Primary Industries’ Vertebrate Pest Research Unit. He is also a Project Leader with the Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre. He currently coordinates FeralScan – a community project aimed at nationally mapping invasive animals. FeralScan’s success has allowed it to diversify, and the same technology is now being used to map native animals through WomSAT and TurtleSAT. Peter has played a key role in establishing WomSAT online.


Candice completed her Bachelor of Natural Science (Animal Science) at the end of 2014. During the last year of her degree she studied one of her favourite animals, the Tasmanian Devil, investigating how captive group size affects feeding and social behaviour. Candice decided to continue her studies in 2015 through the honours program at WSU. Her interests include animal welfare and wildlife education. Wombats are one of Candice’s other favourite animals. Through her honours program she is helping launch WomSAT into the Australian community. Candice will be working with community groups to promote WomSAT. She will also be looking for feedback to help improve WomSAT.


Eden recently graduated from her Bachelor of Natural Science (Advanced) (Animal Science). During her undergraduate degree Eden was fortunate enough to work on a wide variety of research projects including marsupial immunology, mollusc genetics, macropod behaviour and ringtail possum diets. Eden’s interest in wombats arose during a small project she conducted in 2014 which involved studying wombats suffering from sarcoptic mange. She enjoyed the project so much she decided to take the study further for her Honours project in 2015. Eden will be aiming to assess the severity of sarcoptic mange in wombat populations in the Wolgan Valley and Mudgee area NSW. She will also be using genetic analysis to look at wombat immunity. Eden will be helping to promote WomSat and will use the online tool to record her wombat and burrow sightings. The data collected from WomSAT will help Eden’s Honours project by providing distribution information on sarcoptic mange.
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