Asst/Prof Nicola Mitchell
UWA Oceans Institute
- Contact details
- UWA Oceans Institute
The University of Western Australia (M092)
35 Stirling Highway
CRAWLEY WA 6009
- 6488 4510
- 6488 1029
- Personal homepage
- BSc Tas., PhD Adel.
- A consistent theme in my research is examining how the developmental environment affects phenotypes - a fertile area of investigation because of the interplay between developmental physiology and hot topics such as sex determination, sexual selection and the impact of climate change on the adaptive capacity of vertebrates. I mostly work with amphibian and reptiles.
- Key research
- Predicting the impact of environmental change on the physiology, distribution and adaptive capacity of frogs and reptiles
- Reproductive biology of terrestrial breeding frogs
- Identifying direct fitness benefits arising from mate choice
- Identifying physiological constraints that affect sexually selected signals
- Mitchell, N., Hipsey, M., Arnall, S., McGrath, G., bin Tareque, H., Kuchling, G., Vogwill, R., Sivapalan, M., Porter, W., and Kearney, M. (2013) Linking eco-energetics and eco-hydrology to select sites for the assisted colonization of Australia’s rarest reptile. Biology 2: 1-25.
Byrne, M., Lunt, I.D., Hellmann, J.J., Mitchell, N.J., Garnett, S.T., Hayward, M.W., Martin, T.G., McDonald-Madden, E., Williams, S., Zander, K.K. 2013. Using assisted colonisation to conserve biodiversity and restore ecosystem function under climate change. Biological Conservation 157: 172-177.
Miller, K. A., H. C. Miller, J. A. Moore, N. J. Mitchell, A. Cree, F. W. Allendorf, S. D. Sarre, S. N. Keall, and N. J. Nelson. 2012. Securing the demographic and genetic future of tuatara through assisted colonization. Conservation Biology 26:790-798.
Eads, A., N. J. Mitchell, and J. Evans. 2012. Patterns of genetic variation in desiccation tolerance in embryos of the terrestrial-breeding frog, Pseudophryne guentheri. Evolution 66: 2865-2877
N. J. Mitchell, Jones, T. and G. Kuchling. 2012. Simulated climate change increases juvenile growth in a critically endangered tortoise. Endangered Species Research 17: 73-82.
Burbidge, A. H., M. Byrne, D. Coates, S. T. Garnett, S. Harris, M. W. Haywards, T. G. Martin, E. McDonald-Madden, N. J. Mitchell, S. Nally, and S. Setterfield. 2011. Is Australia ready for assisted colonisation? Policy changes required to facilitate translocation under climate change. Pacific Conservation Biology 17: 259-269.
Weeks, A. R., C. M. Sgro, A. G. Young, R. Frankham, N. J. Mitchell, K. A. Miller, M. Byrne, D. J. Coates, M. B. D. Eldridge, P. Sunnocks, M. F. Breed, E. A. James, and A. A. Hoffmann. 2011. Assessing the benefits and risks of translocations in changing environments: a genetic perspective. Evolutionary Applications 4 (709-725).
Andrewartha, S.J., N.J. Mitchell and P.B. Frappell. 2010. Do fluctuating incubation temperatures influence hatchling phenotypes in reptiles? A test using parthenogenetic geckos. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 83: 597-607.
Nokhbatolfoghahai, M., N.J. Mitchell and J.R. Downie. 2010. Surface ciliation and tail structure in direct-developing frog embryos: a comparison between Myobatrachus gouldii and Pristimantis (= Eleutherodactylus) urichi". Herpetological Journal 10: 59-68.
Mitchell, N. J. and Janzen, F. J. 2010. Temperature-dependent sex determination and contemporary climate change. Sexual Development 4: 129-140.
Mitchell, N. J., Allendorf, F. W., Keall, S. N., Daugherty, C. H. and Nelson, N. J. 2009. Demographic effects of temperature-dependent sex determination: will tuatara survive global warming? Global Change Biology 16: 60-72.
Andrewartha, S. J., Mitchell, N. J. and Frappell, P. B. 2008. Phenotypic differences in terrestrial frog embryos: effect of water potential and phase. Journal of Experimental Biology 211, 3800-3807.
Mitchell, N. J., Kearney, M. R., Nelson, N. J. and Porter, W. P. 2008. Predicting the fate of a living fossil: how will global warming affect sex determination and hatching phenology in tuatara? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 275, 2186-2193.
Hoare, J. M., Pledger, S., Keall, S. N., Nelson, N. J., Mitchell, N. J. and Daugherty, C. H. 2006. Conservation implications of a disproportionate decline of female body condition in the Brothers Island tuatara, Sphenodon guntheri. Animal Conservation 9, 456-462.
Mitchell, N.J., Nelson, N.J., Cree, A., Pledger, S., Keall, S.N. and Daugherty, C.H. 2006. Support for a unique pattern of temperature-dependent sex determination in archaic reptiles: evidence from two species of tuatara (Sphenodon). Frontiers in Zoology 2006, 3:9.
Mitchell, N.J. 2005. Nest switching in an Australian toadlet (Pseudophryne bibroni): do males respond to chemical signals? Herpetological Review 36: 19-21.
Bell, B.D., Carver, S., Mitchell, N.J. and Pledger, S. 2004. The recent decline of a New Zealand endemic: how and why did populations of Archey’s frog Leiopelma archeyi crash over 1996-2001? Biological Conservation 120: 193-203.
Mitchell, N.J. and Seymour, R.S. 2003. The effects of nest temperature, nest substrate and clutch size on the oxygenation of embryos and larvae of the Australian moss frog, Bryobatrachus nimbus. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 76: 60-71.
Mitchell, N.J. 2002. Low tolerance of embryonic desiccation in the terrestrial nesting frog Bryobatrachus nimbus (Anura: Myobatrachinae). Copeia 102: 364-373.
Mitchell, N.J. 2002. Nest site selection in a terrestrial-breeding frog with protracted development. Australian Journal of Zoology 50: 225-236.
Mitchell, N.J. 2001. The energetics of endotrophic development in the frog Geocrinia vitellina (Anura: Myobatrachinae). Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 74: 832-842.
Mitchell, N.J. 2001. Males call more from wetter nests: effects of substrate water potential on reproductive behaviours of terrestrial toadlets. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B 268: 87-93.
Seymour, R.S., Roberts, J.D., Mitchell, N.J. and Blaylock, A.J. 2000. Influence of environmental oxygen on development and hatching of aquatic eggs of the Australian Frog, Crinia georgiana. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 73:501-507.
Mitchell, N.J., and R.S. Seymour. 2000. Effects of temperature on the energy cost and timing of embryonic and larval development of the terrestrially breeding moss frog, Bryobatrachus nimbus. Physiological and Biochemical Zoology 73:829-840.
Green, B., Libke, J., Mitchell, N. and Newgrain, K. 1999. Validation of 22Na sodium turnover in estimating sodium and food intake in an amphibian (Bufo marinus). Copeia 1999:487-490.
Mitchell N. and Swain R. 1996. Terrestrial development in the Tasmanian frog, Bryobatrachus nimbus (Anura: Myobatrachinae): larval development and a field staging table. Papers and Proceedings of the Royal Society of Tasmania 130: 75-80.
- Roles, responsibilities and expertise
- Climate change adaptation
Temperature-dependent sex determination
Nest site selection
Water balance physiology
- Funding received
- 2012-15 Western Australian Marine Science Association (with DEC and CSIRO)
2011-12 National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
2010 Australian Academy of Sciences
2009-12 ARC Linkage (with DEC and Perth Zoo)
2008 FNAS start-up grant for research initiatives
2008 Australian Geographic Society
2007 UWA Small Grant
2005-8 ARC Discovery (APD Fellowship)
2002 Journal of Experimental Biology Travelling Fellowship
2000-1 Royal Society (London) Banks Alecto Fellowship
- Previous positions
- 2005-9 ARC Postdoctoral Fellow (University of Western Australia)
2005 University of Western Australia Postdoctoral Fellowship (declined)
2003 La Trobe University Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
2003 Visiting Research Fellow, Australian National University
2002 Visiting Research Fellow, Colorado State University
2000 Visiting Research Fellow, Victoria University of Wellington
- Course coordinator
BIOL 1130 Core Concepts in Biology
BIOL 1131 Plant and Animal Biology
ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity
SCI5501 Advanced modelling
Currently I supervise or co-supervise six PhD students (Sophie Arnall, Jamie Tedeschi, Hasnein bin Tareque, Christine Groom, Leia Howes and Anna Carter (VUW, New Zealand), MSc student Marie Dade and honours student Jessica Stubbs.
- Current external positions
- Steering Committee member, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility - Terrestrial Biodiversity
- Useful links
- Current projects
- Mechanistic models of assisted colonization in the Western Swamp Tortoise
Predicting the impacts of climate change on marine turtles in Western Australia
Honest signalling in terrestrial breeding frogs
Dissociated breeding in turtle frogs
- Research profile
Research profile and publications