Amanda Freeman, Ph.D.


Research Fellow




Ph.D. in Animal Ecology,
Lincoln University (New Zealand)

M.S. in Resource Management,
University of Canterbury (New Zealand)

B.S. in Zoology, minor in Environmental Planning and Environmental Law,
University of Auckland (New Zealand)


SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3540 Rainforest Management Studies in Australia and New Zealand
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3550 Techniques for Rainforest Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Staff Profile

I grew up in New Zealand where I undertook my university education and worked in a variety of roles; as a Scientific Observer on foreign fishing vessels, for the Department of Conservation where I first became involved in ecological restoration, and as an assistant natural history curator. Since moving to Australia in 1997 I have lived and worked in Queensland’s Wet Tropics. Initially I worked for the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the first Wet Tropics NRM Board, roles that gave me a broad introduction to the region. In 2001 I joined SFS at the Centre for Rainforest Studies where I taught across subject areas and later served as Centre Director from 2006 – 2008. Between 2008 and 2012, I worked on the Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility (MTSRF) project “Restoring Tropical Forest Landscapes” through Griffith University and undertook small consultancy projects in ecological research, monitoring and education. In 2012 I returned to SFS, taking up the Centre Director role once more, until 2019, when I took up the role of Research Fellow.

My main research interests are in the fields of restoration and threatened species management, both from an ecological and sociological perspective. My current work focuses on the ecological values of restoration, particularly for birds, and how landscape context influences re-colonisation of rainforest restoration sites by fauna. I am also examining the impacts of tropical cyclones, and the potential impacts of climate change, on an endemic frugivore, the Tooth-billed bowerbird.

Academics & Research

Professional Activities

  • Adjunct Researcher, Griffith University
  • Member Birdlife Australia (1996 –present)
  • Member Trees for the Evelyn and Atherton Tablelands (1997-present)
  • Member Tree Kangaroo and Mammal Group (1998 - present)

Research Interests

The research conducted at SFS field stations is designed to answer key questions related to critical and related social and environmental problems and to provide our hosts with detailed and accurate information for decision making and action. Faculty and student research projects are linked to the Center’s Five-Year Research Plan, which defines an overarching research directive.

Research Projects

Tooth-billed bowerbirds are an upland Wet Tropics endemic species expected to be vulnerable to climate change. Between 2004 and 2007, Directed Research projects were conducted at CRS focusing on the habitat requirements of this species and the short-term effects of tropical cyclone Larry (2006). Additional data is being collected for longer-term monitoring of cyclone and climate/habitat effects. It is expected that DRs will be conducted in this topic in the Fall 2015 semester.

Freeman, A. N. D., and M. F. Vinson#. 2008. The effect of Tropical Cyclone Larry on tooth-billed bowerbird Scenopoeetes dentirostris court attendance and decoration. Austral Ecology 33: 570-572.

Vinson#, M. F., and A. N. D. Freeman. 2006. Tooth-billed bowerbirds established in a lek in Acacia regrowth forest. Sunbird 36.

The “Kickstart” Pasture Conversion Project includes trials of methods to encourage natural regeneration including suppression of grass and weed competition via herbicide application and the placement of artificial habitat structures (bird perches and water troughs) to attract frugivores. I am examining bird-mediated seed dispersal in these sites and also conduct an annual assessment of the bird communities utilizing the Kickstart sites for comparison with similar-aged conventional revegetation sites and primary forest.



Amanda N. D. Freeman1, 2, Carla Catterall2, Kylie Freebody3, 2, Michael Montenero#1, Catherine Moran4, 5, Luke P. Shoo6

1The School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies, Yungaburra, Australia; 2Environmental Futures Research Institute, School of Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia; 3Tablelands Community Revegetation Unit, Tablelands Regional Council, Malanda, Australia; 4School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, James Cook University, Cairns, Australia; 5Ecosystem Sciences, CSIRO, Atherton, Australia; 6School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia. Symposium paper at Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) conference, Cairns, 20-24 July 2014.


Amanda N. D. Freeman1,2, Lucas Von Der Linden*1,3

1The School for Field Studies, Centre for Rainforest Studies, Yungaburra, Australia; 2School of Environment, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia; 3University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, USA

Poster paper at Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC) conference, Cairns, 20-24 July 2014.



Catterall, C. P., Freeman, A. N. D., Kanowski, J. & Freebody, K. 2012. Biological Conservation 146: 53-61.
Craig, M. D.; Freeman, A. N. D. & Seabrook#, L. S. 2007. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland 113: 3-7.
Freeman, A.B.^., and A. N.D. Freeman. 2009. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 4: 252-260.
Freeman, A. N. D., A. B. Freeman^ and S. Burchill 2009. Emu 109: 331-338.
Freeman, A. N. D., K. Pias*, and M. F. Vinson#. 2008. Austral Ecology 33: 532-540.
Freeman, A. N. D., and L. S. Seabrook#. 2006. Ecological Management & Restoration 7: 63-65.
Vinson#, M. F., and A. N. D. Freeman. 2006. Sunbird 36.