Sigrid began her career in Germany working on the population dynamics of pest rodents to develop a model to simulate their population growth for an efficient application of control methods. Her research focused also on the investigation of methods to reduce reproduction of pest rodents by using species-specific pheromones. During post-doctoral fellowships, granted to her by the German Academic Exchange Service and the European Union, Sigrid worked in England and Belgium on the chemical communication of vertebrates in combination with aspects of the spread of rodent borne zoonoses.
Sigrid immigrated to Australia in 1998 and became involved in feral pig management in the tropical lowland rainforest of the Daintree Coast in NE Queensland, and in the conservation of threatened lowland rainforest types while working for the Bush Heritage Australia.
From 2006 to 2009 she had been Associate Lecturer at the Institute for Geobotany of the Wilhelm Leibniz University of Hannover, Germany and the Department of Vegetation Ecology of the Technical University of Munich, Germany, where she lectured on the geology, biogeography, vegetation and conservation of Australia’s ecosystems and conducted field excursions of German students across Australia. This also involved the organization and supervision of research projects on nature conservation aspects of Australia for Bachelor-, Master- and Diploma degrees of German students.
In 2008 she started her position as a lecturer for rainforest ecology at the Centre for Rainforest Studies at The School for Field Studies, and in 2014 she received a professorship of The School for Field Studies.
In 2019, she was a recipient of the Cassowary Award, given annually by the Wet Tropics Management Authority for outstanding conservation work. She received the award for Local Government and Industry Initiative alongside the Department of Environment and Science.
Sigrid is active member of various community conservation groups and governmental environmental advisory groups. Her research is focused on gathering information that supports community and governmentally based conservation projects such as restoration of rainforests, colonization of restored rainforest by wildlife, identification of locations for wildlife road crossings, erosion prevention and roadside vegetation management. She works closely with local wildlife caretakers to study the behavior of orphaned tree-kangaroos for tailored pre-release training.
Academics & Research
1997 - present
International Society of Chemical Ecology;
2000 - present
Australian Ecological Society;
2000 – present
Australian Mammal Society;
2011 – present
Tree-kangaroo and Mammal Group;
Member of the scientific advisory committee of the International Tree-kangaroo Conservation Group
Adjunct Research Fellow at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the James Cook University
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 Strategic Research Plan, which defines an overarching research directive.
This project is linked with Component 1 (Understanding ecological and social systems) and Component 2 (Conflict, vulnerability and change) of CRS’s SRP.
Projects under this topic encompass research on habitat requirements of the two species as well as their social and anti-predator behaviors. Projects are linked with actions for the conservation of the Lumholtz’ tree-kangaroowhich are outlined in the “Community Action Plan for the Conservation of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) and its Habitats 2014 to 2019”, published by the local Tree-kangaroo and Mammal Group, and the “National recovery plan for the Yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) (Petaurus australis unnamed subsp). Research of students at CRS-SFS support the work of the Tablelands National Parks Volunteers, a conservation group involved in habitat surveys of the Yellow-bellied Glider. Results of research projects will feed directly into the development of more effective conservation strategies for these species.
Heise-Pavlov, S. (2015):Evolutionary aspects of the use of predator odors in antipredator behaviors of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi). – In: Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 13, (Eds. Schulte, B. Goodwin, T.), Springer New York, in print
Heise-Pavlov, S.; Anderson, C. and Moshier, A.* (2014):Studying food preferences in captive cryptic folivores can assist in conservation planning: the case of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi). – Australian Mammalogy 36 (2): 200-211.
Heise-Pavlov, S.; Forbes, E.*; Andersen, C. and Prince, M. (2013): Response of Lumholtz’ Tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) to odours from native and introduced terrestrial predators: a preliminary study. In: Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 12, (Eds. East, M.L. and Dehnhard, M.), pp. 269-275, Springer New York
Heise-Pavlov, S.R. and Meade, R.* (2012): Improving reliability of scat counts for abundance and distribution estimations of Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) in its rainforest habitats. – Pacific Conservation Biology18 (3): 153 – 163.
Heise-Pavlov, S.R.; Jackrel, S.L.*and Meeks, S.* (2011): Conservation of a rare arboreal mammal: habitat preferences of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo, Dendrolagus lumholtzi. – Australian Mammalogy 33: 5-12.
Contributions to conservation groups:
To the local Tree-kangaroo and Mammal Group Inc.:
Burchill, S.; Cianelli, M.; Edwards, C.; Grace, R.; Heise-Pavlov, S.; Hudson, D.; Moerman, I. and Smith, K. (2014): Community Action Plan for the Conservation of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) and its habitat 2014-2019.- Malanda, Australia
Expert talk at the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo workshop 2012: “Identification of knowledge gaps and research directions to ensure the future of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo”
Poster at the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo workshop 2012: “Towards a community action plan for Lumholtz Tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)”
To Conservation Volunteers of Australia (CVA):
Talk on the ecology, behavior and conservation of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroos during an open field day of CVA
Annual Meeting of the International Society of Chemical Ecology in Melbourne in August 2013.
Title: “Why do Lumholtz’ tree-kangaroos apply insufficient anti-predatory strategies towards dogs?” co-authored by the former CRS student Jay Goldberg (Dry 2011)
International Tree-kangaroo workshop in Melbourne in October 2013. Title: “Potential roles of semiochemicals in tree-kangaroos – the case study of the Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)” with Clare Anderson and Margit Cianelli as co-authors
International Tree-kangaroo workshop in Melbourne in October 2013. S. Heise-Pavlov co-authored a presentation titled: “Regulat monitoring of captive Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo can assist in conservation planning” based on her research in collaboration with the “Wildlife Habitat” in Port Douglas
At the XIII International Conference on Chemical Signals in Vertebrates 2014, an alumni from CRS-SFS presented a paper “Evolutionary aspects of the use of predator odours in anti-predator strategies of Lumholtz’s Tree-Kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi)” with S.R. Heise-Pavlov as co-author.
Annual Meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation in Cairns in July 2014. Title “Using community and project based records of Lumholtz’s Tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) sightings for conservation planning”
Poster at the XII International Conference on Chemical Signals in Vertebrates as collaborative work with two students, Elizabeth Forbes and Denise Stanton (both Wet 2011). Title: “Responses of Lumholtz’ tree-kangaroos (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) to semiochemicals may contribute to their vulnerability to human induced habitat modifications”
Poster at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation in Cairns in July 2014. Title “Analysis of factors influencing the distribution of road kill of Lumholtz’s tree-kangaroo (Dendrolagus lumholtzi) on the Atherton Tablelands in tropical North Queensland, Australia” in co-authorship with two former CRS students
This project is linked with Component 3 (Effective response to change) of CRS’s SRP.
Research involves the monitoring of restoration sites to identify underlying determinants for the colonization of these sites by small vertebrates and invertebrates. Studies will also assess the effects of the colonization of these sites by small vertebrates and invertebrates on the establishment of ecological functions of these developing sites.
Heise-Pavlov, S., Chizinski, T. & Walker, N.E. (2018). Selection of sap feed trees by yellow-bellied gliders (Petaurus australis) in north-eastern Queensland, Australia – implications for site-specific habitat management. Australian Mammology 40: 10-15.