Doctor Michael Franklin

Michael FranklinI am an ecologist broadly interested in the proximate and ultimate effects of anthropogenic land use and climate change on the resilience of species and ecosystems. I work to gain understanding of the ecological processes and interactions that are influential on the conservation of species and communities. This approach was embedded in my Honours and PhD research, which was directed at increasing understanding of mechanisms and processes underpinning avian responses to contrasting fire regimes in natural landscapes.

The focus of my postdoctoral research is on enhancing the health and resilience of threatened Sydney Basin ecosystems, and optimising management practices to enhance their biodiversity. This work will support restoration and conservation outcomes for the Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan. I come to the HIE directly from senior technical and casual academic roles in teaching, research and engagement for the School of Science, Western Sydney University. In these roles, I contributed to a diverse range of research projects in areas such as conservation and landscape ecology, with many of these conducted on the Cumberland Plain.

Areas of research/teaching expertise

Avian ecology, conservation biology, ecological restoration, environmental science, fire ecology, landscape ecology.

Selected awards


  • 2022 - Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health Student Travel Grant, University of Wollongong
  • 2019 - Stuart Leslie Conference Award, Birdlife Australia
  • 2018 - Australian Government Research Training Program PhD Scholarship 2018, University of Wollongong
  • 2012 - University Medal for Outstanding Scholarship (BSc Hons), Western Sydney University
  • 2010 - Honours Scholarship, Western Sydney University


  • 2022 - Vice Chancellors Professional Development Scholarship, Western Sydney University
  • 2020 - School of Science Staff Excellence Award (team award), Western Sydney University
  • 2019 - Learning and Teaching Award - Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning (team award), Western Sydney
  • 2016 - Vice Chancellors Professional Development Scholarship, Western Sydney University
  • 2014 - Vice Chancellors Excellence Award for University Engagement (team award), Western Sydney University

Selected publications

Franklin MJM, Major RE, Bradstock RA, (2023) ‘Canopy cover mediates the effects of a decadal increase in time since fire on arboreal birds’, Biological Conservation, vol.277, Article no.109871

Franklin MJM, Major RE, Bedward M, Price OF, Bradstock RA, (2022) ‘Forest avifauna exhibit enduring responses to historical high-severity wildfires’, Biological Conservation, vol.269, Article no.109545

Franklin MJM, Major RE, Bedward M, Bradstock RA, (2021) ‘Relative avian mobility linked to use of fire-affected resources in forested landscapes’, Forest Ecology and Management, vol.497, Article no.119484

Franklin MJM, Major RE, Bradstock RA, (2021) ‘How much survey effort is required to assess bird assemblages in fire-prone eucalypt forests using acoustic recorders?’, Wildlife Research, vol.48, no.5, pp 414-421

Franklin MJM, Major RE, Bedward M, Bradstock RA (2020) ‘Establishing the adequacy of recorded acoustic surveys of forest bird assemblages’, Avian Conservation and Ecology, vol.15, no.1, Article no.8

Old JM, Lin SH, Franklin MJM, (2019) ‘Mapping out bare-nosed wombat (Vombatus ursinus) burrows with the use of a drone’, BMC Ecology, vol.19, Article no.39

Burgin S, Franklin MJM, Hull L, (2016) ‘Wetland loss in the transition to urbanisation: a case study from western Sydney, Australia’, Wetlands, vol.36, pp 985-994

Franklin MJM, Morris EC, Major RE, (2014) ‘Relationships between time since fire and honeyeater abundance in montane heathland’, Emu, vol.114, pp 61-68