About me

Hello there, and welcome to my webpage!


Me doing fieldwork in the Nillahcootie NutNet site (VIC Australia), with a little helper!

My name is Esti Palma. I am an ecologist, with a particular interest on biological invasions. For the last few years, I have been working as a researcher at the University of Melbourne, both within the School of Ecosystem and Forest Sciences and the School of BioSciences. My research projects range from understanding patterns of invasions, to critically evaluating analytical approaches, to helping local governments achieve their biodiversity goals. Some of my key academic collaborators include Luis Mata, Amy Hahs, Jane Catford, Peter Vesk and James Camac. If you are keen on reading more about my past and current projects, feel free to check out the tab ‘Research Interests’.

I was awarded a PhD degree by the University of Melbourne in 2020. My thesis Opportunities and limitations of the use of functional traits to understand plant invasions asked several questions about the use of functional traits to understand, and draw generalities, about plant invasion causes and mechanisms. During my time as a PhD student, I was extremely lucky to be supervised (and mentored!) by Jane Catford (King’s College London) and Peter Vesk (University of Melbourne).  

Before moving to Australia, I completed a master’s degree on ‘Biodiversity management and conservation’ at the University of Barcelona. It was at this time that my curiosity about biological invasions arouse and I began to look into the many theories that have been developed to explain why invasions take place. I worked with samples of the asterid herb Senecio phterophorus from it native range in South Africa as well as its introduced range in Spain and SE Australia to explore the ‘Enemy release hypothesis’.­


1 thought on “About me

  1. Pingback: #EMAPI2015 & #IOCET2015: upcoming Qaeco talks | The Quantitative & Applied Ecology Group

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