Renee’s project centres around understanding the tremendous diversity in Australia s largest genus of Myobatrachid frogs Uperoleia. The genus is currently divided into 26 described species, which range from Vic to QLD, and across northern Australia to Carnarvon in WA. The descriptions of species have been based on very subtle morphological and call differences, and locality, but many of the species are poorly known and have only a few specimens. Renee hopes to generate a substantial molecular data set for all species within Uperoleia in order to define species limits, identify cryptic lineages that may represent new species, and better describe the true distributions for each species.
One objective of this study is to model probable distributions under both current and future climate scenarios. This will focus specifically on species whose primary distribution is in reserve systems or other protected areas. The intent is to identify areas where the undisturbed habitat of the reserve currently appears essential to the persistence of the species, but that are at risk of being displaced under future climate models. This information can be used for the development of future reserve systems to ensure the preservation of species through an ability to migrate in response to climatic events.