Adam Toomes

Dr Adam Toomes

Postdoc Research Fellow (A)

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences, Engineering and Technology

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD (as Co-Supervisor) - email supervisor to discuss availability.


I adopt a generalist and collaborative approach to research, with a broad skill set ranging from data analytics to vertebrate field trapping and science communication.

My postdoctoral research focuses on the trade of exotic pets and the resulting conservation threats to Australian endemic reptiles. The international wildlife trade is incredibly complex and spans a wide diversity of traded taxa, use-types, political jurisdictions and both physical and online marketplaces. By adopting online and in-person market surveillance techniques, I aim to provide a contemporary characterisation of the poorly understood market for exotic reptiles and improve conservation management for at-risk species.

Other aspects of the international wildlife trade attract my interest, include the drivers of species' desirability and the interactions with livelihoods of local communities. I seek to continue to support evidence-informed management of trade and encourage collaboration between government and academia using an interdisciplinary approach.

  • Journals

    Year Citation
    2024 Hill, K. G. W., Stringham, O. C., Moncayo, S., Toomes, A., Tyler, J. J., Cassey, P., & Delean, S. (2024). Who's a pretty bird? Predicting the traded abundance of bird species in Australian online pet trade. Biological Invasions, 26(4), 975-988.
    DOI Scopus1
    2024 Cardoso, P., Fukushima, C. S., Maxhelaku, A., Poczai, P., Porto, M., Puksas, A., . . . Veríssimo, D. (2024). Reform wildlife trade in the European Union. Science, 383(6687), 1066.
    DOI
    2023 Toomes, A., Moncayo, S., Stringham, O. C., Lassaline, C., Wood, L., Millington, M., . . . Cassey, P. (2023). A snapshot of online wildlife trade: Australian e-commerce trade of native and non-native pets. Biological Conservation, 282, 9 pages.
    DOI Scopus6
    2023 Stringham, O. C., Maher, J., Lassaline, C. R., Wood, L., Moncayo, S., Toomes, A., . . . Cassey, P. (2023). The dark web trades wildlife, but mostly for use as drugs. People and Nature, 5(3), 999-1009.
    DOI Scopus4
    2023 Lassaline, C. R., Stringham, O. C., Moncayo, S., Toomes, A., & Cassey, P. (2023). Untangling the web: dynamics of Australia's online terrestrial invertebrate trade. Austral Entomology, 62(3), 372-387.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS2
    2023 Fukushima, C. S., Toomes, A., Veríssimo, D., & Cardoso, P. (2023). A big and hairy business: Investigating the interplay of species traits and trade dynamics in the tarantula pet market.
    DOI
    2022 Heinrich, S., Toomes, A., Shepherd, C. R., Stringham, O. C., Swan, M., & Cassey, P. (2022). Strengthening protection of endemic wildlife threatened by the international pet trade: the case of the Australian shingleback lizard. Animal Conservation, 25(1), 91-100.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS6
    2022 Toomes, A., García‐Díaz, P., Stringham, O. C., Ross, J. V., Mitchell, L., & Cassey, P. (2022). Drivers of the Australian native pet trade: the role of species traits, socioeconomic attributes and regulatory systems. Journal of Applied Ecology, 59(5), 1268-1278.
    DOI Scopus8 WoS4
    2022 Stringham, O., Maher, J., Lassaline, C., Wood, L., Moncayo, S., Toomes, A., . . . Hill, K. (2022). The dark web trades wildlife, but mostly for use as drugs.
    DOI
    2021 Stringham, O., García‐Díaz, P., Toomes, A., Mitchell, L., Ross, J., & Phill. (2021). Reptile smuggling is predicted by trends in the legal exotic pet trade.
    DOI
    2021 Stringham, O., Moncayo, S., Hill, K., Toomes, A., Mitchell, L., Ross, J., & Phill. (2021). Text classification to streamline online wildlife trade analyses.
    DOI
    2021 Stringham, O. C., Moncayo, S., Hill, K. G. W., Toomes, A., Mitchell, L., Ross, J. V., & Cassey, P. (2021). Text classification to streamline online wildlife trade analyses.. PloS one, 16(7), 1-12.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS6 Europe PMC1
    2021 Stringham, O. C., García-Díaz, P., Toomes, A., Mitchell, L., Ross, J. V., & Cassey, P. (2021). Live reptile smuggling is predicted by trends in the legal exotic pet trade. Conservation Letters, 14(6), 10 pages.
    DOI Scopus16 WoS5
    2021 Stringham, O., Moncayo, S., Thomas, E., Heinrich, S., Toomes, A., Maher, J., . . . Shepherd, C. (2021). Dataset of seized wildlife and their intended uses.
    DOI
    2021 Toomes, A., García‐Díaz, P., Stringham, O., Ross, J., Mitchell, L., & Phill. (2021). Drivers of the live pet trade: the role of species traits, socioeconomic attributes and regulatory systems.
    DOI
    2021 Fukushima, C. S., Tricorache, P., Toomes, A., Stringham, O. C., Rivera-Téllez, E., Ripple, W. J., . . . Cardoso, P. (2021). Challenges and perspectives on tackling illegal or unsustainable wildlife trade. Biological Conservation, 263, 1-10.
    DOI Scopus38
    2021 Cardoso, P., Amponsah-Mensah, K., Barreiros, J. P., Bouhuys, J., Cheung, H., Davies, A., . . . Fukushima, C. S. (2021). Scientists' warning to humanity on illegal or unsustainable wildlife trade. Biological Conservation, 263, 1-9.
    DOI Scopus40
    2021 Stringham, O. C., Moncayo, S., Thomas, E., Heinrich, S., Toomes, A., Maher, J., . . . Cassey, P. (2021). Dataset of seized wildlife and their intended uses. Data in Brief, 39, 107531.
    DOI Scopus4 WoS1
    2021 Heinrich, S., Toomes, A., & Janssen, J. (2021). Legal or unenforceable? Violations of trade regulations and the case of the Philippine Sailfin Lizard Hydrosaurus pustulatus (Reptilia: Squamata: Agamidae). Journal of Threatened Taxa, 13(6), 18532-18543.
    DOI Scopus4
    2020 Stringham, O., Toomes, A., Kanishka, A., Mitchell, L., Heinrich, S., Ross, J., & Phill. (2020). A guide to using the Internet to monitor and quantify the wildlife trade.
    DOI
    2020 Toomes, A., Garcíadíaz, P., Wittmann, T. A., Virtue, J., & Cassey, P. (2020). New aliens in Australia: 18 years of vertebrate interceptions. Wildlife Research, 47(1), 55-67.
    DOI Scopus12 WoS9
    2020 Heinrich, S., Toomes, A., & Gomez, L. (2020). Valuable stones: The trade in porcupine bezoars. Global Ecology and Conservation, 24, 9 pages.
    DOI Scopus7 WoS3
    2020 Toomes, A., Stringham, O. C., Mitchell, L., Ross, J., & Cassey, P. (2020). Australia's wish list of exotic pets: biosecurity and conservation implications of desired alien and illegal pet species. NEOBIOTA, 60(60), 43-59.
    DOI Scopus18 WoS12
    2020 Stringham, O. C., Toomes, A., Kanishka, A. M., Mitchell, L., Heinrich, S., Ross, J. V., & Cassey, P. (2020). A guide to using the Internet to monitor and quantify the wildlife trade.. Conserv Biol, 35(4), 1130-1139.
    DOI Scopus49 WoS33 Europe PMC12

I have over four years of experience as a marker and demonstrator across five undergraduate courses at The University of Adelaide, with teaching activities including arid vertebrate field surveys and statistical analysis methods.

  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2023 Co-Supervisor Untangling the Web: Dynamics of the Australian Terrestrial Invertebrate Trade Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Charlotte Rachel Lassaline
    2023 Co-Supervisor Assessing the extent to which third party regulatory activities impact online illicit wildlife trade. Doctor of Philosophy under a Jointly-awarded Degree Agreement with Doctorate Full Time Miss Ashley Jean Allen
  • Other Supervision Activities

    Date Role Research Topic Location Program Supervision Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Quantitative identification of preferentially selected habitat variables of Egernia cunninghami: Testing the feasibility of photogrammetry as a non-invasive habitat survey method The University of Adelaide - Honours Full Time Courtney Morris
  • Mentoring

    Date Topic Location Name
    2021 - 2021 Examining the Role of Trust in Online Illicit Wildlife Trade The University of Adelaide Ashley Allen
    2020 - 2022 Fragmentation and Habitat Degradation, Estimating Population Connectivity of a Threatened species: Egernia cunninghami The University of Adelaide Brayden Hunt
    2020 - 2022 Participatory modelling of little corella (Cacatua sanguinea) populations in South Australia. The University of Adelaide Leslie Marker
  • Position: Postdoc Research Fellow (A)
  • Phone: 83133042
  • Email: adam.toomes@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Benham, floor G
  • Org Unit: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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