Brock Hedges

Mr Brock Hedges

Higher Degree by Research Candidate

PhD Candidate

School of Biological Sciences

Faculty of Sciences


My research focuses on the conservation and management of Australia's vulnerable ephemeral freshwater resources. I'm using a combination of modern genetic techniques, and traditional ecological techniques to answer a series of questions regarding Australia's freshwater granite rock-holes (gnammas). During my PhD, I plan to:
• Explore the importance of lentic, ephemeral freshwater ecosystems.
• Identify the fauna associated with the Australian granite gnammas at Hiltaba Nature Reserve and generate a CO1 barcode library that can be used in future studies.
• Test the physiological capacity of the gnamma fauna to resist heat and desiccation to assess community vulnerability under a changing climate.
• Test the impact that that the hierarchical island nature of the gnamma systems has on colonisation of the habitat.
• Determine the degree at which the dispersal capacity of the fauna impacts the genetic diversity of the meta-population.
• Test the use of eDNA as a habitat monitoring tool for the Hiltaba gnammas.
• Determine how the freshwater resources made available by Australian gnammas are used by local vertebrate species, and determine whether management must be implemented to exclude invasive pest species.
I completed my honours in 2018, and was awarded a First Class for my thesis titled "Extremophiles in climate vulnerable environments: Invertebrates in the Eyre Peninsula gnammas."

My research focuses on the conservation and management of Australia's vulnerable ephemeral freshwater resources. I'm using a combination of modern genetic techniques, and traditional ecological techniques to answer a series of questions regarding Australia's freshwater granite rock-holes (gnammas). During my PhD, I plan to:

  • Explore the importance of lentic, ephemeral freshwater ecosystems.
  • Identify the fauna associated with the Australian granite gnammas at Hiltaba Nature Reserve and generate a CO1 barcode library that can be used in future studies.
  • Test the physiological capacity of the gnamma fauna to resist heat and desiccation to assess community vulnerability under a changing climate.
  • Test the impact that that the hierarchical island nature of the gnamma systems has on colonisation of the habitat.
  • Determine the degree at which the dispersal capacity of the fauna impacts the genetic diversity of the gnamma populations.
  • Test the use of eDNA as a habitat monitoring tool for the Hiltaba gnammas.
  • Determine how the freshwater resources made available by Australian gnammas are used by local vertebrate species, and determine whether management must be implemented to exclude invasive pest species.

I completed my honours in 2018, and was awarded a First Class for my thesis titled "Extremophiles in climate vulnerable environments: Invertebrates in the Eyre Peninsula gnammas."

My research is generously funded by the Nature Foundation South Australia, who are also actively collaborating with me at Hiltaba Nature Reserve on the project titled:

'The conservation and management of the Australian freshwater 'gnammas', a keystone, arid-lands habitat.'

To read more about what the NFSA does, visit their website: https://www.naturefoundation.org.au/

I have demonstrated in the following Adelaide University undergraduate courses:

  • Ecological Issues I (2019)
  • Ecology II (2019)
  • Zoology II (2020)
  • Evolution and Diversification of Insects III (2020)
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  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Representative General Committee Biology Society of South Australia Australia
    2019 - ongoing Secretary School of Biological Sciences Postgraduate Association The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 - 2018 Member AES Conference Organising Committee - Student Subcommittee Australian Entomological Society Australia
  • Position: PhD Candidate
  • Email: brock.hedges@adelaide.edu.au
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Benham, floor 1
  • Room: 1 15A
  • Org Unit: School of Biological Sciences

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