Ecological Research Centre facility in mountain

Ecological Research Centre

The Ecological Research Centre (ERC) plays an instrumental role in facilitating ecological studies that contribute to conservation, and our understanding of animal and plant biology.

The Ecological Research Centre (ERC) at the University of Wollongong plays an instrumental role in facilitating ecological studies that contribute to conservation, and our understanding of animal and plant biology. The ERC supports innovative researchers from a variety of backgrounds including the University’s own Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Solutions (CSES), the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Life Sciences, and the School of Medicine.

Ecological Research Centre Building with trees in foreground

Our research leaders are experts in a diverse range of fields including marine and freshwater biology, botany, herpetology, forensic entomology, and more. Each year, honours, masters and PhD students join these research teams in various projects at the ERC. Research themes include

  • animal and insect behaviour; including
    • social interaction,
    • courtship behaviour,
    • mate choice and predator avoidance,
    • reproductive biology,
    • impacts of diet on fitness,
  • insect biology and forensics,
  • biology of invasive plants,
  • effects of salinity and climate change on plants and animals

and much more.

2 researchers lookin at a frog

PhD Students

  • Ryan Dallas
  • Daniel Ritchie
  • Shae Jones
  • Zara Anastas


  • Aiden Holt
  • Charlie Gluskie
  •  Jayne Rosskelly

The centre provides a number of facilities which are also available to external collaborators (fees may apply). These facilities include:

  • recirculating marine and freshwater aquaria
  • flexible holding rooms with lighting and temperature controls
  • six aviary spaces
  • four separate climate controlled greenhouse zones
  • and plant growth equipment including incubators and growth chambers with temperature and lighting controls.

View complete listing 

Researcher watering plants in the Ecological Research Centre at UOW

Researchers at the Ecological Research Centre are supported by technical staff, the on-site Veterinarian and online induction and supporting material. ERC staff are responsible for maintaining equipment, ensuring that the facility and animal holding areas are kept clean, monitoring animal health and wellbeing, ordering consumables, facility inductions, and in some cases training researchers in animal techniques, and assisting with procedures or conducting procedures on behalf of researchers. All users are formally inducted to the facility.

Two desktop monitors and keyboards on a  table bench with long leafy plants

All use of animals (Vertebrates, Cephalopods and Decapod Crustaceans) at UOW must be conducted in accordance with The Australian Code for the Care and Use of Animals in Research and Teaching, and relevant state based legislation and permits. Institutional Animal Ethics approval must also be obtained prior to collecting/ordering animals.

Further information, including our animal use statistics and Annual Report Summary can be found on the UOW Animal Ethics page.

Researcher tending to frogs in the frog research facility at UOW

Interested in research?

We welcome new researchers and collaboration with other areas of the University, and external institutions, where appropriate. New researchers wishing to work at the facility can apply via email by contacting the Ecological Research Centre.