LAW, Bradley

Bradley Law

Research interests

  • Bat biology and ecology
  • Forest ecology and sustainability
  • Response of wildlife to forest disturbance
  • Flowering phenology, native nectar resources and pollination


Dr Bradley Law is a Principal Research Scientist in the Forest Science Centre, NSW DPI. Brad's team undertakes scientific research to underpin ecologically sustainable forest management practices, which includes studies of the impact of forest disturbances (logging, fire), the effectiveness of forest management prescriptions and the ecology of threatened species plus the biodiversity benefits of native tree plantings on farms.

Brad has a background in zoology and ecology and his personal research program focuses on aspects of bat ecology, probably the most species diverse group of forest mammals in NSW. An emphasis has been placed on long-term ecological studies, because of the length of life cycles in forest ecosystems. A focus of recent research has been on other small mammals including Eastern Pygmy Possums and Hastings River Mouse. Other studies have investigated the effect of logging on canopy nectar production in eucalypts and he recently published on trends in bird diversity over a 12 year period in eucalypt plantations. He is also interested in urban ecology and has co-supervised a number of postgraduate students in recent years investigating microbats in the urban environment of Sydney as well as other topics. Brad is co-editor of Australia's oldest zoological journal: Australian Zoologist and is on the Editorial board of Acta Chiropterologica.


  • B.Sc. (Hons) – University of Sydney 1986
  • PhD Zoology – University of Sydney 1992
  • ARC Post-doctoral Fellow – James Cook university 1996

Current projects

  • the response of bats to frequent burning at a long-term fire experiment
  • changes in bat survival in relation to climatic extremes and logging at a long-term logging experiment
  • long-term changes in biodiversity in large scale commercial eucalypt plantations established on farms
  • developing methods of monitoring for bats and other taxa
  • habitat modelling of hastings river mouse and its response to logging

Recent publications

Law,B.S., Chidel, M., Brassil, T., Turner, G., Kathuria, A. (2014) Trends in bird diversity over 12 years in response to large-scale eucalypt plantation establishment: Implications for extensive carbon plantings. Forest Ecology and Management 322, 58-68.

Law, B., Chidel, M., Britton, A. and Brassil, T. (2014) Response of eastern pygmy possums, Cercartetus nanus, to selective logging in New South Wales: home range, habitat selection and den use. Wildlife Research40, 470–481.

McConville A., Law B., and Mahony, M. (2013) Are Regional Habitat Models Useful at a Local-Scale? A Case Study of Threatened and Common Insectivorous Bats in South-Eastern Australia. PLoS ONE 8(8): e72420. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0072420.

Waters, C.M., Penman T. D., Hacker R. B., Law B., Kavanagh R. P., Lemckert F., and Alemseged, Y. (2013) Balancing trade-offs between biodiversity and production in the re-design of rangeland landscapes. The Rangeland Journal 35:143-54.

Gonsalves, L., LAW, B., Webb, C., Monamy, V. (2013) Foraging ranges of insectivorous bats shift relative to changes in mosquito abundance. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64081. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064081

Threlfall, C., LAW B., and Banks, P. (2013) The urban matrix and artificial light restricts the nightly ranging behaviour of Gould's long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi). Austral Ecology 8: 921-30.

Threlfall, C., LAW B., and Banks, P. (2013) Roost selection in suburban bushland by the urban sensitive bat Nyctophilus gouldi. Journal of Mammalogy 94: 307-319.

Lentini PE, Gibbons P, Fischer J, LAW B, Hanspach J, and Martin, T. G. (2012) Bats in a farming landscape benefit from linear remnants and unimproved pastures. PLoS ONE 7, e48201. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0048201.

Adams MD, Law BS and French KO (2009) Vegetation structure influences the vertical stratification of open- and edge-space aerial-foraging bats in harvested forests. Forest Ecology and Management 258: 2090-100.

Fischer J, Stott J, Law B, Adams M and Forrester R (2009) Designing effective habitat studies: quantifying multiple sources of variability in bat activity. Acta Chiropterologica 11: 127-37.

Law B and Chidel M (2008) Quantifying the canopy nectar resource and the impact of logging and climate in spotted gum Corymbia maculata forests. Austral Ecology 33: 999-1014.

Slade C and Law B (2008) An experimental test of gating derelict mines to conserve bat roost habitat in southeastern Australia. Acta Chiropterologica 10: 367-376.
Law B and Chidel M (2006) Eucalypt plantings on farms: use by insectivorous bats. Biological Conservation 133: 236-49.

Lloyd A, Law B and Goldingay R (2006) Bat activity on riparian zones and upper slopes in Australian timber production forests and the effectiveness of riparian buffers. Biological Conservation 129: 207-220.

Anderson J, Law B and Tidemann C (2006) Stream use by the large-footed myotis Myotis macropus in relation to environmental variables in northern New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 28:15-26.

Law B, Chidel M and Mong A (2005) Life under a sandstone overhang: the ecology of the Eastern Cave Bat Vespadelus troughtoni in northern New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 27: 137-45.

Law BS (2004) Challenges for the management of bats in State Forests of NSW. Pp 748-60 in the Conservation of Australia's Forest Fauna (2nd edition) edited by D. Lunney, Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Sydney.

Law B and Chidel M (2004) Roosting and foraging ecology of the golden-tipped bat Kerivoula papuensis on the south coast of New South Wales. Wildlife Research 31: 73-82.

Law BS and Chidel M (2002)Tracks and riparian zones facilitate the use of Australian regrowth forest by insectivorous bats.Journal of Applied Ecology 39: 605-17.

Law BS and Chidel M (2001) Bat activity 22 years after first-round intensive logging of alternate coupes near Eden, NSW.Australian Forestry 64: 242-47.

Law, B., Eby, P., Lunney, D. and Lumsden, L. (2011) Biology and Conservation of Australasian Bats. Royal Zoological Society of NSW, Mosman.

Professional associations and activities

  • Member of the Ecological Society of Australia
  • Council Member of Royal Zoological Society of NSW
  • Secretary, Australasian Bat Society

Fields of research

Keyword/phrase list of research interests

  • Forest ecology and disturbance
  • Bat ecology
  • Ecology of threatened species
  • Flowering phenology and nectar