Dr Boyd Wright

Research Fellow , Fire Ecology - School of Environmental and Rural Science

Boyd Wright

Mobile: 0478 159 239

Email: bwright4@une.edu.au


I am a plant ecologist with a strong research focus on fire ecology and arid Australian ecosystems. I am particularly interested in how arid zone fires influence ecosystem processes and drive trait evolution in plants. In another life, I work as an interpreter and translator for Aboriginal tribal groups of west-central Australia and the Gibson Desert. With these people, I conduct research on ethnobotany, language and edible insects.


  • 2011 Para-professional interpreter accreditation for the Pintupi-Luritja language with the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Interpreter ID: CPN9LM20V
  • 2007 Doctor of Philosophy (Ecology), University of New England, Armidale, NSW. Thesis title: The fire ecology of the spinifex (Triodia spp.) hummock grasslands of Central Australia
  • 2001 Bachelor of Science (Ecology) Hons (1st Class), University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld. Thesis title: The ecological effects of fire on the Mitchell grasslands (Astrebla spp.) of western Queensland
  • 2000 Bachelor of Australian Environmental Science, Griffith University, Brisbane, Qld.

Teaching Areas

  • Ecology, Botany

Research Interests

  • Fire ecology
  • Mast seeding
  • Seed bank ecology
  • Ethnobotany
  • Edible insects


Google Scholar link

Selected Publications
  1. Wright, B.R. 2018. Evidence that shrublands and hummock grasslands are fire-mediated alternative stable states in the Australian Gibson Desert. Oecologia https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-018-4215-2
  2. Wright, B.R. and P.J. Clarke. 2018. Germination biologies and seedbank dynamics of Acacia shrubs in the Western Desert: implications for fire season impacts on recruitment. Australian Journal of Botany 66: 278-285
  3. Wright, B.R., and R.J. Fensham. 2017. Fire timing in relation to masting: an important determinant of post-fire recruitment in the obligate-seeding soft spinifex (Triodia pungens). Annals of Botany 121: 119-128
  4. Wright, B.R., and R.J. Fensham. 2017. High-severity burning after strong mast years triggers mass recruitment of a fire-sensitive desert shrub. American Journal of Botany 104: 1474-1483
  5. Wright, B.R., and R. J. Fensham. 2016. Relationships between fire severity and recruitment in arid grassland dominated by the obligate-seeding soft spinifex (Triodia pungens). International Journal of Wildland Fire 25: 1264-1272
  6. Yen, A., M. Flavel, C. Bilney, L. Brown, S. Butler, K. Crossing, M. Jois, Y. Napaltjarri, Y. Napaltjarri, P. West, B.R. Wright. 2016. The bush coconut (scale insect gall) as food at Kiwirrkurra, Western Australia. Journal of Insects as Food and Feed 2: 293-299
  7. Davies, J., Race, D., and B.R. Wright. 2016. Innovation in Australian rangelands. A Special Issue from the 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society. The Rangeland Journal 36: 529-533
  8. Wright, B.R., P.K. Latz and A.F. Zuur. 2016. Fire severity mediates seedling recruitment patterns in slender mulga (Acacia aptaneura), a fire-sensitive Australian desert shrub with heat-stimulated germination. Plant Ecology 217: 789-791
  9. Butler, S.N., K. Crossing, Y.N. Ward, B. Wright,and A.L. Yen. 2015. Yara Makutjarra Palya: Story about edible grubs. Tjamu Tjamu Aboriginal Corporation. Kiwirrkurra, WA.
  10. Wright B.R., and A.F. Zuur. 2014. Seedbank dynamics after masting in mulga (Acacia aptaneura): implications for post-fire management. Journal of Arid Environments 107: 10−17
  11. Wright, B. R., A.F. Zuur, and G. Chan. 2014. Proximate causes and possible adaptive functions of mast seeding and barren flowers shows in spinifex grasses (Triodia spp.) in arid regions of Australia. The Rangeland Journal 36: 297−308 (impact factor: 1.19).
  12. Wright, B. R., P. Mukhia and B. Tandin. 2014. The mast seeding plants of Bhutan. Proceedings of the Bhutan Ecological Society, 1, 23−32
  13. Price, J.N., B.R. Wright, C.L. Gross, R.D.B. Whalley. 2010. Comparison of seedling emergence and seed extraction techniques for estimating the composition of soil seed banks. Methods in Ecology and Evolution 1: 151−157