Staff Profiles


Trudi L. Mullett

Post Doctoral Research Fellow
Ph.D., Deakin University, Australia, 2000




Phone (+61) 02 6246 5498
Fax: (+61) 02 6246 5249


Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research
CSIRO Plant Industry
GPO Box 1600
Canberra ACT 2601




My research addresses the impacts of invasive plants, or environmental weeds, on native vegetation communities. Environmental weed invasions are widely regarded as a serious threat to the biodiversity values of natural Australian ecosystems. However, few studies to date have quantitatively assessed the biodiversity impacts of environmental weed invasions on invaded Australian ecosystems. In the absence of empirical evidence, the impacts of environmental weed invasions are largely assumed and management priorities may be misdirected.

My research has focused on quantifying the impacts imposed on native plant communities by two of the most notorious fleshy-fruited weed species in south east Australia; the tall native shrub, Pittosporum undulatum (Sweet Pittosporum), and the spreading South African shrub, Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata. Specific aspects addressed in these studies include the quantification of weed invasion impacts on plant species richness, community cover and community composition. Impacts on soil-stored seed banks and disparate invasion effects on various guilds and the broader implications for community restoration are also addressed.

An experiment investigating the response of Bitou Bush and native species to combinations of smoke and heat treatments is currently in progress. The key purpose of this experiment is to determine the efficacy of smoke in stimulating germination of native species and Bitou Bush as a potential surrogate for prescribed burning stimulus as the latter approach is difficult to implement in most management situations.


  • Mullett T. L. (in press) Pittosporum undulatum Vent. (Pittosporaceae) A Review. Biology of Australian Weeds series. Plant Protection Quarterly.

  • Mullett T. L. (2001) Effects of the native environmental weed Pittosporum undulatum Vent. (sweet pittosporum) on plant biodiversity. Plant Protection Quarterly 16, 117-21.

  • Mullett T. L. & Weber R. (2000) Trend analysis for native vegetation in the Goulburn Broken Catchment. Background Paper for the Goulburn Broken Catchment Native Vegetation Strategy. GBCMA, Victoria.

  • Mullett T. L. (1999) Some characteristics of a native environmental weed: Pittosporum undulatum. In: Proceedings of the 12th Australian Weeds Conference, Hobart (eds A. C. Bishop, M. Boersma and C. D. Barnes), pp. 592-5. Tasmanian Weed Society, Devonport.

  • Mullett T. L. (1998) A Survey of the Farming Community's Response to Rising Water-tables and other Farm Management Issues, 1996 to 1998: A Report to the Goulburn Murray Landcare Network. Goulburn Murray Landcare Network, Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Victoria.

  • Grant J., Mullett T. & Winters B. (1996) Weeds: An Activity Kit for Schools. Gould League of Victoria Inc. and Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Victoria.

  • Mullett T. & Simmons D. (1995) The ecological impacts of sweet pittosporum (Pittosporum undulatum Vent.) in dry sclerophyll forest communities, Victoria. Plant Protection Quarterly 10, 131-8.


Weed Impacts on Biodiversity