Dr Chris Jolly

Key Info

  • Position Title
    Research Associate
  • Section
    Herpetology Collection
    Australian Museum Research Institute

I am as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Charles Sturt University, Sydney, NSW & a Research Associate at the Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW.

I am an ecologists currently focused on studying the impacts of fire on the behaviour, evolution and mortality of animals. More broadly my research intersects behavioural ecology, evolutionary biology and conservation biology.

Although my focus of late has been predominantly mammalian, my personal passion is for herpetology. Currently I am working to improve our understanding the reptilian diversity of northern Australia.


  • PhD, University of Melbourne, based in Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia (2020). The long-term consequences of island arks for endangered species and recipient communities.
  • Bachelor of Science (Biology) (Hons. University Medal), University of Sydney, NSW, Australia (2014). The impact of cane toads on native predators in southern Australia.

Other Appointments

  • IUCN Skink Specialist Group



  • Jolly, C., Moore, H., Cowan, M., Cremona, T., Dunlop, J., Legge, S., Linley, G., Miritis, V., Woinarski, J. & Nimmo, D. (2022) Taxonomic revision reveals potential impacts of Black Summer megafires on a cryptic species. Pacific Conservation Biology. doi.org/10.1071/PC21045


  • Crowe-Riddell, J. M., Jolly, C. J., Goiran, C. & Sanders, K. L. (2021) The sex life aquatic: sexually dimorphic scale mechanoreceptors and tactile courtship in a sea snake Emydocephalus annulatus (Elapidae: Hydrophiinae). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, blab069, https://doi.org/10.1093/biolinnean/blab069
  • Jolly, C. J., Smart, A. S., Moreen, J., Webb, J. K., Gillespie, G. R., & Phillips, B. L. (2021). Trophic cascade driven by behavioural fine-tuning as naïve prey rapidly adjust to a novel predator. Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1101/856997
  • de Laive, A. H., Schembri, B., & Jolly, C. J. (2021). Novel habitat associations and seasonality in threatened Mitchell’s water monitors (Varanus mitchelli): Implications for conservation. Austral Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.13029
  • Jolly, C. J., von Takach, B., & Webb, J. K. (2021). Slow life history leaves endangered snake vulnerable to illegal poaching. Scientific Reports. 11: 5380. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-84745-1


  • de Laive, A. H., & Jolly, C. J. (2020). Field observations of a cryptic agamid (Chameleon Dragon Chelosania brunnea Gray, 1845) in semi-arid savanna woodland of northern Australia. Australian Zoologist. https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2020.044
  • Indigo, N. L., Jolly, C. J., Kelly, E., Smith, J., Webb, J. K., & Phillips, B. L. (2021). Effects of learning and adaptation on population viability. Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13691
  • Parkin, T., Jolly, C. J., de Laive, A., & von Takach, B. (2020). Snakes on an urban plain: temporal patterns of snake activity and human-snake conflict in Darwin, Australia. Austral Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.12990
  • Kelly, E., Kenbi Traditional Owners and Rangers, Jolly, C. J., Indigo, N. L., Smart, A., Webb, J. K., & Phillips, B. L. (2020). No outbreeding depression in a trial of targeted gene flow in an endangered Australian marsupial. Conservation Genetics. 1–11. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10592-020-01316-z
  • Jolly, C. J., Webb, J. K., Gillespie, G. R., & Phillips, B. L. (2020). Training fails to elicit behavioural change in a marsupial suffering evolutionary loss of antipredator behaviours. Journal of Mammalogy. 101: 1108–1116. https://doi.org/10.1093/jmammal/gyaa060
  • Jolly, C. J., & Phillips, B. (2020). Effects of rapid evolution due to predator-free conservation on endangered species recovery. Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13521
  • Oliver, P. M., Jolly, C. J., Skipwith, P. L., Tedeschi, L. G., & Gillespie, G. R. (2020). A new velvet gecko (Oedura: Diplodactylidae) from Groote Eylandt, Northern Territory. Zootaxa. 4779: 438–450. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4779.3.10
  • Jolly, C. J. (2020). The long-term consequences of island arks for endangered species and recipient communities. PhD Thesis. University of Melbourne.


  • Jolly, C. J., Webb, J. K., Gillespie, G. R., Hughes, N. K. & Phillips, B. L. (2019). Bias averted: personality may not influence trappability. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology. 73: 129. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00265-019-2742-4


  • Jolly, C. J., Webb, J. K. & Phillips, B. L. (2018). The perils of paradise: an endangered species conserved on an island loses antipredator behaviours within 13 generations. Biology Letters. 14: 20180222. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsbl.2018.0222
  • Jolly, C. J., Kelly, E., Gillespie, G. R., Phillips, B. & Webb, J. K. (2018). Out of the frying pan: reintroduction of toad-smart northern quolls to southern Kakadu National Park. Austral Ecology. 43: 139–149. https://doi.org/10.1111/aec.12551


  • Schembri, B. & Jolly, C. J. (2017). A significant range extension of the unbanded shovel-nosed snake (Brachyurophis incinctus Storr, 1968) in the Einasleigh Uplands. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum. 60: 113–117.


  • Jolly, C. J., Shine, R., & Greenlees, M. J. (2016). The impacts of a toxic invasive prey species (the cane toad, Rhinella marina) on a vulnerable predator (the lace monitor, Varanus varius). Biological Invasions. 18: 1499–1509.


  • Jolly, C. J., Shine, R. & Greenlees, M. J. (2015). The impact of invasive cane toads on native wildlife in southern Australia. Ecology & Evolution. 5: 3879–3894.