My research interests are diverse, but are broadly centred on the conservation biology and ecology of Australian fauna, mainly reptiles. I am particularly interested in understanding the disturbance ecology of species: the threats to their habitat and their impacts. I am also passionate about the positive application of research outcomes - using best science to inform management authorities on guidelines for species conservation.


My current research focuses on better understanding the biology and ecology of an endangered lizard species, the Blue Mountains Water Skink (Eulamprus leuraensis), found only to inhabit a specific type of montane peat swamp in the Eastern highlands of NSW. A major aim of the project is to understand the impacts that alterations in groundwater hydrology have on the ecosystem, in order to better inform management authorities to assist in the conservation of the species.


Gorissen S, Baird IRC, Greenlees M, Sherieff AN, Shine R (2018) Predicting the occurrence of an endangered reptile based on habitat attributes. Pacific Conservation Biology, in press.

Gorissen S, Greenlees M, Shine R (2018) The impact of wildfire on an endangered reptile (Eulamprus leuraensis) in Australian montane swamps. International Journal of Wildland Fire, in press.

Gorissen S, Greenlees M, Shine R (2017) A skink out of water: impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on an Endangered reptile in Australian highland swamps. Oryx, 51(4): 610–618.

Gorissen S, Greenlees M, Shine R (2017) Habitat and Fauna of an Endangered Swamp Ecosystem in Australia’s Eastern Highlands. Wetlands, 37(2): 269–276.
(Supplementary Material)

Gorissen S (2016) Conservation biology of the endangered Blue Mountains Water Skink (Eulamprus leuraensis). PhD thesis, University of Sydney, Australia

2016. Ecological Research and Management Project Summary - Conservation of an endangered swamp lizard. (>Fauna & habitat, NSW, Planning, monitoring & assessment, Research summary, Sydney Sandstone Swamps Forum 2016, Threatened species & communities, Wetland). 

Gorissen S, Mallinson J, Greenlees M & Shine R (2015). The impact of fire regimes on populations of an endangered lizard in montane south-eastern Australia. Austral Ecology, 40: 170-177
(Supporting Information)

Elliott DA, Kim WS, Gorissen S, Halliday GM & Kwok JBJ (2012). Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 and Alternative Splicing in Parkinson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 27: 1004–1011


2017–2020 Environmental Trust & OEH – Practitioners' Research Grant
2015 Australian Wildlife Society – University Research Grant
2015 University of Sydney – Postgraduate Research Support Scheme Scholarship
2014 Ecological Society of Australia – Student Research Award
2014 Ecological Society of Australia – Student Travel Grant
2014 University of Sydney – Postgraduate Research Support Scheme Scholarship
2014 Australian Society of Herpetologists – Student Travel Grant
2013 Paddy Pallin Science Grant, Humane Society International & Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales  – Threatened Species Grant
2012 University of Sydney - Australian Postgraduate Award
2012 University of Sydney - Top-up Scholarship, Shine Lab



“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
- Gary Snyder