Ecosystem Science Council



The Ecosystem Science Council is made up of 11 people from a cross-section of the sectors and ecosystem science-related disciplines described in Foundations for the future:

Prof Glenda Wardle
Council Chairperson

School of Biological Sciences
University of Sydney

Dr Steve Morton
Council Deputy Chairperson

Honorary Fellow

Dr Emma Burns
Council Treasurer

Executive Director
TERN Long Term Ecological Research Network,
Australian National University

Prof Alan Andersen

University Professorial Fellow
Charles Darwin University

Dr Neville Barrett

Senior Academic
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
University of Tasmania

Prof Jenny Davis

Head, School of Environment
Charles Darwin University

Dr Bryony Horton

NPWS, Office of Environment and Heritage, NSW

A/Prof Pauline Mele

Principal Research Scientist
AgriBio, Centre for AgriBioscience
La Trobe University

Dr Noel Preece

Director, Biome5
Adjunct Research Fellow, JCU

Dr Anita Smyth

Data Facilitator
TERN Eco-Informatics
University of Adelaide

A/Prof Torsten Thomas

School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences & Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation
University of New South Wales


The Ecosystem Science Council has a vital role to play in transforming the vision  of Foundations for the future into a reality. The Council will work to advance the goals of Foundations for the future, working with all individuals, groups and organisations within the ecosystem science and management communities.

The key directions in Foundations for the Future identified the need for a new Ecosystem Science Council to offer leadership in implementing the Plan, and facilitating collaboration across the community:

FACILITATING COORDINATION, COLLABORATION AND LEADERSHIP A more collaborative and coordinated ecosystem science community including the formation of an 'Ecosystem Science Council' to offer leadership to implement the Plan, working with all relevant discipline areas, organisations, societies and professions.


The Council is made up of 11 people from a cross-section of the sectors and ecosystem science-related disciplines described in Foundations for the future. This group will work together to oversee the implementation of Foundations for the future, with four key responsibilities:

  • facilitating communication and coordination across the ecosystem science community
  • coordinating the delivery of activities outlined in Foundations for the future
  • seeking resources to support the delivery of activities outline in Foundations for the future, including the activities of the Council itself and other working groups
  • reviewing and evaluating progress towards the goals of Foundations for the future

For more information about the Council, please read the Terms of Reference.


Selection of Council members

The inaugural Council was selected through a two-part process that began with an open vote for candidates by the Australian ecosystem science community. This vote was used to identify the first half of the required members of the Council.

After this, to help ensure diversity and balance across the Council, the outgoing Steering Committee identified the final members of the Council from amongst the remaining candidates according to criteria set out in the Terms of Reference.

Read full details of the selection of the inaugural Council here.

A similar process will be used for selection of future Councils, with an open vote to identify the first half of Council members, and the existing Council members then identifying the final complement of members.

This selection process was chosen to ensure there is openness and transparency in selecting Council members, and to ensure the Council has the support and mandate of the wider ecosystem science community.