Members

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.

                                         

Chair

Professor Glenda Wardle
School of Life and Environmental Sciences
University of Sydney

Glenda is a professor of ecology and evolution at the University of Sydney where she leads the Desert Ecology Research Group (a partner in LTERN) and teaches ecology and conservation.Glenda is passionate about the ecology of plants and animals but most especially long-term field studies and population modeling. She was a founding member of the team that developed Australia’s Ecosystem Science Long-Term Plan and formerly the Vice President for Research of the Ecological Society of Australia.  She is a member of the international scientific steering committees in population biology (PlantPopNet and COMPADRE) and the Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (TERN) facilities: AusPlots, eMAST and EcoInformatics. Glenda is keen to see that the science of ecosystems delivers knowledge that strengthens and supports the wellbeing of all Australians.

Nomination statement

Deputy Chair

Professor Alan Andersen
Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods
Charles Darwin University

Prof Andersen is a Professorial Fellow with the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University. He was previously a Chief Research Scientist with CSIRO Land & Water, and Officer-in-Charge of CSIRO’s Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre in Darwin for 20 years, leading a team of ecologists, socio-ecologists, economists, students and support staff with a mission to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits to northern Australia. Prof Andersen’s primary research interests are in the global ecology of ant communities, where he integrates systematics, community ecology and historical and contemporary biogeography to gain a predictive understanding of ant diversity, productivity and functional composition in relation to environmental stress and disturbance.

Nomination statement

Secretary

Dr Bryony Horton
NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Bryony is a Senior Scientist within Ecosystem Science Branch of Science Division, Office of Environment and Heritage. Bryony provides strategic, analytical and scientific advice for scientific programs and monitoring projects relating to Saving Our Species, the NSW Government’s threatened species program. Previously she has worked in consulting, non-profit and other governmental roles related to conservation science and management. Bryony’s doctorate explored ecosystem health through understanding eucalypt forest dieback and nutrient pathways related to symbiotic fungi. Her interest remains in understanding ecosystem functions and their management to maintain and restore ecosystem health.

Nomination statement

Treasurer

Dr Noel Preece
James Cook University and Charles Darwin University

Noel is an environmental scientist and conservation ecologist working in northern and central Australian ecosystems, fauna, vegetation, fire ecology, pests, restoration and carbon sequestration. He is a Director of Biome5 Environmental Consultants. He was Principal Environmental Scientist and Director of EcOz for 18 years and has directed major environmental impact assessment projects and many smaller projects in Qld, NT and WA. He has long involvement with indigenous enterprises, and has conducted many biodiversity surveys in WA, NT and Qld. Noel holds a PhD on Indigenous Ecological Knowledge. His MSc was on ecology of desert fauna. Noel was a Chief Investigator on a JCU ARC Linkage project on secondary regrowth in Nth Qld, is researching and implementing large-scale rainforest restoration (ARC-Linkage Principal Investigator), and studying the causes of faunal declines across the savanna region. Noel is an Adjunct Associate Professor (TESS, JCU), and University Fellow (RIEL, CDU). Noel is also a Director of the Ecological Society of Australia.

Nomination statement

Member

Dr Mark Lonsdale
Fenner School for Environment and Society
Australian National University

Mark is an Honorary Professor at the Fenner School for Environment and Society, Australian National University. He has studied plant ecology at the University of East Anglia UK and taught at the Federal University of Technology Nigeria. He joined CSIRO in 1984 and has been Chief of the Ecosystems Science Division and later led CSIRO’s $28M p.a. biodiversity research portfolio in Canberra. He has held various roles including inaugural co-chair of the Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of IPBES (2013-2018), Professorial Fellow at Charles Darwin University, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University, and Chair of the Independent Technical Reference Group, Kosciuszko National Park Wild Horse Management Plan. Enhancing relationships between scientists and end users, especially policy makers, and generating strong and enduring leadership for the ecosystem science community are areas of interest to Mark.

Nomination statement

Member

Associate Professor Pauline Mele
AgriBio, Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources (DEDJTR) and La Trobe University

Pauline is an Associate Professor at AgrioBio, a partnership involving DEDJTR and LaTrobe University and leads a National Soil Biology Initiative with support from the Grains industry and several research organisations. Her research interests are in microbial ecology, plant microbe interactions, -omics technologies and bioinformatics. She is passionate about the need to engage the community and apply systems thinking to solve ‘wicked’ problems associated with protecting Australia’s soils and the diversity contained within.

Nomination statement

Member

Dr Steve Morton
Charles Darwin University

Steve is an Honorary Professorial Fellow with Charles Darwin University, Alice Springs. He studied at the Universities of Melbourne, California, Irvine and Sydney. He joined CSIRO in Alice Springs to work in the desert environment that has long been his focus. Subsequently he helped lead CSIRO as Chief of Division and Executive Team member. In 2011 he returned to live in Alice Springs from where he serves on a variety of boards and committees relating to environmental and natural resource management.

Nomination statement

Member

Dr Dan Rogers
SA Department of Environment and Water

Dan is a Principal Ecologist in the South Australian Department for Environment and Water. His role involves providing strategic ecological advice to government, natural resource managers and non-government organisations. He spends most of his time operating in the space between ecological researchers and environmental managers, such that environmental decisions are made using the best available evidence that is both scientifically defensible and relevant. Prior to working in government, Dan worked in academia, holding fellowships at the University of Adelaide and Lund University, Sweden, where his research was focused on the ecological requirements of waterbirds and internationally important wetlands. Dan’s work allows him to cover a broad range of ecological issues, including threatened species conservation, landscape management and restoration and abundant and pest species management.

Nomination statement

Member

Professor Susanne Schmidt
The University of Queensland
Affiliated Professor - Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Affiliated Professor - University of the Sunshine Coast, Forest Research Centre

A researcher and educator, Susanne works at the interface of ecology and agriculture, exploring the effects of land use change and practices that minimise impact on biota and climate. At the core is advocacy for the sustainable use of Australian plants and ecosystems, Indigenous knowledge, and practices that facilitate ecosystem services. A current focus is nutrient stewardship and soil health in support of the bioeconomy and a world without waste and pollution. Susanne is a member of the ARC College of Experts, scientific journal boards, international working groups, and a Humboldt Fellow. She is a passionate communicator supporting modern society’s shift towards ecological thinking and practice.

Nomination statement

Member

Dr Anita Smyth
University of Adelaide

Anita is a visitor with The University of Adelaide. She studied at Griffith University, joined Queensland’s environment department, completed her PhD at The University of Queensland, joined CSIRO as a biodiversity scientist for 10 years and then joined TERN as Data Publishing Manager for AEKOS and SHaRED based at The University of Adelaide.  Anita has worked with diverse data people (e.g., ecological data collectors, data managers, developers, data modellers, government policy makers, natural resource managers) on the policy and informatics aspects of data publishing and access. She is now retired and continues her passion for responsible data publishing via the Council and various government working groups.

Nomination statement

Member

Dr Rachel Standish
Murdoch University

Rachel is a plant community ecologist and senior lecturer at Murdoch University where she co-leads the Terrestrial Ecology Research Group and teaches ecology and research methods. She lives and works in south-western Australia where she is passionate about the ecology of the local plant diversity hotspot and its conservation. She has a growing interest in science communication and inspiring the next generation of ecologists.

Nomination statement