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.

                                         

Council Chairperson

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 Chairperson

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

Council Secretary

Dr Neville Barrett
Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies
University of Tasmania

Neville is a senior academic in the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies at the University of Tasmania and he has a key role in the National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Marine Biodiversity Hub. Neville works on temperate marine ecology, with a focus on long-term ecological studies to establish an understanding of ecological processes operating in coastal and shelf rocky reef systems and the extent that anthropogenic activities have altered these.

Nomination statement

Council Treasurer

Centre for Entreprenurial Agri-Technology
Australian National UniversityDr Emma Burns

Emma is the Executive Director of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (LTERN), a part of TERN and located within the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. Since completing her doctoral research on population genetics and phylogeography, Emma has worked in various roles in consulting, research, and government (including both policy and program initiatives within state and Commonwealth agencies). Emma is passionate about communicating science, effective environmental and science policy—and its practical and meaningful application.

Nomination statement

Member

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

Member

Professor Jenny Davis
School of Environment
Charles Darwin University

Jenny is the Head of the School of Environment at Charles Darwin University, NT. She has also held academic positions at the University of Canberra (ACT), Monash University (Vic) and Murdoch University (WA). She has undertaken projects on freshwater biodiversity and wetland ecosystems in all Australian states and Malaysia (Sarawak). A major focus of her current research is understanding the importance of refugia for the conservation and persistence of arid zone biodiversity.

Nomination statement

Member

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

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 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 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

Professor Torsten Thomas
Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation & School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of New South Wales

Torsten is a Professor and ARC Future Fellow at the University of New South Wales and the Director of the Centre of Marine Bio-Innovation. His research interests are in the area of microbial ecology, marine ecology, -omics technologies and bioinformatics. He feels passionate about data integration across disciplines, long-term monitoring of environmental systems and science education.

Nomination statement