People

At Ecology Australia, we form a highly motivated and dedicated team, with outstanding knowledge of the Australian biota, natural systems and environmental issues.


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Chris Bloink
Director and Principal Aquatic Ecologist

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Chris has worked as a consultant aquatic ecologist since 2001 and became director of Ecology Australia in 2019. He has extensive experience in assessing and monitoring biodiversity values, condition, and impacts to waterways and a sound understanding of relevant legislation and policy. He has undertaken this work for a wide range of projects and clients and is a highly experienced and skilled project manager. Chris has extensive experience undertaking aquatic fauna surveys and targeted threatened species surveys throughout freshwater and estuarine habitats of south-eastern Australia. He is highly experienced in the use of the full range of standard sampling techniques and is a senior operator for boat, bank and backpack electrofishing. His main areas of expertise include fish and crayfish ecology particularly in relation to environmental flows; however, he also has considerable expertise in macroinvertebrate ecology, stream health, water quality and platypus monitoring.

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Geoffrey Carr
Associate Botanist

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Geoff Carr has been a botanical consultant for over 35 years, including as a founding director of Ecology Australia. He has an exceptional knowledge of the taxonomy, ecology and conservation status of the Australian flora, including a detailed knowledge of rare and threatened species, their distribution and management.  Geoff has very extensive field experience in vegetation survey and condition assessment, enabling him to provide a long-term and practical perspective to vegetation management.  He also has considerable horticultural expertise, particularly in the use of indigenous flora for revegetation and environmental rehabilitation, but also for utilitarian and ornamental applications.

Geoff is a leading authority on environmental weed research, management and taxonomy in Australia, with world perspectives on biological invasions and weed-risk assessment, including deliberately introduced pasture and rehabilitation species.  He published the important book: ‘Environmental Weed Invasions in Victoria: Conservation and Management Implications’ and with three co-authors is currently preparing the second version. He is also a leading expert on Victorian saltmarshes and the biology of the halophyte flora.

Geoff’s other areas of interest include taxonomic research; he has published on several plant groups, describing approximately 30 plant species, notably orchids, lilies (Dianella), naturalised willows (Salix) and Prickly Pear (Opuntia). He is also an accomplished photographer and has contributed photographs for scientific publications.

Dr Gary Palmer
Senior Botanist and Team Leader

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Gary has over seven years of experience in research and consulting focused on biodiversity and conservation management. He has a PhD from Griffith University (Brisbane) in which he investigated rainforest fragmentation effects on patterns of interaction between vertebrate fauna and a range of native tree species. Since graduating, he has been employed as a Research Fellow in the Griffith University School of Environment and Science where he has led, or contributed to, numerous large projects focusing on the conservation management of a range of threatened species and ecological communities. Most recently this has included the development of a long-term ecological monitoring framework for the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment for the current 5-year Landcare program (Regional Land Partnerships) in relation to government-funded interventions for threatened species, threatened ecological communities, Ramsar wetlands and World Heritage Areas. In addition, Gary has led Griffith University’s contribution to the vegetation ecology component of the Murray-Darling Basin Environmental Water Knowledge Research project, a large collaborative research project funded by the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to inform the adaptive management of Commonwealth environmental water. Gary has extensive experience in ecological monitoring and evaluation, study design, data collection and analysis and a range of flora and fauna survey techniques.

Marty White
Senior Botanist and Team Leader

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Marty has recently joined Ecology Australia, however he brings an extensive range of skills and experience from over 20 years in biodiversity planning, conservation and restoration.

Marty’s has extensive experience in providing extension and facilitation activities for improved biodiversity outcomes on private and public land.  Marty is skilled in communicating with land managers through the re-framing of biodiversity or ecological restoration science into practical and meaningful actions.  Marty is highly experienced in the collection and interpretation of field data, and has high-level reporting and project management skills as well as an excellent working knowledge of environmental legislation and policy. Having designed, planned, implemented and monitored on-ground ecological restoration works prior to joining Ecology Australia, development of concise and meaningful management prescriptions and reporting. Marty possesses a solid understanding of the flora of south-eastern Australia, the threats it faces and implications for its management.

With over 15 years experience in State and Local Government, Marty has used his leadership and strategic thinking skills to implement greater biodiversity protection into policy, procedures and planning overlays.

 

Stephen Saddlier
Senior Aquatic Ecologist

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Stephen is a pre-eminent fish ecologist, with over 25 years of experience in ecological research, which includes 23 years as a senior scientist at the Victorian Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. During this time, Stephen’s research focus was the Murray Darling Basin and the coastal rivers of south-eastern Australia; his earlier research experience was gained in marine fisheries research. Stephen has written over 60 scientific publications (refereed papers and reports) on fish ecology and aquatic ecosystem research. He has been responsible for the management of a range of threatened species throughout Victoria under state’s Actions for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) monitoring program, including Yarra Pygmy Perch, Variegated Pygmy Perch and Dwarf Galaxias, and has prepared National Recovery Plans as well as published peer reviewed journal articles on these species. With over 20 years of experience in fish sampling, Stephen is highly proficient in the use of a wide variety of sampling methodologies and is a Senior Operator for all forms of electrofishing. He also has specialist experience in developing threat assessments for aquatic fauna in a variety of media, including written publications, websites and interactive Decision Support Tools.

 

Dr Brett Goodman
Senior Zoologist

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Brett joined Ecology Australia in 2019 and has worked as an ecologist in various capacities since 2007.  Brett comes from a research-based background and has worked on a range of ecological and evolutionary questions, usually on reptiles or frogs. Brett has a detailed knowledge of terrestrial and aquatic vertebrate fauna across Australia. He has a well-developed range of field survey techniques, and the ecology and management of a wide range of taxa, both in Australia and overseas.  As a zoologist, Brett has led numerous projects, from initial desktop and field surveys to the development of pest animal control management plans, environmental management plans and impact assessments, stakeholder engagement and auditing activities for a range of industries and the government sector.  He has a well-developed understanding of both state and federal environmental legislation.

Through his research and consulting career, Brett has developed a comprehensive understanding of both applied ecology and environmental management that allows him to address ecological problems with suitable outcomes.

 

Dr Maggie Haines
Zoologist and GIS Analyst

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Maggie joined Ecology Australia in 2020 and has been involved in zoological research since 2006. She has a strong research background with skills in conservation genetics and taxonomy as well as experience conducting remote field work. She is currently in the process of describing two new skink species and her work has led to increased protection of the genetically distinct south-western populations of tussock skinks. While her expertise is with reptiles, Maggie has also conducted field surveys for terrestrial invertebrates, frogs, and mammals. She has a keen interest in alpine ecology and has contributed to the Australian Alpine Animal Working Group’s assessment of the impact of climate change on alpine fauna.

Maggie is skilled in GIS and has taken postgraduate courses in GIS data management, remote sensing, and programming. She has performed data digitisation and map production for regional development plans. Maggie has also used GIS to assess the reliability of different bushfire detection methods.

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Jack Tate
Botanist

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Jack joined Ecology Australia in 2020 and has several years’ of practical botany experience. Jack has conducted numerous biodiversity assessments, including targeted and non-targeted flora surveys, vegetation quality assessments, threatened species monitoring, vegetation mapping and impact assessments. Jack has written and co-authored numerous reports outlining recommendations and obligations for native vegetation and Matters of National and Environmental Significance (MNES). Jack has a developed knowledge of Victorian flora and is a capable botanist.

Bryce Halliday
Aquatic Ecologist

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Bryce has worked and studied in the aquatic ecology space since 2010 completing a bachelor with honours and most recently Masters Degrees at Deakin University in Warrnambool studying aquatic ecology and the environment. Bryce’s background is in small-bodied freshwater fish, macroinvertebrates and zooplankton in south west Victoria and the lower River Murray region in South Australia. He has experience with a suite of aquatic sampling techniques including fyke netting, bait trapping, electrofishing, macroinvertebrate and zooplankton netting, water quality and habitat surveying. As an aquatic ecologist he is interested in the origin, structure, functions and behaviour of all forms of life in freshwater, and their interactions with the environment. This includes the study of lakes, rivers and ponds and covers microbial, plant and animal life.

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Lucy Gow
Ecologist

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Prior to joining Ecology Australia in 2013, Lucy contributed to small mammal monitoring research projects in East Gippsland, Wilsons Promontory and north central Victoria. In her time at Ecology Australia, she has worked on a broad range of flora, fauna and aquatic projects across south-eastern Australia, with particular experience in frog surveys, macroinvertebrate sampling and Striped Legless Lizard salvage and monitoring.  She has experience in a wide variety of survey techniques including remote camera surveys, cage and Elliott trapping and hair-tubing for mammals, artificial shelter surveys for reptiles, call-playback for frogs, and netting and electrofishing for fish and other aquatic fauna. Lucy is consolidating her skills in botanical surveys, and has excellent skills in data collection and management.

Nina Kerr
Research Assistant (Botany)

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Nina joined Ecology Australia in 2020. While completing her Bachelor of Biological Science at La Trobe University, and since graduating, she has undertaken and assisted with a variety of different botanical research projects across south-eastern Victoria and has experience doing a range of floristic surveys and structural vegetation descriptions. Nina has most experience surveying semi-arid woodlands in western Victoria, temperate grasslands of the Victorian Volcanic Plains, and several alpine ecosystems including grassland and snow patches communities. Nina is skilled in data collection and analysis, flora and fauna surveying, desktop research and remote fieldwork. She has strong knowledge of alpine vegetation and temperate grassland ecosystems and is developing a good working knowledge of Victoria’s flora.

Freja Butler
Research Assistant (Botany)

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Freja joined Ecology Australia in 2020 after several years working across diverse roles in the environmental industry. Freja has worked as a research assistant across multiple projects for The University of Melbourne, conducting remote flora and fauna related fieldwork across Victoria. Prior to this, she also worked as a field ecologist for Biosis, conducting targeted fauna surveys for Golden Sun Moth and Striped Legless Lizard. Freja also has extensive experience undertaking practical environmental restoration projects, having undertaken a conservation traineeship through The Green Army, and later working at Acacia Environmental Management.

Freja has experience performing flora and fauna surveys in a wide range of environments across Victoria and western New South Wales. Freja also has a strong knowledge of native grassland ecology, having undertaken an honours research project aimed at increasing their biodiversity through improved biomass management. Freja is skilled in data collection and analysis, flora and fauna surveying, desktop research and remote fieldwork.

Bill Coates
Research Assistant (Aquatic Ecology)

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Bill joined Ecology Australia in 2020 as part of the aquatic ecology team. Bill has previously studied BioScience at The University of Melbourne where he conducted research on the dispersal behaviour of a native fish using laboratory experiments. He is deeply interested in freshwater and marine ecology and is particularly passionate about environmental management strategies and ultimately the conservation of native biodiversity. Bill has uses range of sampling techniques including fyke nets, bait traps, drift nets and backpack electrofishing to survey both small and large bodied fish. He has strong experience with field work, being part of the fish netting team during the Mallee TLM and Gunbower TLM Condition Monitoring projects of 2019/2020, as well as conducting alpine stream surveys and assisting with diadromous fish surveys for Arthur Rylah Institute.

Please contact us if you require further information.