At Ecology Australia, we have a highly motivated and dedicated team, with outstanding knowledge of the Australian biota, natural systems and environmental issues
Director and Principal Aquatic Ecologist
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.
Principal GIS Analyst
Josie has more than 25 years’ experience in GIS and spatial analysis. She graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Coastal Geography and Biogeography. She completed a Master of Science at the University of Western Australia focusing on GIS and Climate Change modelling. Josie established and managed the GIS capabilities for the Department of Environmental Protection in Western Australia. She has been working for the last 14 years at the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP). She established the ArcGIS Online capabilities at DELWP and has extensive experience in ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Server and ArcGIS Enterprise. Josie has worked on a variety of environmental management projects such as salinity risk, remnant vegetation policy and catchment management.
Dr Gary Palmer
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 has an extensive range of skills and experience from over 20 years in biodiversity planning, conservation and restoration. He has extensive experience in providing extension and facilitation activities for improved biodiversity outcomes on private and public land. He is skilled in communicating with land managers through the re-framing of biodiversity or ecological restoration science into practical and meaningful actions. He 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.
Senior Aquatic Ecologist
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
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.
As an ecological/zoological consultant of more than 11 years, Alice has extensive experience in a range of fields, including various flora and fauna surveying, monitoring and management projects, environmental impact assessments and associated technical reporting. This experience has provided Alice with an effective ecological conservation and management knowledge spread across a wide range of species and habitats, with a strong focus on threatened fauna species. Alice has undertaken extensive field research work with both shorebirds and waterbirds and is familiar with many Ramsar-listed wetlands, through involvement with shorebird research across Australia and overseas. She has also worked as a marine bird and mammal observer in the Antarctic, Southern, and North Pacific Oceans.
In conjunction with her professional ecological consulting work, Alice has enjoyed volunteering in various groups/organisations which has led her experience within a wide range of ecosystems and their associated flora and fauna across Victoria, and beyond. In other capacities, Alice has a keen interest in the use of trained conservation dogs; she was involved in Zoos Victoria’s novel Eastern Barred Bandicoot Guardian Dog Program for three years and is currently part of Zoos Victoria’s Wildlife Detection Dog team, which focuses on the detection of cryptic, endangered fauna in the wild, aiding conservation efforts.
Dr Timon van Asten
Timon has several years’ prior experience as an ecologist, both in Australia and in Europe. Over the course of a number of long- and short-term field research projects Timon has developed a good knowledge of a variety of terrestrial fauna survey techniques, including observational and trapping methodologies. Timon’s main expertise is bird studies, but he also has good knowledge and strong interest in other terrestrial fauna. Over several research assistant positions in diverse ecosystems, as well as independently conducted field studies, he has gained strong project development and management skills, together with detailed data collection and analyses.
Craig has spent most of his working life in either educational or scientific roles. He has held educational roles in the delivery of Environmental Science, Chemistry and Biology at VCE level, including the marking and writing of exam papers and lecturing roles at Deakin University in Sustainability and Environmental Science. He has received commendations for excellence in teaching from Deakin University and the Victorian Ministry of Education and has been recognised for his Environmental Education work through the Victorian Association of Environmental Education.
He has worked on three national frog projects, including an advisory role for the WWF Frogs! Program, and has delivered public education programs and produced publications on frogs both nationally and at the local level. He has over 30 years’ experience working with amphibians through eastern Australia and Borneo, with specialist expertise in the ecology of the Southern Toadlet, including post-fire recovery and impacts of chytrid fungus. He is currently the author of the Nillumbik Southern Toadlet Management Project along with several other scientific publications on Pseudophryne.
Craig has collaborated on amphibian research projects with both government and universities. He has previously held diverse amphibian-related roles including Head Scientist in the Coranderrk Frog Research Project (Zoos Victoria), TAG Convenor for Amphibians with the Australian Society of Zoo Keeping, and Committee Member of the Victorian Frog Group. He has comprehensive knowledge and experience in field survey methods for amphibians, including pitfall traps and mark and release.
Bryce has worked and studied in the aquatic ecology space since 2010, completing a Bachelor’s degree with Honours and a Master’s degree at Deakin University in Warrnambool, studying aquatic ecology and the environment. Bryce has worked as an academic, lecturer, tutor, technical staff and most recently as a consultant. Bryce’s background is in small-bodied freshwater fish, macroinvertebrates and zooplankton in southwest Victoria and the lower River Murray region in South Australia, and since joining the Ecology Australia team in 2018 has worked in all parts of southeast 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. He is a senior backpack electrofishing and low-complexity duty commercial boat operator. 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.
Lotta graduated from the University of Applied Sciences Berlin with a Bachelor of Engineering in Cartography and Geomedia. Having been in the last class presented with a focus on cartography, Lotta has, among other elements, learned manual hill-shading and map production. Lotta places a huge emphasis on the production of clear, informative maps. During her studies, Lotta worked in navigation and development of landmark-based way-routing systems. Since joining Ecology Australia, Lotta has produced multiple maps for varied projects, including mapping related to contaminated land surveys, mining and energy industries, and remediation works. This has enabled Lotta to develop a wide variety and depth of skills in spatial analysis, map production, modelling, reporting and data manipulation.
Freja has been working in biodiversity conservation and management since 2017 and has experience performing flora and fauna surveys in a wide range of environments across Victoria and western New South Wales. Since joining Ecology Australia, she has been involved in a variety of projects, including large-scale ecological monitoring programs and intervention monitoring. Freja has experience in the identification and mapping of threatened and exotic species, ecological vegetation classes (EVCs) and various threats to ecological values. In addition, she has experience in conducting vegetation quality assessments and is registered on DELWP’s list of accredited VQA assessors. She has contributed significantly to multiple large technical reports used to inform conservation management decisions, particularly in relation to environmental water delivery to wetlands and floodplains in the mid-lower reaches of the Murray River. Freja is highly skilled in plant identification throughout south-eastern Australia, and has developed strong skills in ecological data analysis and interpretation. She is experienced in the successful management and delivery of large-scale, complex projects involving large teams (8-10 people) working in remote locations throughout Victoria.
Prior to joining Ecology Australia, Freja worked as a research assistant across multiple projects for The University of Melbourne, conducting remote flora and fauna surveys across Victoria. As a consultant field ecologist, she has conducted fauna surveys targeting threatened species including Golden Sun Moths and Striped Legless Lizards. Freja has experience undertaking practical environmental restoration projects, having completed a conservation traineeship through The Green Army, and later working at Acacia Environmental Management performing various tasks including revegetation and weed control. Freja has a strong knowledge of native grassland ecology, which was the focus on her honours research project.
While completing her Bachelor of Biological Science at La Trobe University, and since graduating, Nina 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.
Gemma graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Science, having majored in Zoology. She completed a Master of Environment and Sustainability specialising in Environmental Security. She is deeply interested in zoology and is particularly passionate about environmental management strategies and ultimately the conservation of native biodiversity. During her studies, Gemma travelled to Borneo to collect and compare data on species richness and species abundance in different anthropogenic disturbance zones. This allowed her to develop skills in species identification, survey methods, data analysis and report writing. Gemma has experience in science communication as well as strong experience with field work, having completed a range of fauna and vegetation surveys.
Jennifer graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Science, having double-majored in Botany and Ecology and Conservation Biology. During her studies, Jennifer travelled to Borneo to collect and compare data on species richness and diversity in different vegetation zones. This allowed her to develop skills in plant identification, floristic survey methods, data analysis and report writing. Since then, Jennifer has gained considerable experience in hands-on environmental restoration projects, solidifying her passion for working in the environmental industry. Jennifer was involved in the Green Army programme with Conservation Volunteers Australia. She later worked for Landcare in the Otway Ranges, partnering with the Conservation Ecology Centre to perform floristic surveys and revegetation works. Jennifer has also been involved in performing vegetation condition surveys for the Mallee CMA, contributing to a vegetation monitoring program.
Matthew graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Freshwater Biology and Management (Honours), utilising long-term telemetered datasets to produce predictive habitat models for macrophytes within the Lower Lakes (South Australia). Matthew has since undertaken aquatic monitoring and pollution response programs across Victoria, focusing on long-term marine water quality monitoring and aquatic assessments after pollution events including industrial spills, factory fires and contamination. Matthew has taken part in community consultation and citizen science programs engaging with community groups and schools on local environmental issues. Through Matthew’s research and employment, he has gained experience in a broad suite of aquatic survey techniques, freshwater taxa identification, water quality monitoring, sampling, and analyses. Matthew is passionate about study design and robust data collection. He has a keen interest in the structure and function of aquatic systems and their response to anthropogenic and natural disturbances.
Research Assistant (Zoology)
Dylan graduated from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Environmental Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology). During his studies, Dylan travelled to Borneo, undertaking fauna and flora surveys, and liaising with government authorities about ecotourism. Here, he gained valuable knowledge in undertaking different survey methods, report writing, as well as developing strong communication skills with various stakeholders. Since joining Ecology Australia, Dylan has experience undertaking bird and frog surveys in the Mallee, arboreal mammal, and owl surveys, and analysing AudioMoth devices for cryptic wetland species. Additionally, he has undertaken Altona skipper butterfly, southern toadlet, fish, and turtle surveys across Victoria.
Prior to joining Ecology Australia, Dylan worked as a field ecologist, developing his south-eastern flora and fauna identification skills and survey methodologies in the field, across multiple projects. Dylan is skilled in woodland bird identification, desktop research, proposal and report writing, and remote fauna and flora surveying. Having worked in land management as Team Leader at Hume City Council and Haas and Gray Indigenous Horticulture, Dylan has experience leading teams, undertaking environmental restoration projects, as well as considerably developing his native flora and weed identification in the field.
Please contact us if you require further information.