At Ecology Australia, we form 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.
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.
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.
Dr Andrew Greenfield
Andrew has worked on ecological projects in several countries including Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Israel. Andrew comes from a research background with an interest in managing animal populations, animal movements and habitat use. He has planned and worked on a range of mammal projects developing skills in capture and handling of small to medium sized mammals, survey techniques such as spot lighting and camera trapping. He also has good knowledge of Australian bird species, particularly those in southwestern Australia.
During the 10 years preceding working at Ecology Australia, Andrew worked as an Ecologist and Program Manager on The Living Murray floodplain restoration program at the two Mallee icon sites. He was closely involved in the hydrological and ecological restoration of lotic and lentic systems on the River Murray floodplain, with a particular focus on the floodplain between Swan Hill and the South Australia border He has strong project management skills with experience in dealing with inter-agency or multiple stakeholder project delivery.
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.
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.
Philip has worked in forest hydrology for over 20 years at both the University of Melbourne, School of Ecosystem and Forest Science and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DSE), through which he’s developed skills in GIS and spatial analysis. His role at the University has involved project management and design, data management and analysis, field work including vegetation surveying, sample collection, the instrumentation of streams and the installation of meteorological equipment. Philip has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles dealing with the impact of forest disturbances on water quality/quantity and soil properties. He has extensive experience in analysing spatial data using ArcGIS Pro, ArcMap and Spatial Analyst. In addition to his part-time role at Ecology Australia as a GIS Analyst, he also works part-time at The University of Melbourne as a research fellow and is completing a PhD using remotely sensed data to investigate the variation in soil erosion after wild-fire.
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.
Research Assistant (Zoology)
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.
Research Assistant (Botany)
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.
Research Assistant (Aquatic Ecology)
Ashlen graduated from the University of Melbourne with a Bachelor of Science (Honours), after conducting a global meta-analysis to investigate how dam- and powerplant-driven changes to river thermal regimes impact freshwater fish. During her studies, Ashlen completed an aquatic ecology internship at the Arthur Rylah Institute where she assisted in larval drift surveys and developed skills in data management and presentation whilst contributing to ARI’s client reports. Ashlen has also volunteered on electrofishing surveys with the University of Melbourne in the Eildon region, assessing trout abundance to inform conservation solutions for the spotted tree frog. She is very passionate about conservation-focused land management, after travelling to Peru to study sustainable agriculture. Prior to joining Ecology Australia, Ashlen worked as a research assistant on a pollinator biodiversity project with the Hawkesbury Institute, during which she collated citizen science data, conducted faunal surveys in the Macedon region, and liaised with members of the Upper Campaspe Landcare Network to assess the effectiveness of floral biodiversity in pollinator conservation. Through her research experience, Ashlen has developed strong skills in faunal survey techniques and science communication, as well as in data extraction, management and analysis.
Research Assistant (Aquatic Ecology)
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.
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