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Our People

The Centre  is supported by a diverse multidisciplinary network of University researcher members and industry partners.

Academic Members

Professor Justin Brookes

Academic Member, Director Environmental Institute, University of Adelaide

Justin's major research field is the quality of source water for potable supply and river and lake ecology. He's primary research focus is coupling between hydrodynamics, biology and water quality contaminants such as cyanobacteria and pathogens. While broader research interests extent to limnology and water treatment. Justin currently leads several large inter-institutional projects examining degradation of chemical contaminants of concern (endocrine disruptors, pharmaceuticals), carbon cycling in lakes and rivers and the ecology of the Coorong and Lower Lakes of the River Murray.

Research Interests: Freshwater Ecology | Biofiltration |  Limnology & Water Treatment

Dr Cristian Birzer

Academic Member, School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Adelaide

Dr Cristian Birzer MIEAust CPEng is the Director of the Humanitarian and Development Solutions Initiative. He is a Chartered Professional Mechanical Engineer and Senior Lecturer in Sustainable Energy Engineering at the School of Mechanical Engineering. He is a former consultant engineer and also member of the Australian Defence Force, having worked in East Timor and the Solomon Islands. Cris also deployed to Nepal with the World Food Programme to assist with the 2015 Earthquakes emergency response. He is renowned for he's research on "Cookstoves for the developing world" a research project aimed at providing affordable engineering technologies to resource-constrained countries.

Research Interests: Humanitarian Technologies |  Sustainable Engineering |  Mechanical Engineering

Bronwyn Gillanders photo

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders

Academic Member, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide

Bronwyn is a Professor and Associate head researcher at the University of Adelaide. Her research group focuses on aquatic waters (freshwater, estuarine and marine) with strong focus on fish and cephalopods, and environmental issues. here. She is the Director of Marine Biology Program, teaches in Zoology, Freshwater Ecology, Marine Ecology, Frontiers in Marine Biology and co-leads international study tours to China, Hong Kong and Timor Leste.

Research Interests: Aquatic Water | Fish & Cephalopods | Environmental Issues

Professor Joshua Ross

Academic Member, School of Mathematical Sciences, University of Adelaide

Professor Ross is an ARC Future Fellow and Professor in Applied Mathematics. His research is focused on developing novel mathematical and statistical methods, and new probabilistic models, that assist in understanding the factors that are most important to complex systems in epidemiology and conservation biology. Ross uses these techniques to assist in determining effective public health, conservation, biosecurity and policy.

Research Interests: Mathematical Modelling in Ecology | Epidemiology & Evolution |  Stochastic Modelling & Bayesian Computational Statistics

Professor Robert Hill

Academic Member, Director Environmental Institute, Division of Research and Innovation, University of Adelaide

Professor Hill has had a profound impact on the study of Botany in Australia. His botanical research has made significant contributions to the areas of palaeobotany, plant systematics, plant ecophysiology and the application of research from these areas to interpreting changes that have occurred to the Australian flora through evolutionary time. He is best known for his research on the fossil history of the southern beech, Nothofagus, and the southern conifers. His research on the fossil history of Nothofagus has been critical in refining out understanding of its evolution and has led to major revision of our understanding of the biogeography of this critical southern genus.

Research Interests: Paleobotany |  Plant Systematics | Plant Ecophysiology

Associate Professor Jeremy Austin

Academic Member, Deputy Director Australian Centre for Ancient DNA (ACAD), University of Adelaide

Jeremy is an evolutionary biologist working in the fields of ancient DNA, molecular ecology, conservation genetics and forensic biology. As Deputy Director of ACAD his research uses ancient and modern DNA techniques to "travel through time" to understand the evolutionary history of living and extinct vertebrates; assess the impacts of past environmental change on animal populations; and provide valuable genetic data for conservation and management of threatened species.

Research Interests: Evolutionary & Conservation Biology | Human & Wildlife Forensics |  Ancient DNA, Phylogeography & Conservation Genetics

Professor Megan Lewis

Academic Member, Head of School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide

Professor Lewis has an extensive background in remote sensing, vegetation ecology, and environmental science and management. Her research focuses on Earth observations using remote sensing (from satellites, aircraft, lab & field instruments and drones) to document, analyse and monitor landscape composition and variation in space and time. She specialises in hyperspectral sensing for discriminating and mapping vegetation, soil and water properties, as well as assessing environmental condition and monitoring of environmental change with multi-temporal imagery. Megan is a member of the ARC College of Experts, and leader of the SA Node and deputy Director of AusCover, the remote sensing data facility within TERN.

Research Interests: Remote Sensing | Vegetation Ecology  | Environmental Management

Associate Professor Patrick O'Connor

Academic Member, Centre for Global Food and Resources Sciences, University of Adelaide

Patrick has a background in terrestrial ecology research and consulting in natural resource management science and program evaluation.  He works on projects aimed at overcoming negative environmental externalities from agricultural production systems and has created markets for the conservation of soil and biodiversity and for carbon sequestration. Patrick undertakes research on the design of novel contracts for land management, and toward understanding of price-setting behaviours of landholders supplying ecosystem services. He also works in program evaluation, designing and implementing evaluations to improve program decisions or demonstrate policy and program impact.

Research Interests: Ecosystem Services | NRM Policy  | Agro-Ecosystem services

  • Mr Jim Deed (Manager Research Business Development, University of Adelaide)
  • Dr Kate Sanders (ARC Future Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide)
  • Dr Martin Breed (Beacon Fellow, School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide)
  • Dr Steven Delean (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Adelaide)

Partner Members

Nicholas Souter

Partner, Mekong Case Study Manager, Conservation International

Nick is an ecologist in conservation and natural resource management. He is currently employed by Conservation International (CI) as Freshwater Manager for the Greater Mekong. This involves implementing the Freshwater Health Index (FHI) in both Cambodia’s Tonle Sap Lake river basin and the transboundary Sesan, Srepok and Sekong River basin which traverses Lao PDR, Viet Nam and Cambodia. The FHI assesses river basins as socio-ecological systems and measures a range of indicators under three headings Ecosystem Vitality, Ecosystem Services and Governance & Stakeholders. Nick also oversees CI’s Tonle Sap Great Lake program which includes flooded forest revegetation, fisheries and threatened species monitoring, community livelihood development and improving governance.  Nick has extensive experience in River Murray management and environmental flow delivery and assessment.

Research Interests: Threatened Species Conservation | Freshwater Ecology |  Natural Resource Management

  • Bridget Kennedy (Senior Development and Program Manager, Asia-Pacific Field Division, Conservation International, Fiji)
  • Mr. David Emmett (Senior Vice President, Asia-Pacific Field Division, Conservation International)
  • Semisi Meo (Conservation International, Fiji)
  • Ms Trudiann Dale (Country Director, Timor-Leste, Conservation International)
  • Dr Daniel Rogers (Principle Ecologist, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources)
  • Jennie Fluin (Principle Advisor Research Partnerships, SA Department of Environment and Water)
  • Professor Steve Donnellan (Chief Research Scientist, Evolutionary Biology Unit, South Australian Museum)

Student Members

  • Mr Aakash Lamba (PhD)
  • Mr Alan Stenhouse (PhD)
  • Mr James Trezise (PhD)
  • Mr Jarrod Hodgson (PhD)
  • Mr Matthew Bowie (PhD)
  • Mr Sreekar Rachakonda (PhD)
  • Ms Tasya Vadya Sarira (PhD)
Centre for Applied Conservation Science

Room 106
Level 1 Benham Building
North Terrace Campus


T: 831 34042