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Australian Capital Territory
Australian National University
BA (Asian Studies)
BSc-Hons (Resource Management and Environmental Science)
PhD in Soil Carbon Dynamics (for submission in October 2005)
From an early age I developed a keen interest in the natural environment and became an avid bushwalker, rock climber, canyoner, caver and cross country skier. Regular trips to the South East Forests of NSW and the old growth forests of Tasmania sparked my motivation to undertake an ecology based science degree at university, to learn more about forest systems and make an informed contribution to the debate over forest management.
Over time, I developed a concern for the vast tracts of inland Australia suffering acute environmental problems associated with agricultural activities. Issues such as soil erosion, salinity, soil compaction, loss of biodiversity etc., while not as glamorous as forest ecology, represented serious environmental issues to me. The extent of the land area suffering these problems and the complexity of solutions, given the necessity of agriculture for food and fibre production, stimulated my interest.
My science studies moved from a general biology focus into a resource management and agricultural ecology direction. My honours research compared organic and conventional farming systems in terms of their impacts on 'soil health' (primarily soil physical and biological properties).
My PhD research was concerned with understanding the role of soils in the carbon-cycle. I investigated processes and mechanisms determining soil carbon dynamics with a view to understanding the impact of agricultural management practices on soil carbon stocks. In essence, I was investigating the potential for particular agricultural activities to mitigate or exacerbate the greenhouse effect via their effect on soil processes.
1. Parks Australia South Division, The Centre for Plant Biodiversity Research at the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Work involved:
2. Land Water and Coasts Division, Vegetation Management Policy Section
Role: To review and revise the ‘National framework for the management and monitoring of Australia’s native vegetation’ (the Native Vegetation Framework or NVF). Duties included:
3. Australian Greenhouse Office, Greenhouse and Agriculture Team
Role: To assist with the management of the Greenhouse Action in Regional Australia Program Strategic Research and Development Plan (the R&D Plan), and contribute to key aspects of the policy agenda of the Greenhouse and Agriculture Team. Duties included:
December 2005 to June 2006: Australian Greenhouse Office, Greenhouse and Agriculture Team
June 2006 to present: Strategic Policy Section, Policy Coordination Division
'the best thing about working for us ... is the environment'