Rachel Morgain has recently started as Knowledge Broker with the NESP TSR Hub. She comes to the Hub with experience working at the interface of research
and policy, through roles with the Australian Government and most recently at the Australian Academy of Science.
In her past, Rachel researched environmental anthropology and science communication, including the social aspects of environmental change and biodiversity conservation in the US, Australia and the Pacific.
As Knowledge Broker, she will be working closely with the Hub’s project and theme leaders, land management organisations as well as representatives from state and federal government to raise the profile of the TSR Hub’s work and build bridges that help better integrate research, policy and practice. “This will involve strengthening engagement between researchers, policy leaders and land managers, understanding emerging policy priorities, and developing knowledge products tailored for different purposes from the Hub’s cutting-edge research.”
Over coming months, Rachel will meet with Hub project and theme leaders, researchers, representatives from the Department of the Environment and Energy and other stakeholders to clarify priorities for extending the Hub’s knowledge exchange and engagement processes.
She hopes to learn about emerging research from across the Hub and about the research priorities and knowledge-needs of policy makers and land managers. She is also working closely with the communications team to refine the Hub’s communications strategies and extend the reach and influence of threatened species research.
Many landscapes in Australia are fire-prone, and increasingly so. Altered fire regimes can have a serious negative impact on threatened plant species and ecological communities. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project is working to better understand the effects of different fire regimes on threatened flora in order to improve fire management strategies and conservation outcomes.
Almost a quarter of Australia’s possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law, and many more are showing signs of decline. Dr Rochelle Steven from The University of Queensland believes people in the community can do a lot to support conservation, especially in urban areas.
The detection and monitoring of threatened species have been a strong area of research in the National Environmental Science Program and also the two national environmental research programs which preceded it. Hub Director Professor Brendan Wintle takes a look at what we’ve been achieving and why it is so important to the conservation of Australia’s threatened species.
In 2009, the Christmas Island blue-tailed skink and Lister’s gecko were headed for imminent extinction. Parks Australia acted quickly to collect remaining wild individuals in order to establish captive breeding programs on Christmas Island and at Taronga Zoo, Sydney, which have been highly successful. A Threatened Species Recovery Hub project team is working closely with Parks Australia to help secure a future for the two lizards beyond captivity.
The silver-headed antechinus and black-tailed dusky antechinus are carnivorous marsupials found in high-elevation forests in parts of central-eastern and south-eastern Queensland. They were only described in the past six years, but they are already listed as Endangered. Knowing where they occur is essential for effective conservation, but current distribution knowledge is patchy. To address this, PhD candidate Stephane Batista in partnership with the Queensland Herbarium and Queensland Department of Environment and Science is modelling the habitat where these threatened species are likely to occur, and is using detection dogs to rapidly survey these sites.