Role: Senior Principal Research Scientist with the Science and Conservation Division. Leader of the Ecosystem Science program coordinating the work of scientific and technical staff based at six work centres throughout Western Australia.
Research interests: I have worked as a scientist for 36 years studying aspects of the behaviour and ecological effects of fire in forests, shrublands and semi-arid woodlands in Western Australia. From 1996 to 2007 I was the principal Western Australian scientific investigator for Project Vesta a large-scale collaborative forest fire experiment involving CSIRO, state agencies and international scientists. Project Vesta investigated the behaviour and spread of high intensity bushfires in dry eucalypt forests with different fuel ages and understorey vegetation structures and was designed to quantify age-related changes in fuel attributes and fire behaviour in dry eucalypt forests. In February 2009 I joined a team of fire scientists assembled by the Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre to undertake initial investigation into aspects of the behaviour of the Victorian bushfires of Black Saturday 7 February 2009, and subsequently provided expert advice to the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission in relation to the effect of prescribed burning in mitigating the severity of these bushfires.
I have broad research interests in a variety of areas related to management of the natural environment including:
Academic qualification: Bachelor of Forest Science (Hons.) from the University of Melbourne (1979), and a PhD from the University of New South Wales (1997).
I am a Registered Professional Forester (#11) with the Institute of Foresters of Australia having expertise in forest science and silvicultural practices. Current Chairman of the Western Australian Division of the Institute, and member of the National Board.
Associate Editor for the International Journal of Wildland Fire since 2010.
Member of the Royal Society of Western Australia and the International Association of Wildland Fire.
Positions held within Science Division:
Integrated site-based monitoring of the effects of timber harvesting and silviculture in the jarrah forest (SPP 2006-003)
Long-term stand dynamics of regrowth karri forest in relation to site productivity and climate (SPP 2011-020)
Understanding the changing fire environment of south-west Western Australia (SPP 2014-001)