People

David Meiklejohn

past member

David Meiklejohn is a PhD candidate researching the effectiveness of behaviour change programs delivered by Australian local governments responding to climate change. He is using a framing of climate change as a “super wicked problem” to analyse current approaches and identify alternatives for future testing. David has worked on behaviour change programs for 16 years in Australia and the UK, including establishing the TravelSmart Workplaces program in Victoria. He currently works as the Executive Officer for the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA), a network of nine Melbourne metropolitan councils working together on climate change projects.

Dr Nooshin Torabi

past member

Nooshin’s PhD explored the socio-cultural drivers of private landholders who participate in biodiverse carbon plantings on their properties.

Blythe Vogel

past member

Blythe Vogel studied a Master of Science (BioSciences) at the University of Melbourne in collaboration with ICON Science. She studied plant-insect pollinator interactions in urban parks within Melbourne, and in particular how we can engage citizen scientists to conduct this research.

Kate Cranney

past member

As a research assistant, Kate worked alongside Luis Mata and other colleagues curating the insect specimens from ‘The Little Things that Run the City‘ project. She studied a Bachelor of Law (Hons)/ Science (Environment) at Griffith University, Queensland. Following graduation she worked with the Queensland Government in water planning. She later moved to Waiben (Thursday Island) to work with the Torres Strait Ranger Program. Kate recently finished a Master of Science (Botany) at the University of Melbourne. She is passionate about insect ecology, private conservation, Indigenous Caring for Country programs, art and science communication.

Dr Fiona Fidler

past member

Fiona is an ARC Future Fellow based at the University of Melbourne. She is a psychologist, with a PhD in philosophy of science. Amongst other things, she is interested in: how scientists and experts make decisions; methodological and statistical controversies; statistical reasoning; research ethics and scientific integrity. Her current research aims to improve the integration of social/behavioural science and conservation science.

Dr Christopher Ives

past member

Chris is an Assistant Professor in the School of Geography at the University of Nottingham (UK). He was previously a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Faculty of Sustainability, Leuphana University (Germany), where he worked as part of the project Leverage Points for Sustainability Transformation, funded by the Volkswagen Stiftung, via the ‘Science for sustainable development’ call. He explored how reconnecting people with nature can assist us transition to a more sustainable society. His interests also lie in understanding the functioning of cities as socio-ecological systems and how science can be used to inform plans and policies related to biodiversity conservation. Chris has a diverse research background, having worked on projects in the fields of riparian ecology, urban planning and social psychology. As part of the National Environmental Research Program (NERP), Chris worked with ICON Science on a project investigating how urban open space contributes to biodiversity conservation and human well-being, and how it should be considered in regional planning strategies.

Tessa Smith

past member

Tessa was a research assistant working on the ‘The Little Things that Run the City’ project. She has a Bachelor of Science (Monash University) with Honours (Deakin University). Her honours thesis entitled ‘The consequences of marine-derived avian nutrient input into island ecosystems: Palaeoecological insights from Rimatara, French Polynesia’ focused on palaeoecology and human impacts on a Pacific Island. Tessa has teaching experience from Deakin University where she tutored SLE101: Techniques in Environmental Science and SLE102: Physical Geography. She would like to continue pursuing her interests in palaeoecology, ecology, geology and science communication with further study.

Dr Mat Hardy

past member

Mat’s PhD investigated decision theoretic approaches to private land conservation in Australia and was supported by RMIT University and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions. He is particularly interested in the use of conservation covenants and revolving funds for protecting biodiversity on private land. Mat has a research background in ecology and conservation, and has worked previously in the private land conservation, landscape restoration and water management fields, predominantly in the non-government sector. Mat has a deep underlying interest in biodiversity conservation, particularly on private land and its contribution to landscape scale conservation efforts.

Sarrah Hurley

past member

Sarrah is an Architect with a Masters degree from Queensland University of Technology. Her professional and research agenda is focused on improving how the built environment can be better designed to support biodiversity in urban areas. Before starting her PhD with ICON she worked as a research assistant alongside Luis Mata and other colleagues on developing a survey to identify charismatic species.

Florence Damiens

past member

Florence was a PhD candidate with ICON investigating the relationships between the stakeholders involved in offset policies. She aims to better understand how different sets of values and governance systems impact the design and implementation of offset policies and their ecological outcomes. Her PhD is part of an Australian Research Council Discovery Project entitled “Evaluating environment policy that has immediate costs but long-term gains”. Florence has a Bachelor in Political Sciences from Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) and a Master in Economics and Public Policy from Sciences Po and École Polytechnique. During her studies she worked with various stakeholders in the fields of environment and biodiversity conservation in Australia, France and the Middle-East.

Richard Faulkner

past member

Rich has a Bachelor of Science (Zoology) degree and a Master of Environment (Conservation, Restoration and Landscape Management) degree, both from the University of Melbourne. He has spent many years working as a Ranger, ecologist and land manager promoting wildlife conservation across Australia. He has worked in the remote Kimberley region of Western Australia, on Phillip Island, the Mornington Peninsula and South East Queensland. Internationally he has worked on and visited projects in Spain and East Timor and spent 6 months living in Central Kalimantan (Borneo) on a fellowship for release work on Orangutans and Sun Bears. Since returning to Melbourne Rich has started a small not-for-profit organisation called ‘Reach Out For Wildlife’ and focuses on environmental education for young children. While working for ICON Science, Rich investigated the national effort going into feral cat control. He is now the Vertebrate Pest Program Ranger at Phillip Island Nature Parks.

Dr Laura Mumaw

past member

Laura is a Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow in RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research. Laura has worked for many years in wildlife conservation and community engagement with a professional career in the zoo industry and board positions involved with nature conservation, land care research and natural resource management. In her PhD with ICON Science, Laura explored how an urban community can build capacity to sustain its indigenous biodiversity and wellbeing through a wildlife gardening conservation collaboration. Her current research investigates how to nurture sustainable citizen-local government nature stewardship collaborations, how to understand and improve their social and ecological impacts, and how to link community efforts with regional and state planning and policies.

Simon van Wijnen

past member

Simon is a landscape architect and urban designer. He worked with Georgia Garrard and Sarah Bekessy to investigate better planning for biodiversity in the urban environment, a research project funded by The Myer Foundation. As a design professional he has worked for local governments and companies in Denmark, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia. He has a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture from VHL University in Boskoop the Netherlands and a Masters Degree in Urbanism from the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture. Simon has a particular interest in biodiversity in relation to architecture, urban design and planning. He is passionate about landscape architecture being a discipline to promote ‘nature inclusive urban design’ and improvement of urban environments. Simon is now working as a senior urban designer at the City of Melbourne.

Dr Jeremy Ringma

past member

Jeremy is a quantitative ecologist and conservation scientist specialising in terrestrial vertebrates. Jeremy completed his PhD in Australian mammal conservation in 2016 and has since held postdoctoral position at the University of Hawaii, investigating the impact of feral pigs on threatened plant communities, and the NESP threatened species hub 4.1 project, prioritising conservation action for introduced predator affected Australian mammals. In Jeremy’s current position at RMIT he is investigating the use of climatic predictor variables in species distribution modelling.

Helen Corney

past member

Helen was a PhD candidate with ICON investigating the relationship between biodiversity values and amenity values of urban waterway corridors and the implications this has for environmental management. She has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Environmental Management from Deakin University and a Masters Degree in Forest Science from the University of Melbourne. Her passion for the environment has led her into a number of interesting career positions – from Park Ranger to River Health Officer to teaching in the Conservation and Restoration sector. She believes in putting theory into practice and has extensive experience with working with members of the community to enhance their understanding and enjoyment of the environment whilst undertaking conservation work.

Dr Ben Cooke

past member

Ben completed his PhD in the ICON Science in 2013.  He is currently a Lecturer in Sustainability and Urban Planning in RMIT’s School of Global, Urban and Social Studies.

Lea Fauth

past member

Lea is a Landscape Architecture student (B.Sc.) from Germany working. During her internship research semester (September 2016 – February 2017) at ICON Science she worked with Sarah Bekessy and Luis Mata on a systematic review of the urban green space literature to understand the current state of the knowledge regarding the demonstrated and potential biodiversity and human well-being benefits contributed by urban green spaces. She also sought to identify the range of potential explanatory and response variables that could be extracted from the literature, and to develop a protocol to use the acquired data in a meta-analysis framework.

Natasha Howard

past member

Natasha was a research assistant  working on a project with Mathew Selinske investigating the motivations that drive landholders to place covenants on their land as well as their level of satisfaction with the covenant managing authorities. This project was commissioned by the Australian Land Conservation Alliance (ALCA) and is being conducted across New South Wales, Tasmania and Victoria. She completed her MSc in Conservation Science at Imperial College, London last year and then worked for six months in South Africa evaluating South African Breweries’ “Better Barley, Better Beer” programme – designed to improve economic, environmental and social practices on the farms that supply the brewery’s barley.n green space literature to understand the current state of the knowledge regarding the demonstrated and potential biodiversity and human well-being benefits contributed by urban green spaces. She also sought to identify the range of potential explanatory and response variables that could be extracted from the literature, and to develop a protocol to use the acquired data in a meta-analysis framework.

Dr Cathy Oke

past member

While at ICON Science, Cathy worked with Chris Ives on the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) project investigating how urban open space contributes to biodiversity conservation and human well-being. She is currently a Councillor at the City of Melbourne, and Knowledge Broker for the National Environmental Science Programme Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub, based at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Bill Langford

Dr Alex Lechner

Frederike Zielman

Dr Isaac Peterson

Dr Dhirendra Singh

Dr Luis Mata

Dr Kathryn Hegarty

Dr Sarah Holdsworth

Dr Joab Wilson

Dr Adjie Pamungkas

Noemie Seck