Threatened Species Scientific Committee members

The current members are:

Professor Helene Marsh (Qld) (Chair)

Professor Helene Marsh

Professor Helene Marsh

Professor Helene Marsh was appointed to the Committee in August 2011. She is a conservation biologist with some 30 years experience in research into species conservation, management and policy with particular reference to tropical marine and terrestrial wildlife of conservation concern. The policy outcomes of her research include significant contributions to the science base of dugong conservation in Australia and internationally. Her research also provided the conceptual basis for the 'Back on Track' Program conducted by the Queensland government. Helene is committed to informing interdisciplinary solutions to conservation problems and has collaborated widely with colleagues in other disciplines.

Helene is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and has received international awards for her research and conservation from the Pew Charitable Trust, the Society of Conservation Biology and the American Society of Mammalogists. She is President –Elect of the Society of Marine Mammalogy and Co–chair of the IUCN Sirenia Specialist Group. She is on the editorial boards of Conservation Biology, Endangered Species Research and Oecologia.

Helene is Dean of Graduate Research Studies and Distinguished Professor of Environmental Science at James Cook University. Her publications include two books, 130+ papers in professional journals, ~30 chapters in refereed monographs/conference proceedings, more than 30 papers in conference/workshop proceedings, plus numerous technical reports and popular articles. Helene has been on the supervisory committees of more than 80 honours students, research higher degree candidates and postdoctoral fellows. She is anticipating her 50th PhD student to graduate in 2012.

Professor Peter Harrison (NSW)

Professor Peter Harrison

Professor Peter Harrison

Professor Peter Harrison was appointed to the Committee in September 2005. He is a marine ecologist with more than 30 years experience in marine research, university teaching, postgraduate supervision and consultancy work. He has been awarded more than $6.4 million in research and consultancy grants, the majority from the Australian Research Council and other national and international competitive grants. He has published more than 130 scientific papers, books, review chapters and technical reports, which have been cited more than 2,700 times. He has successfully supervised 40 PhD, Master of Science and Honours students including multiple University and Chancellor's PhD medallists.

Professor Harrison is the Director of Marine Studies at Southern Cross University (SCU) and the Director of the Coral Reef Research Centre and the Director of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at SCU. His main areas of research expertise and supervision are marine biology and ecology including global patterns of coral reproduction, impacts of pollutants and stress, long-term monitoring of reef communities, whale and dolphin ecology and conservation, dispersal and biogeography of reef corals and implications for connectivity among marine protected areas. He also has substantial research and teaching experience with estuarine, freshwater and terrestrial ecology topics. He has been awarded multiple prizes for research and university teaching, including a joint Eureka Prize for Environmental Research for the discovery of the mass coral spawning phenomenon on the Great Barrier Reef.

Professor Harrison was the Project Leader for a United Nations funded mission to assess the impacts of the first Gulf War on the coral reefs of Kuwait, and has also worked in many areas of the Great Barrier Reef, Japan, Palau, Arabian Gulf, Bahamas, French Polynesia, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, Philippines and Antarctica. Professor Harrison is a member of the Port Curtis and Port Alma Ecosystem Research and Monitoring Program Advisory Panel, the NSW DECCW Marine Fauna Advisory Group, the Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation Scientific Committee, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) Commission on Ecosystem Management (CEM) (Oceania).

Dr Andrea Taylor (Vic)

Dr Andrea Taylor

Dr Andrea Taylor

Dr Andrea Taylor was appointed to the Committee in September 2005. She is a wildlife population geneticist and molecular ecologist with long experience in the use of genetic markers to distinguish and characterise taxa, particularly marsupials. Her 80 primary research publications and reviews relate to use of genetic analysis to resolve issues ranging from species relationships, dispersal, mating systems and population size (via DNA profiling of remotely collected field samples) to impacts of habitat fragmentation and other landscape changes on population dynamics and viability. She is currently a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University where she leads an active research group examining these questions.

Dr Taylor has associations with and advises several State wildlife management agencies including in the capacity of Recovery Team member. She is currently Editor of the journal Wildlife Research, which publishes management-oriented scientific research.

Dr William Humphreys (WA)

Dr William Humphreys

Dr William Humphreys

Dr William Humphreys was appointed to the Committee in November 2006. He is currently Adjunct Professor at the School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia (UWA) and Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Adelaide. He has experience of marine, freshwater and terrestrial fauna, both as a researcher and teacher, and has published widely on both invertebrate and vertebrate taxa. He has edited 5 books, and authored 22 chapters, 130 peer-reviewed papers, 36 consultancy reports and in excess of 40 other publications.

Dr Humphreys serves on the Editorial Board of the Records of the Western Australian Museum and the international journal Subterranean Biology. He is currently a member of the Western Australian Scientific Advisory Committee for Threatened Ecological Communities and also serves on a number of other Western Australian-based advisory groups and recovery teams.

Dr Humphreys has worked in a range of environments including tropical (Africa, Seychelles, Papua New Guinea and Australia), temperate (Europe and Australia), arid (Western Australia and Northern Territory), mediterranean (Greece and Western Australia) and humid (Papua New Guinea, Kimberley and New South Wales) climates.

Dr Michelle Heupel (Qld)

Dr Michelle Heupel

Dr Michelle Heupel

Dr Michelle Heupel was appointed to the committee in November 2011. She is a current ARC Future Fellow through the Australian Institute of Marine Science and James Cook University. She is a marine ecologist focusing her research on the biology and ecology of marine predators, primarily sharks and rays. Her research has produced five book chapters, nine technical reports and over 60 journal publications.

Dr Heupel has previously served as Research Director for the AIMS@JCU joint venture and Manager of the Elasmobranch Behavioral Ecology Program at Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida, USA. She has served on numerous committees and societies and has been an active member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group since 2001. She has served as an international expert on several research and conservation panels. Dr Heupel is also a Subject Editor for 'Marine and Coastal Fisheries', and a Review Editor for 'Aquatic Biology'.

Dr Sue McIntyre (ACT/NSW)

Dr Sue McIntyre

Dr Sue McIntyre

Dr Sue McIntyre was appointed to the Committee in November 2012. She is a plant ecologist with over 30 years research experience in native vegetation conservation and management. She has worked at the University of Melbourne, the University of New England and for the last 20 years at CSIRO where she is a Senior Principal Research Scientist. She is also currently a Research Associate with the Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University. She has published over 120 published papers including 79 refereed journal papers, and has over 4,800 citations. Topics of publication include disturbance ecology, invasion ecology, conservation biology, plant functional types and landscape ecology. She has major expertise in the grasslands and grassy eucalypt woodlands and the integration of conservation management and production in rural landscapes. Her work has influenced policy in relation to vegetation protection, management of remnant vegetation, landscape planning, and the development of stewardship programs for endangered grassy woodlands.

Dr McIntyre's advisory and research leadership roles have included membership of the Council for Sustainable Vegetation Management (1997-2000), Task leader for the international Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems program (Task 2.2.1 Responses of Vegetation to Land Use and Disturbance 1997-2001), membership of Land and Water Australia's Native Vegetation R&D Program Management Advisory Committee (2000-2002), member of the Expert Panel on grassland management of Belconnen Naval Base (Department of Defence 2007) and a member of the advisory committee for the Victorian Government's Remnant Native Vegetation Investigation 2008-11. She is currently a board director of Bush Heritage Australia.

Judy Backhouse (Vic)

Judy Backhouse

Judy Backhouse

Judy Backhouse was appointed to the Committee in October 2012. Judy has worked in natural resource and environmental management in the Victorian public sector for over 30 years and has extensive experience in public policy development, service delivery, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance. She is currently working as a consultant in community engagement and enjoys mentoring young professionals in their career development.

As Regional Manager for the complex rural - urban interface area around Melbourne, she worked with community leaders and developers to protect remnant native grasslands threatened by urban encroachment, and other flora and fauna species, such as Helmeted Honeyeater, Little Penguin, Eltham Copper Butterfly and various orchid species, from a myriad of development pressures. Judy has also held positions as Executive Director Public Land, Executive Director Regional Services and Executive Director Organisational Development in the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Judy has served on many committees and as a Director on the Board of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the Port Phillip Catchment Management Authority and the Central Coastal Board. She was also a party to negotiations with Victoria's Traditional Owners on an alternative framework for Native Title settlements in Victoria. She brings to the TSSC a practical approach to the implementation of Action Plans and other programs designed to protect threatened wildlife and ecosystems and an understanding of community engagement and stakeholder relationships in effective environmental management.

Dr Sarah Legge (WA)

Dr Sarah Legge

Dr Sarah Legge

Dr Sarah Legge was appointed to the Committee in November 2012. She is a wildlife ecologist with a background in evolutionary/behavioural ecology, and over 20 years experience in field research, mostly in remote locations in Africa, Siberia, New Guinea and Australia. Sarah has worked for the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (Australia's largest conservation NGO) for the past nine years, where she developed and continues to lead its award-winning Conservation and Science program. In this role she directs the design, implementation and monitoring of AWC's land management programs; the design and implementation of a national, ecological monitoring program on AWC properties to measure and report on conservation management performance; and the development of a large strategic research portfolio on threatened species and threat management. Dr Legge oversees the only national reintroduction program for threatened species in Australia; this program is making a significant contribution to the persistence of several threatened mammal species. She provides strategic advice to AWC's executive and Board during the development of organisational policy and communications strategies, and is a significant fundraiser.

Dr Legge has authored 1 book and over 65 peer-reviewed publications (in the fields of evolutionary ecology, wildlife ecology, threat management) and many dozens of technical reports and popular articles. She has supervised 13 students, and is an Adjunct at the Australian National University and Charles Darwin University. She has contributed to a number of Advisory Committees, Editorial Boards, Indigenous Protected Area projects and Recovery Teams.

Professor Stuart Bunn (Qld)

Professor Stuart Bunn

Professor Stuart Bunn

Professor Bunn is the Director of the Australian Rivers Institute at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.  His major research interests are in the ecology of river and wetland systems with a particular focus on the science to underpin river management.   This research has resulted in over 200 technical publications, most of which are refereed journal papers and conference proceedings.

Stuart has extensive experience working with international and Australian government agencies on water resource management issues.From 2008-2012, he was appointed as an Australian National Water Commissioner and has previously served as Chair of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the Lake Eyre Basin Ministerial Forum and as a Director of Land and Water Australia. He is currently Chair of the Executive Scientific Expert Panel for the Southeast Queensland Healthy Waterways Partnership and a member of the Advisory Committee for Social, Economic and Environment Science for the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.  He is also a member of the Scientific Steering Committee for the Global Water System Project.

In 2007, Professor Bunn was awarded the Australian Society for Limnology Medal “in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research and management of Australia’s inland waters”.

Professor David Keith (NSW)

Professor David Keith

Professor David Keith

David Keith is Professor of Botany at the University of New South Wales, deputy director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science and Senior Principal Research Scientist at the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage where he has worked as an ecologist since 1986. His research activities include field and modelling studies of the dynamics of plant populations, communities and their habitats and their application to the conservation of biodiversity.

David leads long term research projects on the dynamics of heathland, mallee, upland swamp and grassy woodland ecosystems within the Australian Long Term Ecological Research Network. These have helped to advance understanding of interactions between native vegetation and bushfire, climate change, grazing and diseases.

Several of David's studies have assessed risks and management options for species of threatened flora and fauna, as well as threatened ecological communities. His research also contributed to the development, testing and application of conservation risk assessment methods, including Red List methods for both species and ecosystems. He lead the scientific development of IUCN Red List criteria for ecosystems and co-leads the Red List of Ecosystems theme within IUCN's Commission on Ecosystem Management.

David served on the NSW Scientific Committee (2003-2008), the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species Standards and Petitions Subcommittee, and chairs the IUCN Committee for Scientific Standard of the Red List of Ecosystems. He has authored more than 110 peer-reviewed scientific papers and an award-winning book, 'Ocean shores to desert dunes: the native vegetation of New South Wales and the ACT'.