I completed my PhD in Molecular & Restoration Genetics at the Adelaide University in 2013. Since completing my PhD, I have been a postdoc at Uppsala University, an ARC DECRA Fellow, and an Adelaide University Vice Chancellor’s Beacon Fellow until my appointed as Lecturer in Biology (Ecology/Organismal Biology) at Flinders University in 2019.
I am a scholar of ecosystem health, restoration ecology, and genomics. I work to integrate genomics, health and wellbeing research into restoration ecology. I lead an integrated team under two initiatives: the Frontiers of Restoration Ecology (FORE) group and the Healthy Urban Microbiome Initiative (HUMI).
HUMI seeks to understand and recreate the immune-boosting power of high quality, biodiverse green spaces in our cities to maximise human health and bring significant savings to health budgets, while delivering gains for biodiversity. At the recent UN Biodiversity Conference in Egypt (COP14; November 2018), I signed an MOU with the Secretariat of the UN Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD), agreeing to work in partnership with the CBD on the linkages between biodiversity and health via the microbiome pathway.
The FORE group is improving restoration success in a rapidly-changing world. Initiatives developed through FORE are created for the benefit of the natural world and societies alike – they are innovative, collaborative and are based on cutting-edge science. Examples include pioneering the value proposition of genomics to restoration ecology, redefining the study of gene flow and mating systems of plants in fragmented landscapes, and on how mixing local seeds with those from non-local origins can lead to improved restoration outcomes under climate change.