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Emeritus professor, La Trobe University

He has studied the ecology and conservation biology of birds, reptiles, mammals, fish and plants for the past 39 years. He leads research at La Trobe University into the impacts of fire on fauna, with his colleague Prof Andrew Bennett. He also maintains an ongoing research interest in threatened species and threatening processes. He was the Convener of the Scientific Advisory Committee on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act to the Victorian Minister for the Environment for five years. In 2007 he was awarded the DL Serventy Medal by the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union for his outstanding contribution to the scientific literature in ornithology. In 2010 he was an expert witness in fire ecology at the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission. In 2014 his research on fire ecology with Prof Bennett was one of three finalists for a Eureka Prize in Environmental Research. He has served as an expert advisor to the Victorian Auditor General’s Office examination of Reducing Bushfire Risk in 2019. He served as the Head of the School of Life Sciences from 2011-2019. He is member of the Board of Parks Victoria. His passion is to see government conservation policy based on the best available evidence.


  • –present
    Professor of Zoology, La Trobe University


  • 1987 
    University of Melbourne, PhD Zoology