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PhD Candidate, James Cook University

Canadian-Born Michelle Venter was trained as an ecologist and worked as a scientist aboard fishing fleets in Alaska. From there, she moved on to sheep-stations in far western Queensland to study how tree harvesting affect carbon and biodiversity.

Now for her PhD, Michelle examines the role of tropical forests in mitigating climate change. She works in remote forests of Papua New Guinea to study how carbon stores vary with soil type, regional climate and land-use in forests that span from coastal jungles to high altitude cloud forests above 3000m.

Michelle works closely with local communities, who have an amazing understanding of the forests in which they live. Her research interests are to explore options for climate mitigation that use Indigenous management practices and could provide long-term benefits to landholders.

Her work is helping to guided UN-REDD program on overcoming challenges of monitoring reporting and verifying forest carbon stocks in remote areas of Papua New Guinea.


  • 2010–present
    PhD Candidate, James Cook University


  • 2005 
    Concordia University, BSc Specialization Ecology