Rachel Morgain has recently started as Knowledge Broker with the NESP TSR Hub. She comes to the Hub with experience working at the interface of research
and policy, through roles with the Australian Government and most recently at the Australian Academy of Science.
In her past, Rachel researched environmental anthropology and science communication, including the social aspects of environmental change and biodiversity conservation in the US, Australia and the Pacific.
As Knowledge Broker, she will be working closely with the Hub’s project and theme leaders, land management organisations as well as representatives from state and federal government to raise the profile of the TSR Hub’s work and build bridges that help better integrate research, policy and practice. “This will involve strengthening engagement between researchers, policy leaders and land managers, understanding emerging policy priorities, and developing knowledge products tailored for different purposes from the Hub’s cutting-edge research.”
Over coming months, Rachel will meet with Hub project and theme leaders, researchers, representatives from the Department of the Environment and Energy and other stakeholders to clarify priorities for extending the Hub’s knowledge exchange and engagement processes.
She hopes to learn about emerging research from across the Hub and about the research priorities and knowledge-needs of policy makers and land managers. She is also working closely with the communications team to refine the Hub’s communications strategies and extend the reach and influence of threatened species research.
New Hub research has quantified the extent of predation by cats on Australia’s birds and identified the species and types of birds most vulnerable to cats. The team found that cats kill over 1 million birds per day in Australia. The total is made up of an estimated 316 million birds killed by feral cats and 61 million killed by pet cats each year.
Sound recorders have been installed across farm land in south-western Victoria and on Kangaroo Island in research to help threatened glossy black-cockatoos and south-eastern red-tailed black-cockatoos, by learning more about their breeding.
As cats and foxes have spread across Australia, islands have prevented the extinctions of several mammals like the boodie. Associate Professor Sarah Legge discusses the importance of safe havens and also summarizes the highlights of a recent 'safe-haven' symposium held at the International Mammalogy Congress in Perth.
The TSR Hub is one of six National Environmental Science Programme hubs and each is making its own important contribution to the national effort to recover our threatened species. Hub Director Brendan Wintle takes a look beyond the TSR Hub to highlight the good work being done on threatened species by our sister hubs.
On sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island a multi-million dollar eradication program removed cats in 2000 and rabbits, rats and mice in 2013. In the aftermath of this effort, beautiful things are emerging. Dr Justine Shaw is leading a TSR Hub project to learn from this experience and monitor how ecosystems respond.