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.
The world is changing. Some of this change is planned and desirable. But much else is an unwanted consequence of the expansion of the human species. Those unwanted impacts will affect our lives and those of our descendants.
After undergraduate majors in Geography, Environmental Science and Botany, I did my PhD on native grasslands. I was struck by how these Critically Endangered ecosystems existing right on the edge of my city were being lost without most people even knowing about them – or understanding what amazing, super diverse ecosystems they are.
What influences where birds choose to nest? About 15% of Australian birds, or 114 species, need tree hollows for breeding or shelter. The number of hollow-bearing trees is declining due to timber harvesting and development.
Fish need to move to find food, escape predators and reach suitable habitat for reproduction. Dams, weirs and culverts can create barriers that fragment habitats, isolating fish populations. An Australian innovation, however, promises to help dwindling fish populations in Australia and worldwide.
Endangered forty-spotted pardalote nestlings are falling prey to the larvae of a blood-feeding fly parasite. Researcher Fernanda Alves, reports on experiments that encourage forty-spotted pardalotes to ‘self-fumigate’ their nests by incorporating chicken feathers treated with a bird-safe insecticide.