Organising Committee


simon-mckirdy-- Biodiversity Conference Committee

Professor Simon McKirdy Conference Chair

Pro Vice Chancellor, Harry Butler Institute and Professor in Biosecurity, Murdoch University

Professor Simon McKirdy has extensive experience covering corporate leadership, research management, policy development and the management of biosecurity operations within the government and private sectors.

He has international expertise in biosecurity and, in particular, plant biosecurity. He completed his PhD in Plant Pathology at the University of Western Australia.

He is Chairperson of the Western Australian Biosecurity Council that provides advice to the Western Australian government through the Minister for Agriculture.

Eddie Van Etten - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Dr Eddie van Etten

Ecology, School of Science, Edith Cowan University

Dr Eddie van Etten is a Senior Lecturer in Ecology within the School of Science.
Current teaching, Waste Management, Silviculture, Physical Environments, Ecological Restoration and Science Project.

Dr Eddie van Etten is a professional member of the Ecological Society of Australia, International Association of Vegetation Science, Association for Fire Ecology, and the Society for Ecological Restoration.

In 2000, Dr Eddie van Etten was awarded the Chancellor’s Commendation (Curtin University) for PhD.

Stephen van Leeuwen - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Professor Stephen van Leeuwen

BHP/Curtin Indigenous Professor in Biodiversity & Environmental Science, Curtin University

Dr Stephen van Leeuwen is a respected Aboriginal-Noongar leader with a profound respect for Country coupled with an appreciation of contemporary threats impacting biodiversity and the emerging challenges and opportunities presented through evidence-based natural resources and land management.

Dr Stephen van Leeuwen is an astute and knowledgeable executive manager and senior scientist empowered with the interpersonal and organisation skills to combine a broad scientific competency with a commitment to leadership in biological research to protect biodiversity and manage Country.

He embraces innovation and opportunistically engages and builds collaborative relationships with Traditional Owners, other land managers and biodiversity research providers. He seeks to deliver novel and enduring outcomes for nature conservation, Country and community.

Carina Marshall - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Dr Carina Marshall

Science & Partnerships Coordinator, Population Health Research Network, The University of Western Australia

Dr Carina Marshall is an expert in the higher education sector, government, and scientific and medical research who has gone onto executive and governance roles in the research sector.

Dr Marshall is a certified AICD Company Director graduate, Vincent Fairfax Fellow for Ethical Leadership and Professional Research Manager (ARMS).

Dr Marshall is experienced at influencing, collaborating, synthesizing and advising across the state and across the nation with particular interests in data and digital solutions, STEM education and outreach, and diversity and equity.

Carina Marshall - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Dr Lesley Gibson

Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

Dr Lesley Gibson is a Principal Research Scientist within Biodiversity and Conservation Science of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) where she leads the Animal Science Program. Dr Gibson provides scientific leadership to a team that aims to better understand the factors and processes that are critical for the conservation of Western Australia’s rich and unique native fauna.

Dr Gibson formerly led the Biogeography Program within DBCA and coordinated a major survey of the Kimberley islands as well as several other surveys in various parts of the state, and was the Program Director of Biodiversity Survey with the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute on secondment for three years. She holds an Adjunct Associate Professor position at the University of Western Australia.

Throughout her career Dr Gibson has applied her research to complex conservation problems to better inform the effective protection of Australia’s phenomenal wealth of biodiversity values.

Renee Young - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Dr Renee Young

Curtin University / Western Australia Biodiversity Science Institute

With specialised knowledge in ecological restoration, Dr Young is an environmental scientist with over 15 years’ experience across academia and the mining industry.

Dr Young is the Restoration Program Director at the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) and also manages the ARC Centre for Mine Site Restoration (Curtin). Previously Dr Young led a botanical team at an environmental consultancy.

Dr Young’s on-ground knowledge, experience in restoration and understanding of the limitations and challenges currently faced by the industry, assists her to facilitate and coordinate the multi-disciplinary programs of work required to overcome some of the biggest barriers to ecological restoration.

Renee Young - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Dr Peter Landman

Chevron Harry Butler Chair in Biosecurity and Environment, Murdoch University

Dr Peter Landman recently joined the Harry Butler Institute as the Chevron Harry Butler Chair in Biosecurity and Environment. He brings with him an extensive background in directing large-scale biosecurity programs in industry and the private sector.

Prior to entering industry, Dr Landman completed a Bachelor and PhD in Agriculture and Ecology, respectively, from the University of Western Australia. His research interests centre around plant ecology and biosecurity, particularly eucalypts and arid environment specialists.

Dylan_Korczynskyj - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Associate Professor Dylan Korczynskyj

School of Science, Notre Dame University

Dr Korczynskyj’s research sits within the field of ecology, with publications in areas including ecophyisology, fire ecology and plant phenology. He also has research interests in practice-based and work-integrated learning and teaching.

Dr Korczynsky joined Notre Dame in 2003 to support the development of the Bachelor of Science Degree. He contributed in several leadership roles including Dean of the School and Science Program Course Coordinator.

Shaping his research and academic experience, Dr Korczynskyhas taught into the Environmental Biology program at Curtin University, worked in a technical role at Agriculture WA and supported research by the Department Conservation and Land Management. He continues to be an active member of the Ecological Society of Australia and volunteers as a member of the governing body of Lance Holt School, Fremantle.

Susan Marie - Biodiversity Conference Committee

Ms Susan Marie

UWA Conference Convenor


Editors eLife


Meredith Schuman - Biodiversity Editors eLife

Professor Meredith Schuman

Project Leader, Departments of Geography and Chemistry, University of Zurich Switzerland

Meredith Schuman (Merry) is Assistant Professor in Spatial Genetics in the Departments of Geography and Chemistry at the University of Zurich, a member of the Remote Sensing Laboratories and the University Research Priority Program on Global Change and Biodiversity. Her background is in the chemical ecology and functional genetics of plant interactions, and plant ecophysiology. She works on projects combining direct analyses of plant tissue, and remote sensing techniques with the aim of developing approaches to assess genetic and chemotypic variation, plasticity, and adaptive potential within plant species and their interactions in the context of global change. Previously a Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, Jena, Germany and a Junior Group Leader in the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Merry completed a Fulbright research internship and her dissertation was awarded the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society.

Rosalyn Gloag - Biodiversity Editors eLife

Dr Rosalyn Gloag

Lecturer in Evolutionary Biology, School of Life and Environmental Sciences, The University of Sydney

Rosalyn began researching the evolution, behaviour and genetics of bees as an Honours student here at the University of Sydney. Rosalyn then undertook a PhD (Zoology) at the University of Oxford, U.K. investigating the evolutionary ecology of parasitic birds. This was followed by short postdocs at Oxford and the Australian National University. Rosalyn then returned to Sydney to take up a University of Sydney Postdoctoral Fellowship. In mid-2018 Rosalyn began a Lectureship in Evolutionary Biology at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.


Bernhard Schmid - Biodiversity Editors eLife

Professor Berhard Schmid

Former Professor, Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich

Bernhard Schmid started his ecological career working on the life history of Carex flava for his PhD at the University of Zurich. He was Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Basel before being appointed Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Zurich. He is also an adjunct Professor at Peking University, China.

Bernhard has conducted ground breaking research in several areas of plant ecology, most notably on the population ecology of clonal plants, mechanisms of competition, community assembly, and more recently on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships.

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