About me

I am a Senior Lecturer in Public Sector Management within the Public Service Research Group, at the School of Business, UNSW Canberra. I hold an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship which is examining the growth of private sector investment in biodiversity and natural capital

My research aims to understand how governments, businesses and other actors can more effectively protect and manage our natural environment. To do this, I use theories and methods from the natural and social sciences to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental laws, policies and tools. I have a diverse background, including undergraduate degrees in mathematics and ecology, a PhD in public policy, and direct experience with policymaking. I sit on the editorial board of Conservation Letters.

Previously, I was a Research Fellow in the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the University of Queensland, and Principal Scientist in the Land Restoration Fund Unit, Department of Environment and Science, Queensland Government.

From 2016 to 2018 I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the University of Queensland, working with the National Environmental Science Program – Threatened Species Recovery Hub (NESP TSR). I also worked at UQ as a Research Assistant from 2009-2012.

I completed my PhD at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University (2017), where I investigated the challenges and complexities associated with conservation policy in Australia using an interdisciplinary, mixed methods approach.

I was the inaugural Science Policy Intern at the Australian Academy of Science in 2016, and also worked with the Australian Government’s Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities on the EPBC Act Environmental Offsets Policy (2012).

Expertise

  • Environmental markets, regulation and governance
  • Sustainable and conservation finance
  • Public policy
  • Carbon offsets
  • Science-policy interface
  • Interdisciplinary research

Research Impacts

  • Winner of the 2021 Young Tall Poppy of the Year for the ACT in recognition of research excellence and social engagement.
  • My research has made significant national and international policy impact. My collaborative work on carbon offset integrity has been widely reported in the media, including the 7:30 Report, The Australian Financial Review, an Honest Government Ad” by The Juice Media, and has prompted calls for an independent inquiry.
  • My work on biodiversity offset policy directly informed domestic and international policy, including the Australian Government’s Offset Assessment Guide (2012) and the IUCN Biodiversity Offsets Policy (2016).
  • My work on the economics of land-based carbon offsets (aka carbon farming) informed the establishment of the AUD 500 million Land Restoration Fund in Queensland.
  • My paper on how early-career researchers (ECRs) can achieve policy impact was featured in several blogs and online news outlets, including a Nature News career feature. This paper is the top-rated contribution in Palgrave Communications (now Humanities and Social Sciences Communications) on Altmetric (score of 560).
  • My research on deforestation was featured in the 2016 Australian State of the Environment Report. You can download the data here and here.
  • My work with colleagues from CSIRO has directly informed the Australian Department of the Environment’s risk-based approach for prioritising monitoring and compliance efforts
  • My Honours research on threats to Australian species was featured in the 2011 Australian State of the Environment Report.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Australian National University
  • Bachelor of Science with Honours Class 1, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Arts (Mathematics – Extended Major), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science (Ecology), The University of Queensland

Awards

  • 2021: Winner of the 2021 Young Tall Poppy of the Year for the ACT
  • 2021: Awarded a Young Tall Poppy Award by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science (1 of 3 in the Australian Capital Territory)
  • 2018: Winner of the Faculty of Science Rising Star (Academic) Award (selected from 29 nominations and 349 eligible academics). 
  • 2014: Awarded scholarship to participate in the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) Conservation Leadership Program. 
  • 2014: Awarded Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists Science Program Scholarship