We acknowledge and respect Victorian Traditional Owners as the original custodians of Victoria’s land and waters, their unique ability to care for Country and deep spiritual connection to it. We honour Elders past and present whose knowledge and wisdom has ensured the continuation of culture and traditional practices.

Organising Committee

The Victorian Biodiversity Conference is organised by postgraduate students. early-career researchers and early-career professionals from a diverse range of Victorian institutions. If you're interested in joining the team, or want to express an interest in helping with future conferences, feel free to contact us. The committee for the 2020 conference includes members from the following nine institutions:

Monash University

Ielyzaveta Ivanova


PhD candidate looking at understanding the relative contribution that private protected areas make to Australia’s reserve system in the biodiversity values protected.

William Mitchell

PhD candidate investigating conservation translocations, with a particular focus on the endangered Mallee emu-wren and Norfolk Island’s suite of endemic passerines

Allie Nance

PhD candidate working on understanding the unique challenges of, and opportunities for conservation on small islands inhabited by humans. Allie works on the ecology and management of Norfolk Island endemic passerines as a case-study, and looks at global patterns and experiences of conservation management on inhabited islands.

Yael Rodger

PhD candidate working in conservation genomics. Yael's project is on the genetic rescue of an endangered grassland daisy in south-eastern Australia.

The University of Melbourne

Emily McColl-Gausden

PhD candidate, The Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group.

Emily works on lots of different aspects of environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling. One of the major parts of her project is running the Great Australian Platypus Search (GAPS) which means she gets to travel all around Victoria and NSW

Rachel Nalliah

Masters student,  Fire, Ecology and Biodiversity Group

Her research focuses on how the heath mouse (an endangered native small mammal of Australia) is influenced by fire and resource availability.

Bingxu Nan

PhD candidate, Centre for Aquatic Pollution Identification and Management.

His research interests mainly lie in risk assessment of microplastics' pollution in freshwater waterbodies and running ecotoxicology experiments in the lab with shrimp.

Linda Riquelme

PhD candidate, The Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group.

Her work looks at monitoring grass biomass to support kangaroo management in endangered Buloke Woodlands and takes her up to the beautiful Victorian mallee.

Katharine (Kate) Senior

PhD candidate, The Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group

Kate works on the impact of fire on small mammals and reptiles in the mallee. She is particularly interested in going beyond 'time since fire' as a measurement to look at the relationships between fauna and other aspects of fire regime.

Blythe Vogel

Masters student, The Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group

She is researching insect pollinators in urban environments, and finding ways for citizen scientists to help conduct this research

La Trobe University

Katherine Best

She recently completed an honours year with the Landscape and Conservation Ecology lab. Her project investigated the suitability of chainsaw hollows as supplementary habitats for hollow-nesting fauna. Currently, Katherine is interning at Arid Recovery in South Australia on a project which is improving fence designs to help protect western quolls (Chuditch).

Alicia Dimovski

PhD candidate, Robert Lab (Reproductive ecology and conservation biology). She is investigating the ecological and health consequences of light pollution on Australian mammals, and working with lighting engineers to try and produce wildlife-friendly LED lighting that mitigates these impacts

Jacinta Humphrey

PhD candidate, Research Centre for Future Landscapes

Her research aims to quantify the impact of urbanisation on bird communities around Melbourne’s urban fringe

Daniel (Dan) Nugent

PhD candidate, Ecology, Environment and Evolution

Dan is investigating the effects of management practices on habitat for the Plains-wanderer and other grassland birds on Victoria’s Northern Plains

RMIT University

Emily Gregg

PhD candidate, ICON Science Research Group

I am a PhD candidate currently focusing on improving communications for biodiversity conservation

Marco Gutierrez

PhD candidate, ICON Science Research Group

Marco's research focuses on how biodiversity and ecosystem services are addressed in strategic environmental assessments, and the opportunities and risks that they present to biodiversity conservation

Matthew Selinske

PhD candidate, ICON Science Research Group

His research can be broadly categorised as conservation psychology and he is currently working on a range of research projects including; evaluating the social dimensions of private land conservation, biodiversity footprint analysis, conservation behaviour change and predictive modelling of human behaviour.

Roshan Sharma

PhD candidate, ICON Science Research Group

His research focuses on evaluating conservation intervention impact and he enjoys doing geospatial modelling work.

Freya Thomas

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ICON Science Research Group.

She loves plants and happily gets to think about them everyday.

Deakin University

Elodie Camprasse

Recently completed a PhD with the Centre for Integrative Ecology.

Elodie's PhD researched individual specialisations in seabirds. She now works as a casual academic at Deakin University, as Outreach and Events manager at Remember the Wild, and as Emergency Response Operator at Wildlife Victoria. She is  interested in pursuing a post-doc on wildlife-human conflicts.

Sarah Treby


PhD candidate, Blue Carbon Lab. 

She is researching the carbon sink capacity of freshwater wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin, in the context of management and disturbance impacts such as livestock grazing, environmental flows, wild and prescribed fires, and feral herbivores. 

Charles Sturt University

Joshua  Hodges

PhD candidate, jointly supervised by CSU, the ANU and ANBG.

His project is looking at the seed and seedling ecology of grassy ecosystems across south-eastern Australia.

Victoria University

Christine Connelly

This year, Christine finished her PhD looking at the effects of urbanisation on eastern yellow robins with Deakin University. She now lectures in environmental science at Victoria University. She is an advocate for citizen science, because she loves working with passionate community groups

Roan Plotz

Lecturer of Environmental Science.

Roan has multidisciplinary research interests and experiences across conservation, ecology, traditional knowledge and climatology. He has been the lead scientist on a Pacific Aid Program, administered by the Bureau of Meteorology. For >5 years he worked closely with several Pacific Island Meteorological Services to increase community resilience to climate change by incorporating Traditional Ecological Knowledge into climate products.

Arthur Rylah Institute

Jemma Cripps

She is a research scientist in the Threatened Fauna Program at the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Jemma works on research programs on the ecology and conservation of forest-dependant arboreal mammals. Her early research focused on kangaroo ecology and management, including a PhD in disease ecology.

Zoos Victoria

Arabella Eyre

She works in the Leadbeater’s possum field team within the Wildlife and Conservation Science group at Zoos Victoria, helping to support Victoria’s critically endangered faunal emblem. Arabella's interests are in threatened species ecology and conservation