Bachelor of Environmental Science (Conservation Ecology) Deakin University, Melbourne.
Honours project looking at the home range and habitat use of the Masked Owl and Sooty Owl in the coastal forests of Far East Gippsland.
I’m interested in the way that top-order predators influence a system, and the chain-reaction of ecological change resulting from their removal.
What did you do before AWC?
At the same time as completing my Honours, I was offered contract work with Parks VIC (a step up in the world from casual work in the corn fields), first as a short-term Ranger, then working on a flood recovery project based in Bairnsdale, VIC. This led to a further short-term Ranger opportunity at Tidbinbilla, ACT.
A previous Parks VIC colleague had moved to a property 'beyond the black stump' called Scotia, and let me know about an upcoming job opportunity - so I packed up the ute and joined the AWC family. Haven't ever looked back!
Favourite animal protected by AWC
Always depends which property I’m on, and what I’m looking at/holding at the time.
Favourite place on an AWC sanctuary
Sitting amongst the branches of the 'old man' River Red Gums at Dakalanta; perched on the Western peak at Buckaringa overlooking the rocky Xanthorrea-covered ridge as the rising sun brings new life to the day; or standing in quiet contemplation on a summer's afternoon as the shadows lengthen on Cat Alley's high dune with a view stretching across the Mallee to the Scotia homestead in the distance.
Top three animals you would like to see (or have seen) in the wild
I've always wanted to see a dugong in the wild; pictures of Fennec foxes break my heart with their ridiculous cuteness; and I love watching the humpback’s breach close to shore back home.
If you could visit any three places on the planet
Fairly naive when it comes to the big wide world out there, but pretty much anywhere the bitumen disappears and critters outnumber people, is where I want to explore.
I would love to spend more time in the MacDonnell Ranges, and see the Kimberley.
I am also becoming increasingly intrigued by the Himalayas, and would love to 'high tea' in style at the tea house atop Mount Hua, China (but vertigo might get the better of me after so many years in the Mallee).
Other interesting stuff
If there were pit-falling olympics, I'd be a 3 time gold medal champion in 'damp course rolling'.
My other natural-born skill is the ability to walk in heels...totally wasted on me.
Brachydactyly Type D gives me the unique ability to incite a good old belly-laugh with my 'Thumb Dance' (guaranteed to lighten any mood).
My life is my work, my work is my life, and I couldn't imagine it any other way.