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Meet the team

Photo of Cassandra Rowe

Cassandra Rowe

Coordinating ace

James Cook University

Cassandra is a palaeoecologist, interested in the action of climate and fire on long-term tropical ecosystem variability, and how the relationships people have with landscapes may influence vegetation patterns over time. Cassandra administers the VegeMap project and is keen to learn more about differences in plant pollen production and dispersal.

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Janelle Stevenson

Pollen wonder

Australian National University

Janelle specialises in pollen for palaeoecology with experience working in Southeast Asia, the Pacific and across Australia. Her research focuses on landscape reconstructions spanning time scales of millions to hundreds of years, and monitoring current environmental change. Janelle is a valuable project mentor and oversees team activities with Cassandra.

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Tahlia Perry

Citizen science guru

University of Adelaide

Tahlia is a post-doctoral researcher passionate about combining science and outreach for species conservation. She created the highly successful citizen science project EchidnaCSI, where the public participate in capturing echidna photos and collecting echidna poo for genetic study. Tahlia’s role within VegeMap is to help integrate citizen science into the projects using best-practice approaches, also guiding the rest of the team in these areas.

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Alex Wall

Travelling creative

Australian National University

Alex’s research explores the Quaternary environments of eastern Indonesia, using sediment archives to investigate environmental and ecological changes in areas with a long history of human occupation. Alex is leading the deployment of pollen traps for VegeMap, building the project’s data collection and working with Tahlia on outreach and travelling public education programs.

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Annie Nguyen

Forest finder

Australian National University

Annie is currently a PhD candidate (UTas), focusing on the influence of geology and climatology on forest distribution in eastern Australia. Her goal is to identify areas for conservation priority. She has strong skills in spatial analysis and her role in VegeMap is to identify field sites for vegetation surveys, provide technical knowledge and advice with regard to plant surveys, and assist and encourage citizen scientists.

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Brian Li

Trap architect

Australian National University

Brian has a diverse undergraduate and postgraduate study background, spanning archaeology and archaeobotany to climatic science and policy. He currently holds a research assistant and laboratory manager position, proving fundamental to his colleagues in day-to-day research life, and this includes the VegeMap project. Brian is forefront in the design testing of our pollen traps, extending his role to trap installation in the field with Alex and Imogen.

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Imogen McDermott

Laboratory magician

Australian National University

Imogen has recently completed her undergraduate degree in Earth sciences and works as a laboratory assistant with Janelle. It is through this role that she has built experience in preparing pollen samples for microscope viewing. Imogen is also an avid camper and backpacker, scheduling VegeMap fieldwork and travelling with Alex and Brian.

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Haidee Cadd

Time thinker

University of Wollongong

Haidee is a post-doctoral palaeoecologist and palaeoclimatologist, researching past interactions between fire, vegetation and climate, based on pollen preserved in lake sediments. She is instrumental in expanding VegeMap across the Australian arid interior and east coast, and her experience in environmental modelling will result in the use of our pollen collections in combination with other biological and chemical data sets.

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Kelsey Boyd

Arid explorer

University of Wollongong

Kelsey moved from New Zealand to Australia to undertake PhD studies and follow her interests in grass species, including the long term relationship between grassy ecosystems and fire in northern Australia. Alongside Haidee, Kelsey is supporting our trap locations in the Northern Territory. Through her many infographic designs, she has also assisted in VegeMap project communications.

Photo of Giselle Owens

Giselle Owens

Survey Supremo

Australian National University

Giselle is a PhD candidate at the Fenner School of Environment and Society and is with the Difficult Birds Research Group. Her studies explore the key ecological interactions contributing to population decline in the Swift Parrot’s breeding range in Tasmania.

Because Giselle’s research interests focus on conservation of threatened species, with a particular focus on forest ecosystems, she is great asset to our project in documenting vegetation communities across our study sites.