Our People

Meet our dedicated staff, responsible for the operation of the TropEco program.

Adam Connell

Manager, Environment

My role is to develop a culture of sustainability at JCU by implementing programs that actively involve staff and students through the TropEco program. We have a great opportunity at JCU to embed sustainable principles into all aspects of our operations, teaching, learning and research, which will help provide our future generation of leaders with the knowledge and capacity to make a difference in the real world.

I have always been passionate about the environment and am always looking for ways to reduce our environmental footprint. As the Environment Manager, I like to be actively involved in developing and running the various programs of TropEco so they have practical and real world benefits to staff and students.

Telephone +61 7 4781 5060

Email adam.connell@jcu.edu.au

Estate Directorate – Townsville

Kerryn O'Conor

Kerryn O'Conor, Sustainability Officer

Sustainability Officer

I work with Adam and the TropEco team in driving a culture of sustainability at JCU. My role is to encourage and support student and staff led sustainability initiatives and to facilitate the development and implementation of JCU's sustainability strategy. Based in our External Relations Unit, I am particularly focused on developing partnerships with the broader community, including community groups, businesses, industry and government organisations.

I am passionate about promoting and raising awareness of our award winning TropEco program as I believe it is important that we all have the opportunity to share in and celebrate our university's many sustainability successes.

Telephone +61 7 4232 1084

Email kerryn.oconor@jcu.edu.au

Division of Global Strategy and Engagement, External Relations

Marenn Sagar

Casual Sustainability Assistant - Cairns

Marenn Sagar is working with TropEco as a Sustainability Assistant on the Cairns Campus. Marenn is a Masters Student of Tropical Urban and Regional Planning, with a research focus on local food systems and regional rejuvenation. With an undergraduate degree in Sustainability (Majoring in social Science) and a practical qualification in Permaculture Design, Marenn lives and breathes sustainability.

Marenn’s key roles are to coordinate and develop a range of sustainability initiatives and programs on campus, and build partnerships that enable and engage active student and staff involvement with sustainability-based programs at JCU.

Telephone +61 7 4232 1244

Email: marenn.sagar@jcu.edu.au

Estate Directorate - Cairns

Brandan Espe

Environmental Assistant - Townsville

I grew up in a rural setting and had the opportunity to hone my understanding of local flora and fauna as well as other features of the natural environment.  This was further developed by my studies at James Cook University which assisted in turning my life experiences into practical skills.

I believe in finding a balance between campus developments and Environmental conservation, as a result I enjoy the opportunity to impact not only large scale rehabilitation on campus but also detailed gardens. I also try to promote student and other academic input into the campus so a broad range of views and styles of environmental practices may be understood and adapted for the campus.

My position allows me to work on the realisation of the Townsville Campus Natural Asset Management Plan, rehabilitation, running the campus greenhouses to mass propagate target and endangered species, fauna and flora mapping and surveying and establishing threatened species recovery plans.  To a lesser extent I also play a role in engaging external environmental stakeholders, working on the Rotary community garden, sustainable campus landscaping implementation,  feral species eradication and working on the Environmental management plans.

Email brandan.espe@jcu.edu.au

Estate Directorate - Townsville

Alexandria Bencich

TropEco Assistant - Townsville

Alexandria is working as the TropEco Assistant at the Townsville Campus. Her role is to work alongside Adam to ensure the projects and initiatives created for staff, students and the public are communicated with participants on a level where they can then take their new found understanding of sustainable practices and embed them within their everyday lives.

Alexandria is currently studying towards completing a Bachelor of Environmental and Indigenous Studies and this year created a program based on sharing knowledge, which brought together Primary School students and local Indigenous Elders.

Alexandria believes knowledge, just like waste, should not just be used once and thrown away, it should be taken apart to then create a new idea built on the ideas of those that came before hand.

Email alexandria.bencich@jcu.edu.au

Estate Directorate - Townsville