Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires
- How do we assess and quantify the risks?
- How do we deal with them at large spatial and temporal scales?
- How do we compare the effectiveness of different management activities?
- How do we weigh up the trade-offs inherent in managing for multiple objectives and values?
- Will the same set of management options yield the same results in different ecosystems?
- How will climate change and change in human populations affect risk mitigation?
- What policy and planning approaches will best address the problem, given an expanding knowledge base?
In the Sydney region, outstanding biodiversity assets, water catchments and other ecosystem services are juxtaposed with the largest urban population in Australia, in a landscape with complex terrain and serious fire-weather conditions.
Developing a response that is effective in satisfying competing demands of protection of diverse assets in such a complex environment will require the integration of research, policy development and management.
The NSW Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) and the NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) have joined forces with the University of Wollongong to establish the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires. Using the DEC and RFS contributions, over $1.25 million over five years, the University has appointed Dr Ross Bradstock as the Professor of Bushfire Management and the Director of the new Centre.
Dr Bradstock was previously Principal Research Scientist in the Bushfire Research Unit in DEC. He completed his BSc (Honours) and PhD at the University of Sydney and has been a research scientist in the Department of Environment and Conservation for over 20 years. He is on the Editorial Advisory Committees for the Australian Journal of Botany and the International Journal of Wildland Fire. He has published over 80 research papers, written numerous government reports, and edited three books dealing with land management, biodiversity conservation, and fire ecology.
Congratulations to Dr Marian Wong who has been awarded a Small (Target) grant of 12K from SMAH to investigate the evolution of social interaction networks in this social coral reef fish, the humbug damselfish (Dascyllus aruanus).
Photo by Dr Peter Buston