Meet the Outstanding Outreach Award winners

From citizen science to conservation psychology – meet the winners of the 2019 ESA/NSW Environment, Energy & Science (DPIE) Award for Outstanding Outreach.

ESA/NSW Environment, Energy & Science (DPIE) Award for Outstanding Outreach provides much-deserved recognition to six early-career researchers who are doing an excellent job of communicating their research to the public. We hope this award will inspire other ecologists to get involved with outreach.

Find out more about the award here.

Belinda Wilson is a conservation ecologist and science communicator who specialises in reintroductions, behaviour, and spatial dynamics. She is currently researching the reintroduction biology of the eastern quoll in her PhD at The Australian National University. Belinda is passionate about encouraging people, and especially children, to connect with nature. When she’s not chasing after quolls, Belinda works as an Outreach Officer for the Woodlands and Wetlands Trust where she spreads the story of the Mulligans Flat and Jerrabomberra Wetlands sanctuaries. She also coordinates flying-fox monitoring as a member of the Australasian Bat Society and – spending much of her time in the great outdoors – is an avid nature photographer! You can find out more on her website, ecologist page, and nature photography page..
Ella Kelly is a conservation biologist who recently completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne. Her research involved investigating “toad-smart” northern quolls (quolls that know not to eat toxic cane toads), and how we might promote this behaviour to prevent and reverse their decline. She now works as a Threatened Species Policy Officer for the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, focusing on how the state government can support projects using novel conservation strategies. She’s interested in how conservationists can make a valuable impact on biodiversity by promoting adaptation in threatened species responding to a rapidly changing world.
Emily Gregg is a PhD candidate at the Interdisciplinary Conservation (ICON) Science Research Group at RMIT University. She has a background in conservation ecology and wildlife management and a passion for effective communication around biodiversity conservation. Her current research takes a strategic communications approach to public and stakeholder engagement for biodiversity conservation, drawing from disciplines such as public relations, social marketing and conservation psychology. When she has a minute, she also enjoys writing articles for her blog, Lizard Tales, where she aims to showcase the research of fellow ecologists and take readers along on the experience of volunteering with them in the field.
Claudia Santori is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney, studying the ecology and conservation of threatened freshwater turtles that live in the Murray River. She has used data collected through citizen science to answer important questions related to turtle conservation, such as which species is most affected by roadkill and where. She has also studied the consequences of the current major turtle decline for the Murray River ecosystem, and possible management solutions such as incubating turtle eggs in captivity and releasing hatchlings back into the river. Claudia is also very dedicated to communicating how amazing turtles are and their current threat of extinction with as many people as possible, giving many talks at community events, schools and the media.
Jacinta Humphrey is a PhD Candidate with the Research Centre for Future Landscapes at La Trobe University. Her research aims to investigate the impacts of urbanisation on wildlife at the landscape scale, using avian communities around greater Melbourne as a case study. In particular, she is interested in the relative influence of canopy tree cover, housing density and the presence of waterways on avian species richness, community composition, and the occurrence of individual species. Jacinta is passionate about environmental education and loves engaging with school students about science, wildlife and nature.
Christine Groom is a conservation biologist based at the University of Western Australia. She completed her PhD on Carnaby’s cockatoo in the urban landscape of Perth in 2015. She has a particular interest in conservation in the urban environment and finding ways that both humans and wildlife can mutually benefit. Christine’s enjoys communicating science and conservation messages to a variety of audiences in a variety of formats.