Michael Simpson

Areas of Scientific Interests

Micheal Simpson has lived in Albany all his life. In his work as a Cultural Connections Project Officer for SCNRM he does a lot of on-the-ground work including weed eradication, seed collection, fencing and revegetation, and has also worked with an archaeologist doing cultural surveys and mapping. Michael is a Noongar man, very proud of his culture and heritage and passionate about working with the aboriginal community. He has assisted with cultural workshops and represented SCNRM at school events to create awareness of cultural values and educate youth about aboriginal history. Michael left school for an opportunity to study Conservation and Land Management. He loves being out in the bush, so why not work in it? He hopes to complete his Certificate 4 in Conservation and Land Management in 2015..

Neil Pettit

Dr Neil Pettit, Research Fellow

Email address:

Phone: 9842 0828

Key research:

  • Tropical riparian zones

  • Nutrient cycling


Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management

Neil Pettit completed his PhD in October 2000 investigating the factors affecting recruitment of riparian vegetation on the Ord River in the Kimberley region and on the Blackwood River in south Western Australia. From 2002 to 2006 worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Washington, investigating the ecology of river/savanna boundaries in Kruger National Park, South Africa. Since 2007 Neil has been a Research Fellow with CENRM, working within the TRaCK programme theme looking at food webs and biodiversity of northern Australian rivers. .

Peter Speldewinde

Dr Peter Speldewinde - BSc (hons) PhD (UWA)

Dr Peter Speldewinde - BSc (hons) PhD (UWA)

Key research

  • Impacts of ecosystem degradation on human health

  • Ecology and conservation of Australian native rodents

Email address: peter.speldewinde@uwa.edu.au

Phone: 9842 0845

IWC Lecturer in Restoration Ecology


Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management

Areas of Interest and Experience

Dr Peter Speldewinde worked for many years in the field of conservation biology, implementing recovery plans and translocation proposals for threatened species. After working in the field of landcare for a number of years Peter did his PhD at the University of Western Australia, examining the impacts of dryland salinity on human health. He is currently involved in coordinating the honours year for the 'Restoration Ecology' degree and a unit in the International Water Centre's Master of Integrated Water Management. His research interest is the effects of ecosystem health on human health and he maintains an interest in Australian native rodents.

Simon Clarendon

Diploma Horticulture and Bachlor of Environmental Science

Diploma Horticulture and Bachlor of Environmental Science

Summary of research interests

Simon completed Diploma of Horticulture in 2000 and Bachelor of Environmental Science 2005. He worked at University of Melbourne as a research assistant in forestry and tree health and has undertaken projects at Department of Agriculture Western Australia looking at acid sulfate soils on the south coast of Western Australia and alternative lime products to change pH. He moved across to the University of Western Australia, based in Albany, developing a computer model to follow phosphorus movement through dairy farms to determine the effect of best management practices (for reducing phosphorus loss from the farm) at a catchment level. Simon is currently enrolled in a PhD through CENRM, UWA, Albany, looking at factors regulating phosphorus in drains and streams in sandy agricultural catchments in southwestern Australia, using locations in the Wilson Inlet and Oyster Harbour catchments as his study sites.

Stephen Hopper

Winthrop Professor Stephen Hopper

Winthrop Professor Stephen Hopper

Email address:

Phone: 9842 0842

Key research:

  • Granite outcrop plants of the world - biogeography, evolution and conservation

  • Haemodoraceae - phylogenetics, biology and conservation

  • Old, climatically-buffered, infertile landscapes (OCBILs) - evolution, ecology and conservation of biodiversity

  • Systematics, evolution and conservation of Australian orchids

  • Systematics and conservation of Western Australian eucalypts

  • Collaborative cross-cultural knowledge systems of biodiversity - Noongar and western science


Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management

Areas of Interest and Experience

I am a conservation biologist, trained and widely published in in evolution, ecology and taxonomy. My research and teaching interests are broad, with specialist expertise in eucalypts, the plant family Haemodoraceae (containing kangaroo paws), orchids, plants of granite outcrops, rare plants and pollination by vertebrates.

I have worked in the Western Australian Government, at the University of Western Australia, and been Director of two world class botanic gardens, while maintaining an active field research program right up to the present day. I have broad interests in biodiversity and in devising ways for people to live sustainably with biodiversity on old, climatically-buffered infertile landscapes.

I was employed as Western Australia's first Flora Conservation Research Officer in 1977, and promoted to Senior Principal Research Scientist and Officer in Charge of the Western Australian Wildlife Research Centre, Department of Conservation and Land Management from 1988 to 1992. In 1990 I was Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Georgia (USA) and Miller Visiting Research Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, working on granite outcrop plant life, which continues as a research interest.

I joined Kings Park and Botanic Garden as the Director in 1992, and from 1999 to 2004 served as Chief Executive Officer of the Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority (which manages Kings Park and Botanic Garden and Bold Park), leading the delivery of improvements to programmes and infrastructure to world-class standards. At the same time I held Adjunct Professorships at UWA (Botany Department) and Curtin University of Technology (School of Biology).

While Foundation Professor of Plant Conservation Biology at The University of Western Australia from 2004 to 2006, I developed new theories on the evolution and conservation of biodiversity on the world's oldest landscapes, which led to the establishment of new degrees in conservation biology.

I joined the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew in London, a World Heritage site and global plant science powerhouse of 800 staff, in October 2006, and led the organisation through celebrations of its 250th anniversary in 2009. I was honoured to be the first non-British Director (CEO and Chief Scientist) to hold that august post. I led the development and implementation of a forward ten year Breathing Planet Program for Kew and its global partners. This collaborative program aimed to make an urgent and necessary step change in the application of science-based plant diversity solutions towards sustainable living and a reasonable quality of life in the face of accelerating climate change and the loss of biodiversity. The Millennium Seed Bank Project was a key part of this program.

In October 2012, I stepped down as Director of Kew to become Winthrop Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Western Australia, based in Albany at UWA's Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management, with a joint appointment at the School of Plant Biology. .

Steve May

Steve May BSc (Biology)

Steve May BSc (Biology)

Summary of research interests

Steve works as a hydrographer for the Department of Water, South Coast Region.

He graduated from Murdoch University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science (Biological Science). After graduating Steve worked for the Department of Conservation and Land Management in the Pine Forestry group and in 2002 began volunteering for urban catchments groups in Perth. Steve spent the next six years working as a Natural Resource Management Officer in both urban and rural areas undertaking river restoration, nutrient management and community education.

In 2009 he began an internal Hydrographic traineeship with the Department of Water and currently manages a network of gauging stations between Northcliffe and Esperance and is the Data Manager for the South Coast Region.

Tim Overheu

Current area of interest

Land use planning and policy; soil science. Enthusiastic about disseminating soil and landscape information. Well experienced in linking soil type to land use, having been involved in multiple small and large scale soil-landscape assessment projects, including international soil survey projects, national soil assessment and soil health programs and several vineyard and horticulture development consultancies in the Great Southern Region of Western Australia. Experienced in soil health community extension, farm planning, soil and landscape assessment, soil organic carbon measurement, monitoring and verification; agricultural and local government land use planning - strategic and statutory.

Walpole-Nornalup National Parks Association (WNNPA)


Email address:

President: Tim Andrews timothy.andrews@bigpond.com
Secretary: David Edmonds jacksplace@westnet.com.au


Established in 1987, the WNNPA has more than 65 members who have a range of interests and skills.

Current area of research interests:

The association coordinates and is active in a variety of nature based projects in the Walpole Wilderness which include peat rehabilitation, bat surveys, invertebrate studies and weeding programs.

Walter Anderson

Dr Walter Anderson HDA (1960, Hawkesbury), BScAgr. (Hons 1, 1968, Sydney), MScAgr. (1970, Sydney), PhD (1977, New England)

Dr Walter Anderson
HDA (1960, Hawkesbury), BScAgr. (Hons 1, 1968, Sydney), MScAgr. (1970, Sydney), PhD (1977, New England)

Plant Biology, University of Western Australia


I have research and extension experience in both rainfed and irrigated cropping systems in Australia, especially in the Great Southern, on crops including wheat, barley, oats, lupins, canola, sunflowers, sorghum and triticale. The crop agronomy research and development team that I led prior to retiring contributed to major increases in the on-farm yield of wheat in Western Australia. I have also worked extensively on aid and research projects in Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon and Iran. I am currently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Plant Biology at the University of Western Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology.

Summary of research interests:

The agronomic aspects of the cropping systems of dryland areas in winter-rainfall climates.