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The Australian National University

Associate Professor Cristopher Brack

Associate Professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

Areas of expertise

  • Plant Physiology 060705
  • Forestry Management And Environment 070504
  • Natural Resource Management 050209
  • Landscape Ecology 050104
  • Environmental Management 050205
  • Agricultural Land Management 070101
  • Tree Nutrition And Physiology 070508
  • Environmental Monitoring 050206
  • Forestry Sciences 0705
  • Other Education 1399
  • Environmental Science And Management 0502


I completed a B.Sc.(for) with 1st class Honours at the ANU as a Forestry Commission Trainee in 1981 and then went to work for the NSW government. After 3 years as a field forester, I moved to Sydney where I eventually became the Senior Inventory Officer responsible for quantifying the growth and value of plantations and native forests of NSW. In 1994, I returned to the ANU to teach and research into forest measurement and management. Since then, my most significant research contributions have been the development of optimal sampling strategies, modelling tools, and decision-support systems for trees and associated biota at stand, landscape and continental scales. This research integrates my knowledge of and innovation in applied statistics (for sampling), data acquisition (from remotely sensed imagery and ground-based surveys), modelling (of tree and stand dynamics), and expert and decision support systems (as integrating methods). This research has broad application in both natural, plantation and urban environments, and is novel in its integration of quantitative and qualitative information; it has significant national and international standing as a result. This research has been influential in development of the National Carbon Accounting System for Australia (winner of the Eureka Environmental Science Award), and in catalysing the development and adoption of new approaches by forest and land managers and policy makers. Work has supported research grants, consultancies or other income in excess of $2 million (including Greenhouse Action Strategic R&D project initiatives; climate change and plantation management for FWPRDC; various ACIAR projects to improve PNG human resources and education systems and inventory and information systems, and a city-wide census of urban public-land trees and the development of a decision support system). In 2009, I took leave to become the inaugural Chair and Professor of Forestry at the Waiariki Institute (Rotorua, New Zealand) and subsequently became the Director of Research with a mandate to increase the research profile and potential of that Institute (in fields from primary industry, Maori development, nursing and health studies, computing and business). After a successful 3 years, I returned to the ANU to take up my teaching and research roles in the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Researcher's projects

Understanding the Carbon and Pollution Mitigation Potential of Australia's Urban Forest.

Developing Sampling and Measurement Guidelines for determining carbon in forests and woodlands.

Understanding Uncertainty and Risk in Forest Carbon (and other) estimates.

Improved Teaching and Learning for Higher Degree (Research) students.


Available student projects

Measuring and Monitoring tree and forest growth with an integration of field, airborne and satelight sensors (including drones and multi-temporal, gigapixel cameras). See

Growing and managing urban forests, especially their sustainable development in harsh climates and with uneven age class and species numbers.

Active management of woodlands and forests, especially where major landuse changes have resulted in relative over/under abundances of ecologically important tree sizes and species.

Past student projects

Pecenko, A. 2016. The habitat value and public perceptions of Totem Trees in Canberra urban parklands (Honours)

Bush, D. 2015. An investigation of genetic-by-environment interaction in southern Australian trials of Eucalyptus cladocalyx and implications for breeding (PhD)

Soraya, E. 2015. Long-term stand- and tree-level response to intensive silviculture in Eucalyptus sieberi regrowth (PhD)

Edwards, R. 2015. The Suitability of Commercial Low-Cost UASs for Forest Assessment (Honours)

Nugroho, N. 2014. Landscape scale carbon stock assessment of tropical peat swamp forests using an integrated field measurement and remote sensing technique (PhD)

El Halim, R. 2014. The Impact of Indonesian logging system on West Papuan Forest Tree Biodiversity and Productivity (Masters)

Chalise. M. 2013. Estimation of stand-level aboveground forest biomass: A quest for efficiency and reliability (Masters)

Beh, J-L. 2012. Seeing the soil through the trees: The utility of stem shape and taper in the butt swell for predicting soil depth in Australian Pinus plantations (PhD)

Waterworth, R. 2009. Dynamics of stem growth and shape in Pinus radiata D.Don under contrasting water and N availability (PhD)

Lee, A. 2008. Utilising airborne laser (LiDAR) to improve the assessment of Australian native forest structure (PhD)

Lowson, C. 2008. Estimating carbon in direct seeded environmental plantings. (Honours - First Class)

Golman, M. 2007. Resource planning for Samsai Niksek tribal forest of Papua New Guinea - recognising land, people and the forests (PhD)

Roberts, S. 2007. Projecting Farm Scale Product Volumes and Values. (Honours - First Class)

Musk, R. 2006. Estimating stem profile using canopy metrics (PhD)

Gowae, G. 2005. A Cohort Model for Pometia genus in the lowland tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea (PhD).

McElhinny, C. 2005. Quantifying stand structural complexity in woodland and dry sclerophyll forest, south-eastern Australia. (PhD).

Kemmerer, E. 2005. Optimising sawlog production in even-aged eucalypt stands. (PhD)

Gilbert, M. 2004. Trends in Urban Tree Removal on Leased Land across Canberra, ACT. (Honours - First Class)

Soraya, E. 2004. Management models for rattan gardens of Kedang Pahu West Kutai, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. (Masters by research)

Andriyana, W. 2004. Testing the feasibility of centroid and importance sampling for estimating volume of standing trees in a tropical forest context. (Masters by research)

Agombe, S. 2004. Site Form and improving volume estimation of uneven-aged forest stands in northern Namibia (Masters by research).

Kyle, J. 2003. Investigating land cover change and vegetation growth in Turner as a way of quantifying the changes in Canberra as a Garden City. (Honours - 2A Class)

Ho, A. 2002. Particulate pollution capture and retention by Eucalyptus elata (Dehnh) in the A.C.T. (Honours - First Class)

Titheradge, S. 2002. Tree crown dieback of Fraxinus oxycarpa cv Raywood in Canberra's urban forest. (Honours - 2A Class)

Ellis, P. 2001. The aerodynamic and combustion characteristics of Eucalypt bark - a firebrand study. (PhD)

Payne, D. 2001. Modelling the effect of forest management on the carbon pools in a Eucalyptus pilularis (blackbutt) regrowth forest. (Honours - 2A Class)

Garner, M. 1999. Determining an Appropriate Protocol for Amenity Tree Valuation in Australia. (Honours - First Class)

Ozolins, A. 1999. Abundance and Decline of Isolated Trees in the Agricultural Landscape of Central West NSW. (Honours - First Class)

Wee, M.L. 1999. Predicting Urban Tree Benefits and Costs using Growth Models (Honours - First Class)

Pokharel, B. 1998. Use of GIS and modelling to determine the site productivity of an uneven-aged forest. (Honours - First Class)

Frankcombe, M. 1997. Determination of site productivity in native regrowth forests using permanent growth plot data. (Honours - First Class)

Brookhouse, M. 1997. Identification and analysis of growth rings in Eucalyptus obliqua and E. cypellocarpa. (Honours - First Class)

Dekaris, D. 1997. Incorporating point density, tree dominance, soil type and altitude into taper models for Eucalyptus pilularis. (Honours - 2A Class)

Crook, D. 1997. A comparison of the importance and centroid sampling methods in the valuation of Pinus radiata trees. (Honours 2A Class)

Croft, A. 1996. Comparison and verification of basal area growth models for Pinus radiata plantations. (Honours - First Class)

Rivers, G. 1996. Evaluating MARVL inventory system volume and value estimates. (Honours - 2A Class)



Projects and Grants

Grants are drawn from ARIES. To add Projects or Grants please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  23 March 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers