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The Australian National University

Associate Professor Geoff Cary

BAppSc (Environmental Biology) (Hons) UTS; PhD (Ecology) ANU
Associate Professor, Bushfire Science, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment

Areas of expertise

  • Environmental Management 050205
  • Conservation And Biodiversity 050202
  • Forestry Fire Management 070503
  • Terrestrial Ecology 060208
  • Landscape Ecology 050104
  • Environmental Science And Management 0502

Biography

Research

Geoff’s research interests include: evaluating fire management & climate change impacts on fire regimes using landscape-scale simulation modelling; ecological investigation of interactions between fire & biota from genes to communities; empirical analysis of house loss in wildland fire; and laboratory experimentation of fire behaviour. He co-leads, with Dr Bob Keane (US Forest Service) and Profesor Mike Flannigan (University of Alberta, Canada), an international group of landscape-scale wildland fire simulation modellers.

Geoff gave a Keynote address, on fuel management and house loss, at the Wildland Fire Canada Conference (Kananaskis, Canada, 2012). He was an invited speaker at the 10th World Wilderness Congress (Salamanca, Spain, 2013) and the International Association of Landscape Ecology World Congress (Portland, USA, 2015). He also recently presented at the Large Wildland Fire Conference (Missoula, MT, USA, 2014) and ForestFire 2016 (Aix-en-Provence, France, 2016).

Teaching

Geoff specialises in teaching bushfire dynamics and management in a range of ANU courses including 'Fire in the Environment' (Convenor) and 'Weather, Climate & Fire' (Co-convenor), with contributions to 'Biodiversity Conservation', 'Environment & Society', 'Climate Change Vulnerability & Adaptation', 'Severe Weather', and 'Contemporary Perspectives in Environmental Science'. Geoff supervises honours and graduate scholars investigating diverse wildland fire topics (see below).

Service

Geoff is a member of the Editorial Advisory Committee, and an Associate Editor, for the International Journal of Wildland Fire. He was a Discipline Panel Member for the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) 2015 ANU submission, and has served on the NSW Parks & Wildlife Advisory Council. Geoff currently serves on the ANU WHS specialist Fieldwork Advisory Group, ANU Statistical Consulting Unit Advisory Committee, the Fenner School Local Area Consultative Committee, and is a mentor in the CMBE Mentoring Program, among other contributions. He managed the PhD and MPhil program in the Fenner School as Associate Director for Higher Degree Research in 2010 and 2011.

Researcher's projects

ARC Discovery Project

‘Managing Australian landscapes to reduce house loss during fire’ with Phil Gibbons, Malcom Gill, Steve Dovers, Max Moritz

Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre project

'Mapping Bushfire Hazards and Impacts' with Albert van Dijk & Marta Yebra

Other recent projects

Fenner School-National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health project

‘Climate Change and Rural Communities: Integrated Study of Physical and Social Impacts, Health Risks and Adaptive Options’

Bushfire Cooperative Research Centre project

'Future Scenarios & Economics' with Steve Dovers, Malcolm Gill & Helena Clayton

US-NZ-Aus collaborative project funded by NSF

'Wildfire-PIRE: Feedbacks and consequences of altered fire regimes in the face of climate and land-use change in Tasmania, New Zealand, and the western U.S.'

Available student projects

Projects are developed in consultation with potential students.

Current student projects

Michael Doherty (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: Vegetation Dynamics and Large Landscape Fires: Species Persistence and Trends in Species Richness, Species Composition and Vegetation Structure (Panel chair)

Dave Taylor (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: The disturbance ecology of mallee plant communities (Panel chair)

Kelly Dixon (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: Monitoring ecologial integrity in national parks (Supervisor)

Robyn Shaw (Research School of Biology, ANU)

PhD: Halting Australia’s mammal declines: a demographic, ecological and genetic approach to fire response in native rodents (Supervisor)

Daniel May (School of History, ANU)

PhD: The appropriation of indigenous fire management in settler societies (Supervisor)

Sandra Lauer (School of Sociology, ANU)

PhD: The changing functions of rural fire brigades in Australia: a study of the rural fire service in South-East New South Wales (Advisor)

Zoe Reynolds (Research School of Biology, ANU)

PhD: The influence of unburnt patches on post-fire bird distributions in mallee communities (Advisor)

Past student projects

Past Graduate Research Supervision

Dr Ian Davies (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: Scale and abstraction: The sensitivity of fire-regime simulation to nuisance parameters (Panel chair)

Dr Luke Nguyen-Hoan (Computer Science, ANU)

PhD: Visualising ecological scenarios and simulations (Supervisor)

Dr Phil Zylstra (ADFA, UNSW)

PhD: Forest flammability - modeling and managing a complex system (co-supervisor)

Dr Adam Leavesley (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: The response of birds to the fire regimes of mulga woodlands in central Australia (Panel Chair)

Dr Lyndsey Vivian (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: Variation in fire response traits of plants in mountainous plant communities of south-eastern Australia (Panel Chair)

Dr Karen King (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: Simulating the effects of anthropgenic burning on patterns of biodiversity (Panel Chair)

Dr Auro Almeida (Fenner School, ANU)

PhD: Application of a process-based model for predicting and explaining growth in Eucalyptus plantations (Panel Chair)

Nic Gellie (Fenner School, ANU)

MPhil: Landscape Susceptibility to Large Fires (Panel Chair)

Mourad Jaffar-Bandjee (Université Paris Sud, France)

Master of Environment: Effect of disturbance on genetic diversity (Supervisor)

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Past Honours Research Supervision

Alison Pritchard (ANU), Bushfire fuel modelling

Ben Stein (ANU), Species distribution modelling

Brendan Pippen (ANU), Modelling bushfire fuel moisture content

Rochelle Richards (ANU), Snow gum sensitivity to bushfire scar formation

Michael Nguyen (ANU), Bushfire effects on water yield

Christine Kelly (ANU), Effects of fire frequency on subalpine understory

Lyndsey Vivian (ANU), Recruitment at eucalypt stand boundaries after bushfires

Carola K. de Bednarik (ANU), Factors affecting fire severity in the 2003 bushfires

Rob de Ligt (Fenner School, ANU), Modelling fire probability in the Sydney region

Amy Davidson (Fenner School, ANU), Statistical modeling of fire frequency in the Sydney region

Josh Mulvaney (Fenner School, ANU), Fire behaviour variability arising from standard fuel beds in a horizontal wind tunnel

James Hall (Fenner School, ANU), Combustion and flight characteristics of smooth-bark firebrands

Nick Wilson (Fenner School, ANU), Effects of competition on vegetation structure and fuel characteristics

Lauren De Waal (Research School of Engineering, ANU), Grassland curing and moisture content monitoring with automated sensing systems

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Recent Supervision of Independent Research and Advanced Studies Projects

Rachael Tarlinton (Fenner school), Use of hyperspectral remote sensing data for assessing fuel moisture content (Supervisor)

Josh Mulvaney (Fenner School), Using fuel moisture models to develop an experimental burning program (Supervisor)

Josie Ginty (PhB Scholar), The environmental impacts of global change: a case study in Eucalyptus pauciflora (Supervisor)

The Environmental Impacts of Global Changes: a case study in Eucalyptus pauciflora

 

Publications

Projects and Grants

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

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Updated:  26 March 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers