Mr Richard Thackway

Master of Science (Environmental Studies), Centre for Resource and Environmental Studies, ANU. Conferred in 1985. Bachelor of Science (Resource and Ecology), University of Canberra. Conferred 1980.
Adjunct Fellow, Adjunct Associate Professor
ANU College of Science
T: 0426 258 361

Areas of expertise

  • Agriculture, Land And Farm Management 0701
  • Environmental Science And Management 0502
  • Soil Sciences 0503
  • Landscape Ecology 050104
  • Ecosystem Function 050102
  • Environmental Management 050205
  • Natural Resource Management 050209
  • Environmental Monitoring 050206

Research interests

Landscape transformation and land management regimes

Sustainable use and management of rangelands

Sustainable use and management of native forests

Monitoring outcomes of exclusion fences and regenerative landscape management

Impacts of feral animals in the Lower Snowy Valley, NSW



Richard is a research scientist with extensive experience working in, and with, science and science-policy agencies in the Australian government. He has worked in environmental, agricultural and forestry agencies developing several national initiatives and frameworks involving state and territory governments, universities and NGOs and land managers. These initiatives include: being an instrumental player in the development of the National Reserve Systems (terrestrial and marine); establishing the framework for developing the National Vegetation Information System; contributing to the development of national approaches for tracking change and trend in native vegetation condition and land cover dynamics.  

He has held/holds various honorary positions at several universities: 2016-20 Visiting Fellow and then Adjunct Associate Professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra; 2016-21 Visiting Fellow and then Visiting Lecturer, School of Physical, Environmental and Mathematical Sciences (PEMS) University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy and 2016-18 Visiting Fellow and then Adjunct Associate Professor, the University of Queensland.

Richard’s research involves assessing the transformation of ecosystems and landscapes due to the effect that changes in land use, land management regimes and practices have on ecological criteria and indicators including function, structure and composition.

His research aims to assist decision makers improve their ability to monitor and report on the status, and to track and change and trend in environmental condition arising from deliberate and inadvertent land management practices and regimes. A focus of his current research involves evaluating regenerative landscape management regimes. His research supports land managers and decision makers to develop systems to track change and trend in ecological outcomes. Systems include developing response indicators and documenting soil-landscape management chronologies which are integral to understanding landscape transformation. Remote sensing is fundamental to upscaling ground-based measures and observations.


Researcher's projects

Assessing the ecological outcomes of exclusion fences and land management regimes on sheep and cattle grazing properties in Queensland and NSW rangelands  

Assessing the ecological impacts of feral rabbit, horse and deer over time in Callitris woodlands in the Lower Snowy Valley, NSW

Comparing the ecological effects of land management regimes over time in Callitris woodlands in the Lower Snowy Valley and Pilliga State Forest


Available student projects

Tony Boston, PhD candidate, ANU. The application of deep learning models to the identification of plants, crops, vegetation and land cover using satellite and photographic imagery


Past student projects

Ward-Jones J. (2017) Impacts ofmammalian herbi­vores on the Callitris glaucophylla – Eucalyptus albens woodlands of Kosciuszko National Park. Honours thesis, Australian National University.

Lazzari, J. (2006) An investigation of a vegetation framework - VAST- as a source of information for NRM policyin the rangelends. Honours thesis, School of Resources, Environment and Society.




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Updated:  23 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers