Research leader

Dr Ross Peacock Research Leader

Research team

Amy Smart Research Team
Prof Patrick Baker Research Team

PhD opportunity to assess temperate rainforest community resilience

The Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC is offering a three year scholarship for a candidate interested in completing a PhD in assessing the resilience and sensitivity of temperate rainforest communities to historic disturbance, climate variability and bushfire.

Using a combination of long-term stand dynamic observations, dendrochronology and landscape spatial analysis, the project will examine the consequences of recent unprecedented landscape scale bushfires in northern New South Wales on a world heritage listed ecosystem renowned for its diversity of ancient plant lineages which exhibit few obvious adaptations to increasing fire activity.

Read more about the project here. For more information on how to apply, contact Prof Patrick Baker at or Dr Ross Peacock at

Applications close on Friday 30 October 2020.


Ross Peacock manages a long term plot monitoring network in northern NSW focusing on the impacts of climate change and wildfire on world heritage rainforests. It is the longest running experiment of its type in Australia, being initiated in 1942. The permanent plots provide a unique opportunity to examine impacts of fire at the individual tree level which is most unusual considering the 2019/20 wildfires burnt into an existing long term experiment.

The existing knowledge base for planning post-fire recovery in fire-sensitive rainforest communities in eastern Australia is almost absent. The value of the existing long term monitoring network to inform the update of northern NSW reserve fire management strategies is immense. Findings from this research will be presented to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Australian World Heritage Advisory Council and the scientific community. This research will inform future management of rainforest across Werrikimbe and Willi Willi National Parks northern NSW in particular and more broadly across temperate rainforests in SE Queensland, NSW, Victoria and Tasmania.