Our people

Our people


Membership of the Centre for Green Cities is drawn from across all faculties of the University. The centre aims to encourage interdisciplinary research and build collaborative linkages between researchers.

Prospective members are encouraged to contact the centre and provide details of their work in the area of climate change.

Executive team 

Professor Michelle Leishman

Co-director, Centre for Green Cities
Head of Department, Department of Biological Sciences

Michelle’s research focuses on climate change impacts and adaptation for plants, and invasion success of exotic plants and pathogens. She leads the Green Cities Which plant where, when and why project at Macquarie University in collaboration with Western Sydney University and NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and serves on several Boards and Councils including Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Bush Heritage and the Australian Flora Foundation.

Dr Lara Moroko 

Co-director, Centre for Green Cities 
Macquarie Graduate School of Management 

Lara has a commercial background in strategy, marketing, innovation and entrepreneurship. She brings these perspectives together in her work, where she focusses on enabling innovation and transformational change through collaboration and the creation of shared value. Lara draws on design thinking, business model innovation and lean methodologies to inform her applied research and teaching in the MGSM MBA. Her external engagement work includes building intrapreneurship capability within large corporations, mentoring start-ups and participating in placelabTM, an alliance of design thinkers and placemakers who collaborate to make better places to live, work and learn.

Dr Peter Davies 

Department of Environmental Sciences

Peter’s research is focused on sustainable land use and strategic planning and the enabling decision making processes. His research interest and approach draws on more than 20 years working in state and local government and the importance to adopt a multi-disciplinary approach to understand past and current decisions to inform future policy and practice. His research interests involve a range of collaborations within academia, government and the private sector and he is a member of a number of advisory committees dealing with sustainable land use and environmental management.

Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich

Department of Psychology

As a clinical psychologist, Viviana has particular interest in developing and evaluating the impact of interventions (including environmental) on mental health and psychological wellbeing. 

Her research is conducted in individuals right across the lifespan including children and older adults. One of her current projects focuses on increasing wellbeing in older adults with dementia by interacting with sensory gardens.

Leigh Staas

Research development advisor, Centre for Green Cities
Department of Biological Sciences

Leigh Staas
Leigh's role is to act as a pivot point between industry, government, academics and students in order to develop multidisciplinary research and education initiatives.
Her efforts focus on building capacity within the centre by building collaborative external industry and government linkages and supporting education and outreach programs.

Leigh holds a Bachelor of Science from Macquarie and has a strong interest in stakeholder collaboration, science communication and education.

Malin Hoeppner

Administration officer, Centre for Green Cities
Department of Biological Sciences

Malin’s role as Administration Officer is to coordinate and support collaborative interdisciplinary research activities, funding proposals and education initiatives. Additionally, she focuses on website development and other engagement and outreach activities.

Malin holds a Bachelor of Environment from Macquarie and has a strong interest in climate change adaptation, environmental education and science communication.

Centre for Green Cities members

Centre for Green Cities team brings together world-class expertise. With 20 members from across Macquarie, we aim to take a multidisciplinary approach to understand the risk and impacts that climate change will have on our physical and socio-ecological systems.

  Member Research Interests


Professor Michelle Leishman

Department of Biological Sciences

  • understanding plant success in novel ranges
  • responses of invasive plants to elevated CO2
  • climate change and threatened species
  • ecological impacts of Myrtle rust
  • evolutionary ecology of smoke promoted germination
  • facilitating green cities.
 Dr Lara Moroko

Macquarie Graduate School of Management
  • models of collaboration between entities with divergent operating structures and mechanisms; e.g.: governments, corporations, start-ups, community groups and social enterprise
  • future capable: engaging divergent thinkers and building growth mindsets as a source of sustainable value
  • creation of innovation networks of practitioners, students and thought leaders through interaction in a facilitated learning environment.
 Dr Hope Ashiabor

Department of Accounting and Corporate Governance
  • environmentally related taxes
  • regulatory aspects of carbon finance
  • tax expenditures and public policy
  • excise taxes
  • energy law.

Dr Linda Beaumont

Department of Biological Sciences

  • potential effects of climate change on native fauna and flora and invasive species
  • understanding and reducing uncertainty in species distribution modelling
  • shifts in the timing of species life cycles due to climate change
  • conservation implications of climate change
  • climatic niche shifts and invasive species.

Associate Professor Melanie Bishop

Department of Biological Sciences

  • impacts of urban sprawl on estuarine and coastal ecosystems
  • green solutions for built infrastructure in the marine environment
  • living shorelines and ecological restoration for multiple benefits.

Dr Hsing-Chung (Michael) Chang

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • urban development and change detection using remote sensing
  • urban forest and urban heat island effect studies
  • natural disasters mitigation (i.e. bushfires, floods and coastal erosion)
  • vegetation (both native and invasive species) mapping using remote sensing.

Dr Kirsten Davies

Macquarie Law School

  • ethno-ecology
  • community engagement and capacity building
  • environmental law (including customary law), policy and management (including hybrid management)
  • human rights and climate change.

Dr Peter Davies

Department of Environmental Sciences

  • urban ecology and greening cities
  • urban water management
  • land use planning
  • contamination and
  • energy transformation.

Dr Rachael Gallagher

Department of Biological Sciences

  • trait-based approaches in plant conservation and biogeography 
  • how plant-plant competition limits species ranges
  • vulnerability of vegetation to climate change
  • using range size to forecast extinction risk
  • plant species responses to heat-wave conditions at the molecular and whole-plant level 
  • invasive species dynamics and management.
profile picture of jahangir hossain 

Dr Jahangir Hossain

Department of Engineering

  • renewable energy integration and FACTS devices with energy storage
  • smart grid, hybrid microgrids, electrical vehicles and distributed generations
  • dynamics, stability analysis, robust control and cyber secured control for smart grids
  • power electronics, electric vehicles, electrical drives and intelligent control.


Professor Lesley Hughes

Department of Biological Sciences

  • impacts of climate change on Australian species and ecosystems
  • climate change and conservation policy
  • climate change and science communication
  • climate change public outreach and education.
profile picture of graham town 

Professor Graham Town

Department of Engineering

  • energy management systems including electric vehicles (EVs)
  • "smart" grids, micro-grids, and the Internet of Energy
  • compact and efficient power electronics, wireless power transfer
  • solar-thermal energy and applications.

Professor Stefan Trueck

Department of Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies

  • financial economics
  • risk management
  • energy markets and renewables
  • carbon emission markets
  • climate change and environmental economics
  • property markets.

Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich

Department of Psychology

  • impact of the environment on psychological wellbeing
  • evaluating interventions for their impact on psychological wellbeing
  • mental health in children, adults and older adults
  • effects of sensory gardens on the wellbeing of older adults with dementia.
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