Our people

Our people

The Biodiversity Node, hosted by Macquarie University, is a diverse group of researchers and practitioners working together to progress climate change adaptation knowledge. Our members are united by the common goal of understanding the current and potential impacts of climate change and the adaptive responses required to reduce risk and vulnerability of biodiversity.

Through the Biodiversity Node network, we strive to better connect adaptation researchers and end-users via regular communication, workshops, seminars and other events, and improve the usability of our research.

Our members include internationally and nationally recognised leaders in the fields of climate change impacts and adaptation.


Professor Lesley Hughes

Distinguished Professor Lesley Hughes

Director of the Biodiversity Node
Professor Lesley Hughes is an expert on the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems. She is a member of the Climate Commission and is the Australian Representative on the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity Ad Hoc Technical Expert Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change. Lesley is also a lead author for the UN’s IPCC Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports, and a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists and Climate Scientists Australia.

Distinguished Professor Michelle Leishman

Deputy Director of the Biodiversity Node

Professor Michelle Leishman works with plant functional traits and ecological strategies of plants to understand the success of invasive plants, predicting the success of invasive plants with climate change and developing sustainable vegetation restoration methods.

Victoria Graham

Tori Graham

Executive Officer of the Biodiversity Node

Tori's role is to provide support to all members and facilitate strong communication channels between scientists, decision makers and practitioners. She has a keen interest in science communication and stakeholder engagement. Tori is also completing her PhD at Macquarie University evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas for conserving nature and is a member of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas.

Biodiversity Node members

Researcher Organisation Research interests and expertise
Allen, Stuart Macquarie University Web development, programming, data management
Auld, TonyDPIEThreatened species and ecosystems, climate change impacts
Baumgartner, John Macquarie University Programming languages, ecology, zoology
Beaumont, Linda Macquarie University Species distribution modelling
Bell, LindaDPIEThreatened species management
Bender, Hannah Taronga Zoo Wildlife pathology, diagnostics
Bishop, Melanie Macquarie University Impacts of climate change & disturbance on coastal and estuarine systems
Brazill-Boast, JamesDPIEThreatened species management
Burgman, MarkUniversity of MelbourneRisk assessments, ecological modelling, biosecurity
Bush, AlexUniversity of New BrunswickFreshwater biodiversity, species distribution modelling
Chang, Michael Macquarie University Remote sensing, geographic information systems, land monitoring
Costello, OliverFiresticks InitiativeAboriginal fire practices
Doerr, Veronica CSIRO Behavioural ecology, landscape management & design
Downey, Paul University of Canberra Invasive plants
Dunford, SuzanneWaverley CouncilSustainability, policy, green cities
Ens, Emilie Macquarie University Cross-cultural ecology
Esperón-Rodríguez, Manuel Macquarie University Ecology, bioclimatology, ecophyisiology
Drielsma, MichaelDPIESpatial modelling techniques, mapping
Gallagher, Rachael Macquarie University Weed ecology, species distribution modelling
Graham, Victoria Macquarie University Conservation planning, protected areas, spatial science
Grech, Alana James Cook University Spatial information science, conservation planning
Hancock, Nola Macquarie University Ecological restoration practices, biodiversity conservation 
Hughes, Lesley Macquarie University Climate change ecology, species distribution modelling, conservation policy
Leishman, Michelle Macquarie University Invasive species, vegetation response to extreme events, restoration
Medlyn, Belinda Western Sydney University Climate change impacts on forests, carbon cycling, impacts of elevated CO2
Mitchell, PollyDPIESustainability, climate change impacts
Ralph, Tim Macquarie University Geomorphology, freshwater ecosystem science
Rose, Karrie Taronga Zoo Wildlife pathology and rehabilitation
Rossetto, Maurizio Royal Botanical Gardens Evolutionary & conservation genetics, restoration
Rumpff, LibbyUniversity of MelbournePlant ecology, adaptive management, risk assessment
Spindler, Rebecca Taronga Zoo Wildlife behaviour, reproduction and health
Staas, LeighMacquarie UniversityGreen cities, stakeholder engagement
Tomkins, Kerrie Macquarie University Geomorphology, natural resource management
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