Our people

Our people

Our people

Smart Green Cities is directed by a team of Executive members from the Department of Biological Sciences, the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, the Department of Computing and the School of Engineering. The operations are run by an Executive Officer.

Smart Green Cities members include researchers from across all Faculties of the University, as well as various external industry and government organisations.

All prospective members are encouraged to contact us and provide details of their work, or interest in the areas green infrastructure, smart technology and sustainable cities.

Executive team

Professor Michelle Leishman

Director - Research, Smart Green Cities
Head of Department, Department of Biological Sciences

Michelle Leishman

Michelle’s research focuses on climate change impacts and adaptation for plants, invasion success of exotic plants and pathogens, and urban greening. She leads the Green Cities Which Plant Where project at Macquarie University in collaboration with Western Sydney University and the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and serves on several Boards and Councils including Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Bush Heritage and the Australian Flora Foundation.

Dr Lara Moroko

Associate Director - Partnerships & Commercialisation, Smart Green Cities
Macquarie Incubator

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

Associate Director - Urban Planning, Smart Green Cities
Department of Earth and 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.

Professor Darren Bagnall

Associate Director - Sustainable Energy Systems, Smart Green Cities
Dean, School of Engineering

darren bagnell head shot

Professor Bagnall joined Macquarie University in 2017. His leadership role comes with the opportunity to develop strong interdisciplinary teams to build research capability that can impact communication technologies (5G and the Intenet of Things), energy, biomedical, and materials engineering.

Professor Bagnall's primary research interests are in the development of opto-electronic semiconductor devices and systems. Increasingly his research interest is moving towards the integration and uptake of renewable energy systems. He continues to contribute to the energy research portfolio with ARENA funding on Black Silicon Solar Cells and most recently as a CI on the recent “Blue Economy” CRC.

Dr Michael Sheng

Associate Director - Smart Technology, Smart Green Cities
Head of Department, Computing

michael sheng head shot

Dr. Michael Sheng is a Professor and Head of Department of Computing at Macquarie University. Michael's research interests include Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, web technologies and service computing.

Michael has more than 380 publications and has been invited to give keynotes at a number of international conferences and has served as the Conference General Chair or Program Chair for several top international conferences in his area. He is the recipient of the AMiner Most Influential Scholar Award in IoT (2019), ARC Future Fellowship (2014), Chris Wallace Award for Outstanding Research Contribution (2012) and Microsoft Research Fellowship (2003). Michael has played a leadership role in a number large research projects and programs including 10 ARC projects, Digital Health CRC, and a smart city project sponsored by the Australian Government's Smart Cities and Suburbs Program.

Leigh Staas

Associate Director - Engagement & Research Partnerships, Smart 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.

Jerusha Beresford

Executive Officer, Smart Green Cities
Department of Biological Sciences

jerusha beresford head shot

Jerusha has a strong commercial background in operations management and her role is to manage the operations for the Centre, co-ordinate outreach activities and to assist the Executive team in strategic planning and engagement. Jerusha holds a Bachelor of Science (UNSW) and is passionate about using her strengths in communication, stakeholder management, project delivery and business acumen to drive the Centre's vision of creating smart green cities for the future.

Smart Green Cities key research members

Smart Green Cities brings together world-class expertise. With members from multiple Faculties across Macquarie University, we aim to take a multidisciplinary approach to create better places to live, learn, work and play, as urbanisation progresses.

Green Infrastructure

MemberResearch 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.

Professor Lesley Hughes

Department of Biological Sciences/ Pro Vice Chancellor (Research Integrity and Development)

  • 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.

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.

Alessandro Ossola

Department of Biological Sciences

  • urban greening
  • urban heat mitigation

Smart Technology

MemberResearch Interests
 Professor Michael Sheng

Department of Computing
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • smart cities
  • big data analytics
  • web science.
 Dr Subhas Chandra Mukhopadhyay

Department of Engineering
  • smart sensors
  • wireless sensor networks
  • Internet of Things
  • mechatronics systems
  • electrical and electronics engineering
  • environmental monitoring
  • health monitoring.

Jian Yang

Department of Computing

  • social media based recommendation
  • topic derivation and event detection in social media
  • influence maximization
  • trust propagation
  • process analytics
  • provenance based access control.

Sustainable Cities

MemberResearch Interests

Dr Peter Davies

Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences

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

Professor Darren Bagnall

Department of Engineering

  • renewable energy systems
  • opto-electronic semiconductor devices and systems.
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