Project committee members:

Dr Jane Catford

Dr Jane Catford is a Lecturer at the University of Southampton, UK and a honorary research fellow at the University of Melbourne and the Australian National University. Jane is a plant community ecologist and brings expertise in ecological theory, experimental design and research methods, and wetland vegetation ecology to the project.

Dr Joe Greet

I am a wetland ecologist with a love of plants. I am a research fellow based at the University of Melbourne and coordinating the ARC Linkage project – no mean feat! Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any info or if you have any concerns/questions regarding the project –

Dr Dan Harley

Dr Dan Harley is Zoos Victoria’s Threatened Species Biologist responsible for developing the priorities and strategic objectives for several threatened species captive-breeding programs, including the Helmeted Honeyeater and lowland Leadbeater’s Possum. He has been monitoring the last wild lowland population of Leadbeater’s Possum at Yellingbo for over 20 years, and his current work includes working with recovery teams to identify future release sites for the Helmeted Honeyeater and lowland Leadbeater’s Possum.


Dr Marie Keatley

I am an Environmental Scientist (Flora) for Parks Victoria in its Science and Management Effectiveness Branch. In this role, I assist in the development and implementation of Parks Victoria’s environmental monitoring and management-focussed research to address priority needs (with a focus on flora ecology) across Parks Victoria. This is achieved by working with Parks Victoria staff, Universities, external researchers and consultants. I also facilitate the integration of the monitoring and research outcomes to improve on-ground management. My PhD was in the flowering phenology of box-ironbark species. I maintain an ongoing interest in all things phenological.


Edwina Manifold

Waterway & Land Officer, Melbourne Water. I am responsible for looking after sections of the middle Yarra catchment. Some of the waterways that I manage are: Cockatoo Creek, McCrae Creek, Shepherd Creek, Sheepstation Creek and Macclesfield Creek. This includes responding to land development referrals, assisting with diversion applications, developing capital projects to improve the condition of waterways, and working with community groups, government agencies such as councils and Parks Victoria, and private landholders for waterway improvement works.

Dan Robertson

Waterways and Land officer, Regional Services North East Region, Melbourne Water. Over the past 10 years of have I have worked in a number of roles within the natural resource management sector. I have a strong interest in the Yellingbo conservation area and hope to contribute to the development of a better understanding of this unique natural asset.

Dr Elisa Raulings

My role is Business Unit Leader for Conservation Planning and Science at Greening Australia. We are excited about working on this ARC Linkage Grant to learn how we can improve our methods in restoring floodplain landscapes.

Assoc Prof Chris Walsh

Assoc Prof Chris Walsh co-leads the Waterway Ecosystem Research Group at the University of Melbourne, and a core member of the Melbourne Waterway Research-Practice Partnership with Melbourne Water. He is an ecologist specializing in the interactions between the human landscapes and stream ecosystems.

Postgraduate students:

Luke Westerland

Luke is studying the habitat of the critically endangered Leadbeater’s Possums at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve. His research aims to identify associations between vegetation structure and the presence and health of possum populations, and drivers such as flooding or forest succession. This research will inform the management of vegetation and hydrology at Yellingbo, as well as inform potential translocation of the possums to other lowland swamp areas.

Luke with tree


Alice Duong

My masters project involved looking at the impact of flooding on wetland vegetation. In particular, the potential use of flooding to promote the success of revegetation and natural regeneration, and suppress terrestrial weeds. We found that reinstating more natural flooding regimes can promote native wetland plant communities, while concurrently suppressing terrestrial exotic species. Alice’s research is published here.

Rob Dabal

Rob is a doing a Masters of Science (Ecosystem Sciences). As part of his masters he will doing a research project investigating the ecology of the invasive wetland grass species Phalaris arundinacea in order to develop means for its control and to rehabilitate wetland areas currently infested with the invasive grass.


Sarah Moser

Sarah studied the effect of environmental determinants on the success of revegetated woody plants in wetland forests. In particular, she examined factors that influence the persistence of plants planted in canopy gaps (infill planting) and within the perimeter of sedges (cryptic planting) with the aim to improve our understanding of the effectiveness of these revegetation methods. Sarah’s research is published here.

Georgina Zacks

My research explored the flooding tolerance of two ecologically important woody riparian shrubs. I looked at how depth and duration of flooding can affect Melaleuca squarrosa and Leptospermum lanigerum at their important life history stages. My research provides further evidence that water regime acts as an important ecological filter in wetlands forests.