The fourth public lecture was held on the 25th of July at the Royal Society. It focused on the conservation of soil and water resources in Victoria's forests. Topics included:

  • Climate change and water availability (Rachel Brown)
  • Forest and water: Challenges, uncertainties, decisions (Patrick Lane)
  • Post-fire predictions and mitigating the hydrogeomorphic response of burnt landscapes (Dr René Van der Sant)
  • Climate risks and science-policy interface dilemmas in Australia's Murray Darling Basin (Jason Alexandra)

Speaker Biographies

Dr René Van der Sant

René is a post-fire runoff and erosion processes specialist, who currently works with Melbourne Water managing forested water supply catchments. She has professional experience with forest and bushfire management, and has been involved in Bushfire Rapid Risk Assessment Teams over the past season. Her PhD research at the University of Melbourne focused on the effect of landscape aridity on post-fire hydrogeomorphic processes, and predicting runoff and erosion events in forested water catchments.

Professor Patrick Lane

Patrick is a Professor at the University of Melbourne’s School of Ecosystem and Forest Science. His research examines the effect of forest growth dynamics and disturbances such as fire on the amount and quality of water from forested catchments.

Jason Alexandra

Jason is a farmer, consultant and researcher. He has held senior roles in national and international organisations including the Murray Darling Basin Authority where his responsibilities included climate science and riverine ecosystem management. He has coordinated national R&D programs on climate, water, vegetation and biodiversity and initiated the citizen science program ClimateWatch. He is currently undertaking research on climate change and water governance. As Managing Director of Alexandra & Associates, Jason has completed over 120 research and consulting projects focused on sustainability and natural resources. Most of his papers and reports are available online. .

Rachel Brown

Rachel is a Senior Project Officer in the Hydrology and Climate Science Team within DELWP’s Water and Catchments Group. The team coordinates the Victorian Water and Climate Initiative, which supports research into the impact of climate change and climate variability on Victoria’s water resources. This includes three distinct but related research projects being undertaken by the University of Melbourne, CSIRO and the Bureau of Meteorology. Rachel’s role includes close interactions with the researchers and as a knowledge broker to help share the scientific outcomes with the water sector through practical advice and guidance.

Page last updated: 03/04/20