Damian Morrant BAppSc (Hons), PhD (Zoology) Principal Ecologist and Managing Director

Damian has 14+ years ecological experience in academia, not-for-profit conservation and environmental consulting. He has investigated the ecology of flora and fauna throughout Queensland and south-eastern Australia, from tropical rainforests to arid deserts. Damian applies his knowledge and experience to solve complex environmental challenges via robust science, credible assessments, and evidence-based recommendations. Damian investigated the ecology and management of dingoes in the Wet Topics of Queensland for his PhD, and pygmy possums in South Australia for his Honours research. He has presented his work in a range of disciplines in peer-reviewed book chapters, journal articles, and professional reports. Damian served as a commando and rifleman in the Australian Army prior to taking up science.

Sarah Gill BSc (Hons), BVSc (Hons), MVS (Conservation Medicine) Principal Veterinarian and CEO

Sarah has 20+ years experience as a veterinarian. In addition to her work with domestic animals, her veterinary experience includes positions at a bird specialist centre in Sydney, the Australian Wildlife Health Centre – Healesville Sanctuary (Zoos Victoria), and a 24hr Emergency Veterinary Hospital in Cairns. Sarah has provided field support to wildlife researchers from NGOs, zoos and biosecurity agencies. Other project examples include field anaesthesia of spectacled flying-foxes, surveys for avian influenza in waterfowl, health checks and management during macropod translocations, and captive management of native Australian animals including mountain pygmy possums, platypuses and Tasmanian devils. Sarah has provided veterinary advice to Dr Damian Morrant throughout his career as an ecologist. Sarah studied blood disorders in pythons for her Honours research and holds a Master of Veterinary Studies (Conservation Medicine).

Andrew Bengsen BSc (Hons), PhD (Wildlife Biology) Principal Vertebrate Pest Ecologist

Andrew has 15+ years experience in pest animal management and research. Most of his current research aims to improve the management of introduced large herbivores by understanding the effects of different management tools, strategies and policies on their populations and the environmental damage they cause. He has a strong interest in developing and promoting wildlife survey and analysis methods to provide the best quality information for managers and decision-makers. Prior to taking up science, Andrew was an infantry soldier in the Australian Army.

Fanie Venter MSc, PhD (Plant Systematics and Ecology) Principal Botanist

Fanie has 30+ years experience in the fields of plant ecology and taxonomy. His professional experience includes herbarium curator, senior research botanist at the Australian Tropical Herbarium, and environmental consultant. Fanie has undertaken more than 190 major ecological surveys for a range of stakeholders including the Department of Defence, government, mining, and universities. He regularly travels throughout Australia and Papua New Guinea to undertake his work. During his career Fanie has discovered over 200 new plant species, of which he has described 33. Four plants are named after him. Fanie’s past and present work also includes research into the ecology and taxonomy of a range of botanical genera from Australia and abroad. His past work includes revision of the genera Dracophyllum (Ericaceae; 70 species) and Ledebouria (Asparagaceae; 43 species). His current work includes taxonomic description of the family Ericaceae (600+ species) for ‘the Flora of Australia’, the definitive catalogue of Australia’s native plants. Fanie has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, and supervises postgraduate students in plant systematics and ecology.

Michael Peachey BPhysio, MBA Chief Operations Officer

Michael provides Biosphere with strategic vision and guidance, and ensures we keep up-to-date with best practice. He has held various executive roles including CEO of a national healthcare services company and private and not-for-profit board positions. Michael’s experience spans national operations, training & assessment, branding, governance practices, risk management, information security, and legal compliance. Michael has completed the AICD Company Directors Course, and is a Justice of the Peace for South Australia, and serving Officer in the Australian Army Reserves

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