08 Sep NGT welcomes new staff to the team – Ben Taylor and Michelle Sargent
It’s been another busy time over recent months, and NGT are fortunate to have been joined by another couple of fantastic recruits to our team: Ben Taylor, as a Senior Wetland Ecologist based out of Adelaide, and Michelle Sargent, a recent graduate who has recently commenced a part-time intership based out of the regional NGT office in Mt Gambier.
Ben’s introduction to the wetlands of the South East was as an undergraduate in 1991, when he spent 10 days surveying the vegetation of Bool Lagoon as part of a summer scholarship with Associate Professor George Ganf.
Following a decade of various endeavours and travels, Ben returned to wetland science and conservation projects in 2002. From 2004 to 2006 Ben worked on the Lower South East Wetland Inventory, surveying the flora, water quality and condition of around 200 wetlands. The regional wetland mapping we use today was completed by Ben and others as part of that project. Ben worked on a range of wetland management and restoration projects including early works at Piccaninnie Ponds and Pick Swamp. He played a key role in the protection of Lake Hawdon South as a Conservation Park and has been monitoring the ecological response of that wetland to grazing cessation since 2008. From 2009 to 2017 Ben was based at DEWNR where he worked primarily as the Project Ecologist on the South East Flows Restoration Project, which is currently under construction in the Taratap and Tilley Swamp areas. He also spent a period out-posted to the Ngarrindjeri Regional Authority where he supported the Mannum Aboriginal Community Association with the development of a wetland restoration and management plan for the Sugar Shack wetlands, located on the River Murray floodplain near Swan Reach.
Since joining NGT in May 2017, Ben has been supporting our projects on the Fleurieu Peninsula at Hesperilla and Stipiturus Conservation Parks. He has also been working on our much anticipated Restoration and Management Plan for the Mount Burr Swamp property.
Ben is based in Adelaide where he lives with his partner Natasha and kids Miles (9) and Phoebe (7).
Michelle has recently graduated with a degree in zoology and microbiology, and is now completing a part time ecological internship with Nature Glenelg Trust, with a focus on entomology.
She is also undertaking research in the South East on wetland restoration and invertebrate biodiversity in conjunction with the University of Adelaide.