Welcoming Ayesha and John: the newest ecology experts to join our NGT team!
In the latest positive NGT news, I am delighted to announce that we are making two fantastic additions to the NGT team:
- Dr Ayesha Burdett, our new Senior Wetland Restoration Ecologist, to oversee our upcoming wetland restoration projects in western Victoria, and
- John Bradford, our new Grassland Restoration Ecologist, to oversee the next phase of the grassland restoration project at Mount Vandyke.
Both Ayesha and John participated in a recent internal NGT wetland planning session that we hosted in Melbourne (see photo below) and are officially starting in their new roles in the first week of April. In the meantime, let’s learn a little bit about them.
Dr Ayesha Burdett
I am trained as a freshwater ecologist and have worked in the rivers and wetlands in Australia and the USA, studying the ecology of biological communities of seasonal wetlands, arid-land rivers and farming landscapes. I’m interested in the historical and current human impacts on local environments and understanding the ecological outcomes of restoration projects.
Most recently, I have been working with Landcare groups in the Upper Hopkins and learning about the different ways landholders can protect the environment while farming productively and sustainably. This has given me a wonderful opportunity to engage with the regional community to develop on-ground projects and engagement events. These projects have catchment-wide benefits through protecting waterways and wetlands, improving habitat connectivity and promoting sustainable agriculture.
Prior to returning to Australia in 2018, I worked as the Director of Collections and Research at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. Primarily, my role involved scientific research in freshwater ecology, overseeing the care of the State’s natural history collection, and creating exhibits with the museum design team. I learned a lot about communicating technical scientific information to a museum audience – a skill that has also come in handy for my Landcare role. In every position I have held, I have found that I enjoy working in collaboration with others and supporting everyone to get the most out of a project. I’m really looking forward to getting to know the NGT team – including the staff, volunteers and other stakeholders.
John is an experienced Ecological Restoration Practitioner specialising in managing grassland remnants on the Victorian Volcanic Plain and salt marsh wetlands along the western shoreline of Port Phillip Bay. Projects he has been involved in delivering include the Sunshine Diuris long-term Recovery Plan for DEECA and the Saltmarsh Protection Project for Parks Victoria. He enjoys holidaying with his family in The Grampians (Geriwerd) where he first encountered NGT at Walker Swamp. John is currently focused on the Mt Vandyke (Banbangil) Grassland Restoration Project.
Please make Ayesha and John feel welcome when you cross paths with them in the future. It is great to have them on board!