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Researchers honoured for contributions to parks on World Environment Day

Tuesday 10 June, 2014

Two Victorian researchers have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to managing highly invasive weeds in Victoria’s Alpine National Park.

Parks Victoria Chief Executive Dr Bill Jackson today acknowledged The University of Melbourne’s Dr Nick Williams, and Dr Joslin Moore from Monash University, as joint recipients of Parks Victoria’s inaugural Nancy Millis Science in Parks Award.

Dr Jackson said the award was being presented to the two researchers for their outstanding contribution to fostering excellence in applied science for the benefit of park management.

“Both projects demonstrated the researchers’ strong willingness to work closely with park managers to understand the extent and challenge of the weed problems. They also demonstrated leading edge science in solving difficult problems.”

“The work of Dr Williams and his team from The University of Melbourne has helped to protect the Alpine National Park’s biodiversity and transformed hawkweed control into a cutting edge and targeted program. This research partnership between Parks Victoria and Department of Environment and Primary Industries staff has significantly reduced Hawkweeds in the Alpine National Park, and the goal of eradicating it altogether is now a real possibility.”

“Dr William’s research and the work being done by all the partners on this project also benefits private landowners as hawkweeds have the potential to invade agricultural land and significantly affect agricultural production.”

Dr Jackson said Dr Joslin Moore and her team had achieved great results in controlling willow on the Bogong High Plains and as a result has had a major impact in protecting the Bogong High Plains environment.

“Willows are highly invasive and following the 2003 fires began germinating in large numbers. This posed a significant threat to an area within the Alpine National Park that is particularly important for its high biodiversity and landscape environment.

“As a result of a 7 year partnership with Parks Victoria, local Catchment Management Authorities and Falls Creek and Mt Hotham resorts, Dr Moore’s work has been fundamental in improving efforts to control willows on Bogong High Plains.”

Dr Jackson said both researchers had extensively documented their research in scientific publications, adding to the international body of work on effective methods of managing these extremely invasive weeds.

“I warmly congratulate Dr Williams and Dr Moore, and their teams who have contributed to this work, on making a real difference to managing invasive weeds in Victoria’s iconic Alpine landscapes.

“Caring for our parks is a complex task that involves many challenges including climate change, population increases and threats such as invasive pest plants and animals.

“We need innovative solutions and a good scientific understanding of how best to tackle these issues and how best to care for these important natural environments. Dr Williams and Dr Moore’s projects are part of Parks Victoria’s Research Partners Program that fosters collaborative applied research with universities and other research organisations.

The Nancy Millis Science in Parks Award

This award presented by Parks Victoria honours the late Professor Nancy Millis who was Chair of Parks Victoria’s Science and Management Effectiveness Advisory Committee since its inception 1997 and a member of Parks Victoria Board’s sub-committee on Environment.





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