Ecological Science Program

This scientific mentoring program is administered by TNC (Australia) and run by the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA). Through it the Thomas Foundation funds research projects addressing conservation problems of international importance. The program has been extended to run through 2013.

Its objectives are to:

  • strategically build scientific and technical capacity, including in the important field of measures;
  • develop and apply innovative and cutting edge scientific methods, tools and frameworks;
  • link scientists in TNC and its partner organisations with leading researchers from Australia;
  • where there’s no expertise in Australia, establish collaborations with overseas scientists;
  • improve collaboration between TNC’s partners and leverage funds for collaborative research;
  • communicate scientific advances and conservation practices within TNC and to the broader conservation community; and
  • support annual prizes to recognise excellence in applied conservation research and taxonomy.

The extended program will facilitate meetings of key conservation scientists. Grants will fund presentations at conferences, postgraduate student projects and the production and distribution of publications. They will establish a scientific mentoring program and sabbaticals; and they will co-fund research projects.

Applied Conservation Award winners

  • 2008 Helen Waudby, University of South Australia
  • 2009 Vanessa Adams, James Cook University
  • 2010 Cairo Forrest, University of Wollongong
  • 2011 Gill Ainsworth, Charles Darwin University
  • 2012 Matthew Rees, University of Wollongong
  • 2013 Kathryn Berry, James Cook University

The Foundation expects to maintain this program until 2018.

ecological science program

James Fitzsimons (TNC) with Matthew Rees (2012 Applied Conservation Award winner) and Gill Ainsworth (2011 winner) at the Ecological Society of Australia’s annual conference in Melbourne, December 2012.