Phill provides advice on mine site relinquishment and mine closure and specialises in the ecological assessments of mine site rehabilitation using the disciplines of restoration ecology and remote sensing.

Particular areas of research includes the testing the resilience of established rehabilitation through the application of controlled fire. Phill is also involved in the use of UAV technology and remote sensing methods to characterise rehabilitation development over time and track the ecological trajectory towards closure targets.

Phill joined CMLR in 2007 as a field ecologist and GIS specialist and has been chief investigator on a number of research projects. Phill was promoted to Senior Research Officer and manages a number of research projects in Australia 
In his current role, Phill


Phill has worked on collaborative projects across research centres within SMI, such as Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining and Centre for Water in the Minerals Industry working on projects as diverse as

Key Publications

McKenna, P, Vanessa Glenn, Peter D Erskine, David Doley, and Andrew Sturgess. (2017). Fire Behaviour on Engineered Landforms Stabilised with High Biomass Buffel Grass. Ecological Engineering 101. Elsevier B.V.: 237–246. doi:10.1016/j.ecoleng.2017.01.038. 

McKenna, Phill, Erskine, Peter D., Lechner, Alex M. and Phinn, Stuart (2017) Measuring fire severity using UAV imagery in semi-arid central Queensland, Australia. International Journal of Remote Sensing, 38 14: 4244-4264. doi:10.1080/01431161.2017.1317942

Mcintyre, N., Bulovic, N., Cane, I., & McKenna, P. (2016). A multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the impacts of mines on traditional uses of water in Northern Mongolia. Science of the Total Environment, 557558, 404–414.

Audet, P., Gravina, A., Glenn, V., McKenna, P., Vickers, H., Gillespie, M., Mulligan, D., 2013. Structural development of vegetation on rehabilitated North Stradbroke Island: Above/belowground feedback may facilitate alternative ecological outcomes. Ecol. Process. 2, 20. doi:10.1186/2192-1709-2-20

Glenn, V., Doley, D., Corinne, U., Nic, M., McKenna, P., Gillespie, M., Elizabeth, W., 2014. Mined land rehabilitation - is there a gap between regulatory guidence and successful relinquishment? AusIMM Bull. 48–54.