Vanessa is a plant ecologist working primarily in mine-disturbed areas, and also manages the Institute’s environmental laboratories.

Vanessa’s investigations primarily encompass two themes: investigations of ecosystem resilience and ecosystem successional processes in rehabilitated plant communities; and disturbance impacts on rare and threatened plants. From this perspective, insights into mine closure issues are gained, particularly regarding feasibility of achieving benchmark rehabilitation goals, risk of rehabilitation failure, and knowledge management.

Vanessa has been a researcher at CMLR since 2008. Prior to that, Vanessa applied her research and technical expertise to projects on weed invasion, wallum vegetation, Bridled Nailtail Wallaby habitat and conservation, community-based riparian restoration, and vegetation protection on private land, as well as working for several years in the music industry. Her research work at SMI runs concurrently with her role as a laboratory manager, where she applies technical and organisational skills to ensure the Institute’s environmental laboratories run safely and efficiently. Her success has been recognised with several staff excellence awards. Vanessa is a member of the Ecological Society of Australia, the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, and TechNet Australia.