NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee is established under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. It is an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Minister for the Environment.

Committee functions

The committee's main functions include:

  • assessing the risk of extinction of a species in Australia and deciding which species should be listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or extinct in NSW
  • for species that are not listed as threatened species, deciding if there are populations of those species that should be listed as threatened in NSW
  • assessing the risk of extinction of an ecological community in Australia and deciding which ecological communities should be listed as critically endangered, endangered, vulnerable or collapsed ecological communities
  • deciding which key threats to native plants and animals should be declared key threatening processes under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act)
  • reviewing and updating the lists of threatened species, populations and communities and key threatening processes in the schedules of the BC Act.

The NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee does not make decisions about threatened fish and marine plants. This is the responsibility of the NSW Fisheries Scientific Committee.

Committee members

Scientist nominated by a professional body principally involved in ecological or invertebrate research

Dr Kerle is an ecologist with 35 years’ experience in fauna research, environmental assessment, management and planning, environmental education and training, legislative review and policy development and information dissemination. She has worked as an independent ecologist for both the public and private sectors and her experience has ranged from tropical northern Australia to the arid centre and the western slopes and plains of NSW as well as Vanuatu and sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island.

Scientist nominated by a professional body principally involved in ecological or invertebrate research

Dr Bell is a consultant botanist and vegetation ecologist of 30 years’ experience, and an adjunct academic at the University of Newcastle. His research interests are in threatened plants and vegetation communities, where he examines various life-history traits relating to distribution, habitat, disturbance regimes and reproductive ecology to improve conservation and land management outcomes. He has undertaken numerous plot-based plant surveys in eastern NSW, using numerical analysis techniques to define, classify and map vegetation communities, and is also active in plant systematics to resolve taxonomic novelties.

Scientist who is employed by a public authority with expertise in forest ecology, agricultural science or natural resource management

Dr Dawson is a wildlife ecologist with research interests in the population ecology of both over‑abundant and threatened species, and specifically managing the impact of introduced herbivores. Her work currently focusses on supporting private land managers to sustainably manage natural assets.

Scientist employed and nominated by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Dr Encinas-Viso is a research scientist at the Centre of Australian National Biodiversity Research, CSIRO. His research focuses on conservation genetics, plant and pollination ecology. He also has a strong interest in the application of ecological and evolutionary modelling to conservation and habitat restoration.

Scientist who is an employee of a NSW tertiary educational institution

Professor French is at the University of Wollongong.  Her research focuses on the impacts of different disturbances such as weed invasion and heatwaves on threatened species and communities.  Her work straddles both plants and animals and is focused on delivering information to directly help management.

Scientist who is employed by a public authority with expertise in forest ecology, agricultural science or natural resource management

Professor Gross is Professor Emeritus in Vegetation Management at the University of New England. She is currently working on plant-pollinator systems at the individual plant and community level, seed bank ecology and the population ecology of threatened plant species. She is currently leading a team that has been investigating the impacts of fire in the Howell Shrublands, an endangered ecological community.

Scientist employed and nominated by the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust

Dr Jobson is a systematic botanist at the National Herbarium of NSW with a passion for the conservation of plants and their habitats. After achieving a PhD in botany from the University of Queensland, he did postdoctoral work in the USA and Europe. His research attempts to understand Australia’s plant diversity, taxonomy, and biogeography, to contribute to the conservation and management of their habitats, with focus on aquatic lineages.

Scientist employed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and nominated by the Environment Agency Head

Michael Pennay is an ecologist working for NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and a member of the IUCN Species Survival Commission Chiropteran specialist group. Michael has more than 20 years’ experience in applied ecology with a focus on survey, identification, and assessment of the distribution and conservation status of numerous species and ecological communities in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands.

Scientist employed and nominated by the Australian Museum Trust

Dr Rowley is a conservation biologist at the Australian Museum and the University of New South Wales. Her research seeks to uncover and document biodiversity and inform conservation decisions, with a focus on amphibians. She has led many expeditions in search of amphibians in Australia and Southeast Asia, and her recent work includes searching for the frog species that are missing, feared extinct. She is lead scientist of FrogID, a national citizen science project that has collected >400,000 records of calling frogs across Australia.

Scientist employed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and nominated by the Environment Agency Head

Mr Turner has worked for more than 25 years in terrestrial ecology and natural resource management with the NSW public sector. He has extensive experience in field survey and classification of native vegetation across eastern NSW including coast, escarpment, tableland and western slopes environments. He currently works as part of a team in the Environment, Energy and Science group within DPIE developing a revision of NSW plant community types.

Scientist who is an employee of a NSW tertiary educational institution or nominated by a professional body principally involved in ecological or invertebrate research.

Nominating a species, population, ecological community or key threatening process

The Biodiversity Conservation Act (BC Act) encourages community involvement in the protection of threatened species and ecological communities. Any person or organisation can propose changes to the threatened species or threatened ecological community or key threatening process lists.

Find out how to nominate.

Contact details

The committee can be contacted via the Committee's Secretariat by mail, email or phone.

NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee
c/o Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Locked Bag 5022
Parramatta NSW 2124
Street address: 4 Parramatta Square, 12 Darcy St, Parramatta  NSW 2150

Telephone: (02) 9585 6940
Email: scientific.committee@environment.nsw.gov.au

Documents to download