Our Advisory Board is undergoing a reshuffle. We farewell and thank our Chair Dr Diana Day and welcome the new Chair, Dr Ian Cresswell, and a new member, Dr Manu Saunders, to guide us through the next few years.

Dr Ian Cresswell

Welcome to Dr Ian Cresswell, Chair

We are excited to announce that Dr Ian Cresswell will take on the role of Chair from our October 2021 meeting.

Ian is well known to the ALA having played a significant role in the establishment of the ALA, and as a member of the Management Committee.

His background in conservation planning, biodiversity science and deep networks into Government through his more recent role with the National State of the Environment Report will be an asset to the Board and the ALA.

Ian has a long history of success in managing large scale, science-based government programs in natural resource management, with a strong focus on management to sustainably achieve economic, social and environmental benefits. He has extensive experience in providing high level advice to Government and Industry on environmental and sustainability issues. He brings national and international experience in protected areas spatial planning, fisheries and wildlife regulation, and biodiversity discovery/taxonomy. He has led major research programs in CSIRO in both terrestrial and marine domains, as well as Australian Government senior executive management roles in marine planning, sustainable fisheries, and wildlife management. Ian was the Director of the Australian Biological Resources Study and was instrumental in the development of Australia’s Virtual Herbarium and the Online Zoological Collections of Australian Museums.

Welcome Dr Manu Saunders

Dr Manu Saunders is a popular and engaging ecological scientist and communicator. You can follow her on Twitter @ManuSaunders.

Manu Saunders is a Lecturer in Ecology at the University of New England, Armidale. Her research and teaching focus on community ecology and ecosystem function and services, particularly related to plant-insect interactions. Prior to studying ecology and embarking on a research career, she completed a degree in English and print journalism and worked in corporate communications.

She is passionate about observing nature and ecological science communication. Manu has published her popular science blog Ecology is not a Dirty Word for over 10 years and is an internationally-recognised expert on insect conservation and ecology. She also co-founded the Wild Pollinator Count, Australia’s national citizen science project engaging people with wild pollinator conservation and ecology. 

Farewell to our current Chair, Dr Diana Day

We would like to sincerely thank Dr Diana Day for her contribution to the governance of the ALA. Diana has been instrumental in steering the board and the ALA through a challenging COVID period and preparing the ALA so effectively for its engagement with the National Research Infrastructure Roadmap process. Her role ensuring effective board oversight of some of ALAs recent significant transformations, including our cyber security review has been appreciated.

ALA Advisory Board membership September 2021

The ALA Advisory Board supports the high-level direction and delivery of the ALA by providing vision, advocacy and advice.

  • Chair: Dr Ian Cresswell, Adjunct Professor, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW at UNSW
  • Dr Bek Christensen, Programs Director of the Peter Cullen Trust and President, Ecological Society of Australia
  • Mr Matthew Miles, Principal for Environmental Information, South Australian Department for Environment and Water
  • Mr Brant Smith, Assistant Secretary, Geospatial and Information Analytics, Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment
  • Dr Stephen van Leeuwen, BHP/Curtin Indigenous Professor in Biodiversity & Environmental Science, Curtin University
  • Dr Manu Saunders, Lecturer in Ecology and Biology, School of Environmental and Rural Science, University of New England
  • Professor David Cantrill (ex-officio), Executive Director Science, Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
  • Ms Toni Moate (ex-officio), Director, National Collections and Marine Infrastructure, CSIRO
  • Dr Andre Zerger (ex-officio), Director, Atlas of Living Australia

More info

For more information about the ALA and our Advisory Board, visit About us.