Areas of specialisation
Measurement of forest resources and forest products, both wood and non-wood, during harvesting operations for monitoring and quality control. The application and implementation of new technologies for the capture, processing, storage and presentation of forest resources data and information. The determination of growth and yield for ecological sustainable forest management.
Remote Sensing and Geographic Information
The use of aerial photography, satellite imagery and geographic information system for the collection, storage and spatial analysis for geo-referenced forest resources data and information. The integration of spatial data analysis systems with knowledge-based systems and/or simulation systems for the development of information/decision support systems for forest management.
Genetic and biotechnological approaches to the modification of tree properties, especially wood fibre and vessel properties.
The dynamics of forest ecosystems at a landscape scale, and preparation of ecologically sustainable management strategies. Understanding the processes in natural ecosystems relevant to management of rare, endangered and threatened species, and conservation of plant and animal communities. Defining biodiversity at a generic and sub-species level.
Fire Ecology and Management
The study of wildfire behaviour for better fire behaviour prediction and suppression strategies. Development of prescribed burning prescriptions for heathlands and forests, for ecological and fire protection purposes. Ecological effects of fire management plans at a landscape and reserve scale.
Macro- and micro- economic modelling of factors affecting forestry and the forest industry - forest policy, social issues, education, fibre supply modelling in relation to fibre properties used in pulp and paper, end-use analysis in relation to solid wood and composite products manufacture, substitution, the role of forestry in developing economies, the environmental properties of wood.
For farm forestry to be successful and find ready acceptance amongst landholders it must be economical and capable of yielding financial returns. Research activities in the area of farm forestry include examination of suitable species for wood grown on farms, adding value to farm grown timbers, markets for farm grown timbers, on-site conversion of wood and small scale harvesting operations suitable for farm forests. Research attempts to bring together operational and economic analysis.
Forest Harvesting/Forest Engineering
Research activities in the area of removal of wood from forests covers a wide range of issues. Operations analysis of harvesting systems to achieve economic efficiency and environmental goals, techniques for efficient wood handling, integrating harvesting operations with silvicultural operations, impact of harvesting systems on forest values and research into adapting existing machinery to expand the role of harvesting equipment in general forest operations.
Study of the ecology of invertebrate and fungal pests in native forests and plantations, and identification of the triggers for damaging episodes. Possible strategies for restoring an ecological balance through chemical or biological control or changed management practices that will also maintain other forest values.
Tree Physiology and Development
Molecular and cellular approaches to tree growth and development. Cambial physiology and cell differentiation and wall formation during the formation of wood. Molecular biology of xylem cell and tissue development. The physiology of salinity and its effect on tree properties.
Detailed studies of nutrient cycling in forest soils, relevant to the maintenance of biomass production in managed native stands, and manipulation of nutrients in planted stands.
The development of plantation silviculture of Eucalyptus, which is of national importance in Australia. Plantation productivity and the physiology of tree nutrition. The development of plantations for effluent reuse, and for rehabilitation of degraded sites, including saline soils.