Dr Edward Butler is a chemical oceanographer and environmental biogeochemist. His former career of more than 35 years as a government scientist has involved studies of coastal waters around lutruwita/Tasmania and the mainland, and oceans from the Equator to Antarctica. A recent seven-year stint in Darwin provided experience in tropical coastal ecosystems and working with Indigenous communities. Now, unencumbered as an independent researcher, Ed is looking more at the intersection of his knowledge of the environmental health of coastal and marine ecosystems with the development of environmental policy and ecosystem-based management.
John Church is a Professor in the Climate Change Research Centre, University of NSW. His expertise is the role of the ocean in climate, particularly anthropogenic climate change, and in understanding global and regional sea-level rise. He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third and Fifth Assessment Reports. He was awarded the 2006 Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the 2006 CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement, the 2007 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, the 2008 AMOS R.H. Clarke Lecture, the 2017 AMOS Morton Medal, was a joint winner of the 2019 BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Climate Change Category Prize and was awarded an Australian Academy of Science Jaeger Medal in 2021. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the American Meteorological Society, the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and the AGU.
Eloise Carr studied tropical marine biology on the Great Barrier Reef before moving to lutruwita/Tasmania. Her work on coastal and marine policy for State and Federal governments includes 7 years on the Australian delegation to the Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. Eloise has always sought to elevate the role of science in policy and to focus on evidence based decision making. Eloise is the Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania, a public policy think tank. She provides policy advice to the Science Council.
Dr Jennifer Sanger has a PhD in forest ecology and has studied forests in lutruwita/Tasmania, tropical Australia and overseas. She is the co-founder and coordinator of the The Tree Projects, an environmental outreach organisation that uses photography, video and digital storytelling to help educate people about trees and the environment. She is a passionate advocate for forest conservation and climate change action.
Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin is one of the world’s foremost authorities on jellyfish. She has written two best-selling books, published over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers and industry reports, given two TEDx talks, and discovered more than 200 new species. These days, she has broadened her interests to include the full range of impacts and mitigation in disturbed marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
Peter Boyer’s first career was in newspaper journalism. As a Commonwealth public servant he wrote about Antarctic science for many years before training as a climate change presenter. He writes a weekly column in the Hobart Mercury, mainly on the science, politics and impact of greenhouse warming.
Christine Coughanowr is an independent scientist with over 35 years’ experience in water quality management. She came to Tasmania 27 years ago, fell in love with the Derwent, and set up the award-winning Derwent Estuary Program partnership. She retired from the DEP in 2018 to pursue other interests, which include consulting and providing science advice to conservation and community groups. Christine has also worked internationally as a water resources consultant, and is a Churchill Fellow. She has degrees in geology (BSc Duke University) and estuarine geology (MSc University of Delaware).
PEOPLEThe Tasmanian Independent Science Council is composed of scientists and professionals with decades of experience in environmental science, policy and communication.
Jamie Kirkpatrick AM is Distinguished Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Tasmania. He teaches in the undergraduate program and supervises many postgraduate and honours students. His main research loves are alpine and garden ecosystems, nature conservation and the politics of environment. He has several national awards and prizes for his work developing methods for planning reserves and his contribution to forest conservation and world heritage matters.
Dr Melinda McHenry is an agroecologist and physical geographer with fifteen years experience working in the natural resource sector at all levels of government and in industry. Melinda’s work primarily focuses on the integration of native vegetation into production systems, but a lot of the time she invariably finds herself contributing to projects in soil management and restoration, riparian zone restoration, geoheritage conservation and environmental education and extension. Melinda is a passionate advocate for common sense and bipartisanship when attempting to solve multi-stakeholder problems.
Rachel studied international relations, law and policy at the University of Tasmania, and has a Bachelor of Arts and Law, with First Class Honours in Law. She has experience in research, communication and advocacy. Rachel is passionate about climate and environmental issues, and has led and been a part of many community campaigns for change. Her highlight was leading the student movement at UTAS which convinced the University to become carbon neutral and divest $10 million from fossil fuels. Rachel is an Anne Kantor Young Women Environmentalist Fellow at the Australia Institute. As a part of this role she acts as a Secretariat for the Tasmanian Independent Science Council.
Dr Eric Woehler is a seabird and shorebird ecologist. He has been actively involved in research directed towards conservation and management of birds and their habitats for his entire life. Eric is actively engaged with community-based efforts to protect coastal birds, using analyses of long-term data sets to provide evidence-based, data-driven guidance and advice to land managers. He convenes BirdLife Tasmania and is the Co-convenor of the Australian Coastal Society Tasmania.
Dr Graeme Wells is an independent economist, having previously had an academic career in New Zealand, North America and, more recently, an Associate Professor at ANU and UTAS. Since returning to lutruwita/Tasmania he has been a consultant and adviser to a range of environmental organisations and government agencies.