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Ben French

Class Year: 2019

Scholarship: Future Leaders

University: University of Tasmania

State: TAS

Ben French

Class Year: 2019

Scholarship: Future Leaders

University: University of Tasmania

State: TAS

Biography

I'm a big picture thinker, fascinated by the natural world and how humans fit within it. I passionately believe that science should be central to land management practice and policy, and I enjoy seeking solutions through research rather than simply identify problems.

I have a keen interest in fire, because Indigenous burning has been instrumental in shaping Australian ecosystems over millennia, and because in the modern landscape fire presents a suite of ecological and social challenges. For my PhD, I am studying how burning, herbivores and plants interconnect, with the goal of helping to creatively re-shape our approaches to fire management. I’m highly energetic and alongside my work I cram in as much surfing, hiking and rock climbing as possible, both in Australia and overseas.

Skills & Expertise

  • Applied land management research
  • Fire-herbivore interactions
  • Drivers of flammability in plant and organic soil fuels
  • Communication with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Rock climbing

"My most rewarding experience has been coordinating a landscape burning project on private property in 2018, involving the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, a farmer and conservation NGOs. This project was an incredible thing to be involved with and has significance far beyond academia as it enabled an Aboriginal fire crew to burn country in the Tasmanian Midlands over two weeks, for the first time in centuries. I hope we will see a lot more involvement of Aboriginal people in fire management going forward."


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