Student Views


Being involved in a larger team and organisation has been an integral aspect of my experience as an Honours student. To be a part of CSIRO and the Ecosystem Change Ecology team has been an amazing opportunity that has provided an insight into the working world of science, complete with the snazzy technology, unavoidable administration, inability for meetings to stick to time and the capacity to adapt to failure. The opportunities, networking potential, support structure and personal investment during my honours year have been enhanced by the experience of studying with industry.  I’ve been lucky enough to have some unique experiences and meet some fascinating people during my time with the Ecosystem Change Ecology team. Being surrounded by professional scientists has only encouraged my own curiosity for the natural world and ensured I was suitably motivated for the duration of my honours project. Contributing to research that will be directly used was also a critical driver in keeping the “so-what” during my honours year. Beyond the opportunity to greatly improve my professional capacity, being involved in the comradeship and community spirit of the Ecosystem Change Ecology team has been an absolute pleasure.

~ Katie White, CSIRO-UWA Hons student, 2017

My research with the Ecosystem Change Ecology team focused on the impacts of habitat modification and oil palm expansion on tropical forest ecosystems. During my PhD I spent several years in Malaysian Borneo working with the Stability of Altered Forest Ecosystems project in Sabah. Following my fellowship, I collaborated with Sumesh Lekhi, on a tiger conservation documentary project in Maharashtra, India. I have now moved on to a postdoctoral position at the University of Alberta, working with Prof. Mark Boyce, where I am investigating livestock grazing influences on the ecology, soil carbon and biodiversity of Canada’s Great Plains.  I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude towards my PhD supervisory team for the tremendous support and for giving me the fascinating opportunity to undertake research in the Bornean rainforests. An amazing experience, that was further enriched through the exceptional team spirit exemplified by the entire Ecosystem Change Ecology team. The team’s diversity in research foci, career stages and cultural backgrounds makes for a stimulating work environment with excellent scope for professional development. Professional development training, interdisciplinary collaboration and science publishing are being actively promoted. At the same time, there exists excellent personal support networks and a strong mentality towards inclusive group dynamics. As such, I rate my overall student experience at CSIRO, and with the Ecosystem Change Ecology team in particular, as greatly positive and highly rewarding.

~ Timm Döbert, CSIRO-UWA PhD student, 2017