Call for the next generation of women

Friday 16 Feb 2024

Australia’s professional association for forest scientists, managers and growers is using this year’s International Day for Women and Girls in Science as a call for the next generation to join forestry science.

Forestry Australia President Dr Michelle Freeman said Sunday February 11 was the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

“Forestry across Australia has so many tremendous women who are at the forefront of the science that underpins the skilful management of our forests and broader environment,” Dr Freeman said.

“On February 11, we celebrated all of these women, and we want to encourage the next generation of women and girls to follow in their footsteps too.

“If you ask someone to imagine a typical person who works in forest and fire management, they tend to picture a very narrow stereotype, but the reality is very different. We have incredible scientists across our country doing the most innovative and creative work for the betterment of our environment, community and economy – and that’s the definition of career goals.

“There’s so many opportunities for the next generation of women and girls to lead the science in our sector, promoting evidence- based decision making from carbon capture, forest fire management, conservation and renewables and to them I say: do it, you’ll love it.”

Some of the women from across Forestry Australia have shared their thoughts and experiences on this International Day for Women and Girls in Science:

Dr Tegan Brown, Victoria
“In my current role as a Research Scientist for CFA, I use climate models and landscape data to predict future vegetation and fuel types. We will then use these data to predict future fire activity, and model the number and type of fire management resources that Victorian fire agencies will require. Data isn’t neutral, and is interpreted by scientists through a lens built from context and lived experiences.”

Molly Marshall, Tasmania
“I believe that now is the perfect opportunity for women to work within the forest, fire and land management sector. Every one of us has and will continue to have an integral role to play in the combat against climate change and our sector provides no better platform to be at the forefront of mitigation, adaptation and resilience.”

Emily Post, New South Wales
“Forestry science is a unique blend of natural, physical, and social sciences; it is a privilege to work in a science that can contribute so much to the wellbeing of people and the planet. Forests and their benefits are so diverse in nature, and I want to encourage the continued diversification of the community of stewards who are working to nurture our vital forest ecosystems.”

Dr Danielle Wiseman, Western Australia
“Working in forestry science is great as I get to collaborate with scientists across Australia and sometimes the world. An example of this is a recent success story for scientists and blue gum plantation growers. Sometime in the 1990s its thought that a damaging snout weevil (Gonipterus spp.) was introduced to Western Australia from eastern Australia. After many years of work by forest health scientists, last year we released a matched fairy fly into a plantation south of Rocky Gully to target the Snout weevils.”


Source & image credit: Forestry Australia

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