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Young researcher named NT’s Tall Poppy

By Leanne Miles

Dr Brett Murphy has received the 2015 NT Young Tall Poppy Science Award Dr Brett Murphy has received the 2015 NT Young Tall Poppy Science Award

A Charles Darwin University researcher has been recognised for his work on savanna fire management and conservation of threatened mammal species by winning the 2015 NT Young Tall Poppy Science Award.

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods Dr Brett Murphy received the prestigious national award as part of the launch of Science Week in the Northern Territory.

Dr Murphy said Northern Australia was one of the most bushfire-prone places on Earth.

“In coastal regions, such as around Darwin, the bush typically burns every two to three years. These extremely high bushfire frequencies affect many aspects of Northern Australian ecosystems,” he said.

“My research focuses on how to best manage bushfires in Northern Australia’s vast uncleared landscapes, to meet a range of objectives, particularly conservation of native plants and animals, but also the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from bushfires.”

In presenting the award to Dr Murphy, the organising committee said it felt that he had not only shown excellence in his chosen field, but also had shown great initiative in finding ways to showcase his work to the community.

Dr Murphy has authored 42 papers in scientific journals and 13 book chapters. He was the lead editor of a recent book on carbon accounting issues associated with fire management in the savannas entitled “Carbon Accounting and Savanna Fire Management”. He is an active participant in the UN Environment Program’s Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, which aims to strengthen capacity for the effective use of science in decision-making at all policy levels.

The Tall Poppy Campaign recognises and celebrates Australian intellectual and scientific excellence and encourages young Australians to follow in the footsteps of outstanding achievers. It is conducted by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science.

The prize includes $1500, a plaque and a certificate. For information about Dr Brett Murphy visit: W: brettmurphyresearch.wordpress.com