Top landscape ecologist joins CDU


Associate Professor of Remote Sensing Shaun Levick.

Associate Professor of Remote Sensing Shaun Levick.

An internationally recognised landscape ecologist has been appointed as an Associate Professor of Remote Sensing at Charles Darwin University’s Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods.

Dr Shaun Levick brings an important combination of landscape ecology and remote sensing expertise – especially with the environmental application of emerging LiDAR (light detection and ranging) techniques – in the dynamics of tropical, sub-tropical and semi-arid ecosystems.

The Head of the School of Environment Professor Jenny Davis said the appointment was jointly funded by CDU and CSIRO.

“This is the first faculty appointment arising from our strategic partnership with CSIRO, demonstrating our commitment to work together on the science needed to underpin the sustainable land management in northern Australia,” Professor Davis said.

“Dr Levick’s expertise boosts our capability to map and model ecosystems in three-dimensions, thereby allowing us to more accurately measure the structure and biomass of vegetation, and understand how ecosystems change over time in response to different disturbances.

“This is an exciting example of an innovative opportunity that will contribute to the scientific knowledge necessary to unlock the developmental potential of the north.”

CSIRO’s Land and Water Research Director Dr Ian Cresswell said Dr Levick’s experience would be highly beneficial to northern Australia.  

“The challenge of sustainably developing northern Australia with competing land uses across sectors and a challenging and changing climate are significant, and Shaun brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to inform sound decision-making,” Dr Cresswell said. 

Dr Levick gained his PhD in Ecology from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, in 2008 and was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University (USA) before joining GNS Science in Lower Hutt (NZ) as a remote sensing scientist. He was a Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry in Germany for five years before joining CDU/CSIRO.

In his new role with CDU and CSIRO, he will maintain an association with Max Planck, one of the world’s leading research institutes in global ecosystem science.

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