Dr Bellairs has research specialisations in the areas of restoration ecology, seed biology and commercialisation of native plants.
His restoration ecology investigations include assessing vegetation community development; determining indicators of successful ecological structure and functioning; establishment ecology; and seed biology and dormancy of Australian native plant species.
Sean has been sponsored to carry out research into the establishment of native flora communities on disturbed lands by mining companies, government agencies and the Australian Research Council at sites in the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia.
Recent projects include investigating the seed biology and seedling establishment of understorey species used for revegetation of the Ranger mine, gamba grass control at the Rum Jungle mine, gravel pit rehabilitation and rainforest restoration.
Dr Bellairs carries out research projects for mining companies and other clients to solve issues with the rehabilitation of sustainable low maintenance native vegetation communities on disturbed sites. In 2016 Sean received the Extractive Industry Association of the NT Award for outstanding contributions to rehabilitation outcomes on extractive titles in the Northern Territory.
Other plant science areas of interest include investigating the ecology and seed biology of threatened species. The commercialisation of Australian native plant species is another research focus, with Dr Penny Wurm.
Recently Dr Penny Wurm and Dr Bellairs participated in the successful Cooperative Research Centre Future Food Systems bid. This will allow them to assist Indigenous enterprises and the NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources to commercialise Australian native rice species, with CRC funding from 2019 to 2029.