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Ecologists Steve Murphy and Rachel Bar tracking Night Parrots by their calls at Pullen Pullen Reserve. Photo by Annette Ruzicka
Ecologists Steve Murphy and Rachel Bar tracking Night Parrots by their calls at Pullen Pullen Reserve. Photo by Annette Ruzicka

Knowledge Strategy

A tool to help potential collaborators understand our priority research areas and how we can work together.

We use best-practice principles and methods to understand the natural world as it is now, and to learn how we can build its resilience to withstand future threats.

Our Knowledge Strategy is how we identify research needs or ‘knowledge needs’ and work strategically with partners to help us fill these knowledge gaps. It’s guided by our values and strategic goals.

We’re a science-based conservation organisation committed to collaborating with Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, academic, government and non-government partners, both on and off reserves.

Where appropriate, we incorporate our partners’ knowledge needs in our reserve plans and Knowledge Strategy.

Identifying knowledge needs

The ‘knowledge needs’ for each reserve or partnership are identified through conservation management planning, based on the Open Standard for the Practice of Conservation.

In planning, we invite the participation of Traditional Owners, neighbours and relevant experts. The research questions address barriers to progress or explore new opportunities to improve conservation impact, reporting and long-term land management at the reserve, landscape and regional level.

National research standards

Bush Heritage staff, collaborators, affiliates and students are expected to exercise independent, thoughtful judgement and to undertake scientific research in compliance with all National, State and local legislation.

Right-way science

We recognise the sovereignty, connection to country and knowledge of Traditional Owners across Australia and understand that our science is stronger if approached the ‘right-way’.

All of our scientists and academic partners must follow the Code of Ethics for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research (the AIATSIS Code). Above and beyond these guidelines, we expect our science to use an approach that embodies respect, trust and sharing – a ‘Right-way approach’ – that generates richer outcomes.

Research areas

Our science principally focuses on four themed areas, each pivotal to our work, and that collectively address key conservation issues in Australia:

1. Reconnecting landscapes

The study of functional connectivity, how habitat loss and fragmentation affect plants and animal populations; methods for restoring land and managing threats for the future to achieve ecosystem health in the face of climate change.

An aerial view of the region around the GondwanaLink connectivity project.

Jacqueline 'Jacko' Shovellor with Heather Campbell. Photo William Marwick.

2. Cultural values, aspirations and knowledge

Protecting, recognising and respectfully bringing together traditional knowledge, values and expertise with western knowledge, to expand the knowledge base, and for better planning, prioritisation and evaluation of management actions, while reconnecting people to nature and to their Country. We seek to understand the social as well as the conservation impact of our work. In many cases, this work will be driven by the aspirations of our Aboriginal partners.

3. Protecting species in our landscape

The study of key species that act as drivers and/or indicators of ecosystem health across our landscapes including testing of proactive strategies for species protection, embedding ‘Right-Way’ monitoring techniques (including techniques informed by traditional ecological knowledge), and identifying and protecting key refugia that will provide safe havens for species and ecological communities into the future.

A Northern Quoll. Photo Steve Parish.

Luke Bayley and Tim Doherty fit a tracking collar to a cat to monitor its movements. Photo Annette Ruzicka.

4. Reducing the impact of pest species

The study of the impact nationally and locally of pest species including introduced species and over-abundant native species. This includes weeds and any species interactions and potential additive impacts. Developing and testing effective, safe and humane management strategies.

Guide for potential collaborators

For students

  1. Read this web page and associated links to understand Bush Heritage expectations.
  2. Work with your supervisor to search our Identified Knowledge Needs (below) for research questions that address your science interests.
  3. Together with your supervisor, download and complete the Expression of Interest form to register your interest, then return it to and we’ll be in contact to discuss the project and identify if there are relevant staff to support the research.

For academics

  1. Read this web page and associated links to understand Bush Heritage expectations.
  2. Identify a research question, to which you feel you could contribute, from our Identified Knowledge Needs document (below).
  3. Download and complete the Expression of Interest form (below) and return it to to start the conversation on how collaboration might work.

PDF download Identified Knowledge Needs (340kb)

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