I am an honours student currently focusing on conservation in the context of fire management. I began my Bachelor of Science in 2011 with a passion for animals and nature. Through various volunteering opportunities and field trips presented to me though UQ, I quickly fell in love with the amazing landscapes I was exposed to and was drawn to ecology and conservation subjects. After graduating I travelled for two years through various countries, with most of my time spent in Central America and Europe. I was lucky enough to be a part of various volunteering opportunities, the most notable being my time spent at the Iracambi Research Center in Brazil. My duties there included tree planting for restoration, soil sampling, water sampling, setting up camera traps, general reserve maintenance such as trail clearing and step building. Here The ex-agricultural land turned research centre/conservation reserve is surrounded by agricultural land and so I was able to see first-hand the conflicts that exist between conservation and local landowners. Here sparked my interest in research achieving conservation targets within a sometimes difficult social framework.
My Honours project is under the supervision of Kerrie Wilson and Luke Shoo, which is looking at the tradeoff between the conflicting management goals of prescribed burns for asset protection and burns for conservation of fire dependent ecosystems. My goal is to develop and apply new spatial optimisation methods to assist environmental managers to allocate limited funds to fire management in the context of competing objectives. This project is part of a larger research collaboration with City of Gold Coast.
Brooke is the recipient of a South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium Research Scholarship, for news updates visithttp://www.fireandbiodiversity.org.au/news.html.