Welcoming Associate Professor Jeremy Austin to the Board

August 31, 2023

Nature Foundation is pleased to welcome Associate Professor Jeremy Austin to the Board as a Director in a casual vacancy following the recent retirement of Phil Barron.

Jeremy is a multidisciplinary evolutionary biologist who has worked across natural history museums (The Natural History Museum, London; Museum Victoria, Melbourne) and several Australian universities (University of Queensland, La Trobe University, University of Adelaide). His diverse research focuses primarily on vertebrates (humans, mammals, birds, reptiles), resulting in ground-breaking discoveries in vertebrate evolution that contribute to improved conservation outcomes for a range of threatened species.

He first became aware of Nature Foundation through his students at the University of Adelaide who were applying for Nature Foundation research grants. He began his official involvement with the organisation in 2018 as part of the Nature Conservation Committee, of which he remains a member.

Jeremy brings his unique conservation genetics knowledge and expertise, which complements the committee and Board’s ecology and nature conservation experience.

“What has impressed me most about Nature Foundation is the organisation’s evolution and ability to purchase and preserve land across South Australia successfully. As a smaller NGO, Nature Foundation is making significant differences to less glamourous threatened species and whole ecosystems.

It is easy to presume that by acquiring land, and putting up fences to protect it, it will repair itself; but ongoing land management is essential. Through my involvement with Nature Foundation so far, I have learnt about the vast threats and considerations that go into land management plans, from invasive weeds and introduced species to overabundant native animals. 

We must not only focus on conserving what’s left but do all we can to improve the biodiversity of our unique landscapes for as long as we possibly can.

As a scientist and conservation geneticist, I’m looking forward to doing more to help guide the research that informs how Nature Foundation’s nature reserves are managed to improve conservation outcomes.”

Jeremy is a self-confessed “rabid cyclist” in his spare time, enjoying road cycling, mountain biking, cyclocross and, more recently, gravel riding.

“Gravel riding tends to force you to ride more slowly and through landscapes less impacted by cars and other vehicles, and allows you to see and appreciate more of the natural surroundings.

I would love to do a massive cycling tour of all of Nature Foundation’s nature reserves, covering them all by bike at different times of the year, to truly appreciate the organisation's work and the difference it makes to natural habitats, ecosystems and biodiversity.”

View all Nature Foundation Board Directors here.

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