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2019 Laureate Profile: Professor Belinda Medlyn



Professor Belinda Medlyn

Professor Belinda Medlyn

Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellow 

Administering Organisation: Western Sydney University
Discipline area: Biological Sciences and Biotechnology

Fellowship project summary: 

FL190100003: This project aims to synthesise current theory and data to develop a predictive, process-based model for Australian vegetation dynamics in response to environmental change. The existing theory and data are extensive, but fragmented. This project will deliver a crucial missing link in Australian ecosystem science, unifying these data in an integrative quantitative framework that can identify the critical limiting factors for different vegetation types, and predict their dynamics and resilience. It will transform our understanding of Australian vegetation form and function, and place it in a global context, with significant ongoing benefits for land management, fire management, agriculture and conservation.

With her supplementary ARC Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship funding, Professor Medlyn will foster a national discussion, supporting women in science following alternative career structures and will aim to address the gender balance in science, strengthening the quantitative skills and supporting female students to develop computing and data science skills.

Australian Research Council funding: $3,108,997

About Professor Medlyn

Belinda Medlyn is a Professor at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University. She leads the Ecosystem Function and Integration theme and the Climate and Forest Ecosystem Modelling Group.

Professor Medlyn’s research focuses on how plants, especially forests, respond to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and climate change. She works at the interface between experiments and models with the aim of developing evidence-based models to explain how ecosystem productivity, water use and species composition will be affected by global change and improving ecosystem models.

Reflecting the outstanding quality and impact of her contributions to research, Professor Medlyn was named a Clarivate Highly Cited Researcher in 2018. Professor Medlyn is the founder of the Dead Tree Detective citizen science initiative and an editor of the prestigious plant journal New Phytologist.  

Find out more about Professor Medlyn’s research by visiting her profile page on the Western Sydney University website. For further information about this funding scheme, please visit the Australian Laureate Fellowships scheme page on the ARC website.

Image credit: Western Sydney University.

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