Dr Gary Ellem
'Generally there is an extreme paucity of knowledge and information about our native fungi – there are many thousands of fungi just in our area alone that have yet to be identified. Species lists are few and far between and not comprehensive. As mycologists retire they are very rarely being replaced. Courses on mycology are very few and limited. Identification and research into species in our region alone has been very patchy or non existent.
In other words, this extremely important discipline is in serious decline world-wide. It is important to try and stop this decline and turn it around. Knowledge of these organisms and taxonomists that can identify them needs to be increased.
We need to start and instigate projects into this work before even more of our species are lost to various forms of development and potential climate change. We need some baseline data.
Capacity-building in regard to mycology is essential. I would like to encourage collaborative work with experienced and respected mycologists from both Australia and overseas.'
Dr Caroline Veldhuizen
Dr Caroline Veldhuizen is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer with the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment and tutor at Macquarie University. After a decade as a commercial lawyer she moved from Sydney to the Hunter Valley and began her research career with the Hunter Research Foundation.
Caroline spent ten years as an economic researcher and presenter, and also worked on the Hunter Research Foundation's regional wellbeing project. She received her Doctorate in early 2016 after completing a thesis which examines the connections between 'innovation' and social and ecological sustainability. The urgent need to re-consider what we define as innovation emerged from the work. Caroline's ongoing interests concern the connections between democracy, the 'good life' and bringing about positive, sustainability focused change.
Dr Cameron Archer AM
Dr Cameron Archer grew up on a grazing property on the Southern Tablelands of NSW and has spent his career in agriculture, initially in research and extension but for most of it at Tocal College, Paterson in the Hunter Valley. He was Principal of the College from 1987 to 2015, a period of significant growth and development of the institution.
Cameron has degrees in agriculture, education and in environmental history.
Dr Archer completed a PhD on the environmental history of the Paterson Valley and remains very interested in the history and future of the Hunter region. He has served, and continues to serve on a number of local state and national boards relating to agricultural education, regional development and heritage conservation. Cameron has been a long time member of the Paterson Historical Society.
He continues to research and write about the Paterson Valley and the Hunter Region and is often asked to contribute to local and regional initiatives.
Cameron played a key role in the creation of the Primary Industries Education Foundation Australia, a national not-for-profit company dedicated to increasing learning about Food and Fibre Production in Australian schools. He is currently chair of the board of that organisation.
Cameron was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to agricultural education and heritage conservation in 2013.
With 40 years’ experience in Meteorology and Project Management in the aviation and marine industry, Martin can rapidly identify problems, formulate tactical plans, initiate change and implement effective strategies in challenging and diverse environments.
He has a tradition of performance excellence in:
Martin has worked as a Qantas instructor, training pilots and instructors, and as an Operational Combat Meteorologist for the RAAF in Williamtown. He later spent five years as a weather presenter for ABC Regional Radio 1233, preparing and presenting on-air weather forecasts and providing seasonal outlooks for the farming community.
Mr Babakian has lectured in Meteorology in the Southern California Safety Institute, USA, as well as in Aviation Meteorology at the University of Newcastle.
Our Research Associates
Qualified in Architecture and Environmental Management, with thirty years of experience in design and land management, Peter has recently completed RhD studies in stemming soil erosion and securing water in Australian landscapes using a micro topographic system demonstrated at the UoN between 1992 and 1996.
Peter lectures in the School of Architecture and Built Environment Master’s program on Disaster Preparation and Sustainability.
Thanh Ba Ho
Thanh Ba (Ba) is a lecturer from Nong Lam University, HCMC, Vietnam. His interest is microbial application for environmental treatment. Ba holds a Master of Applied Science degree from RMIT University (2010), and now is a PhD candidate at the Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment. Ba's research focuses on using Achaea to degrade modified polystyrene in landfill and collect methane as a clean energy source.
Danielle Lloyd-Prichard has over 20 years’ experience in the areas of education, science communication, and environmental research and management.
Since 2011 Dani has coordinated community engagement programs at the TFI: in particular, the Hunter Valley Electric Vehicle Festival.
In 2014 and 2015 she received several environmental research grants that have enabled her to combine a passion for beekeeping with biodiversity monitoring research. Her current project is using pollen from bee hives as an indicator of plant diversity, and pollinator forage species, within revegetated and natural bushland areas of an open-cut mine in the Hunter Valley.
The TFI is fortunate to have the volunteer support of Margaret one day a week. Duties include checking information for funding but not applying for the funds. Other duties tend to be variable depending on what is necessary. These duties could include photocopying, laminating, making booklets and the general tasks needed in an office.