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Ms Nerida Horner

Group Leader Landscapes and Ecology and Northern Australia Research Consultant


Nerida Horner is a motivated professional Environmental Engineer at CSIRO, with 20 years experience in water, energy and sustainability and a passion for applying science to solving on ground challenges, with a particular focus on Northern Australia. Nerida has a track record in developing, leading and facilitating collaborative and multidisciplinary environmental and infrastructure research. She has spent most of her career in the water industry in northern Australia, and successfully undertaken technical, research and leadership roles in utility, NGO, research and government across the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland. Nerida’s technical background is in sustainable water management and Indigenous and community engagement. Nerida has led and managed multidisciplinary science and engineering teams of up to 50 people in both operations and research, as well as strategic management of multi-stakeholder consortiums.
Nerida is a multidisciplinarian who holds a Masters degree in Anthropology and Development (2011) and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering (2001). She served as Engineers Australia’s Northern Division (NT) President in 2016 and Deputy President 2014-2015, and has held National roles on EA college Boards of the Sustainability, Environmental and Women in Engineering colleges.

As Group Leader Landscapes and Ecology, Nerida leads four research teams located across Australia conducting nationally-significant research to understand, manage and restore degraded and intact terrestrial ecosystems and facilitate their adaptation under future climates.

As Research Consultant Northern Australia, Nerida’s role is identify and apply relevant CSIRO and collaborators' research to inform challenges in northern development. Nerida relocated from Darwin to Townsville in mid 2021 to increase focus on Queensland and to build and diversify R&D collaborations and impact with James Cook University. Nerida enjoys bringing together organisations around shared goals and delivering on sustainability outcomes.

Impacts of Nerida’s work include:
• Leading the design and inception of the $7.8M, 10-year Darwin Living Lab (2018-2021)
• Developing, leading and/or project-managing complex multi-disciplinary environmental projects or consortia
• Assisting government, industry and community to make informed decisions on future investment, policy and practice through facilitating trusted and high quality science
• Communicating complex science for broad audiences
• Improving the understanding within CSIRO of government, industry and community challenges, priorities and concerns
• Developing a portfolio of emerging collaborative projects with partners in northern Australia
• Increasing the number, success and size of northern-focused collaborative projects, through building on local relationships and continual communication between diverse science domains
• Leading the Sustainable Water Management program for NT Indigenous communities from 2008-2015

Achievements and Awards

  • 2015-2015

    Outstanding Alumni Awards - Significant Career Achievement Finalist
    Griffith University, Brisbane

  • 2016-2016

    President - Northern and Overseas Division
    Engineers Australia

  • 2014-2015

    Deputy President - Northern and Overseas Division
    Engineers Australia

  • 2014-2014

    Environmental College National Board Member
    Engineers Australia

  • 2011-2011

    NT Young Professional Engineer of the Year - Highly Commended
    Engineers Australia

  • 2009-2012

    Women in Engineering National Committee Member
    Engineers Australia

  • 2008-2012

    Judge - Northern Territory Melaleuca Awards (Environmental Excellence Awards for Community and Business)
    Power and Water

Current Roles

  • Group Leader Landscapes and Ecology, Living Landscapes Program
    Strategic, research, financial and people leadership and management, impact and capability planning

  • Northern Australia Research Consultant
    Facilitating CSIRO science contribution to Northern Australia for governments, business and the community

Academic Qualifications

  • 2021

    Women in Water and Environment Leadership Program Graduate
    Peter Cullen Trust

  • 2018

    Experienced Leaders Program

  • 2014

    Master of Applied Anthropology and Participatory Development
    Australian National University

  • 2011

    Emerging Leaders Program
    Power and Water Corporation, DDI International and Human Synergistics

  • 2011

    IAP2 Certified Practitioner in Public Participation
    International Association for Public Participation

  • 2002

    Bachelor of Environmental Engineering
    Griffith University

Professional Experiences

  • 2013-2015

    Manager (Water and Energy) Demand Management, Remote Operations
    Power and Water Corporation, Northern Territory

  • 2008-2013

    Manager Community Water Planning, Remote Operations
    Power and Water Corporation, Northern Territory

  • 2005-2007

    Water Research Engineer
    Centre for Appropriate Technology (CAT) and CRC for Water Quality and Treatment (CRCWQT), Alice Springs

  • 2002-2005

    Research Assistant (Freshwater Ecology, Catchment Hydrology, Biogeochemistry)
    Australian Rivers Institute (formerly Centre for Riverine Landscapes), Griffith University, Brisbane.

Other highlights

  • 2018-2018

    CSIRO Experienced Leaders Program

  • 2016-2016

    'Manymak' Project Team wins 2016 NAIDOC Caring for Country Award

  • 2011-2015

    Built Business Case and Strategy for Water & Energy Efficiency for 72 remote Indigenous communities in the NT, identifying efficiency savings of $30M NPV (10 years).


  • 2019-2029

    $6.8M Darwin Urban Living Lab - component to Darwin City Deal

  • 2011-2015

    $12.3M 'Manymak' Energy Efficiency Program, Department of Industry, Innovation and Science

  • 2008-2010

    $1.2M Groundwater monitoring for National Water Accounts, Bureau of Meteorology