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Dr Anna Richards

Research Scientist


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Dr Anna Richards is a plant ecologist. She has a broad interest in vegetation and soil dynamics in tropical savannas and the influence of land management practices, particularly fire, on these processes.

Dr Richards is a research scientist in the Ecosystem Dynamics team based at the CSIRO Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre in Darwin, Northern Territory. She has published a range of studies related to carbon sequestration science with a particular emphasis on soil carbon sequestration. Her current interest lies in the development of land-based climate change mitigation methodologies associated with the management of savanna fires, and the opportunities that these methodologies present for sustainable livelihood options for remote indigenous communities.

She is also interested in methods for monitoring soil and vegetation condition. As part of this work she has led a collaborative project with the Department of Environment and Energy to develop dynamic ecosystem models for Australia's native vegetation within a framework designed to incorporate both reference (endogenous) and recent (Homogenocene-era exogenous) disturbance regimes. The framework aims to improve decision making in natural resource management, including support for prioritisation, monitoring and evaluation.

Dr Richards has also been involved in a cross-business unit project to develop a science platform for soil spectroscopy within CSIRO, and manages a mid infra-red spectrometer in Darwin that uses soil spectral data to predict soil properties, such as soil carbon.

Dr Richards also maintains an interest in plant ecophysiology related to plant nutrient and water use.

Current Roles

  • Team Leader
    Ecosystem Dynamics Team

Academic Qualifications

  • 2007

    Doctor of Philosophy
    University of Queensland

  • 2006

    Graduate Certificate in Higher Education
    University of Queensland

  • 2001

    Bachelor of Science with honours
    University of Queensland

Professional Experiences

  • 2008-2011

    OCE Postdoctoral fellow

  • 2007-2008

    Postdoctoral fellow
    Maquarie University

Achievements and Awards

  • -2011

    New generation research award
    NT research and innovation awards

  • -2011

    NT Young tall poppy science award
    Australian Institute of policy and science

  • 2013-2013

    Payne-Scott award

  • 2016-2017

    Payne-Scott award

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-current

    Scientists in Schools, Jingili Primary School


We have publications by Dr Anna Richards