Blog icon

Dr Ian Watson

Research Science

https://people.csiro.au/W/I/Ian-Watson

Contact

Please enter a valid first name

Please enter a valid last name

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your message to send to the contact

Contact details:

PRIVATE MAIL BAG
AITKENVALE QLD 4814 AUSTRALIA

Biography

Ian’s research interests can be broadly described as exploring the scale of opportunity for the development of northern Australia and the social, economic, cultural and ecological risks which attend that opportunity. An example of one such project, working in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland was the Northern Australia Water Resource Assessment (NAWRA - https://www.csiro.au/en/Showcase/NAWRA). He currently leads the Northern Agricultural Futures Initiative within CSIRO aimed at increasing the value of primary production from northern Australia through a number of different sectors such as beef, aquaculture and cropping.

He is Deputy Site Leader of the Townsville site (having been Site Leader from 2010 to 2019) and is Director of the Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture, a formal collaborative arrangement between CSIRO and James Cook University.

In 2007, Ian joined CSIRO Townsville in Queensland as Program Leader of the Rangelands and Savannas Program and subsequently the Tropical and Arid Systems Program, which had staff at multiple sites across Australia. He was a Group Leader within the Agriculture and Food Business Unit from 2011 to 2020. He was also appointed, in its final stages (2014 to 2017) as Director of the African Food Security Initiative in west, central and east Africa.

Prior to joining CSIRO, Ian was with the Department of Agriculture Western Australia for more than 20 years working with the extensive grazing industry. He has a background in rangeland management and pastoral management, principally in the arid zone. He managed the Western Australian Rangeland Monitoring System (WARMS), inspected pastoral lease conditions and tried to better understand how climate variability and drought affected both the rangeland environment and those people managing the rangelands.

In 2009, Ian shared the Ecological Society of America's 'Sustainability Science Award' for his role in co-authoring a paper that drew lessons from episodes of degradation and recovery in Australian rangelands. He has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture from the University of Sydney and a Doctor of Philosophy from Macquarie University. His doctoral studies focused on arid zone ecology.

Other Interests

Ian kitefoils in the warm waters off Townsville.

Current Roles

  • 2010 - Current
    Director, Tropical Landscapes Joint Venture

  • 2017 - Current
    Agriculture and Food Business Unit Representative on CSIRO's Indigenous Engagement Implementation Committee

  • 2020 - Current
    Deputy Site Leader, CSIRO Townsville

  • 2020 - Current
    Reef Trust Partnership Technical Panel

Academic Qualifications

  • 1983

    BSc in Agr.
    University of Sydney

  • 1996

    PhD
    Macquarie University

Professional Experiences

  • 2011-2020

    Group Leader
    CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences then CSIRO Agriculture and Food

  • 2010-2019

    Site Leader, Townsville Site
    CSIRO

  • 2007-2011

    Research Program Leader
    CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems then CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

  • 1985-2007

    Rangeland Advisor
    Department of Agriculture Western Australia

Achievements and Awards

  • 2009

    (Shared) Sustainability Science Award
    Ecological Society of America

  • 2015

    Agriculture Director's Awards - Integrity
    CSIRO