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Dr Ben Gooden

/Weed Biological Control/

Research Scientist

https://people.csiro.au/g/b/ben-gooden

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Biography

Ben is a vegetation ecologist who specialises in weed ecology and management. Ben draws on his extensive field experience in quantifying the impacts of alien plant invasion on a diverse array of agricultural and native ecosystems (including temperate and subtropical forests, desert grasslands and coastal wetlands) to facilitate better on-ground management of threatening weeds.

Ben's current role as Leader of the Temperate Weeds Team is to develop, and implement on-ground, biological and other sustainable weed control solutions, to safeguard Australia's precious agricultural resources and natural ecosystems. This is achieved through building extensive partnerships with local community stakeholders, NRM organisations and policy makers at all levels of Government.

Ben's most significant contributions, to date, have been to coordinate biocontrol agent releases for the environmental weed wandering trad, and undertaking research on candidate biocontrol agents for fireweed, Cape ivy, fleabane and African boxthorn using a combination of molecular and ecological techniques in the lab and field.

In addition to his work on weed biocontrol, Ben currently leads research on the development of decision support toolkits to help guide management of widespread invasive grasses; modelling the impacts of weed invasion on native vegetation to better prioritise management interventions ; and enhancing the condition of native ecosystems and agricultural assets degraded by long term invasion by established pests and weeds.

Ben is passionate about working with community stakeholders, especially private landholders and volunteer environmental restoration organisations, to achieve weed management goals.

Other Interests

Other research interests include: (1) plant-microbial mutualisms, such as mycorrhizae; (2) restoration ecology; (3) desert ecology; (4) coastal ecology; (5) plant-herbivore Interactions; (6) invasive plant risk assessments; (7) citizen science; (8) sustainable agriculture.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2014

    PhD
    University of Wollongong

  • 2007

    Biological Sciences Advanced (Honours)
    University of Wollongong