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Dr Anna Richards

Senior Research Scientist


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Dr Anna Richards is a plant and soil ecologist with a broad interest in ecosystem management; particularly, how the science of vegetation and soil dynamics, along with land management practices, can be used to better monitor, evaluate and manage ecosystem condition. She is a senior research scientist in the Ecosystem Dynamics team at the CSIRO Tropical Ecosystems Research Centre in Darwin, Northern Territory.

Anna develops frameworks for monitoring and evaluating natural resource management activities based on an understanding of dynamic ecosystem condition and set within a state and transition modelling context. As part of this work she has co-led a collaborative project (The Australian Ecosystem Models Framework) with the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment to develop dynamic ecosystem models for Australia's ecosystems that incorporate both reference (endogenous) and recent (exogenous) disturbance regimes. The framework aims to improve decision making in natural resource management, and provide a conceptual underpinning to the development of SEEA-compliant (System of Environmental Economic Accounting) ecosystem accounts.

She has also undertaken research on land-based climate change mitigation methodologies for managing savanna fires (particularly soil carbon sequestration) and she is particularly interested in the impact of these methodologies on biodiversity and sustainable livelihood opportunities for remote indigenous communities.

Dr Richards also maintains an interest in plant ecophysiology related to plant nutrient and water use, and soil spectroscopy methods for rapid detection of soil carbon pools.

Current Roles

  • Team member and project 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

  • 2021-2025

    Julius Career Award

  • 2016-2017

    Payne-Scott award

  • 2013-2013

    Payne-Scott award

  • 2011-2011

    New generation research award
    NT research and innovation awards

  • 2011-2011

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

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2017-current

    Scientists in Schools, Jingili Primary School

We have publications by Dr Anna Richards