Taxonomy Australia's Governance

Taxonomy Australia is governed by an Advisory Committee and representative Steering Committee comprising leaders in the taxonomy and biosystematics community, supported by a broad-based Reference Group.

Members of the Advisory Committee

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Dr. Judy West AO (Chair)

Judy is an Assistant Secretary in the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy, where she leads the Parks, Islands and Biodiversity Science Branch of Parks Australia and is Executive Director of the Australian National Botanic Gardens.

She ​has been a science leader in Australia for many years, and has been pivotal in raising the profile of Australian plant systematics through ongoing participation on national and international associations and committees, including the development of the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy. 

Judy became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2003, for service to the advancement of botanical science and research, particularly in the field of plant systematics, to science administration and policy development, and to the establishment of Australia's Virtual Herbarium.

Prof. Pauline Ladiges AO FAA

Pauline is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Melbourne and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Her research has contributed significantly to our understanding of Australia’s unique and highly diverse native plants, particularly our iconic eucalypts, acacias and banksias.

She was an early adopter in Australia of new methods and concepts in taxonomy and biosystematics, her research leading to a better understanding of plant evolution, taxonomy and biogeography.

She became an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2009 for service in the advancement of botanical science and research in the field of taxonomy and plant systematics, and to the conservation of Australian flora and fauna.

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Prof. Craig Moritz FAA

Craig is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of the joint ANU-CSIRO Centre for Biodiversity Analysis. From 2000-2012 he was Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at UC Berkeley.

Craig's research has led to new insights into chromosome evolution and speciation in arid zone lizards, including discovering and investigating the consequences of parthenogenesis (all-female reproduction) in the gecko Heteronotia binoei. His current research focuses on evolution and speciation in the Australian Monsoon Tropics, an area of previously unrecognised evolutionary and species diversity.

Dr Sally Troy

Sally is an Assistant Secretary in the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, where she leads the Plant Health Policy Unit.

She has held several senior positions in state and federal government over the past 20 years, focussing on the environment and agriculture portfolios where there is a strong connection to science and research.


Sally has a PhD in Zoology from the University of Melbourne, where she studied the behaviour and biology of New Zealand fur seals, and a Masters of Legal Studies from ANU.

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Prof. Wendy Nelson MNZM FRSNZ

Wendy leads the Marine Biological Resources team at New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA Taihoro Nukurangi) and is a Professor at the University of Auckland.

She is the leading authority on New Zealand's seaweeds, specialising in the biosystematics,  floristics, evolution, phylogeny, ecology and life history of macroalgae.

Dr Thomas Trnski

Tom is Head of Natural Sciences at Auckland War Memorial Museum where he leads development, documentation, research and public access of all the Museum’s natural science collections.

He is an expert on fishes of the South Pacific and has led research expeditions to document the biodiversity of remote islands throughout the region.

His research focuses on the early life history of fishes to answer questions relating to connectivity and dispersal in marine populations, population dynamics, marine reserve design, and identification of nursery areas for fishes.

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Members of the Steering Committee


Prof. Darren Crayn (Chair)

Darren is the Chair of the Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria (CHAH) and represents that Council on the Steering Committee.

He is Director of the Australian Tropical Herbarium, a joint venture between CSIRO, James Cook University and the Queensland Government. His research focuses on the origins, evolution and classification of plants and deals broadly with the questions: how many plant species exist, where do they occur, how are they related and how have they evolved?

Dr Jane Melville (Deputy Chair)

Jane is a Senior Curator, Terrestrial Vertebrates at Museums Victoria.

Her research combines field-based studies and genetics to help understand the taxonomy, conservation, ecology and evolution of endangered reptiles and frogs.

Jane was recently awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to conduct research at the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University in St. Louis on contributions of taxonomy to the conservation of Australian reptiles.

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Dr. Dan Murphy

Dan is President of the Australasian Systematic Botany Society (ASBS) and represents that Society on the Steering Committee.

He is a Senior Research Scientist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, where he uses phylogenetic and geospatial methods to understand the systematics, taxonomy, classification and biogeography of Australasian flowering plants.

Dr Michael Rix

Mike is President of the Australian Society of Systematic Biologists (SASB) and represents that Society on the Steering Committee.

He is a Principal Curator and Research Fellow in the Biodiversity and Geosciences Program at the Queensland Museum. He works on the systematics, evolutionary biology and molecular biology of Australian spiders.

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Dr Tom May

Tom represents the Australasian Mycological Society (AMS) on the Steering Committee.

He is a Senior Research Scientist at the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, where he studies the taxonomy, ecology and conservation of larger fungi, including their history, bibliography and nomenclature.

Dr Kenny Travouillon

Kenny is Chair of Australasian Palaeontologists, and represents that Association on the Steering Committee.

He is Curator of Mammals at the Western Australian Museum, where he focuses on marsupial evolution, palaeontology and systematics, particularly the taxonomy of bandicoots, bilbies and macropods (kangaroos and allies) past and present.

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Mr Cameron Slatyer

Cam is the Chair of the Council of Heads of Australian Faunal Collections (CHAFC), and represents that Council on the Steering Committee.


He is Branch Manager Life Sciences at the Australian Museum, where he leads the Museum's biodiversity research and collections portfolio. He has worked in senior roles in the Australian Public Service in Canberra, including as Director of the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS).

Dr Sue Fyfe

Sue is Director Biodiversity Science, Parks Australia, Department of the Environment and Energy. She represents the Australian Biological Resources Study (ABRS) on the Steering Committee.

Sue was previously Director Geoinformatics & Data Services Section in Geosciences Australia. She has worked extensively in science-related information management and informatics.

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Mr Hamish Holewa

Hamish is the Chief Operating Officer of the Atlas of Living Australia and represents the ALA on the Steering Committee.

He has substantial experience in the development and management of cyber-infrastructure for science-related research.

Prof. Michelle Waycott

Michelle is the Director of the State Herbarium of South Australia and holds the HBS Womersley Chair in Systematic Botany at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide.

Her research encompasses systematics and taxonomy, population genetics, evolutionary biology, ecology, basic biology and molecular genetics, with a particular focus on seagrasses and related groups.

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Prof. Gerry Cassis

Gerry works and teaches at the Evolution & Ecology Research Centre at the University of New South Wales. 

An entomologist, Gerry's career has focused on the taxonomy, biosystematics and evolution of true bugs in the family Miridae in Australia and our region.

Dr Ashley Field

Ashley is the curator of fern and lycopod families at the Australian Tropical Herbarium and Queensland Herbarium.​

An Early Career Researcher, his research investigates evolution, systematics, niche-specialisation, rarity, conservation biology and extinction in ferns, lycophytes and vascular epiphytes of Australia's Wet Tropics.

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