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Oceania Board of Directors

The Oceania Section of the Society for Conservation has an international following of members that support conservation in the Oceania Region. The Board of Directors is an elected body that facilitates the goals and activities of the Section.

Current Members

Richard Kingsford, President
University of New South Wales 
Sydney, Australia
Vanessa Adams, President Elect
Charles Darwin University
Darwin, Australia 
Stacy Jupiter, Board Member
Wildlife Conservation Society
Suva, Fiji
Roz Anderson-Lederer, Board Member
Victoria University of Wellington
New Zealand
Rebecca Spindler, Board Member
Taronga Conservation Society
Rebecca Weeks, Board Member
ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University
Emily S. Weeks, Board Member
National Land Resource Centre
New Zealand
Carina Wyborn, Board Member
University of Montana
Montana, USA
Carolyn Lundquist, Past-President
National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research
New Zealand
Adjunct Members
Wendy Jackson, Treasurer 
Department of Conservation
Wellington, New Zealand

Future Members

If you are interested in being a member of the Oceania Board you must be a member of SCB and a member of the Section. Generally 2 to 4 board members are elected annually. The Call for Nominations goes out in September or October and the election runs in October or November. Each year section members receive an email about the open positions and the start of the election process. For more information about getting involved with this board, please contact a board member or

Current Board Profiles

Vanessa Adams
Board Member
University of Queensland

Vanessa is a conservation biologist and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Queensland. A key theme in her research is applying economic concepts and social consultation to make on-ground conservation action more effective and equitable between groups of stakeholders. Vanessa was raised in New Mexico (USA) but currently calls Australia home. She has worked in a variety roles ranging from actuarial analyst for global consulting firm Mercer HR to research scientist at universities.  She spent a year as a Fulbright scholar conducting research at University of Queensland and recently completed her PhD at James Cook University in 2011. During her PhD, she was awarded a Sir Keith Murdoch fellowship through the American Australian Association to support a component of her research conducted in Fiji modelling costs of conservation actions to local fishermen.  Her research explores how to plan for development and conservation goals conjointly with a focus on how new market mechanisms, such as carbon offsets, may be leveraged for dual objectives such as livelihood provisioning and biodiversity conservation. Vanessa partners with relevant government agencies and NGOs to ensure that her research is relevant to policy makers and is positioned to influence on-ground conservation.  
Rosalynn Anderson-Lederer
Board Member
PhD Candidate, Victoria University of Wellington

I’m in the last year of my PhD where I am examining the population genetics and management of black rhinoceros in South Africa. I have a broad interest in applied biology and how we as practitioners can transfer knowledge gained from the field and lab to create practical solutions on the ground. From restoration projects, wildlife management, policy implementation to human-animal conflict, these (as well as other conservation areas) benefit when scientists, resource managers and those who put plans into action are able to collaborate.

I’m an Oceania Section Board Member, on the SCB Chapters Committee, am the Oceania Chapters Policy Point Person and was a founding member of the first Chapter in the Oceania Section.
Richard Kingsford Richard Kingsford
University of New South Wales 

Conservation Interests:
At the age of six, a pair of binoculars was hung around my neck when my grandmother took me bird watching around her garden in Kenya. She taught me how to identify birds which she meticulously ticked off on her long-term bird list. It engrained in me a long lasting love and appreciation of the environment. East Africa was a spectacular place to learn about the environment, with more than a thousand bird species. At the age of 12, my family emigrated to Australia and after completing my Phd on the ecology of the Australian wood duck, I joined the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service as a research scientist. Here I worked for the next 18 years, initially running one of the longest running aerial surveys in the world, the Eastern Australian Waterbird Survey, which I continue to run. This drew me to looking at the magnificent wetlands of arid Australia and the importance of variable flow regimes in providing habitats not just for waterbirds but all organisms. Increasingly, I became aware from our long-term waterbird survey data that the status of waterbirds and wetlands in the Murray-Darling Basin was grim. Decreasing flows meant less extensive inundation and lower flood frequencies. My attention became equally focused on the long-term sustainability of the rivers of the Murray-Darling Basin and the effects of building dams, floodplain developments and extractions on the long-term viability of magnificent wetland ecosystems. These are global challenges as human populations increase and demand more of the products of water resource development (food and fibre). Determining environmental flows, protecting wetlands and designing policies for protection of free-flowing rivers remain the critical challenges for me and my research.


Carina Wyborn
Board Member
Research lead for place-based conservation at the Luc Hoffmann Institute

Carina is the research lead for place-based conservation at the Luc Hoffmann Institute. She is an interdisciplinary social scientist with a background in human ecology. Her research focuses knowledge co-production in climate adaptation and biodiversity conservation. Carina’s research examines the connections between science, policy and practice, and the capacities that enable effective and ethical decision-making in conservation governance. In her post-doctoral research, Carina worked closely with U.S. federal agencies in southern Colorado to develop approaches to integrate climate adaptation into land management decision-making in the context of uncertainty. Her doctoral research examined the relationship between science and governance in large landscape connectivity conservation in Australia and North America.

Monica Awasthy
Board Member and Chapters Committee Member
Research Fellow, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
Adjunct Fellow, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

Monica is a research fellow at Macquarie University working in avian ecology and behaviour. She is particularly interested in the interface between ecology and the social sciences in biodiversity conservation. Her research interests span urban ecology, human-wildlife interactions, and community-based participatory approaches to conservation, including citizen science and environmental education. Originally from Canada, Monica travelled and worked on a large variety of wildlife ecology and conservation projects across Canada, USA, Australia and Micronesia for universities, zoos, museums and NGOs, before completing a PhD in urban avian ecology in New Zealand.

Monica was a founding member of the VUW-Wellington and Sydney Chapters, where she served as vice-president and president respectively, and is currently a member of the SCB global Chapters Committee. 

Rebecca Spindler
Board Member
Manager, Research and Conservation, Taronga Conservation Society Australia

I grew up in Melbourne, apart from a couple of years in Alice Springs when I was allowed to go completely feral – no shoes! I learned a lot in those years - mostly about myself. I gained a deep love and respect for nature and wildlife, big and small. We returned to Melbourne and I resumed a relatively standard educational experience. I completed a PhD on embryonic diapause at the University of Melbourne, and then left almost immediately for a position at the Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute. I developed novel embryo culture systems for rare and endangered species and ran two international programs for the Smithsonian – one in China and one in Brazil. I spent 5 giant panda breeding seasons in the Wolong Nature Reserve and helped establish reproductive management and the Giant Panda Genome Resource Bank. During this same period I established the Smithsonian’s Neotropical Carnivore Initiative with Dr. Nucharin Songsasen and with colleagues throughout the Americas, and spearheaded a multidisciplinary project aimed at improving the health, reproduction and conservation of jaguars. I moved to Toronto Zoo in 2004 to head up the reproductive department and initiated investigations into the role of genetic makeup on breeding strategies of wildlife species.

In 2007, I joined the team at the Taronga Conservation Society Australia as Manager of Research and Conservation Programs focusing and facilitating the research of zoo scientists to answer key environmental questions through the disciplines of wildlife ecology, behaviour, reproduction and health. I also head up the Field Conservation Grants and community based Green Grants programs. I enjoy collaborative work and for the last few years have been working with collaborators from the IUCN to develop a new matrix to prioritise conservation and research efforts.


Rebecca Weeks
Board Member
James Cook University

Rebecca is a Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University.

After completing a Masters degree in Zoology at the University in Sheffield (UK), Rebecca moved to Australia to pursue her interest in marine conservation in warmer climes. Her PhD, undertaken at James Cook University, explored approaches to developing marine protected area networks in the Philippines. Following an 18-month fellowship with the Wildlife Conservation Society in Fiji, Rebecca took up a postdoctoral position in the conservation planning research group at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies. Although based in Australia, her research focuses on science to support marine conservation planning and management in the Coral Triangle and Western Pacific. Rebecca’s current research explores how to integrate advances in understanding of ecological connectivity processes into conservation planning, the need to resolve social-ecological scale mismatches to effectively scale up local management actions, and the need for conservation planning strategies to be adaptive. Rebecca’s research questions are defined through collaboration with conservation practitioners and stakeholders, from fishermen to policy makers at the highest level. She has been actively involved with the marine protected areas working group of the Coral Triangle Initiative, and has assisted with the development of conservation plans in the Philippines, Fiji and Palau.


Stacy Jupiter
Board Member
Melanesia Director at the Wildlife Conservation Society

Stacy is presently the Melanesia Director with the Wildlife Conservation Society, based in Suva, Fiji. Over the past 7 years with WCS, Stacy has focused on working with local communities and governments to develop integrated, ecosystem-based management strategies to sustainably use and manage natural resources and biodiversity. Her work on understanding ecosystem connectivity from ridge to reef has been used to help prioritize areas for protection in Fiji and develop policy for integrated coastal management. Her main focal areas of research include identifying harvest regimes from customary fisheries closures that best promote both ecological and socio-cultural objectives, and understanding drivers of biocultural resilience in Pacific Island communities. Stacy was the Local Organizing Chair of the 2014 SCB Oceania Fiji conference, and co-edited a special issue of Pacific Conservation Biology on "Conservation of Biodiversity in the Pacific Islands of Oceania.”



Wendy Jackson Wendy Jackson
Adjunct Board Member
Strategic Partnerships: International Liaison - Department of Conservation, New Zealand

My role at the NZ Department of Conservation entails taking New Zealand's good conservation stories to the international arena, and ensuring that international commitments are met at home. Most of my engagement is with the UN biodiversity conventions: the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD); the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES); and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). I also do a lot of capacity building work in the region, assisting our Pacific Island neighbours with implementation of CITES. This reflects my area of conservation interest: the effectiveness of international environmental agreements. Do international agreements actually have a positive impact on biodiversity, and what can we do to ensure they do? I have previously worked for the United Nations Environment Programme (Kenya), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (New York and around the world), Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (a research and policy thinktank in South Africa), and Environment Canada.