Rachael Gallagher


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Hello! I am a plant ecologist and conservation biologist working to ensure that plants are protected and recognised for their vital contribution to society. My work focusses on the vulnerability of plants to threats, including climate change and invasive species, using a combination of data science approaches, modelling and experiments. I enjoy working closely with industry partners to create novel solutions to pressing environmental issues, such as restoration, species extinctions and urban expansion.

I am an ARC Discovery Early Research Career Fellow (DECRA) & Senior Lecturer in Plant Ecology in the Department of Biological Science. I lead the vibrant Plant Conservation and Ecology Group, mentoring Masters and PhD students and working closely wth early career scientists in plant science. Visit our website to see more of what we do https://www.plantconservationgroup.com/

I am the Deputy Chair of the NSW Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) and my research is used to inform conservation policy and action. This TSSC appointment allows me to advocate directly for the conservation of Australian plants via listing of species and ecological communities under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act. I also currently coordinate the national prioritisation of plant species affected by the catastrophic bushfires during the 2019-2020 summer. This process informs the work of the federal Threatened Species Commissioner in responding to this unprecedented biodiversity crisis.  

I am passionate about sharing my science with diverse audiences and building global networks of researchers who are working towards common goals such as the Open Traits Network which I co-lead: https://opentraits.org/


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  • High fire frequency and the impact of the 2019–2020 megafires on Australian plant diversity

    Gallagher, R. (Contributor), Allen, S. (Contributor), MacKenzie, B. (Contributor), Yates, C. (Contributor), Carl, G. (Contributor), Keith, D. (Contributor), Merow, C. (Contributor), White, M. (Contributor), Wenk, E. (Contributor), Maitner, B. (Contributor), He, K. (Contributor), Adams, V. (Contributor), Auld, T. (Contributor), Gallagher, R. V. (Contributor), Mackenzie, B. D. E. (Contributor), Yates, C. J. (Contributor), Gosper, C. R. (Contributor), Keith, D. A. (Contributor), White, M. D. (Contributor), Maitner, B. S. (Contributor), Adams, V. M. (Contributor) & Auld, T. D. (Contributor), Macquarie University, 10 Jun 2022