Hannah Etchells, mentee in the 2019 Program in WA (UWA)

I’m in the final year of a PhD at the University of Western Australia, researching the ecological impacts of large-scale, catastrophic wildfire events. Catastrophic wildfires have increased in frequency and severity across the southwest United States and southwest Australia in recent history, but we have little understanding of their ecological impacts, and therefore little understanding of how to best manage these systems.

I recently undertook a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of California Berkeley, researching wildfire impacts and management in California. My experiences during this time – which coincided with unprecedented winter bushfires burning southern Australia while the most destructive wildfire season in California’s history unfolded – further confirmed that this is a critical international issue that requires collaboration. The two fire-prone regions have an enormous amount to gain from undertaking collaborative research projects, and I aspire to further develop such initiatives in my career post-PhD.

I’m currently looking for opportunities for collaboration between Australia and the U.S., to improve conservation and management outcomes for both. In my spare time I enjoy surfing, skateboarding, camping, hiking – anything outdoors is where I’m most at home.

You can find Hannah on: