Sarah is a second year PhD Science student who is passionate about understanding and preserving the natural environment in the face of climate change. She completed the Bachelor of Environments degree with Honours in 2019 within the School of Geography at the University of Melbourne. This research focused on empirically testing the impact of Indigenous burning on Tasmanian rainforest expansion. Her PhD thesis is titled “Response, resilience, and recovery: An endangered fire-sensitive endemic conifer and its relationship with fire” and uses Athrotaxis cupressoides (Pencil Pine) as a target species to
understand how climate, species composition and fire type influence the distribution of long-lived trees with slow demographics, and their resilience to disturbance. Her research applies palaeoecology and palaeoclimatology, namely fossil pollen and charcoal analysis, geochemistry, Fourier Transformed Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), radiometric dating and local-scale climate reconstructions using stable isotope analysis of a speleothem proximal to my study sites in the Central Plateau, Tasmania.
Sarah has been working within the University on a casual basis since commencing my PhD in March 2020. This employment has included several tutorial/practical instructor roles within her field of Geography, and an ongoing laboratory assistant role assisting her supervisor with his research. She is also currently the Graduate Research student representative on the OHS, and Faculty of Science Reference Committees.
Sarah has always envisioned myself in a research position, however she realises she is currently unfamiliar with potential positions situated outside of academia. She is very grateful and excited for the opportunity to be involved in the IMNIS mentoring program and am hoping this experience will shed some light on not only opportunities and positions which may be available to her to follow this career path, but also how to approach these opportunities and network with others in her field to build connections and expand her knowledge and professional community.