Dr Lucy Commander is a consultant ecologist, who writes, edits and reviews publications, gives guest lectures, and facilitates workshops. Currently, Lucy is the Project Manager for the update of the Florabank Guidelines for best practice native seed collection and use, with Australian Network for Plant Conservation and partners.
In June 2019, Lucy organised the Nature City Seminar in Perth through Perth NRM. The seminar brought people together to share research and case studies on how to better manage, restore and connect with nature in urban areas. Lucy was also the lead editor of the Australian Network for Plant Conservation’s Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants, published in 2018 and funded by the NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub.
Lucy’s background is as a Restoration Seed Ecologist, and has spent over a decade undertaking scientific research with the mining industry to improve mine restoration. She is interested in knowing what grows where and why, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions, and has recently been focusing on seed traits to improve seedling emergence in the early stages of restoration. She is also focused on defining targets for restoration and developing completion criteria.
Lucy is passionate about nature in urban areas, and connecting people, particularly children, with nature. She volunteers with her local bushland friends group to undertake ecological restoration.
In our conversation, we talk about her interest in singing and gardening, restoration seed ecology, and her work as an editor on the Florabank Guidelines for best practice native seed collection and use.
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[01:12] Love of singing
[02:59] Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir
[04:59] Journey to becoming a restoration seed ecologist
[07:04] The diversity of West Australian flora
[08:14] Translocation of threatened species
[10:41] Surveying for threatened species in developments
[11:44] The people involved in threatened species translocation
[13:06] The Florabank Guidelines for seed collection and use
[15:55] Who is behind the guidelines?
[16:37] Seed banks and storage
[17:55] Flora vs food crops
[18:34] Intervention of bushfire affected areas for restoration
[21:48] Management of areas under regular fire threat
[22:47] Sourcing seeds for restoration
[25:12] Applicability of local guidelines domestically and globally
[27:02] The diversity of Australian flora adding complexity to the task
[28:04] Florabank Guidlines publication timeline
[29:57] The collaborative nature of developing the guidelines
[31:03] Case and field work contributions from the community
[32:51] Bonus Question 1: What hobby or interest do you have that is most unrelated to your field of work?
[35:58] Bonus Question 2: Which childhood book holds the strongest memories for you?
[39:09] Bonus Question 3: What advice you would give someone who wants to do what you do? Or what advice should they ignore?
[42:31] Eden Project
- Royal School for Church Music
- Eric Whitacre
- The Virtual Choir
- Forest Products Commission
- Kings Park
- Australian Network for Plant Conservation
- Greening Australia
- John Wyndham (wiki) (BookDepository)
- George Orwell (wiki) (BookDepository)
- Eden Project
- Review of the ANPC’s Guidelines for Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia
- Lucy’s Google Scholar Profile
- Yes, native plants can flourish after bushfire. But there’s only so much hardship they can take - The Conversation
- Nature City Seminar Book of Abstracts [pdf]
- Demographic, seed and microsite limitations to seedling recruitment in semi-arid mine site restoration
- A research agenda for seed‐trait functional ecology
- Sinosteel Midwest Corporation Practitioner Restoration Manual Version 1 [pdf]
- Presentation on the update of the Florabank Guidelines for the 2020 Australasian Seed Science Conference [video]
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