BirdLife Australia's Research and Conservation Committee (RACC) is a group of highly respected scientists and conservationists who donate their time and expertise for the good of our birds and the organisation. The Committee provides advice and ensures the projects we do are relevant, strategic, and deliver effective conservation outcomes.
The current members are:
Dr Martine Maron (Chair, BirdLife Australia Board / The University of Queensland)
Prof Andrew Bennett (Deakin University)
Dr Kate Buchanan (Emu Editor / Deakin University)
Dr Peter Dann (Phillip Island Nature Parks)
Dr Arlene Harriss-Buchan (Australian Conservation Foundation)
Dr Leo Joseph (Taxonomic Advisor/ CSIRO)
Dr Tara Martin (CSIRO)
Dr Paul McDonald (University of New England)
Dr Peter Menkhorst (Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment)
Dr Steve Murphy (APY Land Management)
Dr Jim Radford (Australian Bush Heritage)
Brendan Sydes (Environmental Defenders Office)
Click here for more information about individual committee members and their expertise.
RACC also oversees a range of specialist subcommittees and reviews their recommendations for the BirdLife Australia Board. Members of all RACC sub-committees generously donate their time to support BirdLife Australia. All of these committees operate under terms of reference.
Atlas Advisory Committee (AAC)
The Ongoing Atlas of Australian Birds is one of BirdLife Australia's largest and most successful projects. It was established to monitor the relative abundance and distribution of Australia's birds. The primary role of the Atlas Advisory Committee (AAC) is to advise the CEO via RACC on scientific and conservation matters relating to this project.
The current Chair of the AAC is Barry Baker.
Australasian Ornithological Conference Advisory Committee (AOCAC)
Australasian Ornithological Conferences (AOCs) are biennial conferences run jointly by BirdLife Australia and the Ornithological Society of New Zealand (OSNZ), with the aim of promoting ornithology in the scientific community. The conferences are run within a set of policies and guidelines approved by RACC and OSNZ.
The current Chair of the AOC Advisory Committee is Allan Burbidge.
Australian Field Ornithology Editorial Board (AFOEB)
Australian Field Ornithology is BirdLife’s quarterly, peer-reviewed journal publishing original papers on a broad spectrum of topics relating to Australasian ornithology, including ecology, behaviour and history of individual species and groups. It also publishes significant natural history observations and has a particular emphasis on data or observations gained in the field. It regularly includes authoritative reviews of other ornithological publications.
First published in 1959 as The Australian Bird Watcher, it took on its present title in 2003. The body of work contained in the journal has added greatly to our knowledge of Australia’s birds and continues to do so; most new Australian species records are published in AFO and it has been an important source of data for our authoritative Handbook of Australian, New Zealand and Antarctic Birds.
Editorial policy and performance are overseen by RACC. The current Chair is James Fitzsimons who is also appointed to liaise between the Editorial Board and RACC.
Emu Editorial Board (EEB)
Emu - Austral Ornithology is BirdLife Australia's premier scientific journal, which has been published for well over 100 years. Bringing together the results of the latest bird research from all over the Southern Hemisphere and the adjacent tropics, it is considered to be the premier scientific ornithological publication for the region. All volumes are available online to subscribers and a full set of the printed volumes is available in our library located at BirdLife Australia's Melbourne headquarters.
In 2008 a new Emu Editorial Board (EEB) was established to ensure that the journal meets and exceeds the high standards demanded by the wider ornithological community. The EEB comprises the Editor, Dr Kate Buchanan, and approximately 20 Associate Editors whose collective expertise spans topics relevant to the scope of Emu. Associate Editors assist in the selection of referees and make recommendations about publication of papers, advise the Editor in the development of editorial policy, and attract new authors to the journal.
Editorial policy and performance are overseen by RACC, and Dr Kate Buchanan is appointed to liaise between RACC and the Editorial Board.
English Names Committee (ESC)
RACC maintains a Working List of Australian birds. The role of the ENC is to consider the English Names for new taxa, or taxa whose taxonomy has been revised. The English Names Committee of the Royal Australian Ornithologists Union (Birds Australia) established conventions for naming Australian birds over 35 years ago (RAOU 1978), and bird names have remained relatively stable ever since.
The current Chair of the ENC is Andrew Ley.
Threatened Species Committee (TSC)
RACC maintains a list of threatened Australian birds based on the IUCN Red List categories and criteria. To ensure that this list is maintained at the highest professional standards it is agreed that all submissions be reviewed by an expert committee with delegates chosen from around the country. The current threatened bird list is based on the Action Plan for Australian Birds 2010. The list is subject to ongoing assessment and review.
The current Chair of the TSC is Dr. Stephen Garnett. Contact the TSC at [email protected]
Serventy Medal Committee (SMC)
The Serventy Medal Committee assesses nominations for the D.L Serventy Medal; an award that honours scientists who have made outstanding contributions to publication in the field of ornithology in the Australasian region. The committee is made of previous award recipients and recommends candidates for consideration by RACC. For more information and details on how to apply click here.
The current chair of the SMC is Professor Richard Holdaway.
Student Awards Committee (SAC)
The Student Awards Committee assesses applications for the BirdLife’s student awards, including the Stuart Leslie Bird Research Award, Professor Allen Keast Research Award and the Emu-Austral Ornithology Research Award. This committee is made up of leading researchers and scientists (many of whom are previous recipients themselves) who generously volunteer their time to independently assess the quality of student applications.
The current Chair of the SAC is Dr. Martine Maron.