Dr Lucy Commander
Research management officer, The University of Western Australia
Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making
- Revision of the Florabank Guidelines – best-practice guidelines for native seed collection and use, 2019–2021: Project Manager and Publication Editor. This publication updated the first edition of the guidelines, published in 1999–2000, providing guidance for those using Australian native seeds in all forms of restoration. The work was undertaken through the Australian Network for Plant Conservation as part of the Healthy Seeds Project, funded by the NSW Environmental Trust. It involved co-ordinating well over 100 authors, reviewers and other contributors, and writing various modules.
- Author of 3 research reports that informed the National Seed Strategy as part of Project Phoenix, 2020–2021. Report titles: ‘Snap! A picture of the Australian Seed Sector in 2021’, ‘Making tracks – where does seed come from and where does it go?’ and ‘Successful international restoration systems’. Project Phoenix was co-ordinated by Greening Australia and these reports were administered through the Australian Network for Plant Conservation.
- Revision of the Guidelines for the Translocation of Threatened Plants in Australia, 2017–2018: Project Manager and Lead Editor. The update of the Translocation Guidelines was funded by the National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub and administered by the Australian Network for Plant Conservation. The guidelines have been cited in state government translocation policy, and the translocation proposal template provides a handy guide for recovery teams to collate and submit information about their translocation plan.
- Research to inform restoration of a threatened ecological community on a Banded Ironstone Formation in Western Australia, 2012–2017: Post-doctoral Research Scientist. As part of a transdisciplinary team, Dr Commander undertook research on plant communities, ecological restoration using the soil seed bank, sown seed and nursery-grown plants, and restoration targets to inform the restoration following mining. The team produced a restoration manual for the company to inform their practice, which was made publicly available. The project was funded by Sinosteel Midwest Corporation and administered through the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and The University of Western Australia.
Current academic employment and positions
- research management officer, The University of Western Australia.
- 2009: PhD, The University of Western Australia.
Links with non-government groups or networks
- 2011–2018: treasurer and board member of the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia
- 2017–2021: project manager at the Australian Network for Plant Conservation.
What are your research interests as they relate to resilient landscapes?
- Dr Commander is fascinated by Australian plants and ecological restoration. She loves problem-solving and sharing information on best-practice ways to replace plants in the environment. Dr Commander has a particular interest in the regeneration niche – asking why seeds germinate when and where they do, and how we can mimic those conditions to improve landscape management and ecosystem resilience.
What do you love about working in Australian landscapes?
- Dr Commander is very attached to the places and species she’s lived in and worked on– from Shark Bay on the western-most point of the continent to the Great Sandy Desert in the north and the Banksia woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain in the south-west. She also loves bushwalking to spot flowers, as well as growing native plants at home in her garden, and watching the birds, insects and reptiles enjoy the habitat she’s created in her small urban patch.