Peter Cuneo
Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

Photo of Peter CuneoDr Peter Cuneo

Project leader of seedbank program, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

See Dr Cuneo’s full research profile here.

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Development of PlantBank threatened species seed conservation and translocation program. Dr Cuneo leads the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney (RBGS) state-wide seed conservation program, including international partnership with the RBGS Kew Millennium Seed Bank (U.K). Seed program and PlantBank facility now national leader, with NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment Saving our Species funding for statewide seed collecting program established. Dr Cuneo is currently involved in threatened species translocation planning and implementation, including critically endangered Bankstown Hibbertia and Western Sydney Airport.
  • Ecology and management of invasive African olive in south-west Sydney (PhD project). Dr Cuneo quantified the impact of African olive on native vegetation in the Cumberland plain region. The project documented key ecological attributes of this high ecological impact invasive tree, and established control measures. All thesis chapters are peer-reviewed publications and led to the listing of African olive invasion as a key threatening process under NSW state legislation. Research publications were influential in African olive noxious weed declarations and on management at a state and local government level in the Sydney and Hunter regions.
  • Restoration of endangered ecological communities using direct seeding. restoration of Cumberland plain woodland vegetation on sites degraded by African olive invasion. Dr Cuneo led major African olive control program at the Australian Botanic Gardens and subsequent restoration research to establish native local species, including native grass-seed production area to provide high-quality restoration seed.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2003–present: project leader of RBGS Seedbank program, Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Australian PlantBank.

Highest qualification

  • 2013: PhD, Macquarie University.

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

The following roles contribute to conservation planning and strategy at state and federal levels, particularly relating to threatened species management in-situ and ex-situ:

  • Australian seed bank partnership – national steering committee
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Saving our Species program, implementation working group
  • NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment – Saving our Species program, species technical group.