I graduated from the University of Melbourne in December 2020, completing a Master of Forest Ecosystem Science. As part of this degree, I completed a research project and gained valuable skills in coding, GIS and spatial analysis and learnt about the fundamentals of fire behaviour, bushfire planning and fuel management. I use this fundamental knowledge and skills daily in my job as a risk analyst at the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP). During my interview with DELWP, I was able to draw on my research project and the skills I developed as examples to show that I could meet the requirements of the position. I have been in this role for 18 months now, and am enjoying it every day.
I understand the importance of making connections in industry to help gain employment. I value mentoring and am happy to help new students with any enquiries.
Thesis- Survivability of Prescribed Burning in Victoria
Wildfire has profound impacts on life, property and the environment. To reduce wildfire risk, managers aim to reduce fuel loads, primarily through prescribed burning. Prescribed burning reduces fuel loads, therefore has the potential to reduce the rate of spread and intensity of a subsequent wildfire due to reduction in fuel availability. The survivability of prescribed fire (the time taken for a fire to be impacted by a wildfire) has never been tested on a large temporal and spatial scale. This study aimed to determine the survivability of prescribed fire across Victoria between 1980 and 2018. Fire size and region was found to have an influence on the survivability of prescribed fire. Results indicate that the survivability of prescribed fire is longer than the average fuel accumulation period, thus the perceived benefits and reduced risk would not be realised. The types of vegetation burned through wildfire and prescribed fire varies across the state. Future research should aim to include vegetation types in the survivability analysis. Vegetation follows different flammability pathways, thus will influence the ideal survivability of prescribed fire.