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Urban Speakers 2019


May Carter, MayC Consulting, WA

Title:  Saving our cities, one tree at a time

Bio: May has academic qualifications in leisure sciences, social science and environmental management. She has worked as a lecturer and researcher with several universities and as a consultant for government agencies and not-for-profit community and environmental organisations. May’s research, publications, national and international presentations cover topics relating to planning, design and management of parks and urban green space; protected area management; outdoor recreation and tourism; health promotion; and community development through engagement in planning and decision making. May currently works in cross-agency policy and research for the Western Australian state government.



David Cashman, Barrell Tree Consultancy, UK

Title 1:  Trees and development; bridging the gap between design and construction

Title 2: Managing large roots within the excavation envelope

Bio: D
ave Cashman is an Associate Director and Principal Consultant with Barrell Tree Consultancy (BTC), one of the UK’s most successful Arboricultural Practices, working primarily in the planning and legal sectors ( He is part of a team of 14 people, specialising in assessing trees on development sites and project managing their protection through to occupation.

Dave has worked with trees for 40 years, starting his career with the London Borough of Sutton, first as a climbing arborist and then as a tree officer. In 2003, after 15 years in local government, he joined BTC, bringing his wealth of public sector planning expertise into the professional consultancy arena. Dave is accomplished international speaker having delivered conference presentations and workshops in the UK, Sweden, USA, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand.



Mark Hartley, Arborist Network, NSW

Title:  A review of deaths in Australia from accidental tree failures

Bio: Mark Hartley is a second-generation arborist whose career spans over three decades. Mark has studied widely in Australia and the United States. His reputation and expertise in tree transplanting has taken him to 7 countries in 3 different continents. His expertise with palms resulted in him providing consultancy services in the UAE to the Royal Family.

Mark has given evidence as an expert witness in the Local, District, Land and Environment, and Supreme courts of NSW and has served as a court appointed expert for the Land and Environment Court of NSW.

Kelly Hertzog, City of Melbourne, VIC

Title: Updating the Tree Valuation Method

Bio: Kelly is an Urban Forester at the City of Melbourne, a role which includes strategic work and delivery of research and programs. As a social scientist, Kelly’s focus is the interactions between people and nature, and creating thriving urban ecosystems. Kelly specialises in community and stakeholder engagement, working to develop and implement the City’s Urban Forest Strategy. Kelly leads Melbourne’s Citizen Forester Program and the Urban Forest Fund. Kelly also plays a key role in the city’s urban forest data analysis and monitoring key forest health metrics, such as canopy mapping.

In previous roles at the City of Melbourne and Melbourne Water, Kelly’s work has also focused on Water Sensitive Urban Design and green roofs, walls and facades.

    Peter Jobson, Northern Territory Herbarium, Alice Springs, NT

2019 Conference Abstract - The blooming desert: The flora of arid Central Australia - its diversity and potential uses

 Native of Wollongong, NSW

1988: Bsc (Hons) La Trobe University –variation in south-eastern Acrotriche(native heaths)

1994: MSc: James Cook University, Townsville– variation in Dendrobium canaliculatumor Tea Tree Orchid

2004: PhD UTS: PhD looking at the taxonomy and biogeography of Dillwynia – one of the egg-and-bacon-pea genera.

1995-1996: bio-prospector collecting species used to screen for natural drugs, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne

2001- 2010: Casual lecturer at University of NSW

2008-2012: working for consultancies as an identifications botanist in Western Australia during the mining boom

2013- present: Senior Botanist and Curator at the Northern Territory Herbarium, Alice Springs

    Dr Denise Johnstone, University of Melbourne, VIC

2019 Conference Abstract: The Urban Visual Vitality Index (UVVI) - a visual assessment method of crown condition in urban trees

Bio: Dr Denise Johnstone has been a lecturer in arboriculture and urban forestry for over 20 years, but began her career in arboriculture as a contract tree climber. She has competed in the Australian Tree Climbing Championships and was Vice-President of the Arboricultural Association of Australia for two years. She has presented frequently at ISA international and publishes most of her research work in urban forestry and arboricultural journals. Her research questions are driven by arboriculture industry needs such as; how can we keep trees healthy? And indirectly such as; how do trees work? How do trees interact with humans?

  Ian Leahy, Vice President for Urban Forestry, American Forests, USA

Title 1: Vibrant Cities Lab

Title 2: Tree Equity: Career Pathways

Bio: Ian Leahy has overseen American Forests' urban forestry program since 2014. Based in Washington, DC, he has developed a Community ReLeaf program that helps cities across the United States build capacity for managing and growing their urban forests through a comprehensive change model. This includes data analysis, planning, advocacy, innovative financing, and restoration projects.

Community ReLeaf has won multiple awards, most recently a Climate Leadership Award for Innovative Partnerships. Ian has also led initiatives to advance the urban forestry movement in general, including the Vibrant Cities Lab (, Tree Equity: Career Pathways, and new tools to advance climate mitigation and public health.

Prior to American Forests, Ian served as the State Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the District of Columbia and managed his own landscape design and installation business. He studied natural resources management at Cornell University.

    Ian McAlister, Dubbo Regional Council, NSW

Title: Building a Tree Planting Framework for Urban Resilience

Bio: Ian has worked in the local government sphere for the past 30 years and currently holds the position of Manager Recreation and Open Space at Dubbo Regional Council. 

As a strong advocate for the need of a connected park network to promote human health and well-being Ian has consistently pushed the discussion on the need for long term planning for the integration of Green and Grey Infrastructure to achieve intergeneration benefits to the Dubbo community.  This has included the acceptance of the Stockholm Tree Planting methodology which is providing a dramatic transformation in the planting of trees within the hierarchy of the urban road system.

Ian has qualifications in Amenity Horticulture, Parks Recreational and Heritage and Natural Resource Management and has been undertaking additional study through the University of Melbourne in the area of Green Infrastructure.

    Janet McDonald, Department of Agriculture, QLD

Title: A root and branch approach to forest biosecurity: the importance of arborists as early detectors

Bio: Janet McDonald has been working with the Department of Agriculture, Forest Health Surveillance (FHS) team since1998 conducting pests and disease surveys in forestry plantations throughout Queensland.  She was part of team of researchers who set up FHS systems in the South Pacific Islands and most recently in south-east Asia. She is responsible for establishing FHS systems in the sandalwood plantations in the Ord River Irrigation Area near Kununurra WA.   Janet has twenty years of experience conducting pest and disease surveys and collecting samples in the field.

She has recently been conducting workshops with the QAA focusing on forest pests and diseases, nutritional disorders and biosecurity.

    Melissa McManus, North Sydney Council, NSW

Title: The North Sydney Council Experience - Tracking canopy change over 20 years, the ups, the downs and taking a new approach

Bio: Melissa has been in the Open Space industry for 34 years, commencing her career with 10 years in landscape maintenance, construction and nursery production in both government and private sectors.  She then taught at TAFE before joining North Sydney Council where she has been for over 20 years.

At North Sydney, a small, affluent, waterfront LGA in the heart of Sydney, Melissa spent 5 years as Tree Preservation officer before moving into a strategic planning role where she has overseen the development of Council's highly regarded Street Tree Strategy and Urban Forest Strategy.

    Greg Moore, University of Melbourne, VIC

Title: Minimising the hazard and risks that may arise from the development of lignotuberous and epicormic shoots: lessons from a study of Eucalyptus oblique L'Herit

Greg Moore, Senior Research Associate, University of Melbourne, Burnley, was Principal of Burnley (1988-2007) and Head of the School of Resource Management (2002-007). Interested in plant science and ecology, Greg specializes in arboriculture. He was inaugural president of ISAAC, and has been a member of the National Trust’s Register of Significant Trees since 1988 and chair since 1996. On the Board of Greening Australia (1988-2012), Trust For Nature (2009-2017) and Sustainable Gardening Australia, he has chaired TREENET since 2005. He has written two books, five book chapters and 180 scientific papers and articles. He was awarded an OAM for services to the environment, particularly arboriculture.

    Lyndal Plant, Ph.D. - Urban Forester Pty Ltd, QLD

2019 Conference Abstract - The life and death of the Australian leafy street

Bio: Dr. Lyndal Plant is an urban forester who has worked in local government policy and strategic planning for urban trees, including many years with Brisbane City Council. A Churchill Fellow, member of TREENET management committee and now a published researcher and consultant, Lyndal has helped advance urban forest evidence gathering techniques and make stronger business cases for investment in green infrastructure. Lyndal now focuses on policy development/review and cutting-edge urban forest initiatives. She sees the forest, not just the trees – helps plan and monitor outcomes, not just outputs and is committed to greener, cooler neighbourhoods for all.

    Dr Nigel Tapper, Monash University, VIC

Title: Building Cooler, Healthier, Global Cities as Critical Adaptation to Climate Change

Bio: Dr Nigel Tapper is Professor of Environmental Science in the School of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Monash University where he leads its climate research program.  He works primarily on fundamental and applied research on climate adaptation in cities. Internationally, Nigel is known for his contributions to the work of the World Meteorological Organisation, the International Association for Urban Climate(President) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) where he is a Lead Author for the next Assessment Report (IPCCAR6).

  Tom Vassallo, Skills Impact

Title: Arboriculture Qualification Review

Bio: Tom has many years’ experience in vocational education and training, human resources and retail management, including secondary school teaching, learning and development consulting, delivery and assessment of Certificate IV Training and Assessment, developing training and assessment resources and managing training package projects. Tom’s roles prior to joining Skills Impact included Training Package Project Manager with the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council, Training Programs Manager with the Master Builders Association of Victoria and Curriculum Maintenance Manager – Building Services for Victoria. He holds a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Education, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Diploma of Management and a Diploma of Training and Assessment.


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