The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (ARI) is a leading centre for applied ecological research, with an emphasis on flora, fauna and biodiversity issues. ARI's main focus is on providing strategic research and management advice to answer key questions affecting ecologically sustainable land or water management and resource use policies.

Our 65+ research staff have expertise in the ecology and taxonomy of flora, fauna and freshwater species and an excellent knowledge of ecosystem processes and interactions. This site provides information on our research priorities, direction, capacity and outputs: there are multiple ways to keep up to date with our research and activities.

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Arthur Rylah Institute Senior Leadership Team

The Senior Leadership Team at ARI comprises the ARI Director (Dr Kim Lowe), two senior cross-Institute leadership roles (Professor Andrew Bennett & Fern Hames), the Research Section Managers (Dr Lindy Lumsden, Tim O'Brien & Jarod Lyon ), one of our Principal Research Scientists Dr John Koehn, and our Business Managers (Corrinne Wong & Steve Werner).

Director
Dr Kim Lowe 
Kim LoweKim leads ARI to undertake world-class, strategic research to support and guide sustainable ecosystem management. Kim has worked in State and Commonwealth environment departments since 1984 in a variety of research, planning and policy roles. This has covered many fields including native vegetation policy, landcare, salinity, pest plants and animals, threatened species recovery, deer/duck/quail hunting, and international, national and State biodiversity legal conventions. He has had experience with biodiversity research conducted through various models including the Cooperative Research Centres, private consulting firms, universities, and non-government organisations. Kim has a PhD from the University of Melbourne on the ecology and socio-biology of large wading birds.
Science Leadership & Capability
Professor Andrew Bennett
Andrew BennettAndrew provides, and supports the development of, scientific leadership through building capability and enhancing the quality of research. Andrew holds BSc (Hons) and PhD (Zoology) degrees and started his career as an ecologist at ARI before spending the last 18 years at Deakin University. He has built a research group of international standing in landscape ecology and conservation biology. He has worked for 6-month periods in Canada, England and USA, most recently as a Charles Bullard Fellow at Harvard University in 2012. Andrew's position at ARI is a joint appointment with La Trobe University, which will strengthen links and build research capability across both organisations.
Science Manager: Communication & Collaboration
Fern Hames
Fern HamesFern has responsibility for building links between the research programs and sections at ARI as well as with key stakeholders and research partners. This enabling role is designed to increase the capacity of ARI to work together in strategic alliances to conduct quality applied ecological research to underpin policy decisions. Fern has extensive experience in freshwater fish and aquaculture research, stakeholder and community engagement, policy development and environmental education, particularly in the Murray-Darling Basin. She is a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation.
Wildlife Ecology
Dr Lindy Lumsden
Lindy LumsdenLindy leads a team that conducts applied research on threatened and introduced vertebrate fauna, and wildlife management issues, to inform policy and management decisions. Lindy is internationally recognised as an expert on the ecology and conservation of insectivorous bats. Lindy also undertakes research on threatened arboreal mammals, especially Leadbeater's Possums, and provides scientific input and advice to a wide range of state and national planning and decision-making processes.
Community Ecology
Tim O'Brien
Tim O'BrienTim leads the Fire Ecology, Vegetation Monitoring, Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Wetlands and Waterbirds, and Disturbance Ecology programs at ARI. These teams conduct research on a range of threatened and introduced taxa including vegetation, birds, reptiles and mammals, and develop specialist spatial modelling systems to inform policy and management for a range of organisations. Tim has extensive science management experience and has specialist expertise in providing for the migratory requirements of freshwater fish
Applied Aquatic Ecology
Jarod Lyon
Jarod LyonJarod leads a team of dedicated researchers examining various aspects of restoration ecology ecological management plans intervention based research that helps inform management and policy decisions. The current team has strong links across a range of organisations, including government departments, Catchment Management Authorities, and Universities. Jarod has many years experience as a freshwater scientist, including planning for, undertaking and monitoring the restoration of woody habitat into rivers and streams, understanding the impact of bushfires on aquatic systems, threatened species management, angler liaison and developing ecological management plans.
Principal Research Scientist
Dr John Koehn
John KoehnJohn is one of Australia's leading fish biologists being recognised nationally and internationally. With over 230 scientific publications he has undertaken research and provided advice on most of Victoria's freshwater fishes. He provides advice to a range of State and national agencies, especially in relation to flows, habitats and recovery. John has a senior role to provide aquatic scientific leadership through building strategic capability, highlighting emerging directions and enhancing the skills of aquatic staff and the quality of their scientific research. Current high profile projects relate to environmental water and the Murray-Darling Basin, population models, Murray Cod and Carp.
Manager - Business & Administrative Services
Corrinne Wong
Corrinne WongCorrinne brings extensive legal, contract and business management experience to the Institute.  She has been with the Department since 2010, as Business & Legal Practice Manager, prior to which she was CEO of the Malaysian Bar’s Secretariat, where she oversaw a transformation of that organisation. She has extensive expertise in the field of contract management, leadership and change management and has a track record of building highly effective teams and process improvement.
Manager - Planning, Strategy & Reporting
Steve Werner
Steve WernerSteve joined the DELWP in 2006, after 25 years in the private sector and three in local government. He has extensive business management experience in strategic planning, process and system improvement, service excellence and change management. He has expertise in client feedback systems and has overseen a number of change management projects in both the private and public sectors.