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RZS NSW Council and Officers

The Council of the RZS NSW consists of 18 members elected by the membership. Roles within the Council (e.g. President) are elected by the sitting Council. 

The current members of the RZS NSW Council are shown below. 

RZS NSW Council members

Dr Pat Hutchings


Dr Hutchings is a Senior Fellow at the Australian Museum. Her expertise is in the taxonomy of marine invertebrates, especially marine worms. She is also interested in management of coastal ecosystems including coral reefs. Dr Hutchings has been on the council of RZS NSW for many years and chairs the EMR sub committee. Pat is a Fellow of the Society.

Dr Martin Predavec

Senior Vice-President

Martin Predavec is the immediate past President of RZS NSW. Martin first joined the RZS NSW in 1989 as an honours student at the University of Sydney. He joined Council in 2008 as Honorary Treasurer and has been an editor of Australian Zoologist since 2010. He has always had a passion for zoology and each phase of his career has allowed him to pursue this passion in different areas. Martin has worked in zoology at universities (Sydney, Monash and the University of British Columbia), in the private sector as an ecological consultant, and in the public sector. Martin has worked on a range of interesting species in fascinating areas, e.g. lemmings in the Canadian Arctic, spinifex hopping mice in central Australia, and koalas across NSW. Martin is a Fellow of the Society.

Dr Adele Haythornthwaite

Hon. Secretary

Dr Adele Haythornthwaite is a laboratory manager in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney. Adele has particular interests in arid zone ecology and the ecology of Australian vertebrates. Currently, Adele is the honorary secretary of the Society and has been an active member of Council since 2007. Adele is a Fellow of the Society.

Dr Alex Carthey

Hon. Treasurer

Alex is a Research Fellow in Biological Sciences at Macquarie University. She studies terrestrial mammal behaviour with particular interests in novel trophic interactions between native and introduced species (predators and prey, plants and herbivores), the chemical ecology of odour, and microbial influences on mammalian behaviour

Dr Dan Lunney

Dan Lunney is an adjunct professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney and is also an Honorary Scientific Fellow with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment NSW. His interests are in ecological research, conservation biology and wildlife management, with a particular interest in mammals, forests, threatened species, ecological history and the selection and management of protected areas

Dr Stephen Ambrose

Dr Stephen Ambrose was appointed to the RZS NSW Council in 2015. After completing his PhD at University of Western Australia, Stephen taught zoology at the University of New England (1985-86) and Australian National University (1987-89). After leaving academia, he worked for 10 years at the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU, now BirdLife Australia), first as the National Co-ordinator of the Australian Bird Count Project, then as the inaugural Head of Bird Research and Conservation. From 1999-2020, Stephen was the Principal Ecologist at Ambrose Ecological Services Pty Ltd, specialising in the assessment and management of impacts of development and other activities on the status of woodland, migratory shorebird and waterbird populations. In retirement, he maintains an active interest in bird research and conservation and has also returned to recreational birdwatching. Stephen is the current Chairman of the Whitley Committee following Noel Tait’s retirement from that position in early 2021.

Dr Hayley Bates

Hayley is an Associate Lecturer within the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences (BEES), at the University of NSW, Sydney. She specialises in conservation biology and ecology with special interests in Australian Alpine species, mammalogy, palaeoecology, species limitations, evolutionary biology and adaptation. She is currently a research member of the Burramys Project, a member of the Centre for Ecosystem Science (CES) and the Palaeontology, Geobiology and Earth Archives Research Centre (PANGEA). Hayley has been a member of the RZS NSW Council since 2015.

Professor Chris Dickman

Chris Dickman is an Emeritus Professor in Terrestrial Ecology in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. He is an internationally renowned expert in mammals, ecology and conservation biology. His particular research interests are in the ecology of arid environments, the impacts of invasive species and the conservation of Australia's unique vertebrate fauna. Chris is a Fellow of the Society, a Past President and also a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.

Dr Catherine Herbert

Dr Cathy Herbert is an Associate Professor in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is an internationally renowned expert in the specialised fields of wildlife fertility control and kangaroo biology and management. She leads a multidisciplinary research team to investigate key biological processes that influence the management of free-living and captive marsupial populations to facilitate evidence-based approaches to wildlife management. 

Dr Brad Law

Dr Bradley Law is a Principal Research Scientist in the Forest Science Centre, NSW DPI. Brad has a background in zoology and ecology and his personal research program focuses on aspects of bat ecology, probably the most species diverse group of forest mammals in NSW. An emphasis has been placed on long-term ecological studies, because of the length of life cycles in forest ecosystems. A focus of recent research has been on other small mammals including Eastern Pygmy Possums and Hastings River Mouse. Brad is co-editor of Australian Zoologist and is on the Editorial board of Acta Chiropterologica.

Dr Ricky Spencer

Dr Ricky Spencer is an Associate Professor of Ecology at Western Sydney University. Ricky is a member of the School of Science and Health, as well as a member of the Hawkesbury Institute. Ricky has an extensive background with the conservation of freshwater turtles and vertebrate pest ecology and management. Ricky is also the manager of TurtleSAT and WomSAT, community mapping Citizen Science projects that promote active engagement with communities and management agencies to ensure best practice research is integrated to its full potential. Ricky has been a council member since 2012.

Dr Zac Wylde

Zac was appointed to the RZS NSW council in 2022. He specialises in evolutionary biology with a special interest in insects, their reproductive biology, chemical and dietary ecology. After completing his PhD at the University of New South Wales Zac and several postdocs, he now works professionally as a scientist for a research and development consultancy that specialises in green technology.

Dr Thomas Newsome

Thomas Newsome is an Associate Professor at The University of Sydney. He leads the Global Ecology Lab which seeks to understand how animals respond to human-induced changes to the landscape. Thomas is particularly interested in how humans, predators and scavengers shape and drive ecosystem processes. Thomas was appointed to the RZS Council in 2019

Alice Yan

Alice has extensive expertise in environmental law and policy. She is a dual qualified lawyer, in Australia (NSW) and England & Wales. Alice has worked across the world – including in the UK, Germany and Japan – in private practice and as principal in-house counsel. More recently, she has served in senior positions in Australian government. Also an ecologist, Alice has completed pioneering research on wildlife conservation as a Fulbright scholar at Columbia University. She is trying to find ways for cutting-edge science to be more effectively used in environmental policy.

Dr Mike Fleming

Mike was appointed to the RZS NSW Council in 2020. He studied zoology at ANU and completed his PhD in marsupial eco-physiology at Monash University before travelling to the Northern Territory to work for the NT Government as a wildlife biologist. A move to western NSW and a position in NSW NPWS saw him involved in biodiversity surveys, acquisition of land for reserves, habitat protection and the listing of threatened species. In recent years he has led a team of conservation researchers in the Science Division of the NSW Environment Department. He continues active involvement in field research across NSW working with community conservation groups such as Landcare and Crown Land Reserves Management Trusts.

Adam Fawcett

Adam has been working professionally in wildlife and land management for over 20 years. Adam has a background in wildlife survey, pest and threatened species management across NSW. Between 2002 and 2015 he was lecturer in wildlife survey techniques at Macquarie University. Since 2016 Adam has been working as Project Officer Threatened Species with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, delivering the NSW Saving Our Species program within North West NSW.

Timothy Churchill

Timothy is a PhD candidate at UNSW researching the carnivorous marsupials of Riverseigh, a World Heritage fossil assemblage in northwestern Queensland. His focus is on the Oligo-Miocene (26 - 5 million years ago) fossil radiation of the Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinidae), the Quoll (Dasyuridae), and a number of extinct groups including a family of snail-eating maraupials known as the Hammer Quolls (Malleodectidae). Timothy is a student representative at the Earth and Sustainability Science Research Centre at UNSW. His research insterests include carnivorous dental evolution, palaeobiology, mass extinctions, predatory bite-force, palaeogenetics and de-extinction. Timothy joined the RZS NSW Council in 2023.

Dr Cameron Negus

Cameron Negus is the University Programs Manager and Lecturer at Taronga Conservation Society Australia. In this role, he educates and influences the next generation of wildlife conservationists. His specific research interests lie in animal reproduction. Although he has worked with a variety of species, his primary expertise in reproductive research focuses on Asian elephants.

Non Council Officers

Dr Amelia Saul 

Executive Officer

Amelia is the Executive Officer of RZS NSW, managing the office and day to day business of the Society. Amelia has an interest in invasion biology, conservation, mammal pollination and education.

The Royal Zoological Society of NSW aims to promote and advance the science of zoology and protect, preserve and conserve the indigenous animals of Australasia and their associated habitats

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