Researchers vie for NT conservation prize 


Two Charles Darwin University researchers, who are finalists in the upcoming Research and Innovation Awards, are being acknowledged for their dedication to conservation in the Northern Territory.

Innovative thinkers from CDU’s Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Professor Stephen Garnett and Professor Michael Douglas are finalists in the Southern Cross Television Tropical Knowledge Research Award.

Passionate about protecting the rivers of northern Australia, Professor Douglas said that rivers were among the most threatened ecosystems on the planet and most had suffered serious environmental degradation.

“Northern Australia contains more than 60 per cent of the nation's freshwater resources,” Professor Douglas said. “These rivers are internationally recognised for their conservation values, support many of the region's industries and are of great cultural importance to Aboriginal landowners.”

As the head of the Tropical Rivers and Coastal Knowledge Research Hub (TRaCK), Professor Douglas is representing a group that has improved water resource policy, planning and management in the Territory and more broadly across northern Australia.

Professor Stephen Garnett arrived in the Northern Territory in 2004 as the first Professor of Tropical Knowledge at CDU. He became involved in a range of research related to the knowledge economy in tropical Australia, including how to increase Indigenous involvement in the economy, how to attract and retain knowledge workers in the tropics and how to pool knowledge resources to increase economic productivity.

“The Territory has some great innovative people but we need more and we should try to keep those we have if the society is to thrive,” Professor Garnett said.

He is also recognised nationally and internationally for research on conservation management, particularly of threatened species.

The Northern Territory Research and Innovation Awards are an annual event created to recognise and reward the Territory’s most innovative thinkers and problem-solvers.

The event will be held on Friday, 26 October at the Darwin Turf Club, Schweppes Pavilion. For more information visit W: