Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management

Enhancing the environment, economic, social and cultural well-being of South-Western Australia and beyond


The Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management (CENRM) is a leader in the provision of knowledge necessary to better manage natural resources in Australia. The Centre's vision is to solve natural resource management issues, not just study them.

The Centre is located in Western Australia's Great Southern region, a global hotspot of biodiversity.

CENRM supports the wider community through research work in the region, involvement in committees and advisory boards as well as developing undergraduate and postgraduate teaching portfolios in collaboration with the UWA Albany and Perth campuses.

Research through CENRM is complimented through applied consultancy, education and communication.

Research themes


The majority of new and re-emerging human diseases are zoonotic (i.e. originate in animals). This has lead to the emergence of OneHealth as a field of research. OneHealth is the interaction of human, animal and ecosystem health. This program conducts research with the aim of enhancing environmental management for the benefit of humans, animal and ecosystems. The program draws on a range of disciplines (e.g. ecology, public health, social sciences and more) to address OneHealth issues.

Current projects:

  • Examining the impact of forest restoration and land use change on mosquitoes, malaria and primates in Sabah, Borneo
  • Monkey malaria surveillance program- Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Distribution and abundance of mammal species used as food resources by Orang Asli tribes in peninsula Malaysia

Current collaborations:

  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
  • University of Adelaide
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • Menzies School of Health Research
  • The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and University College Dublin Malaysia Campus
Aquatic ecology

The Centre's Aquatic Biodiversity Research and Monitoring Group provides knowledge and advice for the management of aquatic biodiversity in rural, urban and pristine catchments.

Projects undertaken:

  • Waterways and wetlands in rural and urban landscapes
  • Ecological values of aquatic ecosystems
  • Management of threatening processes such as salinity and climate change
  • Impact of various land uses on aquatic ecosystems and functioning
  • Biology and recovery of threatened species and communities
  • Macroinvertebrate sampling and identification.
Fish ecology

The Centre's Fish Ecology Research and Monitoring group provides knowledge and advice on the sustainable management of catchments, freshwater and estuarine water resources, and biodiversity values.

The group can provide advice on:

  • Habitat requirements, assessment and rehabilitation
  • Threatened species and communities
  • Design of monitoring programs and sampling techniques
  • Fish identification
  • Species biology, including fish movement studies
  • Population and community ecology
  • Environmental water requirements
Social, cultural and environmental

The Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management can provide knowledge and advice on the interactions between people and the natural environment and associated impacts on community, culture and the environment.

The group has expertise in:

  • Capacity-building for natural resource management
  • Indigenous ecological knowledge
  • Social, cultural and economic value of natural systems
  • Links between environmental degradation and health problems.

Current Projects:

  • Hunting of wildlife by semi nomadic forest dwellers in Malaysia
  • Reptile use of lizard traps on granite outcrops


Terrestrial ecology

The Centre provides knowledge and advice on flora and fauna for the sustainable management of terrestrial biodiversity as well as agricultural and urban landscapes.

The group has specific expertise in:

  • Ecology of terrestrial mammals, frogs and reptiles, birds, and riparian and terrestrial flora
  • Design of monitoring programs and sampling regimes
  • Survey and monitoring techniques
  • Population and community ecology
  • Habitat requirements and assessment
  • Native plant-based industries for sustainable rural development
  • Riparian and terrestrial plant communities
  • Conservation biology, systematics and evolution of terrestrial biodiversity, particularly on old, climatically-buffered, infertile landscapes
  • Restoration of plant communities and degraded landscapes
  • Soil health
  • Sustainable living with terrestrial biodiversity in urban, peri-urban and rural landscapes
  • Threatened plants and animals – biology and management.

Current Projects:

  • Endangered species research- Heath Mouse surveys and South Coast threatened birds
  • Feral cat eradication and impacts
  • Impact of forest restoration and lands change on primates
  • Hunting of wildlife by semi nomadic forest dwellers in Malaysia
  • Reptile use of lizard traps on granite outcrops


  • Department of Biodiversity and Attractions
  • City of Albany
  • University of Adelaide
  • Universiti Malaysia Sabah
  • The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and University College Dublin Malaysia Campus
  • Swedish University of Agriculture
  • Gondwana Link


As a regionally based group, The Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management (CENRM) has maintained networks in national natural resource management activities and has worked with regional organisations and communities on matters where evidence-based science is important to their policy and operation.
Great Southern International Colloquium on Biodiversity - Life on Granite Outcrops

On the 19 - 20 February 2016 the International Colloquium on Biodiversity took place with two events; a day of talks at the Kalyenup Studio, Albany Entertainment Centre and a public field trip led by Winthrop Professor Steve Hopper AC and other local and international guest scientists.

What happened at the Colloquium

The topic for the 2016 Colloquium, 'Life on Granite Outcrops' proved to be most interesting. Guest speakers covered aspects of specialised flora and fauna as well as hydrology and also relationships that exist in Noongar culture associated with granite outcrop locations.

The Public Colloquium on Friday 19 February was well attended and resulted in an enjoyable day of informative talks and discussions with leading international scientists.

Eugene Eades (Nowanup) began the day with a wonderful introduction to granite outcrops, a noongar perspective and Welcome to Country and a song with his niece Justice. Lunch and morning/ afternoon teas provided another excellent opportunity for attendees to meet the experts and continue discussions while enjoying the fabulous catering provided by the Albany Entertainment Centre.

International guest speakers, Dr Peggy L. Fiedler (University of California), Dr Fernando A. O. Silveira (University Federal de Minas Gerais Brazil) and Professor Stefan Porembski (University of Rostock) presented their work on granite rock environments. Copies of their presentations are below.

You can also view Winthrop Professor Steve Hopper AC, University of Western Australia presentation on the very interesting Karda Mia and wilgie gnamma (goanna shelters and red ochre pools).

Dr Peggy L. Fiedler (PDF 4.9MB) Dr Peggy L. Fiedler (DOC 8.3MB)

Dr Fernando A.O Silveira (PDF 2.8MB) Dr Fernando A.O Silveira (DOC 12.4MB)

Prof. Dr. Stefan Porembski (PDF 5.6MB) Prof. Dr. Stefan Porembski (DOC 29.4MB)

Prof. Steve Hopper (PDF 4.3MB) Prof. Steve Hopper (DOC 11.8MB)

Bus Excursion and Field Day to Albany’s spectacular granite outcrops

It was a perfect day for Saturday’s field trip which began at Lake Pleasant View Noongar Reserve where Vernice Gillies and Larry Blight led a very informative tour of the granites overlooking Lake Pleasant, Manypeaks.

They talked about the history of the area and how the traditional owners managed the land through use of mosaic fire regimes. They also talked about the many fascinating cultural traditions that have occurred at this location.

Lunch was held at Stony Hill, Torndirrup National Park, and the afternoon was spent at the Quaranup teaching rock, Whalers Cove and finished at Mt Melville in Albany where attendees were fully engaged in listening to stories of granite outcrops history and significance and also in sharing their own knowledge and interests with the group.


The International Colloquium on Biodiversity, Life on Granite outcrops was sponsored by the Great Southern Development Commission and The University of Western Australia.

Government of Western Australia logo Royalties for Regions logo Great Southern Development Commission logo Great Southern Naturally logo


On behalf of the University of Western Australia and the Great Southern Development Commission, the Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management (CENRM) would like to thank everyone who attended and participated in the event and helped to make it a successful, informative and inspiring event. We hope that this will be the first of many International Colloquia on Biodiversity that CENRM will have the privilege of hosting.

Great Southern Science Council

The Great Southern Science Council was established in late 2011. Following a call for nominations for membership, eight councillors were appointed and first met early in 2012.

Council objectives

The members of the Council agreed on the following objectives.

Within the scope and purpose of the Council in the region:

  • Through consultation with relevant organisations, identify the needs, knowledge gaps and capacities and set priorities for science
  • Establish links with universities with a view to attracting postgraduate students and undergraduates
  • Offer mentoring and encouragement to scientists, including those studying for higher degrees and those beginning their careers
  • Improve communication between scientists and local communities
  • Assist the attraction of resources for scientific research, development and education in the region
  • Encourage the teaching of science in schools and further education
  • Encourage cross-disciplinary research, especially between scientists working in different organisations and between the natural and social sciences
  • Advocate and provide advice to governments, industry, science institutions and community
  • Listen, liaise, debate, consider and represent active and effective science.


Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship

Mr Arjen Ryder, 54, and his wife Yvonne, 53, were two of the West Australians who lost their lives on flight MH17 in the Ukraine plane disaster.

The Albany couple were returning from a seven-week holiday in France and Holland. They leave behind three children Robyn, 31, Drew, 27, and Tiffany, 24.

Arjen was healthy, active and sporty and enjoyed running cycling, playing soccer and sailing. Arjen was a recent member of the Albany Cycling Club. Both Arjen and Yvonne were strong Christians and members of the Free Reformed Church. The couple had been residents of the Albany area for 25 years.


Arjen Ryder came into agriculture as a graduate of Muresk. He worked as senior technical officer at the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) where he worked closely with farmers to rehabilitate saline land across vast tracks of WA’s south coast.

Arjen co-authored several books and published research papers on salinity. He was due to return to Albany to receive his 30 years of service award. Yvonne was a special needs teacher at John Calvin School for more than 10 years.


Following the memorial service in July it was clear that a lot of people, friends, co-workers, farmers, and others in the industry and community who were touched by Arjen and the MH17 event were keen to express their feelings towards something positive.

As a result the family have sought our assistance in setting up an Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship for students studying agriculture and with practical application in the region. The scholarship will be awarded to a student living in the Albany region who is studying at the UWA Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management. The scholarship will reflect Arjen’s expertise in soil biology, particularly dryland salinity.

Making a donation

Family, friends, colleagues and community are invited to make a donation to the Scholarship in Memory of Arjen Ryder by online giving (by selecting student support then the scholarship name) or by completing a donation form. All donations to UWA are tax-deductible, and 100 per cent of the donations will be used for the purpose for which they are intended. No administration costs are deducted.

The donation form can be downloaded here: 

Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship (PDF 602KB)

Arjen Ryder Memorial Scholarship (DOC 757KB)

Thank you to the Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) for his financial support.

Key staff

For more information about our work and current projects, contact our key staff:

The Albany Centre

Studying in Albany provides a unique and rewarding alternative to the big-city campus experience. UWA Albany offers a wide range of courses, including the popular university preparation course, undergraduate studies in Arts, Science and Commerce, and postgraduate opportunities.

Contact the UWA School of Agriculture and Environment

map marker big Created with Sketch.


Building 401, Room G022 North Agriculture Building (North West Wing Building)