Graeme Gillespie
Northern Territory DEPWS

Dr Graeme Gillespie

Director, Terrestrial Biodiversity, Northern Territory Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security

See Graeme’s full research profile here.

E: [email protected]

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • Dr Gillespie recently oversaw the development of a Coastal Marine Management Strategy for the Northern Territory of Australia, comprising 10,953 km of coastline including 887 islands, balancing the competing interests of Indigenous owners, commercial seafood industries, recreational fishing, tourism, mining and conservation.
  • Dr Gillespie established strategic partnerships through National Environmental Science Program Hubs with research sectors and other government agencies to improve knowledge of biodiversity, threatening processes and how to effectively manage them. He led the development of strategic approaches to mitigating broad-scale declines of mammals in northern Australia, including design and implementation of complex landscape experimental management projects and meta-analyses of large, complex datasets to evaluate drivers of biodiversity loss in the Top End. He significantly advanced knowledge of drivers of mammal decline in northern Australia, and developing management options.
  • Dr Gillespie designed and managed biodiversity evaluation and monitoring programs in Northern Australia Sulawesi, Indonesia, and Malaysian Borneo; examining relationships between vertebrate diversity, natural and anthropogenic disturbances, leading to a greater understanding of the role of secondary and managed tropical forests in biodiversity conservation. He also trained Indigenous rangers and community members to undertake biodiversity data collection and supervision of Indonesian graduate and post-graduate students on biodiversity field projects
  • NESP Northern hub projects: Monitoring terrestrial animals in Kakadu, Kakadu National Park’s threatened species and Investigating feral cats in small mammal decline.

Current academic employment and positions

  • Director, Terrestrial Biodiversity, Flora and Fauna Division, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Northern Territory Government, 2012-present
  • Senior Research Fellow, School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne, 2004-present

Highest Qualification

  • 2001, PhD (Zoology), University of Melbourne

Major Prizes, Medals and Honours

  • 2015: Northern Territory Natural Resource Management Board award for research and publication of a Guide to the use of remote cameras in Northern Australia.
  • 2002: David Ashton Excellence in Biodiversity Research, Department of Natural Resources and Environment for research, development and implementation of the National Recovery Plan for the Spotted Tree Frog

Links with non-government groups or networks

  • Dr Gillespie works with Warddeken (West Arnhem Land) and Anindilyakwa (Groote Eylandt) Indigenous Protected Area managers and Traditional owners in the Northern Territory to develop management plans that consider conservation and management of culturally important and threatened species. He also works with Traditional Owners of Kakadu National Park and other Indigenous land management groups to better integrate biodiversity conservation into their management.
  • Dr Gillespie partnered with several conservation NGOs in Southeast Asia to design and implement conservation projects; he assisted the Tenkile Conservation Alliance in PNG to develop and implement a 5-year strategic plan. This program is the most successful conservation program in PNG.
  • Ecologist/expedition leader, Sulawesi, Indonesia: Dr Gillespie anaged a multidisciplinary research team of scientists, students and support staff in Sulawesi, Indonesia. This was part of an annual program investigating various aspects of biodiversity and forest ecology, undertaking forest and wildlife monitoring, and providing information to assist in local conservation planning.
  • President, Australian Society of Herpetologists
  • Member, Australasian Wildlife Management Society

My Projects

Current projectCompleted project
NESP, 2015-2021NERP, 2012-2015TRaCK, 2005-present