Early Career Researcher Subcommittee

Promoting connectivity between students and early career researchers

The ASBS Student and early career researcher (ECR) Subcommittee formed in August 2021 after a call for expressions of interest by the ASBS Council (ASBS Newsletter 190: 33). The subcommittee is formed by four ASBS members who are also students or early career researchers.

We have identified the following goals:

  • to build an active ASBS student and ECR community in a safe, supporting, diverse and inclusive environment;
  • to promote ASBS student and ECR research to the public;
  • create and share career, funding and research opportunities;
  • to represent the student and ECR community at ASBS Council meetings and more broadly.

In 2022 we organised and ran an in-person and online conference presenting the amazing variety of work being done by students and ECRs. The conference was hosted by the NSW Herbarium and held at the new facilities at Mount Annan (ASBS Newsletter 193–194: 12-13).

Being on the subcommittee is a great way to develop experience running meetings, committees and conferences, looks great on your CV, and raises your profile amongst members of ASBS.

We encourage all student and ECRs to get involved as much as possible by attending meetings, raising issues and bringing new ideas to the table. The diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and life experiences is what makes our society so much more interesting and resilient.

Introducing the

ASBS Student and Early Career Researcher Subcommittee

Patrick Fahey

I attended the SECR conference held in 2022, which I thought was a great opportunity that provided a lot of value to SECR’s and that I hope can be used as a springboard for further initiatives for SECR’s
within the society. Having completed my PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2021, I began my current role as a postdoctoral research scientist employed by the University of Queensland but
working as a visiting scientist at the Research Centre for Ecosystem Resilience, Botanic Gardens of Sydney investigating the population genetics and restoration genetics (and inevitably species
boundaries) of native plants of NSW and Australia more broadly.

John Clarkson
My passion for plants started in 2003 when I started studying diversity and ecology of aquatic plants in the Pantanal Wetlands, Brazil – my hometown. I have been residing in Australia since 2015, and proudly a citizen since Oct 2022. I have been involved with taxonomic studies since 2009, when I started studying the family Lentibulariceae in Brazil (for my masters). Today, I’m in the final stages of my PhD at the University of Queensland, where my research focuses on the genus Eriocaulon (Phylogenetics, Population genetics and Taxonomy), with my thesis submission for December 2023. My interest in ASBS is motivated by my desire to engage with diverse Systematics study groups in Australasia and contribute to the scientific community.
Andrew McDougall

I became interested in being more involved in the ASBS when I attended the 2022 SECR conference because at that time it became clear to me that the ASBS helps create the environment necessary for successful research. I work on South Australian terrestrial orchids as a PhD student. I am in the second year of my project.

Helen Kennedy

Having been on the sub-committee for over a year now, I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting many of you. I still have another year left on the sub-committee and am looking forward to building on the work we have begun over the last few years. I recently took up a position as the ID botanist at CANB and have relocated from Armidale to Canberra, I am *this close* to submitting my PhD thesis, revising the taxonomy of Melichrus.


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