Australian Science Superheroes – Euan Ritchie
During National Science Week in August 2016, Australia’s Chief Scientist launched the #5ScientistPledge to recognise Australian Scientists. Now, we’re shining a light on some of these Australian science superheroes with a new tag –#AusScienceHeroes.
Check back regularly for new profiles!
Dr Euan Ritchie
Senior Lecturer in Ecology
Centre for Integrative Ecology
School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University
1) What is your science superpower?
I combine dual powers of theory and fieldwork to address the challenges of mammal ecology and conservation, studying everything from dingoes, kangaroos, bandicoots, wolves, possums and tree kangaroos! My team and I work in Papua New Guinea’s rainforests, Australia’s deserts, savannahs and woodlands, and suburban Melbourne.
2) The year is 2030. How has life changed as a result of your research?
We now understand the key roles species play in ecosystems, and make use of them – sharks help us to fight climate change, dingoes control pests and protect native animals, and bandicoots improve soil health.
Society appreciates that as we affect nature, nature affects us. Conservation is prioritised.
3) What drew you to science in the first place?
For as long as I can remember I’ve loved nature, and wanted to better understand and conserve it. This was fostered by countless hours spent camping and running around exploring reefs and rock pools as a little boy.
4) When you’re not wearing your science superhero cape, what do you get up to?
I’m a dad of two, and this is my greatest passion! I enjoy playing basketball, practicing karate, bushwalking, fishing, wildlife photography and camping. I love sharing my passion for science, through teaching university students, hosting RRR’s Einstein A Go Go, and directing the Ecological Society of Australia’s Media Working Group.