Lesley Peden

Lesley is an ecologist with over 15 years of experience in ecological surveys, assessment and monitoring in the ACT and NSW. She conducts botanical surveys and monitoring of vegetation communities (e.g. woodlands, grasslands, forests, subalpine areas, riparian zones). She is similarly experienced in a diverse range of fauna survey and monitoring techniques such as trapping, installation and use of wildlife cameras, and data collection, storage and analysis including morphological data collection and DNA sampling. She has worked on mammals (wallabies, kangaroos, pigs, platypus and small mammals), reptiles (Eastern Water Dragons, Pink-tailed Worm-lizards, Grassland Earless Dragons, Striped Legless Lizards, crocodiles, turtles), insects (Golden Sunmoth), amphibians and fish.

Lesley’s experience encompasses assessments of threatened ecological communities (e.g. Box-Gum Woodlands, Natural Temperate Grasslands), threatened species, riparian ecosystems, post-fire monitoring and Eucalyptus dieback. Lesley is proficient in Environmental Impact Assessments under Commonwealth and State legislation and the preparation of mapping and environmental advice for land managers including government agencies, corporate clients, land managers and community groups.

Qualifications, awards and affiliations

Certified BAM Accredited Assessor

B.Sc. (Conservation Biology, Applied Ecology)

Member Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (MEIANZ)

Experience

Lesley is highly experienced in on-ground and community-based conservation and natural resource management. She has worked with Conservation Volunteers Australia, the ACT Government’s conservation planning and research team, Umwelt (Australia), and in tertiary education and training of applied environmental management (Canberra Institute of Technology, University of Canberra). Most recently, she has been a Conservation Officer with Conservation Volunteers Australia where she coordinated and developed projects to engage community and inspire and connect people to nature. She also undertakes annual surveys for ACT Government of woodlands and grasslands in environmental offset reserves.

Lesley has strong community engagement experience, having been facilitator for the NGO Kosciuszko to Coast Partnership for five years and a Regional Provider for the Land for Wildlife program in the local region. In these roles, she conducted over 350 ecological assessments in NSW and ACT and supported landholders to manage their land sustainably, balance productivity with conservation outcomes, and access funding and scientific expertise. In addition, Lesley trained and lead teams of community individuals, students and volunteers on conservation projects in the natural environment. She coordinated educational workshops and events to promote the objectives of the K2C Partnership: restoring woodlands, grasslands, forests and riparian ecosystems and has managed community workshops. Examples include threatened species workshops for the South East Local Land Services ‘Saving our Species Scarlet Robin’ project, numerous K2C projects aimed at restoring and reconnecting the landscape and engaging community in citizen science and NRM activities, and a 2016 community forum on Eucalyptus dieback in Queanbeyan, NSW.

Over the past three years, Lesley taught the Environmental Management Diploma at Canberra Institute of Technology and led teams of students on conservation and NRM activities in the region. Previously, she has worked as a tutor and research officer with the University of Canberra, and as a wildlife ecologist for ACT Government.

Lesley has co-authored several journal articles and technical reports for ACT Government focusing on vegetation and habitat condition of the Murrumbidgee River and tributaries, and Eucalyptus dieback.

Selected projects

Annual woodland and grassland surveys for ACT Government

‘Saving our Species Scarlet Robin’ project workshops (South East Local Land Services)

Eucalyptus dieback field surveys (ACT Government) and dieback community forum (Kosciusko 2 Coast)

Lesley Peden

Expertise

Applications for grant funding

Biodiversity conservation

Community and stakeholder engagement

Conservation agreements

Environmental education

Fauna surveys

Flora and fauna management

Flora surveys

NRM program design and management

Threatened species management

Volunteer management