Ross Bradstock, founder of the Bushfire Hub, was awarded the status of Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong by the Deputy Chancellor, Dr Elizabeth Magassy, at a ceremony on December 8th, following his retirement in August.
Ross was prized out of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage by Rob Whelan (the Dean of Science) to establish the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires in 2006. The centre was originally funded by OEH and the Rural Fire Service. Since then he has presided over a huge research effort, personally supervising 22 PhD Students and 15 staff, and bringing in research funding of nearly $20 m.
Ross is an international doyen of fire ecology, having collaborated with just about every well-known fire ecologist in the world. He has published > 120 journal articles. In 2004, he co-edited and co-wrote one of the most influential fire ecology books in Australia –Flammable Australia (Cambridge University Press), and repeated the exercise from scratch for the second edition in 2012 (CSIRO Publishing). Both works are widely cited and have become ‘mandatory reading’ for scholars, students and practitioners of fire ecology in Australia and internationally. In 2017 he founded the NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub with $4m funding from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.
As well as his academic prowess, he is extremely well regarded in fire management agencies for his informed and honest advice and help. He is regularly seen and heard in the print, radio and tv media, promoting an evidence-based approach to fire management. At UoW he was inaugural co-director of the Centre for Sustainable Ecosystem Services and was awarded University of Wollongong Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in Research Partnerships in 2012.
Luckily for us, his retirement is in name only. He is still deeply committed to the research and will hang around to help us all out. The Emeritus status gives him a formal means of keeping up the research (for example, he can still apply for grants).
Congratulations Ross. You deserve it.