David is the Deputy Director of the Centre for Ecosystem Science, and holds a joint position sponsored by the University of NSW and the NSW Department of Planning, Infrastructure and Environment. His research interests include Fire ecology, Biodiversity risk assessment, Plant population biology and Ecosystem ecology on which he has published 200 peer-reviewed articles. David’s interest in fire ecology extends to long term effects of fire regimes on plants and animals, and the interaction of fires with other factors that influence their response. David played a major role in development of Red List criteria for threatened species and ecosystems, now used worldwide to assess risks of species extinction and ecosystem collapse. As Theme Leader of the Red List of Ecosystems program in the IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management, David leads a global multi-disciplinary network of scientists and practitioners engaged in the assessment of risks t ecosystems.
David was appointed to his current position after more than 25 years with NSW conservation agencies, where he undertook strategic research and scientific policy advice to support the management of biodiversity. He continues that work in his current role.