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About Us
Staff Profiles


Lincoln Kern
Managing Director (Ecologist)

2013     Development and Building in Bushfire Prone Areas Short Course, University of Technology, Sydney
1998     Graduate Diploma of Environmental Management, Deakin University
1986     Bachelor of Arts (Environmental Science and Botany), Antioch University, Ohio, U.S.A.

Experience and skills
Lincoln is the founding member of Practical Ecology and has been providing expertise in flora and fauna survey, environmental planning, bushland restoration, bushfire risk analysis and planning law, environmental and noxious weed control, revegetation and general land management services with the business since 1993. Lincoln gained a Bachelor’s degree in Botany and Environmental Science at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio USA (completed in 1986 with field studies in Pacific Northwest USA, Southwest USA, India and Central America) and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Management from Deakin University in 1998. With nearly twenty years’ experience in the Victorian industry Lincoln has developed Practical Ecology as one of the leading environmental consultancies in Victoria.


Michelle Savona
Senior Consultant (Botanist)


2003     Diploma in Natural Resource Management, NMIT, Epping
2000     Bachelor of Science (Biological Sciences), La Trobe University, Bundoora

Experience and skills
Michelle is an Senior Consultant that has been working in the field of environmental assessment and management since 2002. While Michelle has held other roles as a park ranger and on-ground bush regenerator, most of her professional career has been in ecological consulting since joining Practical Ecology in 2005. Michelle specialises in vegetation assessments and flora surveys and is accredited by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning to undertake native vegetation (habitat hectare assessments) in Victoria.
As an experienced ecologist with a high degree of attention to detail, Michelle has been involved in a variety of projects ranging from land management plans for private landholders, to large infrastructure projects within the public sector. Michelle enjoys a challenge and her calm and analytic mind has helped navigate numerous projects successfully through complex State and Federal approval processes.


Ali Nia
GIS Officer

2011    Bachelor of Science in Surveying
2016    Master of Science in GIS

Experience and skills
2017 – 2017 – GIS Analyst, Azmoon Keyfiat Co.
2017 – 2018 – GIS Analyst, FAAM Co.
2018 – 2019 – GIS Analyst, Yekom Co.
2020 – 2020 – GIS Analyst \ Asset Collector, Rapidmap Services Pty. Ltd.
2021 – 2021 – GIS Officer, Practical Ecology Pty. Ltd.
Highly passionate GIS Analyst with 6 years of experience in different GIS projects, spatial analysis, data manipulation, database management and data visualisation. Demonstrated ability in providing initiative geospatial solutions to clients, dedicated to responsibilities with attention to detail and great written and verbal communication skills.


Julian Drummond
Bushfire/Ecological Consultant

2011     Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne
2012     Masters of Science (Zoology), University of Melbourne
2017     Graduate Certificate of Bushfire Planning and Management, University of Melbourne

Experience and skills
Julian joined Practical Ecology in 2016 and has a Master’s of Science from the University of Melbourne; specialising in zoology and ecology. He has volunteered with Bush Heritage Australia, Parks Victoria and the University of Melbourne prior to and since graduating. Since joining the team he has gained skills and experience in Geographical Information Systems (GIS), planned burning, bushfire hazard assessment and has completed courses in bushfire management and botany. He has also performed extensive fieldwork for ecological assessments, bushfire assessments, planned burns and weed management/removal.


Daniel Miller
Consultant (Botanical Ecology)

2018   Bachelor of Science (Wildlife and Conservation Biology) with Honours, La Trobe University

Experience and skills
Dan joined the team at Practical Ecology in 2020 as an Ecological Consultant focusing on Botany. Before this, Dan worked as an Ecological Consultant also focusing mainly on botanical projects including Habitat Hectares assessments, general flora surveys, and policy and legislative assessments. Dan has additional experience in fauna salvage on large infrastructure projects having safely translocated many possums and birds. Dan also has seven years of experience working in bush regeneration, and over a year running field, tutorial, and laboratory sessions for university students. Dan completed an Honours project detailing the roles of Little Penguins as ecosystem engineers on Phillip Island, by quantifying the mechanisms through which they create entirely new vegetation types in their colonies.
Since working at Practical Ecology, Dan has led a variety of large projects including Council Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans, large-scale Ecological Restoration Plans, Weed Management Plans, and a variety of smaller projects from impact assessments to targeted flora surveys (being especially keen on those for orchids and in grasslands). Dan also regularly trains new staff in survey methods including Habitat Hectares assessments and plant identification.


Noemie Seck
Senior Consultant (Ecologist)

2017    Double master’s degree, Institut Superieur d’Agriculture (Institute of Life Sciences), France (Master of Environmental Science and Engineering – Specialisation in Urban Ecology and Master of Agricultural Science and Engineering – Specialisation in Agroecology) 

Experience and skills
Noemie joined the team at Practical Ecology in 2019 and has a degree in both environmental/agricultural science and engineering. Fascinated by Australian biodiversity, Noemie has spent the last few years working on Victorian Conservation projects, both as paid and volunteer scientist. Noemie started working in Australia in 2017 at RMIT’s Interdisciplinary Conservation Research Group as a research officer and finally entered in the Australian consulting industry in 2018. She has been involved in numerous biodiversity conservation projects and has developed extensive skills in project management, survey design, stakeholder engagement, report writing and data analysis.


Nathaniel Knight
Consultant (Ecology)

2017    Diploma Conservation and Land Management, RMIT
2019    Bachelor Environmental Science, RMIT

Experience and skills
Nathaniel joined Practical Ecology in late 2021 as an ecological consultant. Prior to this he completed a Diploma in Conservation and Land Management where he found a passion for the environment and environmental processes, after which he pursued a Bachelor of Environmental Science. Once completed he went on to work in bushland regeneration, and as a team member on conservation crews throughout many different ecosystems across the greater Melbourne area. Since joining Practical Ecology, Nathaniel has managed a variety of projects for both private and public clients for both large scale developments and for smaller personal projects. These include but not limited to projects such as Flora and Fauna Impact Assessments, Land Management Plans, Weed Management Plans and Kangaroo Management Plans.


Kallista Sears
Consultant (Ecology)

2021     Master of Environment (Conservation and Restoration), Melbourne University
2006    PhD in Materials Science, The Australian National University
2000    Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Engineering, The Australian National University

Experience and skills
Kallista joined the team at Practical Ecology in 2021 as an Ecological Consultant. Prior to this Kallista has 10 years’ experience as a materials scientist at CSIRO and Monash University. Kallista is passionate about the Environment, has worked as a bush crew member, and continues to enjoy volunteering with her local Friends of group.


Ruth Cannon
Contracting Co-ordinator

2018    Certificate III in Horticulture (Parks and Gardens), Murray Mallee Training Co. Ltd
2015    Bachelor of Science (Animal Science and Management), University of Melbourne

Experience and skills
Ruth joined the team in 2022 as Practical Ecology’s Contracting Co-ordinator for Ecological Restoration and Bush Regeneration projects. She is thrilled to work with an immersive ecological focus on land management at Practical Ecology, after working for 6 years in residential gardening and commercial landscaping as a horticulturist. She has previously co-ordinated and managed teams in tourism, hospitality, horticulture and construction in QLD and Victoria. Ruth is skilled in client and stakeholder liaison, project management and community engagement. She enjoys participating in volunteer animal husbandry, youth and community initiatives. Outside of work, she loves exploring her local streets and waterways, hiking, camping, and sitting on the verandah with a cuppa.


Amy Hunter
Ecological Consultant

2019    Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science, Plant Sciences, Human Geography, Monash University
2019    Study Abroad, Peruvian Biodiversity and Sustainability, Andean University of Cusco

Experience and skills
Prior to joining Practical Ecology in 2023 as Graduate Ecologist, Amy worked as a Council Foreshore Ranger responsible for managing dune systems and coastal vegetation. Before this she worked as a Bushland Regenerator based on the Mornington Peninsula. Through previous experience and during her time at Practical Ecology, Amy has gained skills in plant identification, ecological surveying, report writing, and ecological consulting. Amy began working as an Ecological Consultant with Practical Ecology in August 2023. Amy has a passion for field work, and has a particular interest in Indigenous flora across Victoria.


Luke Legudi
Consultant (Ecologist)

2012 – 2014    Bachelor of Science, Zoology, University of Melbourne
2017   Bachelor of Zoology and Animal Science (Honours), Animal Behaviour and Aquatic Evolution, Deakin University
2020 – 2021   aster of Environment, Conservation and Restoration, University of Melbourne

Experience and skills
Prior to securing employment with Practical Ecology in 2023, Luke worked as a Field Ecologist with a not-for-profit organisation responsible for the large-scale restoration of an ephemeral wetland system. There he further developed his skills in flora and fauna surveying and identification, habitat assessment, and project management. Luke has a passion for ecological restoration. He is particularly interested in the role that fauna re-introductions/translocations play in the restoration process.


Maria Koulaginis
Bushfire/Arboricultural Consultant

2014 – 2018    Bachelor of Science, Plant Science, University of Melbourne.
2018 – 2020    Graduate Certificate of Arboriculture, University of Melbourne.
2021 – 2022    Graduate Certificate of Bushfire Planning and Management, University of Melbourne.

Experience and skills
Prior to joining Practical Ecology in 2023, Maria worked as a Consulting Arborist with a private consulting company. There she was involved in a wide range of tasks including large scale data collection, numerous planning arborist roles, impact and health assessments/reports and tree risk assessments. She has also gained extensive skills in species identification and spatial analysis using different GIS and surveying software. Maria has a passion for Bushfire Management, in particular the role of native vegetation in bushfire prone landscapes.


Amber Button
Consultant (Ecologist)

2013 – 2016    Bachelor of Science (Zoology), Monash University
2018 – 2020    Master of Environment (Conservation and Restoration), The University of Melbourne

Experience and skills
Amber joined Practical Ecology in 2023 as an Ecological Consultant. Prior to this role, she worked as an Environmental Consultant in Victoria and Tasmania, where she developed skills in flora and fauna survey, GIS, client and stakeholder engagement. She also worked as an environmental Project Officer in northern New South Wales where she managed projects developing best practice management advice to address Bell Miner Associated Dieback. Amber has a passion for biodiversity and ecosystem function, in particular finding practical solutions to promote ecosystem health, functionality and resilience. In her spare time, Amber enjoys hiking, foraging and gardening.


Patrick Monarca

2017 Bachelor of Science (Ecology), Deakin University and undertook a separate Honours (Ecology), in a joint project with University of Technology Sydney/ James Cook University.

Experience and skills
I have approx. 5+ years’ experience in ecological consulting. I am a DEECA VQA Accredited Ecologist and have 3+ years’ experience working for WSP where I was involved in a variety of large infrastructure projects, such as impact assessments, energy transition projects and monitoring projects for key clients in the transport, utilities, and government sectors. I have project management experience and am proficient at liaising with clients, winning work, ecological desktop assessments, site assessments and report delivery including map development and use of GIS. Before working at WSP I gained 2 years’ experience at Acacia Environmental undertaking flora and fauna assessments associated with powerline upgrade projects, completing Environmental Management Plans and Guidance documents as an assistant ecological consultant. I have also worked in bush regeneration as a team lead and lead crews on ground for various weed control and revegetation projects across Melbourne (also with Acacia). I have a working knowledge of Victorian legislation, guidelines and regulations associated with biodiversity across the state. In January 2023, I was the first person to find and capture a Victorian Grassland Earless Dragon and have been working with Zoos Victoria to survey for the larger population.


Cheryl O’Dwyer
Manager – Admin/HR & OH&S

2012    Certificate IV Occupational Health and Safety BSB41407

Experience and skills
1987-2000    Payroll Professional, HR, Nufarm Chemicals
2000-2011    Operations Manager, Florigene Pty Ltd – La Trobe University
2011-current    Manager – Admin/HR & OH&S, Practical Ecology Pty Ltd
Prior to joining Practical Ecology in 2011 as Manager in charge of Administration, Human Resources and Occupational Health and Safety, Cheryl worked for Nufarm Chemicals and held numerous roles including Payroll, OHS Committee, Fire Warden, and Human Resources.  She later joined Florigene (a subsidiary company of Nufarm) as Operations Manager, where she continued the role of OHS (including first aid officer), purchasing and payroll.