Kings Park Science and University of Western Australia PhD student Vanessa Brown has been awarded a prestigious Graduate Women (WA) Scholarship.

Vanessa at Banksia Woodland restoration siteView image slideshow

In a ceremony held yesterday evening, Vanessa was awarded the Mary and Elsie Stevens Scholarship, for women enrolled in a higher degree by research in Mathematics or Science. She was one of six researchers awarded $3000 scholarships by Graduate Women (WA) this year.

Vanessa’s research explores the role of seed enhancement technologies to improve restoration success, as part of the Restoration Ecology research group at Kings Park. She is particularly focussed on the seeds of local Banksia Woodland species, including Anigozanthos manglesii (red and green kangaroo paw), Acacia pulchella (prickly moses), and various native peas.

'Seeds have to go through quite a few challenges before they can germinate and become successful seedlings,' Vanessa said. 'I’m testing how substances like biochar can be used to form a protective coat around the seeds to adsorb harmful substances, such as herbicides. This gives our native seeds the best shot at establishing, particularly in restoration sites where herbicides are needed to keep weeds at bay.'

The Mary and Elsie Stevens Scholarship has come at the perfect time for Vanessa’s research.

'I had planned to run this biochar experiment as a field trial last year, but unfortunately had to cancel that due to COVID-19. I’m so excited to have been awarded this scholarship, because it means I’ll finally be able to run this experiment using controlled growth rooms at UWA, which I can adjust to mimic the ideal field conditions.'

Vanessa’s PhD supervisor Dr Todd Erickson, a UWA and Kings Park research scientist, said that the award was very well deserved.

'Vanessa is one of those students that goes above and beyond what is expected to achieve the best results from her research program,' Dr Erickson said. 'Receiving this award is so fitting for Vanessa and she will now elevate her investigations much further than first planned. It’s exciting to see what she will now be able to achieve.'

Seedlings emerging from biochar pellets Vanessa at a field experiment site

Biara Cafe temporary closure

Biara Cafe will be closing temporarily from 2 August - 19 September for refurbishment works.

Administration car park closure

There will be limited access to the BGPA Administration building and the Kings Park Education and Learning building from Wednesday 15 June 2022 for approximately 8 weeks, due to ongoing Water Corporation works.

Water Corporation works

The Water Corporation is replacing approximately 700 metres of ageing water pipes between Mount Eliza Reservoir and Bellevue Terrace in Kings Park.

Read all notices ...

New Bold Park Management Plan

The Bold Park Management Plan 2022 - 2027 has been published by BGPA after a period of extensive public consultation

Hort Couture - Community Art Project

Crochet and knitting enthusiasts - we want you!

It's that time of year again, when the wildflowers start to bloom and our thoughts turn to all things spring. In celebration of our gorgeous selection of WA wildflowers, we are running another of our famous community crocheting projects.

Ready, aim, restore! A new approach to define and achieve restoration targets

A team of researchers from Kings Park Science in Biodiversity and Conservation Science, the University of Western Australia (UWA) and Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Spain, have led the development of an approach for ecosystem restoration which connects scientific research, restoration policy, and on-the-ground action.

Read all news ...

Read about weather and warnings ...

All events …