Contact Forest Industries Research Centre | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Contact Forest Industries Research Centre

General enquiries

Professor Mark Brown
Tel: +61 7 5459 4483
Fax: +61 7 5459 4547

Street address

Forest Industries Research Centre
Innovation Centre
90 Sippy Downs Drive 
Sippy Downs QLD 4556 Australia

Postal address

Forest Industries Research Centre (ML45)
Locked Bag 4

Our people



Adjunct members

The Forest Industries Research Centre includes local and international adjuncts across industry and academia. These adjunct staff complement the team and provide expert advice and mentoring across the teams: centre strategy; research grant applications and programs; career development and training; scholarly publications; industry bulletins and reports.

The Centre's adjunct staff perform an integral role to the success of the centre and its ability to grow and increase social, environmental and economic impact on a local and global scale across the forestry value chain.

  • Dr Muhammad Alam, Adjunct Research Fellow (Forestry)
  • Mark Annandale, Adjunct Research Fellow (Land rehabilitation and biodiversity management)
  • Grahame Applegate, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow (Forestry and natural resources)
  • Dr Jeremy Brawner, Adjunct Senior Researcher (Forestry)
  • David Coote, Adjunct Research Fellow (Forestry)
  • Justine Edwards, Adjunct Research Fellow (Industrial plantation management)
  • Dr Kevin Harding, Adjunct Research Professor (Wood quality, forest management and forest genetics)
  • Professor Stephen Harrison, Adjunct Research Professor (Forestry)
  • Dr Lastus Soudan Kuniata, Adjunct Research Fellow (Agricultural research)
  • Professor David Lamb, Adjunct Research Professor (Forest restoration and rehabilitation)
  • Paul MacDonell, Adjunct Research Fellow (Forestry)
  • Dr Natascia Magagnotti, Adjunct Researcher (Forestry)
  • Dr Roger Meder, Adjunct Research Professor (Magnetic resonance and biophysics) 
  • Dr Tony Page, Adjunct Senior Research Fellow (Tropical forestry)
  • Dr Gianni Picchi, Adjunct Researcher (Forestry)
  • Dr Mervyn Shepherd, Adjunct Research Fellow (Forestry)
  • Dr Raffaele Spinelli, Adjunct Research Professor (Forestry)
  • Dr Lex Thomson, Adjunct Associate Professor (Tropical forestry and agroforestry systems)
  • Mr William Unsworth, Adjunct Research Fellow (Oil palm, sugar cane and beef production and processing)
  • Professor Jerry Vanclay, Adjunct Research Professor (Forestry)
  • Dr Paul Warburton, Adjunct Researcher (Forestry)

The FIRC leadership team is focused on the establishment of strong partnerships and networks with its collaborators and industry. The composition of the Centre's leadership team also demonstrates its commitment to the whole of forestry value chain approach and thus provides an excellent platform to establish a strong research, development and engagement role with real impact locally, nationally and internationally. This expert panel includes:

Professor Mark Brown (Director)

Professor Mark Brown is managing and using his extensive experience to support the FIRC research team to form a critical mass of integrated research expertise in forestry for both Queensland and Australia.

Dr Kevin Harding

Kevin is a forester (ANU, 1975–78) who has worked in wood quality improvement research since 1979. He has a PhD in Forest Genetics from North Carolina State University (1991-95) and he led plantation wood research research and development teams in Queensland from 1983 to 2012. His research interests in tree improvement and wood quality of plantations continue as a USC adjunct and as a consultant through many international linkages and especially on plantation eucalypt research in southern China.

Dr Roger Meder

Dr Roger Meder has an interest in developing tools to rapidly assess the quality of wood and other lingo-cellulosic biomass (for example, wheat and sugarcane). In particular, he focuses on commercially useful properties of wood such as stiffness, durability and pulp yield. To do this Roger has particular expertise in near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy and imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR) and imaging (MRI).

Dr Helen Nahrung

Dr Helen Nahrung has over 15 years’ experience working on pest insect biology and ecology towards sustainable pest management methods in plantation forestry. Her research focus is primarily on insect-plant co-evolutionary interactions, including host location mechanisms and host defence. Helen works part-time between the USC Sippy Downs campus and the EcoSciences Precinct in Brisbane on several projects in hardwood, softwood and high-value timber plantations from Stanthorpe to the tropics, including chemical ecology, invasive insects, biological control, and population modelling.

Dr David Lee

Dr David Lee leads the Hardwood Tree Improvement Focus within the Horticulture and Forestry Science group of Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF). David’s tree improvement and taxa site matching research has resulted in a change in the hardwood tree varieties grown and the regions being developed for hardwood plantations in Queensland. He has extensive collaborative links with the plantation industry, other researched providers, the university sector and the international plantation forestry sector.

Kelly Stewart, General Manager (Forest Research Institute)

Kelly joined the Forest Industries Research Centre in 2018. In this role Kelly is responsible for managing the effective and efficient delivery of services and support including operational support, communications and engagement, stakeholder management, and student support.


Michelle Tapp, Research Officer (Forest Industries Research Centre)

Michelle works part-time for the Forest Industries Research Centre to support:

  • Coordination of manuscript submissions to the Australian Forestry Journal
  • Coordination of the Forests for the Future Seminar Series
  • Other project related work to support the Centre Director and researchers across the centre