JMR Management Committee
The Jock Marshall Reserve is managed by the JMR Management Committee, within the School of Biological Sciences.
So who are they?
How long have they been involved with the JMR?
How long have they been involved with the JMR Management Committee? and,
What is their favourite thing about the JMR?
Jade Barbuto - Jock Marshall Reserve manager
Who am I and how long have I been involved with the JMR? So how did I get to become Manager of this amazing place, it all came down to timing. All through high school, I wanted to become a park ranger, I loved the bush and everything about it, particularly the fauna. I was also very passionate about science. In the end, my passion for science prevailed and I spent the next 22years in the medical research industry mostly at Monash University. The bush and my love for animals became a hobby instead of a career. Tired of the never ending funding issues related to medical research but still eager to stay at Monash, I looked at my options. A job came up at Biological Sciences in 2019 for a safety officer who would also be responsible for the department's animal displays. Admittedly, I was mainly attracted to the job because of the animals. My 20+ years working and managing research labs and all the knowledge that came with that along with my vast and varied animal experience meant I was the successful candidate. At this point, the JMR was managed by someone else. However, a few months into the job, the JMR manager left and I was asked to take over. I couldn't believe it, a mixture of fear and excitement came over me. Fear I was given the responsibility of such a Monash legacy but the excitement that this was once my dream job. I took the responsible head on and I have never looked back. I feel privileged to be managing such a rich piece of history. So I have been looking after the JMR for 20mths and in that time, I have driven the development and implementation of a Management and Operational Plan that will guide the management direction of the reserve for the next 10years. Neither of these plans could have gotten off the ground without the expertise, knowledge and input from the amazing people on this page, the rest of the JMR Management Committee. I have also developed and built this new website and I have plans to do much, much more.
How long have I been involved with the JMR Management Committee? As long as I have been managing the JMR itself so around 20mths.
What is my favourite thing about the JMR? I love the serenity of walking around the reserve when there is no one else around and nothing else to listen to but the birds, the frogs and all the nature around me as much as I love seeing it filled with enthusiastic young students, scientists, environmental and conservation biologists and future ecologists discovering and learning about the natural world around them.
Kate Elliott - Education Program Manager
Who am I and how long have I been involved with the JMR? I am the School of Biological Sciences Education Program Manager. My time at the JMR started back in 2000 as a teaching tech in BIO1042. We'd take groups of students down to the reserve to sample the lake and sort water bugs...I loved it. Outside of semester I'd help the previous JMR Manager, Graeme Farrington, with some maintenance work. There was always weeding and path maintenance, and I was more than happy to roll up my sleeves in such a beautiful environment.
How long have I been involved with the JMR Management Committee? I joined this committee in 2019. My role is to ensure that education is a primary consideration when we maintain, plan, and improve the reserve. The JMR is an outstanding teaching resource and we're always looking for ways to build it into our teaching so that our students can experience all it has to offer.
What is my favourite thing about the JMR? It's the classroom. I know, four walls, but that view through the round windows, it's not a Zoom background! The ability to teach theory and then step outside into the reserve for the practice is very special.
Bob Wong - Professor and ARC Future Fellow
Who am I? I'm a Professor and ARC Future Fellow based in the School of Biological Science. As a behavioural ecologist, a primary focus of my research is on understanding wildlife behavioural responses to human-induced rapid environmental change, including the impacts of pharmaceutical pollutants on aquatic organisms, such as fish and amphibians.
How long have I been involved with the JMR? A lot of my lab's research takes place in facilities located in the JMR so I have been involved with the facility since the beginning of my academic career back in 2006.
How long have I been involved with the JMR Management Committee? I joined the committee in 2020.
What is my favourite thing about the JMR? I love the lake. Not only is it beautiful, but it's been a great source of critters (e.g. aquatic invertebrates) for some of our lab's research.
Bruce Weir - Honorary Associate
Who am I and how long have I been involved with the JMR? I have coordinated and managed education programs in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University since 1980 – retiring at the end of 2020 after 40 years of service. Since retiring, I have continued this long association with Biological Sciences with an ‘Honorary Associate’ position and am still involved with some field work for education programs and with the JMR management committee.
My first involvement with the JMR was back when I first started at Monash in 1980 with some ecology classes that we ran sampling the lake for freshwater invertebrates. It was also a time when the reserve had populations of kangaroos, wallabies, and emus for research programs, and we were often required to help with the management of these animals around the reserve. I have also acted in the role as JMR manager on several occasions when Graeme Farrington (foundation JMR manager) was on leave and learned a lot about how the reserve worked in those early years with such a diverse range of animals.
I have also been involved in the major JMR redevelopment that took place in 2007 and the subsequent growth in education programs that in many ways culminated in the building of the ‘Environmental Education Centre’ in 2016. Linked to this development was the introduction of technology into the education programs such as the web cams, environmental monitoring platform in the lake, acoustic recorders, and camera traps.
It has been great to see the evolution of the reserve over the years into such an important educational resource while still retaining its bushland reserve presence and providing the university with such a wonderful environmental showcase – and am sure it will only continue to improve with the long-term management plans in place that will sustain and improve the JMR for future staff and students.
How long have I been involved with the JMR Management Committee? We set up the formal management committee in 2007 when the first major redevelopment program started and when Ricardo San Martin took over the reserve management role from Graeme Farrington – the foundation JMR manager. Prior to 2007, the management was overseen by a smaller group of users and the school management team.
What is my favourite thing about the JMR? My favourite place in the JMR is the lake, with its surrounding wetland and wonderful fern gully – but my favourite overall aspect of the JMR is the positive effect it has on everyone who visits or works in the JMR. Whether it’s our biology students, staff, or visitors – everyone sees the JMR as an oasis within a busy campus and an important opportunity to experience the natural world.
Stewart Crowley - Plant Sciences Complex Manager
Who am I and how long have I been involved with the JMR? I have been involved with the JMR since starting at Monash University in 2005. I was lucky enough to be able to work with the first reserve manager – Graeme Farrington. We were able to plant many trees during this time and I enjoyed the time spent with Graeme as he told great stories of the early years at Monash. There have been many changes over these years with new facilities, classroom facilities and changes to environmental lab conditions. It is exciting to see the current management strategies and look forward to seeing further changes in the future.
How long have I been involved with the JMR Management Committee? I have been involved with the management committee since it was first established and in its many forms over the years.
What is my favourite thing about the JMR? I enjoy being able to get to the reserve when it is quiet and enjoy the sounds of the many animals that inhabit the space. The JMR is not only a great space for undergraduates to learn but also for researchers looking to set up and trial experiments before heading out to their test sites in the greater environment.