Researcher: Lilian Pearce

I am conducting my doctoral research with the Fenner School of Environment and Society under the supervision of Prof Libby Robin (ANU), Dr Cameron Muir (ANU), and Prof Ruth Beilin (UniMelb). I am combining multiple disciplinary approaches to explore how approaches from the ecological humanities and environmental history can support pluralistic and inclusive restoration practice.

Restoration ecology has worked towards restoring landscapes to ‘pristine’ historical states, however the historical role of humans in shaping ecosystems, the ongoing global human impacts in the epoch of the ‘Anthropocene’ and effects of climate change all challenge the social and ecological appropriateness of such goals. My research traces restoration in Australia, considering the various narratives that have informed restoration goals, and the values, participants and landscapes that are currently included.

Case studies of different spatial and temporal scales, ecological systems and management explore the various place-based social and ecological relationships, participants, knowledge types and experiences.

The work considers the ability of land practices to be inclusive, holistically restorative and foster resilient relationships between people and place in changing landscapes. Outcomes will inform goal setting, policy and monitoring, and facilitate improved management and protection of pluralistic natural and cultural values of unique Australian landscapes.