Peter Vesk

I am an ecologist and a principal investigator in the Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group within the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne.

I am a teaching and research academic (currently Reader and Associate Professor) and am a chief investigator in the ARC-funded Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and the NESP Threatened Species Research Hub. You can find out more about my research on my Publications page or on ResearchGate.

I also am Deputy Director of the Environmental Science Hub of the Faculty of Science

I have two majors streams of research and teaching interest. On the one side is the fundamental science of generalising ecological knowledge, and on the other good environmental management.  I have particular interest in comparative ecology, quantitative methods, inference and modelling, especially for applied ecological problems.

I work mainly with plants partly because they are fascinating—you try foraging, feeding and finding a mate while blindfolded and rooted to the ground!—and partly because they are so important. Vegetation forms most of the biomass and structure of terrestrial ecosystems. For that reason, managing terrestrial ecosystems can only be done well if we understand the structure, dynamics and function of vegetation.

I am driven to improve our ecological management through better knowledge and better use of that knowledge. I aim to bridge the gap between field ecology and modelling. Most of my work has some quantitative element to it. I draw on a diverse background in mycorrhizae, cell ultrastructure, metal accumulation and bio-monitoring.