Emma Burns

Senior Project Manager
Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology (CEAT)

Emma Burns is the Senior Project Manager for the new Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology. In this capacity, she is responsible for the operational leadership of the Centre.

Prior to joining the Research School of Biology, Emma was based within the ANU Fenner School of Environment and Society, where she held positions as the Director of Sustainable Farms (2017-2018) and Executive Director of the Long Term Ecological Research Network (2011-2018).

Emma holds has a PhD in population genetics and phylogeography. She is a member of the Australian Ecosystem Science Council, and a member of the Editorial Board for the Sustainable Intensification & Ecosystem Services section for the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems. Prior to joining ANU, Emma held positions in consulting, and government (NSW and Commonwealth). Most notably, she was a senior member of the leadership team which established the Commonwealth Government’s Environment Stewardship Program between 2007 and 2011. In this capacity, she was responsible for managing the development of reverse-auction protocols, the conservation metrics required to competitively assess proposals and the scientific assessments and monitoring systems needed to ensure government investments were credible and cost-effective.

Emma has published in excess of 40 articles on diverse topics in agri-environmental policy, ecological research, and natural resource management. She is committed to bridging the divide between science, policy, industry, and practice and is inspired most by Buckminster Fuller’s quote “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete”.

Example Publications

  • Burns, E. L., Zammit C. Attwood, S.J. and Lindenmayer, D. B. (2016). Lessons from the Environmental Stewardship Program for creating long-term agri-environment schemes In: Learning from agri-environment schemes in Australia: investing in biodiversity and other ecosystem services on farms. Ansell, D. Gibson, F. and Salt, D. Editors. ANU Press, Canberra. http://press.anu.edu.au?p=346093
  • Lindenmayer, D. B., Burns, E. L., Tennant, P., Dickman, C. R., et al. (2015) Contemplating the future: Acting now on long-term monitoring to answer 2050’s questions. Austral Ecology. Published online January 2015 DOI: 10.1111/aec.12207
  • Barton, P. S., Lentini, P.A, Ikin, K., Alacs, E., Bau, S., Buckley, Y. M., Burns, E. L., et al. (2015) Guidelines for using movement science to inform biodiversity policy. Environmental Management. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-015-0570-5
  • Lynch, A. J., Thackway, R., Specht, A., Beggs, P., Brisbane, S. Burns, E., et al. (2015). Transdisciplinary synthesis for ecosystem science, policy and management: The Australian experience. Science of the Total Environment. Published online May 2015. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.04.100
  • Burns, E. L, Lindenmayer, D., Stein, J. Blanchard, W. et al (2015). An Ecosystem Assessment of Mountain Ash Forest in the Central Highlands of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. Austral Ecology. Published online October 2014 DOI:10.1111/aec.12200.
  • Burns, E. L., Lindenmayer, D. B., Tennant, P., et al. (2014). Making ecological monitoring successful: Insights and lessons from the Long Term Ecological Research Network. Free published booklet.
  • Ens, E., Burns, E., Russell-Smith, J., Sparrow, B., Wardle, G (2014). The Cultural Imperative: broadening the vision of long-term ecological monitoring to enhance environmental policy and management outcomes. In: Biodiversity and Environmental Change: Monitoring, Challenges and Direction. Lindenmayer, D., Burns, E., Thurgate, N., and Lowe, A. Editors. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
  • Burns, E. and Lindenmayer, D. (2014). Policy Handbook. Learning from Long-term ecological research to Better Manage Biodiversity in Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.