Meet our new Blog Associate Editor: Catherine Waite

We are delighted to announce two new Blog Associate Editors who have joined The Applied Ecologist team! Valentine introduced herself earlier this month so in this post, find out more our other new recruit – Catherine Waite.

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Hi everyone,

I’m Catherine, one of the new Associate Editors for The Applied Ecologist. It’s great to be writing this first post to introduce myself!

I am originally from the UK but currently living in Queensland, Australia and doing a postdoc at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

My (work) life

I have always been interested in nature and the environment, with a love for all things outdoors. This initially drove me to study a BSc in Geography where I quickly selected all possible Ecology and Biogeography options and picked up an interest in remote sensing as a tool to help us study the world along the way.

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Drone flight planning © Giacomo Sellan

For my PhD, I settled on studying tropical forest ecology and developing new remote sensing methods to understand forest functioning. In particular, I was thrilled at the prospect of tropical forest fieldwork to study the role of woody vines (lianas) on carbon cycling. It was fantastic to work on a project that could add to ecological knowledge as well as inform and enhance management practices to improve biodiversity, and carbon storage and sequestration.

My current research stays in this area; now I integrate remotely sensed data with field-collected data to assess global forest recovery from ecological and anthropogenic disturbance. I have less time to spend in the field but more time to work on how we can use science to help inform action (amongst all the time I spend coding!).

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A top-down view of the tropical forest canopy at Danum Valley, Malaysia © Catherine Wait

Life outside work

When I’m not staring intensely at my code on the computer (and willing it to work the first time I run it), I’m likely to be outside somewhere – often at the beach, relaxing with a good book or maybe exploring some local hikes if I’m feeling more active!

I also spend time doing gymnastics and dancing – both are fantastic ways to forget about the world for a little while!

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A view over Danum Valley, Malaysia at sunrise © Catherine Wait

My role at The Applied Ecologist

I’m really excited to start my new role here and contribute towards promoting open dialogue and communication across everyone involved in the use of ecological research and evidence in practice.

Science communication is a vital part of the work that we all do. I have had fantastic experiences in the past; from public engagement talks to organising and facilitating discussion forums to bring together researchers, decision makers, stakeholders and government officials.

I am so excited to grow and engage with The Applied Ecologist community and hope to promote content from early career researchers, government and industry. Hopefully, together we can stimulate debate, and facilitate new ideas and collaborations across the community.

Feel free to follow Catherine on Twitter (@ce_waite) and get in touch if you have an idea for a blog post!

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