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Michelle Venter

From coast to clouds; carbon assessment, monitoring and management in tropical forests of Papua New Guinea

School: Earth and Environmental Sciences

TESS role: PhD Student

Location: Smithfield QLD, Macgregor Rd, A21 room 36

Phone number: +61 421 121 752


Supervisor(s): Michael Bird, David Gillieson, Susanne Laurance


I completed a BSc. of Ecology in 2005 and spent the next six years working as a field biologist. Some of that time was spent snorkeling rivers in Easter Canada studying Atlantic salmon behavior, on the Bering Sea aboard commercial fishing vessels assessing fish by-catches, and in the Australian Outback evaluating biodiversity and carbon.

For my PhD research, I will assess above ground biomass across a 3100m altitude gradient in remote primary forests of Papua New Guinea. I will also explore the role of traditional land-management practices in carbon sequestration, as well as evaluate data from community-based forest monitoring programs.

My study sites are in the beautiful Yopno-Uruwa-Som Conservation area located in the Huon Peninsula of Papua New Guinea

My research in 1 minute! Click for Video



    1. Venter, M. Edward, E. Venter, O. Bird, M.I. In Press. Validating community-led forest biomass assessments. PlosOne.

    2. Sayer, J., T. Sunderland, J. Ghazoul, J.-L. Pfund, D. Sheil, E. Meijaard, M. Venter, A. K. Boedhihartono, M. Day, C. Garcia, C. van Oosten, and L. E. Buck. 2013. Ten principles for a landscape approach to reconciling agriculture, conservation, and other competing land uses. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 110:8349-8356.

    3. Dieleman, W.J., M. Venter, A. Ramachandra, A. K. Krockenberger, and M. I. Bird. 2013. Soil carbon stocks vary predictably with altitude in tropical forests: Implications for soil carbon storage. Geoderma 204–205:59-67.

    4.Venter M, Venter O, Laurance S, Bird MI. 2012. Recarbonization of the humid tropics. In: Lal R, Klaus L, Huttl RFJ, Schneider BU, von Braun J (eds) Recarbonization of the Biosphere-Ecosystems and the Global Carbon Cycle. Springer, Netherlands

    5. Witt GB, Noël MV, Bird MI, Menzies, NW. 2011. Carbon sequestration and biodiversity restoration potential of semi-arid mulga lands of Australia interpreted from long-term grazing exclosures. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 141(2), 108-119.

    6. Brodeur NN, Noël MV, Venter O, Dayanandan S, Grant JWA. 2008. No evidence of kin bias in dispersion of young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon Salmo salar L. in a natural stream. Journal of Fish Biology 73(10), 2293-2595.

    7. Venter O, Grant JWA, Noël MV. 2008. Atlantic salmon density increases with habitat complexity: Joint effect of a reduction in territory sized and perceive predation risk. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences65, 1956-1964.

    7. Noël MV, Grant JWA, Carrigan JG. 2005. Effects of competitor-to-resource ratio on aggression and size variation within groups of convict cichlids.Animal Behaviour 69(5), 1147-1155

    Personal interests

    I enjoy sailing and fishing on the weekends...or weekdays.

    Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Sciences

    Twitter (@TESSJCU)