Assoc Prof Cristopher Brack

Associate Professor
Fenner School of Environment & Society

I completed a B.Sc.(for) with 1st class Honours at the ANU as a Forestry Commission Trainee in 1981 and then went to work for the NSW government. After 3 years as a field forester, I moved to Sydney where I eventually became the Senior Inventory Officer responsible for quantifying the growth and value of plantations and native forests of NSW. In 1994, I returned to the ANU to teach and research into forest measurement and management. Since then, my most significant research contributions have been the development of optimal sampling strategies, modelling tools, and decision-support systems for trees and associated biota at stand, landscape and continental scales. This research integrates my knowledge of and innovation in applied statistics (for sampling), data acquisition (from remotely sensed imagery and ground-based surveys), modelling (of tree and stand dynamics), and expert and decision support systems (as integrating methods). This research has broad application in both natural, plantation and urban environments, and is novel in its integration of quantitative and qualitative information; it has significant national and international standing as a result. This research has been influential in development of the National Carbon Accounting System for Australia (winner of the Eureka Environmental Science Award), and in catalysing the development and adoption of new approaches by forest and land managers and policy makers. Work has supported research grants, consultancies or other income in excess of $2 million (including Greenhouse Action Strategic R&D project initiatives; climate change and plantation management for FWPRDC; various ACIAR projects to improve PNG human resources and education systems and inventory and information systems, and a city-wide census of urban public-land trees and the development of a decision support system). In 2009, I took leave to become the inaugural Chair and Professor of Forestry at the Waiariki Institute (Rotorua, New Zealand) and subsequently became the Director of Research with a mandate to increase the research profile and potential of that Institute (in fields from primary industry, Maori development, nursing and health studies, computing and business). After a successful 3 years, I returned to the ANU to take up my teaching and research roles in the Fenner School of Environment and Society.

Research interests

  • Plant Physiology
  • Forestry Management And Environment
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Environmental Management
  • Agricultural Land Management
  • Tree Nutrition And Physiology
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Forestry Sciences
  • Other Education
  • Environmental Science And Management
  • Keenan, R, Brack, C, Golman, M and Vanclay J 2011. A simple planning system for sustainable timber harvesting in Papua New Guinea. In 'Native forest management in Papua New Guinea: advances in assessment, modelling and decision-making', ed. by J.C. Fox, R.J. Keenan, C.L. Brack and S. Saulei. ACIAR Proceedings No. 135, 176-184. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Canberra.
  • Keenan, R, Fox, J, Brack, C and Saulei, S 2011 Native forest management in Papua New Guinea: an introduction. In 'Native forest management in Papua New Guinea: advances in assessment, modelling and decision-making', ed. by J.C. Fox, R.J. Keenan, C.L. Brack and S. Saulei. ACIAR Proceedings No. 135, 10-16. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research: Canberra.
  • Brack, C 2010 Valuable Thoughts: Can a forest be too valuable? New Zealand Journal of Forestry (2010) 55(2):18 - 20.