Professor Wendy Wright
Dean, Graduate Studies

As Dean, Graduate Studies, Professor Wendy Wright has overall responsibility for the activities of the Graduate Research School and the delivery of Higher Degree by Research programs at Federation University.  Her vision for the Graduate Research School to is to support life changing research training, creating researchers who change lives. Wendy’s own research is in the area of wildlife conservation biology.  Her work, and that of the PhD and Masters candidates she supervises, is informing the development of evidence-based environmental policy in Australia and internationally.

Wendy’s academic career has spanned three decades during which she has taught undergraduate biology and ecology courses, supervised around 25 HDR candidates and published widely in academic journals and government reports.  Wendy completed her undergraduate degree at Monash University and received her PhD from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.  Her PhD thesis investigated the physical structure of grasses and the ways in which herbivorous animals ingest and digest plant material.  This led to a broader interest in plant-animal interactions and a focus on the importance of conserving habitat in order to protect biodiversity. More recently, Wendy’s research has shifted toward the role of local people in wildlife conservation. Wendy is passionate about Graduate Research and Research Training and represents Federation University at the Australian Council of Graduate Research (ACGR).

Associate Professor Andrew Barton
Associate Dean, Research Training Partnerships

Andrew develops research strengths and enhances the provision of research training for the University’s higher degree by research students.  A key element to his role is leading the development and delivery of partnership programs to advance the University’s research strategy, which results in strong partnerships between Centres, Institutes and Directorates of the University; industry and community; and aligns with overseas institutions.

Andrew’s substantive position is as an Associate Professor in Water Engineering. Andrew received his PhD from the University of Tasmania in the area of experimental fluid mechanics (near wall flows and surface roughness) and civil engineering hydraulics (hydropower systems). He holds an MEngSc from Monash University where he researched fishway hydraulics and numerical modelling techniques. He has since worked for about 20 years in both the water industry and academia in senior engineering, lecturing and management roles developing a national and international profile in water resources engineering and hydraulics.  Andrew has strong research experience spanning the water resources engineering domain through his supervision of several PhD students, past ARC Linkage projects and numerous other research grants, and having published over 100 conference and journals papers. Due to his applied research focus, and highly regarded engineering experience, a range of government and industry clients regularly seek out Andrew for his consulting and expert services.  Andrew is a Chartered Professional Engineer, an Executive Engineer, and a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia.

Keynote Speaker

Dr Michelle Hunt

Title: Climbing the mountain, riding the rollercoaster and completing the quest: A PhD survival story

Michelle Hunt completed her PhD “I’ve got something to say and I need you to listen: A photovoice study with women who have experienced family violence” at Federation University in 2022. After 20 years working in the community sector, Michelle is now a Lecturer in Social Work at Deakin University where she continues to live out her childhood dream to make the world a better place.