ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Associate Professor Ian Lunt

Associate Professor Ian Lunt

A/Prof Ian Lunt's research focuses on the conservation biology of remnant ecosystems, especially endangered native grasslands and woodlands. In different projects he has investigated how and why these ecosystems change over time; the effects of different disturbance and management regimes on biodiversity values; and methods for restoring ecosystem processes and composition. With students and colleagues, he studies ecosystem dynamics and management by:
(1) understanding historical influences on natural ecosystems ('how did we get here?'),
(2) refining present management regimes ('how do we stay afloat?') and
(3) developing restoration methods for the future ('how can we get ahead?').

Individual research projects focus on historical ecology, ecological effects of disturbances such as fire and grazing, restoration techniques, and related issues. He also provides expert advice to government committees in Victoria and NSW, and writes extension articles for the broader community.

Research Interests: Vegetation Ecology and Management


Bachelor of Science, University of Melbourne, 1983

Bachelor of Science (First class Honours), La Trobe University, 1987

PhD, La Trobe University, 1996


Strategic Research Areas

  • Woody Regrowth in Rural Landscapes

Membership of Advisory Boards

A/Prof Ian Lunt is a member of the NSW & Victorian River Red Gum Adaptive Management Science Advisory Committee for OEH NSW; and a Member of the Technical Advisory Group, Coastal Woodland Adaptive Experimental Management Program, Parks Victoria.


Selected Publications

Peer Reviewed Papers

Zeeman, B.J., Lunt, I.D., & Morgan, J.W. (2014). Can severe drought reverse woody plant encroachment in a temperate Australian woodland? Journal of Vegetation Science, 25(4), 928-936.

Smallbone, L., Matthews, A., & Lunt, I.D. (2014). Regrowth provides complementary habitat for woodland birds of conservation concern in a regenerating agricultural landscape. Landscape and Urban Planning, 124, 43-52.

Coulson, C.,Spooner, P.G., Lunt, I.D., & Watson, S.J. (2014). From the matrix to roadsides and beyond: the role of isolated paddock trees as dispersal points for invasion. Diversity and Distributions, 20(2), 137-148.

Cohn, J.S., Lunt, I.D., Bradstock, R.A. & Quan, H. (2013) Demographic patterns of a widespread long-lived tree are associated with rainfall and disturbances along rainfall gradients in SE Australia. Ecology and Evolution 3(7), 2169-2182.

Ritchie, E.G., Nimmo, D.G., Bradshaw, C.J.A., Burgman, M.A., Martin, J.K., McCarthy, M.A., Parris, K.M., Dickman, C.R., French, K., Hobbs, R., Hughs, L., Johnson, C.N., Johnston, E., Laurance, W.F., Lindemayer, D., Lunt, I.D., McIntyre, S., Possingham, H.P., Pressey, B., Watson, D.M., Woinarski, J. (2013) Relaxed laws imperil Australian wildlife. Nature 498: 434.

Lunt, I.D., Byrne, M., Hellmann, J.J., Mitchell, N.J., Garnett, S.T., Hayward, M.W., Martin, T.G., McDonald-Madden, E., Williams, S.E. & Zander, K.K. (2013). Using assisted colonisation to restore ecosystem function and conserve biodiversity under climate change. Biological Conservation 157, 172–177. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0006320712003898

Whipp, R.K., Lunt, I.D., Spooner, P.G. & Bradstock, R. (2012) Changes in forest structure over 60 years: tree densities continue to increase in the Pilliga forests, New South Wales, Australia. Australian Journal of Botany 60, 1–8.

Lunt, I.D., Jansen, A. & Binns, D. (2012). Effects of flood timing and livestock grazing on exotic annual plants in riverine floodplains. Journal of Applied Ecology 49(5), 1131–1139.

Cohn J.S., Lunt I.D.,Ross K..A. & Bradstock R.A. (2011). How do slow-growing, fire-sensitive conifers survive in flammable eucalypt woodlands? Journal of Vegetation Science 22, 425-435. Link

Geddes L.S., Lunt I.D., Smallbone L. & Morgan J.W. (2011). Old field colonization by native trees and shrubs following land use change: could this be Victoria's largest example of landscape recovery? Ecological Management and Restoration 12(1), 31-36. Link

Lunt I.D., Zimmer H.C. & Cheal D.C. (2011). The tortoise and the hare? Post-fire regeneration in mixed Eucalyptus-Callitris forest. Australian Journal of Botany 59, 575-581. [This is an Open Access article, and a full copy of the paper can be downloaded from the journal's web site for free]

Schultz N.L., Morgan J.W. & Lunt I.D. (2011). Effects of grazing exclusion on plant species richness and phytomass accumulation vary across a regional productivity gradient. Journal of Vegetation Science 22, 130-142. Link

Eldridge D.J. & Lunt I.D. (2010). Resilience of soil seed banks to site degradation in intermittently flooded riverine woodlands. Journal of Vegetation Science 21, 157-166. Link

Full list of publications

Book Chapters

Lunt, I. (2015) Field guide to the future, pp 114-120 in Nogrady,B. (Ed) The Best Australian Science Writing 2015, Newsouth Books, UNSW, Sydney

Conference Papers

Lunt, I. (2015) From science to inspiration: 10 tips to promote ecological literacy and successful conservation in our communities, Keynote speaker at the 6th Biodiversity Across the Borders Conference 2015, Federation University, Ballarat, June 12.


What can we learn about temperate woodland dynamics from dense tree regeneration? Lunt,I. Spooner, P.  & Cross, E. (PhD student) (2015-2016) ANZ Charitable Trust-Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment, $7000

Managing tree densities in western New South Wales: development of a process-based model to predict woodland dynamics. Additional funding from NSW Department of Environment & Climate Change to supplement existing DECC-CSU Linkage Grant, $9,130

Managing tree densities in western New South Wales: development of a process-based model to predict woodland dynamics. Additional funding from NSW DECC to supplement existing DECC-CSU Linkage Grant. $9,478. Lunt, I.D., Bradstock, R., Ross, K & Cohn, J. (2009-2010)

Integrated strategies for restoring grassy woodlands. NSW Environmental Trust Research Grant Scheme. A/Prof. Ian Lunt and Dr Suzanne Prober. (2008/10) $112,000