Regent parrots turn out in numbers to welcome new Ecologist
The Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board recently welcomed their newest recruit, Aleisha Casson, to the Wetlands and Floodplain team as an Ecologist.
The Wetlands and Floodplain team are supported by the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program and the landscape levies.
Ms Casson grew up in regional South Australia and the Adelaide Hills, where she spent much of her childhood playing sports, riding/showing horses and exploring nature.
Spending so much time outside fostered a genuine appreciation for the environment, which grew into a burning desire for conservation and understanding of the natural world.
Throughout her schooling, Ms Casson was set on a career where she could positively contribute to conserving our environment for now and future generations.
Ms Casson completed a Bachelor of Science (Marine Biology) with the University of Adelaide. She then finished with an Honours in Ecology and Environmental Science. Her Honours project looked at how temperature differences could change behaviour in intertidal shrimp and how this could impact ecosystem dynamics with a changing climate.
Ms Casson said she is interested in anything that can aid our understanding of climate change and how we manage the environment to ensure its resistance and resilience into the future.
After completing her studies, she worked as a bush-carer undertaking weed control and revegetation projects. She gained valuable on-ground field experience and learned many local plant and bird species during this time.
To grow and gain more experience, Ms Casson took a position in Berri SA as a Water Licensing Officer. Here she learnt the ins and outs of the water licensing world but quickly realised she needed an element of fieldwork to feel content.
An opportunity as an Infrastructure Operations Officer presented itself. Again she found herself in nature, working closely alongside the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Boards Wetlands and Floodplains team.
So, when an opportunity to work as a Wetland Project Officer with the Murraylands and Riverland Landscape Board arose, Ms Casson couldn’t have been more thrilled.
"In my previous role, I worked closely with the Wetlands team and formed great relationships with them. I couldn't be more excited to put some waders on and learn all about wetland management," she said.
Ms Casson has always appreciated the environment and values the riverine environment. She believes wetland management is critical for increasing resistance and resilience to climate change, providing essential habitats for many keystone species.
Ms Casson has already participated in fish, bird and surface/groundwater surveys. The diadromous (freshwater and saltwater) fish congolli being one of her favourites.
“I have learned about many bird species and gained a huge appreciation for all birdlife. It was pretty spectacular seeing 9 regent parrots recently, for the very first time.
“I look forward to increasing my skill set, learning about wetland management and using my knowledge to help manage wetland environments,” she said.