ADELAIDE   |   JUNE 2-6   |   2025


The International Rangeland Congress recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
as the Traditional Owners of Australia and thank them for their stewardship of Country – sea, water and land.

The Congress respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the Australian rangelands
on which we live and work and we pay our respects to their cultural and customary practices,
and acknowledge their Ancestors, Elders and future leaders.



The Australian Organising Committee of the XII International Rangeland Congress, on behalf of the Australian Rangeland Society and the International Rangeland Congress Continuing Committee, invites you to participate in the International Rangeland Congress to be held June 2-6, 2025 at the Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, Australia.


The abstract submission deadline has now been extended to the 2nd of July 2024. Submit your abstract now!


Register now for the XII International Rangeland Congress 2025. Earlybird registration closes on 30 September 2024.


Expressions of interest are now open for varying levels of Delegate Support for IRC 2025, and will close on Friday 2 August 2024.

Please click to view the XII IRC Announcement
in your language below.


The theme of the Congress is ‘Working Together for our Global Rangelands Future’.

Congress subthemes include:

    1. Valuing rangelands and pastoral systems for their societal contribution
    2. Co-design, partnerships, and incorporating traditional knowledge for more enduring rangeland outcomes
    3. Technology, information systems, communication, and big data to aid monitoring and decision making
    4. Integrating rangeland ecology into management
    5. Managing risk – climate and other system shocks and trends
    6. Livestock production systems in a world of changing drivers
    7. Multi-functional land use in rangelands – moving beyond niche opportunities


The Australian Organising Committee (AOC) of the XII International Rangeland Congress 2025
is striving to build a program that explores new themes and topics.

Don Burnside


Director and Treasurer, XIIth International Rangeland Congress
Finance & Audit Officer

Don Burnside has worked in the rangelands off and on since 1975 in public and private sector employment. Most of his work has been in the WA shrublands, although he has also done some consulting work in the Pilbara grasslands and in Western NSW. Don has been a member of the Australian Rangeland Society since 1976, and he has been a member of the Publications Committee for several years. He was the Editor of the Range Management Newsletter in the far-off days of 1984-1988. He was the secretary of the Organising Committee for the 2012 Kununurra Conference, an Australian representative on the International Rangeland Congress Continuing Committee between 2000 and 2008, ‘between 2000 and 2008, and was a member of the Organising Committee for the 1999 Townsville Congress.


Cathleen Waters


Dr Andrew Ash

Adjunct Professor at The University of Queensland, Chair of the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre

Andrew has 40 years research experience in tropical rangelands and agricultural systems with an emphasis on improving livelihoods and environmental outcomes for rural communities. Andrew worked for CSIRO for 30 years where he undertook research and leadership roles in rangelands and in adapting to the impacts of climate variability and change. He was an organiser of the 1999 IRC in Townsville and has previously been a member of the IRC Continuing Committee. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at The University of Queensland, Chair of the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre and sits on a number of independent science panels in Australia and overseas.

Sarah Nicolson

Secretariat, XIIth International Rangeland Congress

I was part of the Nicolson family that had a pastoral sheep station in the Australian rangelands which also supported a field research facility for the University of Adelaide and the SA Government.  I was a committee member of the Australian Rangeland Society for many years, in addition to running my own conference organisation business (Intercomm Event Coordination).  In that capacity, I professionally organised half a dozen conferences for the Australian Rangeland Society over a period of 10 or so years.

For the past 15 years, I was working in international development, implementing long term aid projects in developing countries primarily funded by the Australian government.

Now retired, I have volunteered to be part of the logistics sub-committee for the organisation of the International Rangelands Conference to be held in Adelaide in 2025.

David Phelps

Director, Tropical North Queensland Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (the TNQ Hub)

David Phelps was appointed to the role of Director of the Tropical North Queensland Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub (the TNQ Hub) in March 2022.

David has a lifetime of professional and lived experience in agriculture and rural communities, and in addressing the impacts of drought within variable climates. He has initiated and led agricultural research, extension and adoption projects across northern Australia and has written numerous grazing management training packages.

During extended drought conditions from 2013 to the present day, David has contributed to practical measures to help increase resilience across western Queensland through voluntary community roles in the Rotary Club of Longreach and as the founding Chair of the Western Queensland Drought Appeal.

David seeks to enhance drought resilience and preparedness by linking the resources of the TNQ Drought and Innovation hub with the needs of the agricultural industries and rural communities across northern Queensland.

Dr Nicole Spiegel

Senior Extension Officer, Central West, Beef and Sheep, Animal Science, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Longreach

Nicole has a background in animal production science and research experience in kangaroo meat quality, animal mineral nutrition of grazing livestock, and grazing ecology. After completing a benchmark study for Australia’s commercial Kangaroo Industry in 2008, Nicole commenced postdoctoral work in Lhasa, Tibet working as a research fellow for ACIAR. This work with Tibetan and Chinese colleagues in Lhasa and Beijing focussed on improving the mineral status of Tibetan livestock. Since 2013 to current, Nicole works in north-eastern Australia as a Grazing Land Management scientist for the Queensland Government, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, specialising in grazing ecology in support of beef grazing businesses. She is a current member of the IRC Continuing Committee.

Pieter Conradie

Regional Manager, Extensive Livestock Systems, Central West Agri-Science Queensland, Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

Having chaired the 2015 Organising Committee for the successful 18th Biennial Conference of the Australian Rangeland Society held in Alice Springs, Pieter is well versed in project management of major events.

In addition to this, he was also a member of the Organising Committee of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa 42nd Annual Congress in 2007. He has a long association with the society, including a term as President.

As the chair of the Bid Committee for IRC 2025, he has developed an excellent working relationship with the management team of the Adelaide Convention Bureau and has familiarised himself with the accommodation and transport networks in Adelaide. He is experienced in working together with PCO’s to oversee the logistical arrangements of a congress.

John Gavin

Director, Remarkable NRM

John has over 25 years of broad and practical work experience with community based Natural Resource Management (NRM) through several positions across Australia. He is a Director and Principle Consultant with Remarkable NRM, specializing in natural resource management services and solutions. John’s passion for NRM is well known across the rangelands of Australia, and his extensive networks recognise him as a trusted adviser to many NRM organisations and individuals. His expertise and experience in this field is the result of a broad and practical work history with community based natural resource management. He has supported several regional NRM bodies across Australia with strategic planning and project development. John works with communities to undertake NRM projects at a local scale. His interest in sustainable development led to his previous roles as General Manager for the South Australian Arid Lands NRM Board, and CEO of Cape York NRM, where he was responsible for strategic development and delivery of projects dealing with grazing land management, water, vegetation, soil and pest management activities, through a community engagement framework. John was previously the Chair of the organizing committee for the 2017 Australian Rangelands Conference and has presented at a number of Rangelands conferences regarding natural resource management and the carbon economy.

Dr Sarah McDonald

Research Officer Pastures, NSW Department of Primary Industries, Trangie Agricultural Research Centre

Sarah is a rangelands and pastures researcher working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries, based at the Trangie Agricultural Research Centre. Growing up on a property in western NSW, working in research and extension roles and completing a PhD on grazing management in NSW rangelands has provided Sarah with a broad understanding of key issues affecting rangeland systems and a passion to address these. Sarah’s current research projects are related to improving the condition of pasture, soils and landscape function in NSW rangelands and more broadly in projects examining the impacts of grazing management and climate change.

Sally Liego

Program Manager Adoption, Meat and Livestock Australia

Dr Cecile Godde

Food Systems Scientist & Team Leader, CSIRO

Dr Cecile Godde is a Food Systems Research Scientist at The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australian Government agency responsible for scientific research.

She is passionate about the challenges in relation to grazing systems and livestock as well as food security and global change, across geographical scales and time horizons.

Through her work, Dr Godde leverages system understanding, conceptual frameworks, stakeholder engagement and modelling expertise to better understand the complex interactions between biophysical, social, and economic systems underlying food systems, and explore pathways for healthy and equitable diets from sustainable food systems.

Dr Godde is Co-chair of the International Rangeland Congress 2025 Scientific Program Sub-committee.

Dr Alex Baumber

CoLab Director (interim), TD School, University of Technology Sydney (UTS)

Alex is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. His research focuses on community engagement and policy options for emerging practices that offer potential environmental benefits in rangelands and rural areas of Australia. He is currently undertaking research on collaborative carbon farming funded by AgriFutures Australia, as well as developing carbon advice strategies with the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries. Recently completed projects cover co-benefits and social licence of carbon farming, landholder collaboration for landscape-scale conservation, revegetation strategies and low-carbon tourism. In 2016 he released his first book, exploring ways in which the production of woody bioenergy crops can create incentives to restore degraded land, while addressing concerns around food security and climate change. His research has been published in the Journal of Environmental Management, Ecosystem Services, Environmental Science and Policy, Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Annals of Tourism Research, Biomass and Bioenergy, Rural Society and The Rangeland Journal.

Alison Nicolson

Pastoral Officer, Department of Primary Industries and Regions, Adelaide

I grew up on a Pastoral property north west of Whyalla where my family lived and grew wool for 94 years.

I have a Marine Biology (Honours) degree in Biodiversity and Conservation from Flinders University. My Honours work was based in the rangelands of South Australia looking at data collection using photopoints.

My work experience includes:

  • 5 years in Research in a Plant Physiology laboratory at Flinders University;
  • a Natural Resource Management position with the Department of Environment and Water, based in Orrorroo (SA); and
  • currently I am working for the Pastoral Unit in the Department for Primary Industry and Regions based in Adelaide.

Prof Stephen van Leeuwen

BHP Curtin Indigenous Chair, Biodiversity & Environmental Science;
Director ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Healing Country;
Deputy Leader & Senior Indigenous Facilitator NESP Resilient Landscapes Hub

Australia’s first Indigenous Chair of Biodiversity and Environmental Science at Curtin University is a proud Wardandi Noongar with strong connections to Country in the Busselton – Margaret River region of south-west Western Australia.

As a botanical ecologist, research scientist and executive manager Stephen has established a diverse pedigree across biodiversity inventory, landscape ecology, threat mitigation, nature conservation and sustainable land management domains. He has worked for over 40 years across Western Australia, principally in the rangelands (Pilbara and Western Desert) and the Kwongan sandplains of the biodiversity hotspot that is south-west Western Australia. Stephen is empowered with the skills to combine his broad scientific competencies with a commitment to leadership in biodiversity conservation and sustainable natural resource management research.

Stephen is a member of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment’s Indigenous Advisory Committee, Senior Indigenous Facilitator and Deputy Hub Leader of the National Environmental Science Program’s Resilient Landscape Hub and also contributes to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, State of Environment 2021 Indigenous Authors Team, National Landcare Review Expert Reference Panel and other national, state and non-government committees. Stephen is also the Director of the Healing Country Industry Transformation Training Centre at Curtin University which is focused on the restoration economy for Indigenous Australians.

Stephen is passionate about Closing the Gap on Indigenous disadvantage and achieving self-determination.  He believes that to realise self-determination it is critical that decisions about the livelihoods and wellbeing of Indigenous Australians and most importantly their cultures, customs, heritage and stewardship of land, water and sea Country are made with them, if not by them – ‘Always Was, Always Will Be Aboriginal Land’.


If you have any suggestions or queries regarding program themes or topics,
please don’t hesitate to contact us via email at or through the button below.

We welcome all contributions and look forward to hearing from you.


Register now for the XII International Rangeland Congress 2025. Earlybird registration closes on 30 September 2024.


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International Rangeland Congress

2 - 6 June 2025

Congress Venue

Adelaide Convention Centre
North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000, Australia



All Occasions Group

12 Stirling Street
Thebarton SA 5031, Australia

Contact Information

(08) 8125 2200

IRC 2025 logo



Nicholas Webb

Dr. Nicholas Webb is a Research Physical Scientist with the US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) Range Management Research Unit, based at the Jornada Experimental Range in south-central New Mexico, USA. Nick’s research cuts across themes of rangeland ecology, soil erosion, and integrating decision-support tools with big data to inform adaptive management. He coordinates the US National Wind Erosion Research Network and co-leads the Landscape Data Commons - an effort harmonize and link standard rangeland monitoring datasets with digital technologies to enable data-informed understanding of rangeland ecological dynamics and management. Nick grew up in Brisbane, Australia and prior to moving to the US worked on projects across Queensland’s dry southwest and northern tropical savannas.

Maria Fernandez-Gimenez

María E. Fernández-Giménez is a Senior Research Scholar and retired Professor in the Department of Forest & Rangeland Stewardship at Colorado State University, where she led the Rangeland Social-Ecological Systems Lab from 2003-2021. She works with ranchers and pastoralists in the western US, Spain and Mongolia to support sustainable and equitable rangeland management through knowledge co-production and participatory research. Major themes of her work include traditional/local ecological knowledge; rancher and pastoralist decision-making; participatory research, knowledge integration and co-production; community-based and collaborative rangeland management; rangeland governance; and gender and social justice in rangeland social-ecological systems. María and her students develop and evaluate practical tools and approaches such as state-and-transition models, participatory rangeland monitoring, and collaborative adaptive rangeland management that engage diverse rangeland users and stewards directly in research and tool development. As an ecologist and social scientist, she uses a broad range of methods from field ecology studies to ethnography and poetic inquiry. María has received numerous awards for her community-engaged research, including Honorable Champion of Agriculture (2014) and the Order of the Polar Star (2016), from the Government of Mongolia, Senior Fulbright Scholar (2010-2011) and Global Fulbright Scholar (2018-2022). She has published over 130 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Susi Vetter

Susi Vetter is an ecologist in the Department of Botany at Rhodes University. Her research interests are interdisciplinary and include vegetation change, rangeland dynamics, plant-herbivore interactions, fire ecology and the cultural importance of nature and biodiversity. While based on fundamental work to understand vegetation dynamics and human-environment interactions, her research also has a strong applied dimension aimed at informing policy and management. She serves as the President of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa and as a member of the Working Group on Afforestation that supports the UN-sanctioned 2026 International Year for Rangelands and Pastoralism.

Tungaa Ulambayar

Dr. Tungalag Ulambayar (Tungaa) leads the Zoological Society Luujin, a Mongolian conservation NGO. She holds a Ph.D. in Rangeland Ecosystem Science from Colorado State University, where her award-winning dissertation examined social outcomes of community-based rangeland management in Mongolia. Tungaa also holds an MA in International Development from the International University of Japan. She has extensive experience with various international organizations, including leading the Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction team at the United Nations Development Programme in Mongolia from 2005 to 2012. Tungaa was one of the pioneering facilitators of Participatory Rural Appraisal for community-based natural resource management in Mongolia.

Appolinaire Djikeng

Professor Appolinaire Djikeng is the 4th Director General of the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Senior Director for the Livestock-based systems of the CGIAR. Prior to ILRI and the CGIAR, Professor Djikeng was Director of the Centre for Tropical Livestock Genetics and Health (CTLGH) and based at the Roslin Institute, and Professor and Chair for Tropical Agriculture and Sustainable Development at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, UK. Professor Djikeng has over 20 years’ research, research management and institutional development experience in academia and in international not for profit research institutions in Africa, Europe and the USA.

Professor Djikeng’s work and interests have been primarily centred around bioscience (and particularly genomics and related disciplines) and their applications in agriculture (both animals and crops), animal, human and environmental health. Professor Djikeng co-founded the African Animal Breeding Network (AABNET) with the aim to drive the development and dissemination of livestock improved and most suitable genetics and broader sustainable genetic improvement solutions in Africa. Professor Djikeng also co-founded the African Biogenome project (AfricaBP) – a community of practice of scientists and related professionals, policy makers and stakeholders with the aim to harness the power of genomics for the characterisation, conservation, and sustainable use of biodiversity in Africa.
Professor Djikeng is Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland, Center for Animal Science (Australia), Professor at The Roslin Institute, The University of Edinburgh (UK), and Distinguished Professor at the University of South Africa.

Professor Djikeng serves on numerous science advisory boards and has received many awards including the Nelson Mandela Peace Award and his recognition by the Decade of Health as one of the 10 people in the United Kingdom changing health outcomes.

Anika Molesworth

Dr Anika Molesworth is a thought-leader of agro-ecological systems resilience and international farming development. With a passion for rural communities and healthy ecosystems, she is committed to help create sustainable and vibrant rural landscapes now and for the future. She is a Founding Director of Farmers for Climate Action – a national network of nearly 8,000 Australian farmers undertaking climate change action. She has presented the TEDx talks “Farmers are key to a better future” and “Repairing the Broken Food System.” She is the author of her book, Our Sunburnt Country, which won the Royal Societies of Australia and New Zealand Writer’s Award for Outstanding Writing on Social Change. Awards include Young Farmer of the Year (2015), Young Australian of the Year, New South Wales Finalist (2017), and Young Conservationist of the Year (2022).

Joe Morrison

Joe Morrison is Dagoman and Mualgal and has over 30 years’ experience working with Indigenous people in northern Australia, nationally and more recently globally. He has extensive experience in public policy, governance, research, Indigenous development, native title, land rights. land and sea management and economic development.

He is currently the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC).

Prior to this he was the Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s largest land rights authority, the Northern Land Council and the founding CEO of the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance (NAILSMA). He is currently a Director of the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, International Savanna Fire Management Initiative, National Centre for Indigenous Excellence, Primary Partners Pty Ltd, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia and a member of the AFL Indigenous Advisory Council.