Director

Vic Drought Hub - Farmland 1

With a PhD in plant science from the University of Graz, Austria, Michael spent the first years of his academic career at that university, with stints as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the USDA Forest Service research station in Riverside, California, and as invited professor at the University of La Laguna in Tenerife, Spain.

Michael first joined the University of Melbourne in 2004 and served in faculty roles such as Head of School, Associate Dean (Research Training), Head of Campus, and from 2009 to 2016 as the university’s lead for the Australian Grains Free Air CO2 Enrichment research program, a collaborative effort with Agriculture Victoria.

Further career stations were as Chair of Forest Ecosystem Science and Director of the Institute of Forest Research at the University of Birmingham, United Kingdom, and Head of Department (Agriculture, Science and Environment) at Central Queensland University. Michael re-joined the University of Melbourne as Director of the Victoria Drought Hub and Professor in Drought Studies in 2022.

Michael has over 200 peer reviewed publications to his name and is recognised as highly cited scientist in the Clarivate Essential Science Indicators (as of 2022). Throughout his career, Michael was engaged in teaching and student supervision and has co-ordinated and taught numerous subjects at universities in three different countries.