Alison Lullfitz

Dr, Dr

  • The University of Western Australia (M701), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile


I work as a Research Associate based at UWA Albany, often in close collaboration with Indigenous Elders to increase implementation of traditional ecological knowledge to contemporary biodiversity conservation and societal wellbeing. I completed a PhD in 2019 entitled Vegetation Responses to Noongar Land Management Practices in Old and Young Landscapes of South Western Australia. This collaborative field-based botanical research project combined traditional knowledge of Noongar Elders, contemporary botanical survey techniques, and plant genetics analysis.

Prior to commencing my PhD in 2013, I worked in a variety of biodiversity conservation, environmental management and training roles in southwestern Australia and southern Africa. 

My research interests are cross-cultural ecology and conservation biology, in particular:

  • Human interactions with landscapes and plant communities
  • Two-way science and collaborative research approaches
  • Application of traditional ecological knowledge to contemporary biodiversity conservation.

Current projects

I am currently working on four projects:

  • Walking Together: applying Noongar traditional ecological knowledge to modern natural resource management (2020-2024, in partnership with South Coast NRM and funded by Lotterywest); 
  • Healing Land, Healing People: Novel Nyungar Perspectives (2020-2024, in partnership with Curtin University and Deakin University, funded by ARC);
  • Caring for Country, people and communities through Noongar cultural burning (2022-2024; funded by National Disaster Risk Reduction program); and
  • PEAT: protecting peatland ecosystms and addressing threats in southwestern Australia (2022-2026; funded by Ian Potter Foundation).

All projects are collaborations with Noongar/Nyungar community and included focus on conserving Noongar/Nyungar traditional ecological knowledge in south western Australia, facilitating both its application and re-empowerment of Indigenous peoples to manage traditional country.

Teaching overview

I coordinate ENVT5310 Biodiversity on Country and co-teach this unit with Menang and Goreng Noongar Elders and Prof. Steve Hopper. I am currently or have co-supervised the following students:

  • Lopez, 2023- (MSc.)
  • Rodrigues, 2022- (PhD.)
  • Anderson, 2021- (PhD.)
  • Ischenko, 2022- (MSc.)
  • Carey, 2021-2023 (MPhil.)
  • Cramp, 2020- (PhD.)
  • Heffernan, 2020-2021 (Hons)
  • Taylor, 2021 (Hons)
  • Rodrigues, 2020-2021 (Hons)
  • Carey, 2020-2021 (Masters prelim)
  • Guislain, 2019 (Masters, University of Bristol).

Community engagement

Public presentations:

Webb, I, Lullfitz A (2023). The trees speak in this Pibbulman place. A Tale of Two Trees public workshop, Walpole March 2023.

Lullfitz A, Cummings S (2023). Learnings from womens bush camps. Queensland Herbarium International Womens Day Webinar March 2023.

Woods E, Lullfitz A (2022). A little place with a big heart: ecological restoration for healing people and Country. Ecological Society of Australia conference, Wollongong December 2022.

Cummings S, Lullfitz A (2022). Join the Dots – Inclusive landcare practices. TEDxKinjarling 29 January 2022.

Cummings S, Lullfitz A (2021). Two-way learnings for conservation in a global biodiversity hotspot. Ecological Society of Australia Conference, Online November 2021.

Cummings S, Lullfitz A (2021). First Nations people and plants of southwestern Australia. John Glover Symposium, UWA Crawley 4 September 2021.

Knapp L, Rodrigues U, Lullfitz A (2021). A natural Blackfella thing, or hazard reduction, or both? Fire and Biodiversity Forum, Margaret River 4 June 2021.

Lullfitz, A (2020). Two-way research in a global biodiversity hotspot: a conservation biologist’s perspective. Wildflower Society Meeting. Perth WA and ANU Fenner School (online) 10 November 2020.

Lullfitz A (2020). Stories told by plants: some examples from SW Australia. UWA Archaeology Seminar Series. Online 22 October 2020.

Cummings S, Lullfitz A (2020) Noongar and Western scientific understandings of two south coast cultural plants. Great Southern Great Science Symposium. Albany WA 14 August 2020.

Fiedler P, Hopper SD, Knapp L, Lullfitz A, de Paula L, Poremski S, Silveira FAO (2019). Global Perspectives on the Challenges of Biodiversity Conservation in a Changing World: A Conversation Among Colleagues. Panel discussion. UWA Albany November 2019.

Lullfitz A, Dabb A, Reynolds R, Knapp L, Pettersen C, Hopper SD (2019). Where our Old People sat down: correlation between contemporary Macrozamia dyeri distribution and pre-colonial Nyungar occupation patterns. Australian Native Plants Society (Australia) Conference Albany WA October 2019.

Knapp L, Lullfitz A, Hopper SD (2019). Fire Fixes Everything. UWA Prescribed Burning Conference. Perth WA August 2019.

Jones A, Gore-Birch C, Marriott C, Lullfitz A, Flutter N (2019). Women for the Environment Panel Discussion Bush Heritage Australia Women in Conservation Breakfast. Perth WA July 2020.

Lullfitz A, Hickman E (2019). Biological fusion: when people, art and science come together. Public lecture UWA Albany May 2019.

Lullfitz A, Pettersen C (2018). Vegetation Responses to Noongar Land Management Practices in Old and Young Landscapes of South Western Australia. Bush Heritage Australia WA staff training day, Albany WA  December 2018.

Lullfitz A, Hopper S (2018) Botanical storytellers of an ancient human past: the Platysace of Noongar boodja. Deep Time Workshop, Institute of Advanced Studies, UWA August 2018.

Lullfitz A, Pettersen C (2017) The Noongar of south western Australia: a case study of long-term biodiversity conservation in old, fragile landscapes. Great Southern, Great Science Symposium. Albany WA August 2017.

Lullfitz A, Pettersen C (2017) The Noongar of south western Australia: a case study of long-term biodiversity conservation in old, fragile landscapes. Society of Ethnobiology Conference. Montreal, Canada May 2017


Ecological Society of Australia podcost, Ecology Matters, 2022 with Shandell Cummings:

Gondwanalink Heartland Journeys podcast, 2020 with Lynette Knapp:

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Cross-cultural ecology, Doctor of Philosophy, Vegetation Responses to Noongar Land Management Practices in Old and Young Landscapes of South Western Australia, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 28 Oct 2019


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