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Stephen Kearney


✉ n.leseberg [at]

Room 323, Steele Building

PhD Candidate

It seems to be a common theme in the Green Fire Science lab; we all started out young with a love of nature and the outdoors, and after following different paths have ended up here, studying that nature, and trying to figure out the best ways to conserve it for the future.


I’m no different! A childhood love of (my parents might say a mildly alarming obsession with) birds gave me an early interest in animals and the natural world around me. I satisfied this interest in my spare time, before getting the opportunity through the Green Fire Science lab to jump in feet first and quench (some might say suffocate!) that obsession with a PhD.


Birds are still my main interest, and what better bird to study than the mythical Night Parrot (that's not one in the picture!). Rediscovered in 2013, after essentially disappearing in the late 1800s, there had never been any scientific research into the species, and only one confirmed record of a live bird in more than a century. We still don't know for certain why the species declined or what its conservation requirements are, but with a lot of painstaking field research we are starting to get a handle how we can save this most mysterious of creatures, and what it might teach us about the arid ecosystems where it is still hanging on.

Green Fire Science

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