Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research

The Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research (DCBR) at CDU builds on 17 years of world-class applied fire management research undertaken in the Northern Territory Government’s rural fire management agency, Bushfires NT.

Much of the early research program was aligned closely with that of the Tropical Savannas Cooperative Research Centre also based at CDU, but which ceased activities in 2009. In recent years much of the applied research program has focused on the development of the science behind Savanna Burning carbon emissions reduction and carbon sequestration projects. Each of these major project areas has required detailed field sampling, analysis and methods development to result in a metric published in the internationally peer reviewed scientific literature.

The Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research aims to extend the capacity to deliver applied fire management research and training opportunities particularly to land managers in north Australia, and with regional neighbours, while at the same time maintaining core commitments to, and furthering opportunities with, current partners, especially on indigenous and conservation lands.


The work of the Centre includes:

  • documentation of evidence supporting the best use of fire in the environments of north Australia and its regional neighbours to achieve specific landscape objectives, including greenhouse gas abatement and sequestration, improving pasture condition, enhanced biodiversity, improved safety from tropical wildfires, protection of cultural sites, promotion of traditional bush foods and maintenance of cultural traditions.
  • studies supporting preparation of methodologies under the Carbon Farming Initiative with particular relevance to northern and regional Australia
  • analysis supporting development and promotion of carbon management and offset policies favourable to Indigenous and non-Indigenous landholders in northern and regional Australia
  • research supporting Indigenous land owners, managers and ranger groups to:
    • enhance management of land, seas and natural and cultural resources
    • enter carbon markets and develop related enterprises
    • maintain management presence on lands and seas

  • carbon accounting services to the Northern Territory, other northern Australian jurisdictions, the Federal Government, and organisations (eg Northern Indigenous Environmental Services—NIES) as appropriate
  • formal recognition of indigenous land holders and promotion and application of their land management and indigenous environmental knowledge
  • supporting the operation and development of NAFI and related tools for fire information and analysis
  • supporting rural fire management agencies, conservation agencies and organisations, and indigenous ranger group operations through the provision of advice, fire mapping and analysis of fire regimes
  • supporting long-term monitoring of, and research studies concerning, the ecological effects of fire regimes
  • supporting assessments of, and developing additional opportunities in, payment for environmental services
  • developing methods of measuring and reporting environmental and social benefits from delivery of environmental services
  • complementary studies in neighbouring regions, and comparable international settings
  • management of related databases
  • supporting development of, and implementing appropriate training programs and educational opportunities (including fire management apprenticeships), particularly for remote communities and stakeholders
  • developing effective communications with, and disseminating information appropriately to all research partners and stakeholders
  • publication of all relevant materials to the benefit of the Centre and partner organisations in appropriate media
  • the development of apprenticeship programs in the environmental/spatial sciences, or other areas appropriate to the Centre, with an emphasis on young indigenous people


People in the group

Andrew Edwards's picture
Andrew Edwards
Research Fellow, Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research
Rohan Fisher's picture
Rohan Fisher
Information technology for development researcher.
Dr Peter Jacklyn's picture
Dr Peter Jacklyn
Co-ordinator Communications, Senior Research Fellow
Cameron Yates's picture
Cameron Yates
Team Leader DCBR
Jay Evans's picture
Jay Evans
Research Assistant
Dominique Lynch's picture
Dominique Lynch
Research Associate - Bush fire Research, Vegetation Mapping
Kate van Wezel's picture
Kate van Wezel
PhD student
Jeremy Russell-Smith's picture
Jeremy Russell-Smith
Adjunct Research Fellow
Kamaljit K. Sangha's picture
Kamaljit K. Sangha
Research Fellow (Ecological Economics)