The Green Infrastructure Research Group studies vegetation systems in the urban landscape. Urban green infrastructure is the network of natural and designed vegetation in our cities, in both public and private domains: from public parks, nature reserves and residential gardens to green roofs, facades and rain gardens.
Our research seeks to better design and manage these systems, and to better understand the ecosystem services they provide. We have a significant research program on green roofs and green facades for Australian cities with a focus on substrate development, plant selection and their energy and water regulation benefits. Similarly, there is a research focus on urban trees as a cost-effective and socially acceptable climate change adaptation strategy for communities. This research includes microclimate modification, integration with stormwater runoff systems, canopy cover change and tree biomass, growth and decay. We work closely with government departments and agencies, local governments and industry to ensure wide application of our research findings.
Our research is helping to advance the understanding, design and uptake of novel vegetation systems, such as green roofs and facades, in Australian cities. This includes documents targeted at informing practitioners, such as the Growing Green Guide and Decision principles for the selection and placement of green infrastructure to mitigate urban hotspots and heat waves, development of and participation in education and training programs, such as The Specialist Certificate in Green Roofs and Walls, and outreach and knowledge transfer activities aimed at changing behaviours in such a multi-disciplinary field. GIRG is Australia’s leading research and education group in the application of urban green infrastructure.
More Green Infrastructure Research Group
- Claire Farrell (Lecturer), Claire's investigates the use of plants to make Australian cities more liveable. Designing green roofs for drought tolerance, stormwater mitigation and improved biodiversity.
- Denise Johnstone (Lecturer), Denise researches urban tree management and arboriculture. Focussing on tree risk assessment, wood density and decay measurement and tree vitality.
- Kate Lee (Research Fellow), Kate's research combines environmental, organizational, and cognitive psychology to investigate the links between nature and wellbeing in cities and workplaces.
- Stephen Livesley (Senior Lecturer), Steve's research examines fundamental biogeochemical processes and the impacts of environmental change and management in natural, managed and urban ecosystems.
- Susan Murphy (Lecturer), Sue's research focuses on the development of selection criteria for plants and their performance so as to help create maintainable and sustainable urban landscapes.
- John Rayner (Senior Lecturer), John's research is in green roofs and facades, including substrate evaluation, planting design, plant selection and evaluation.
- Nicholas Williams (Senior Lecturer), Nick is an urban ecologist researching biodiversity patterns in cities and towns and the many ecosystem services urban vegetation can provides to urban areas.
- Alessandro Ossola (PhD candidate), Alessandro investigates the ecology of human-dominated ecosystems with particular emphasis on the relationships between biodiversity, soil, water and ecosystem function.
- Ruzana Sanusi (PhD candidate), Ruzana's research focuses on the importance of the urban forest for ecosystem benefits in a warming climate with special emphasis on human thermal comfort.
- Joerg Werdin (PhD candidate), Joerg's research focuses on quantifying and improving the hydrological performance of green roof substrates in conjunction with plant root structures under various climate conditions.
- Luis Aguilar (PhD candidate), Luis studies site factors affecting urban tree growth, with special emphasis on investigating the influence of wood decay progression on tree biomass yield and carbon sequestration.
- Andrea Pianella (PhD candidate), Andrea's research focuses on the thermal performance of green roofs in Australia by analysing the effects of substrate depth, soil moisture and plant species.
- Zheng Zhang (PhD candidate), Zheng's research focuses on microcosms to provide ecosystem services and optimise green roof hydrological performance.
- Pengzhen Du (PhD candidate), Pengzhen's research focuses on green roofs for Australian conditions, through substrate design and plant selection to optimize environmental performance.
- Siu Ann Lim (Honours candidate), Siu Ann is studying urban green facades, with special emphasis on investigating how thermal performance of climbing plants vary with key traits, season and wall aspect.