Associate Professor Martin Breed

Associate Professor in Biology (Ecology/Organismal Biology)

College of Science and Engineering

place Earth Sciences (ES104)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Martin is a scholar of restoration ecology, ecosystem health, and genomics at Flinders University. Some career highlights include working with the UN and WHO on the links between biodiversity and human health via the microbiome, serving as a patron for the IUCN Species Survival Commission, and teaching amazingly resilient and optimistic students during COVID-19. He runs a close-knit research group that develops solutions to pressing global issues. Examples of their work include working on optimising biodiverse urban green spaces to maximise human health and biodiversity; pioneering the use of genomics to improve ecosystem restoration; and harnessing the power of plant-microbe interactions to improve ecosystem outcomes under global change. He is a passionate university educator who aims to enable the next generation to turn around the global environmental tide from decline and degradation to repair and restoration.

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2013 PhD in Bioscience (Dean’s Commendation), Adelaide University, Australia
2008 MSc in Evolutionary Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden
2006 BAppSci in Environmental Science & Zoology, James Cook University, Australia

Honours, awards and grants

2022 Highly commended for student-nominated Dean(Education) Teaching Award, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University
2021 Research Mentorship Award, College of Science and Engineering, Flinders University
2019 Bradshaw Medal, International Society for Ecological Restoration
2018 Signed MOU with the UN Secretariat for the Convention on Biological Diversity
2016 Outstanding Early Career Alumnus, College of Science and Engineering, James Cook University
2015 Awarded Tall Poppy Science Award for Academic & Science Communication Excellence, Australian Institute of Policy & Science
2013 Science Excellence Award, PhD Research Excellence Life & Environmental Sciences, South Australian Government
2013 Dean’s Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence, University of Adelaide

Teaching interests

My main teaching area is restoration ecology - the study of repairing degraded ecosystems through human intervention.

This is a very topical subject, since the world has billions of hectares of degraded ecosystems and faces a biodiversity crisis. Furthermore, people's health is closely linked to the health of environments.

The UN has declared 2021 to 2030 as the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration and the global community has set aspirational targets to restore 350 million hectares by 2030 under The Bonn Challenge. But, restoration ecology is a young discipline. The science of restoration is by no means settled and emerging technologies are pushing the boundaries of the very identity of what restoration is. Great debates and punctuated shifts in norms have resulted.

I like to teach about how to investigate why and how to restore today’s ecosystems and biodiversity. I hope to equip students with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to be the next generation of restoration ecologists; a cohort that will ultimately be responsible for turning the global environmental tide from decline and degradation to repair and restoration.

Topic coordinator
BIOL3701 Restoration Ecology
Topic lecturer
STEM3001 Science Connect
BIOL3701 Restoration Ecology
BIOL1001 Introduction to plant science
BIOL3722 Ecological Genetics
BIOL3711 Plant Biology
BIOD1102 Introduction to Biodiversity and Conservation
Supervisory interests
Conservation biology
Habitat restoration optimisation
Public health
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Biology (5)
Associate supervisor: Biology (3)
  • Biophilia
  • Conservation biology
  • Ecohealth
  • Ecological genomics
  • Ecosystem restoration
  • Genomics
  • Microbial ecology
  • Restoration ecology
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