From Bowerbirds to Beaches

Gold Coast City Council

PhD (Zoology) 2004

Minimum $67,000
Maximum $90,000
Average $75,000 p.a.

BOUND by a beautiful coastline and stretching to the mountains of a glorious hinterland, Australia’s most biodiverse city – the Gold Coast – is overflowing with natural wonders.

It is balancing the conservation and showcasing of the city’s precious reserves that Tim Robson works towards.

Tim, who has a PhD in zoology (Bowerbird ecology) from UQ, is leader of the conservation management planning team within Gold Coast City Council’s Natural Area Management Unit. 

Tim first worked for the Council’s town planning branch as an environmental planner after completing his PhD, and, just two years on, found himself promoted to his current role.

"I enjoy working in a team that looks after some of the most amazing country in South-East Queensland," Tim says.

"The estate we manage has some outstanding hidden gems, both in the hinterland and on the coast.

"My role is varied and challenging and allows me to apply my training in ecology in many practical ways."

Tim says UQ "fostered and encouraged" him to develop extensive research collaborations while studying his PhD.

"This capacity to network has stood me in good stead in my current role, where I have to maintain linkages with many sections in Council and other external agencies and community stakeholders," he says.

"Opportunities to interact and learn from fellow students, the number and diversity of projects being conducted in the Faculty, and the campus as a whole makes UQ one of the best places in the country to grow and develop as a scientist."

Tim says the experience he gained at UQ also played a major role in is his appointment as chair of the South East Queensland Fire and Biodiversity Consortium – a professional association of land managers who are responsible for balancing fire management and conservation of biodiversity.

He advises students to pursue whatever they enjoy – as quirky as it may be.

"Even a PhD in Bowerbird ecology can get you a real job," he laughs.