Dr Suzette Searle

Visiting Fellow
Physics Link Building 38a, Science Road
 +61 2 6125 7633

Profile

Qualifications

BSc (Forestry), Grad Dip (Forestry), MSc (Science Communication), PhD (Science Communication)

Biography

With a four-year forestry degree under her belt from the Australian National University (ANU), Suzette worked for 17 years as a CSIRO scientist specialising in the genetic variation and utilisation of the larger Australian wattles (acacia species) for forestry and farm forestry purposes.

During that time she travelled throughout Australia, China and Vietnam collecting data or samples of seed, bark and nitrogen-fixing root bacteria from Australia's acacias and trialling Australian acacias in growth trials.

In her 40th year she returned to ANU to study at the Centre for the Public Awareness of Science (CPAS) for a Masters degree in science communication. Her sub-thesis was titled, 'Why study forestry?' During the seven years that followed Suzette worked as a science communicator in the roles of consultant, advisor and officer for Australian government departments and science research agencies.

Suzette returned to CPAS in 2005 as a PhD candidate with her lens focussed on Australia's scientists and their communication with the general public. She submitted her thesis in 2011, graduated in July 2012 and is now working as a research fellow at CPAS ANU and specialising in surveys about science, the public and science-related issues.

Personal interests

Australian wattles and their social and industrial history.
Antiques and collectables from the art nouveau period (1895-1915).

Research

Research interests

  • Scientists.
  • Science communication.
  • Surveys of public attitudes.
  • Beliefs and behaviours regarding science.
  • Scientists and science-related issues.

Publications

Associated with PhD thesis research

  • Searle, Suzette D. 2013. Scientists’ Engagement with the Public’?In: John K. Gilbert and Susan M Stocklmayer (Eds). Communication and engagement with science and technology . Issues and dilemmas. A Reader in Science Communication., Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. New York.  p. 41-58.
  • Searle, Suzette D. (2011) Scientists’ Communication with the General Public – an Australian Survey. A thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of The Australian National University, Canberra  444 p. Published online at: https://digitalcollections.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/8973
  • A brief summary of some of the findings about scientists’ communication from her  PhD research was published on p 167-168 of Julian Cribb and  Tjempaka Sari’s 2010 book, Open Science:  Sharing knowledge in the global century’.

Peer-reviewed journal papers

  • Suzette Searle and Chris Bryant. 2009. Why students choose to study for a forestry degree and implications for the forestry profession. Australian Forestry 72 (2) 71-79.
  • Searle, S.D. and Owen, J. V. 2005. Variation in basic wood density and heartwood percentage in temperate Australian Acacia species. Australian Forestry 68 (2) 126-136.
  • Searle, S.D. 2000. Acacia melanoxylon - a review of variation among planted trees. Australian Forestry 63 (2) 79-85.
  • Searle, S.D., Bell, J.C. and Moran, G.F. 2000. Genetic Diversity in Natural Populations of Acacia mearnsii. Australian Journal of Botany 48 (2) 279-286.
  • Searle, S.D., Owen, J.V., Williams, E.R. and Raymond, C.A. 1998. Variation in frost tolerance within two provenances of Acacia mearnsii De Wild.  Australian Forestry 61 (1) 1-6.

Monographs and book chapters

  • Searle, Suzette D. 2013. Scientists’ Engagement with the Public’?In: John K. Gilbert and Susan M Stocklmayer (Eds). Communication and engagement with science and technology . Issues and dilemmas. A Reader in Science Communication., Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. New York.  p. 41-58.
  • J. Brockwell, S. D. Searle, A. C. Jeavons and M. Waayers. 2005. Nitrogen fixation in Acacias : an untapped resource for sustainable plantations, farm forestry and land reclamation. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, ACIAR Monograph series: No 115. 132 p.
  • Searle, S. 2000. Black wattle (Acacia mearnsii) for farm forestry. Department of Natural Resources and Environment. 18 p.
  • Searle, S.D. 1997. Acacia mearnsii De. Wild. (Black Wattle) in Australia. In: Brown, A.G. and Ho Chin Ko, (Eds.) Black Wattle and its Utilisation. Abridged English Edition, RIRDC. 2-12.
  • Searle, S. 1991. The rise and demise of the black wattle bark industry in Australia. Technical Paper No. 1 CSIRO Division of Forestry ACT 42 p.
  • Searle. S. 1991. [Acacia mearnsii growing in Australia and its biological characteristics] In: Ho Chin Ko and Brown, A.G. (Ed.) Black Wattle and its utilisation. Chinese Forestry press, Beijing, (Second edition 1997) 1-12.

Conference proceedings

  • Searle, S.D. 1998. Frost tolerance of 25 temperate Acacia species in two trials near Canberra, Australia. In: Turnbull, J.W., Crompton, H.R. and Pinyopusarerk, K., (Eds) Recent developments in acacia planting. Proceedings of an international workshop held in Hanoi, Vietnam, 27-30 October 1997. ACIAR Proceedings No. 82, 80-89.
  • Searle, S.D., Jamieson, D.T. and Cooper, N.K. 1998. Growth and form of 25 temperate Acacia species in two field trials near Canberra, Australia. In: Turnbull, J.W., Crompton, H.R. and Pinyopusarerk, K., (Eds.) Recent developments in acacia planting. Proceedings of an international workshop held in Hanoi, Vietnam, 27-30 October 1997. ACIAR Proceedings No. 82, 66-79.
  • Searle, S. D. 1996. Wood and non-wood uses of temperate Australian acacias. In: Proceedings of 1996 Australian Forest Growers Conference - Farm Forestry and Plantations Investing in Future Wood Supply. Mount Gambier South Australia 9 -12 September 1996, 256-266.
  • Searle, S., Owen, J. and Snowdon, P. 1994. Frost tolerance variation amongst 25 provenances of Acacia mearnsii De Wild. In: Brown, A.G., (Ed.) Australian tree species research in China. Proceedings of an international workshop held from 2 to 5 November 1992 in Zhangzhou, Fujian Province PRC. ACIAR Proceedings No. 48, 140-148.
  • Searle, S.D. 1989. Seed collections of lesser-known trees and shrubs in Queensland, Australia. In: Boland, D.J. (Ed.) Trees for the Tropics. Growing Australian Multipurpose Trees and Shrubs in Developing Countries. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra. ACIAR Monograph No. 10. 27-34.

Publicly available consultancy report

  • Searle, S.D. 2000. Critical appraisal of black wattle feasibility study & provision of new information. Report to the Central Victorian Farm Plantations Inc. April 2000 46 p.

Articles

  • Searle, S. 2007. Traditional Uses of Australian Acacias, http://www.worldwidewattle.com/infogallery/utilisation/aboriginal.php
  • Searle, S. 2005. Indigenous use of Australian acacias for food and medicine. In: Australian Plants Sept. 2004 Vol. 22 No. 180, 327-331.
  • Searle, S. 2002. What wattle's that? Australian Forestry 65 (2) 139-140.
  • Searle, S.D. 1999. I've always liked trees. The Institute of Foresters of Australia Newsletter. Vol. 40 (5) (October 1999), 8.
  • Searle, S.D. 1999. Wattle be the future? Growing trees for profit in the 500-700 mm rainfall areas Agroforestry News, July Volume 8 Issue 2. 3-5
  • Searle, S. 1999. ACIAR's people focus the basis for success. ACIAR Newsletter No. 33.
  • Searle, S. 1995. Acacias for the cool subtropics. ACIAR Forestry Newsletter No. 20:1 November 1995.
  • Searle, S. 1995. Australian acacias, no longer the forgotten genus. IFA Newsletter 36 (2) 9-15.
  • Searle, S. 1992. Barking up the right tree. ACIAR Partners No. 5, April 1992, 10-16.
  • Searle, S. 1992. Black wattle - let's grow our own. Forestry Log. ANU Department of Forestry.

Updated:  27 March 2017/Responsible Officer:  CPAS web officer/Page Contact:  CPAS webmaster