Our Team

The Bio·R team consists of an experienced, passionate and knowledgeable group of individuals, each highly committed to our cause.

David Paton AM - Managing Director

David Paton AM is a respected ecologist at the University of Adelaide with a passion for conservation and restoration and a strong commitment to long-term studies that help understand and manage the natural environment for future generations. He completed a B.Sc. (Hons) at the University of Adelaide and a Ph.D. at Monash University. His work on the Coorong and declining woodland birds is well known. He frequently provides informed comment on wildlife and environmental issues to politicians, the general public and the media. He was the recipient of the SA Great Award for the Environment (1999) and the Premier’s Science Excellence Award for Excellence in Research for Public Good Outcomes (2006); he received a National Carrick Citation for environmental education (2006); and was appointed a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia for service to conservation, education and the environment (2008). In addition to being on the Board of Directors for Bio·R, he co-founded and was an initial Director for Arid Recovery, a non-profit organisation that aims to restore arid ecosystems in Australia.

Dave Taylor - Director and Fire and Land Ecologist

Dave Taylor completed a Bachelor of Natural Resources with honours at the University of New England and has a Ph.D. from the Australian National University (ANU) on fire and management of threatened plant species on Kangaroo Island. He has worked on wildlife management projects in New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania, Antarctica and South Australia. In 2002, he moved to Kangaroo Island and began working for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to recover some of Kangaroo Island’s rarest plants. From 2015 to 2019, he was a fire manager for the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service. He has specialised skills in threatened species conservation, fire management and habitat re-instatement and is passionate about management actions on a scale that makes a real difference.​

Jack May - Director

Jack May is a graduate from Stanford University, with a career in international real estate development and finance. He is committed to sustainable development and repairing natural ecosystems. While on a biking trip in South Australia about 20 years ago, he and his wife explored and fell in love with Kangaroo Island, so much so that they purchased Cygnet Park Sanctuary. After many long evenings of trying to figure out how to become farmers on a small island off the coast of South Australia (that was only a short 17-hour flight from their home in Sonoma County, California!), they agreed to begin studying potential breakthroughs in conservation techniques at Cygnet Park Sanctuary, led by David Paton and David Taylor. Jack is hopeful that in creating innovations new to this field, it will contribute to creating long-term sustainable change.

Fiona Paton - Executive Officer

With tertiary qualifications in environmental engineering and ecology, including a Ph.D. in Water Resources Management and 20 years' experience in ecological research programs across South Australia, Fiona is committed to conserving the environmental assets of our state for future generations to enjoy. In guiding Bio·R’s team she draws on her leadership experience as a previous Director of the charity Wilderness in Nepal and co-founder and Director of the not-for-profit Coorong Future Initiative. Apart from overseeing Bio·R’s daily operations and logistics, she has a great interest in the practical application of Bio·R’s ecological research and enjoys being in the field, actively participating in recreating habitat.

Brad Bianco - Plant and Restoration Ecologist

Brad Bianco completed a Bachelor of Science in Conservation Biology at the University of Adelaide and currently shares his time between Bio·R and the South Australian Seed Conservation Centre, where he works as a Flora Ecologist. Brad is passionate about native plants and, since 2018, he has been delivering Bio·R’s habitat recreation at Frahns Farm. He manages the Frahns Farm seed orchard, runs the plant monitoring program and manages the annual planting festival at Frahns Farm. Brad is thrilled to be working as BioR’s plant and restoration ecologist as he can apply his strong academic and theoretical background of flora in a practical and meaningful way, helping to save our species for future generations to enjoy.

Tom Hunt - Wildlife Ecologist

Tom brings expertise and enthusiasm to his role as Bio·R’s Wildlife Ecologist, with First-class honours in ecology and 15 years' experience across many ecological research and conservation projects in South Australia, including threatened mallee birds, Kangaroo Island bushfire recovery and the Coorong. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at The University of Adelaide on the impacts of floodplain degradation on woodland bird communities. Tom also combines his passion for wildlife and conservation with his love for photography, continually educating and inspiring those around him (follow @moth_nut on social media). Tom has been involved with Bio·R since its inception, shaping its direction by providing sound scientific advice and overseeing our content curation.

Penny Paton AM - Nursery Manager

After completing a M. Env Sc., Penny converted an interest in birds and native plants into a career in ornithology and conservation. Her special interests were threatened species recovery, native vegetation management, bushcare weeding and native plant identification and propagation. She has grown plants from her local area for over 30 years and now looks after the Bio·R plant nursery, with an emphasis on growing hard-to-propagate species.

Isabel Michell - Partnerships Coordinator

With a diverse background in teaching and politics and an interest in philanthropy, Isabel brings a unique perspective to the partnerships' program at Bio·R. Her love for nature and passion for supporting her local environment has seen her build genuine connections between Bio·R and local South Australian businesses, organisations, and schools. She finds it deeply satisfying to be acting locally to solve the world’s biodiversity crisis and she is excited to introduce new groups to Bio·R’s important work so that Bio·R can continue to grow its positive impact.

Blair Wickham - Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Blair graduated from the University of South Australia in 2018 with a Bachelor of Business (Marketing). He now runs Wickham Marketing, offering small- to medium-sized businesses a range of marketing services, specialising in digital services, such as website design, SEO, social media, email marketing, branding, graphic design and aerial photography. Born and raised on Kangaroo Island in a family with an ecotourism business, Blair has always felt strongly about the importance of being connected to nature and conserving the environment. Blair joined the Bio·R team in 2020 and has been integral in redesigning and maintaining Bio·R’s website, coordinating social media posts, delivering the quarterly newsletters, making short films to communicate Bio·R’s work, running fundraising campaigns and managing events.

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