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Following a passion

“Forestry is always something I’ve been passionate about,” Martyn Ellis explains. “I did my first undergraduate degree in music at the University of Adelaide, but I have always thought that forestry was where I would end up in my career.”

After completing a degree in Adelaide, and getting some practical experience in the forest industry, Martyn is now completing a Bachelor of Science majoring in forestry.

“Before I came to ANU, I did research assistant work at CSIRO looking at bushfires, root systems soil degradation and seed collection. I’ve run my own business as a tree doctor and recently I spent a year in Papua New Guinea working on a number of community projects. However, I got a bit tired of being a tree doctor – the money was good but running your own business is tough. So, I thought I would come back to uni and get some more forestry experience.”

Now in his second year, Martyn is finding the being back at uni worthwhile.

“The degree has been really interesting so far. After a pretty general start in my first year I am now getting into some more intensive forestry courses, which is great. ANU is really nice and pretty student friendly. It’s a well set up campus and they’ve got a lot of environmentally stuff going on here.”

Martyn hopes that his degree will give him some more opportunities for a career in forestry.

“I’m looking at a cadetship in the Department of Environment at the moment. However, I think in the long run I want something a bit more practical – at least while I’ve still got my legs, back and knees working. Another option may be more international travel. There’s a chance my wife may get posted to Pretoria or Vientiane next year – so that would provide a great opportunity to do some sort of community forestry.”


About Simon Copland

Simon Copland is a freelance writer and climate campaigner. In his spare time he plays rugby union and is a David Bowie fanatic. He is a regular columnist for the Sydney Star Observer, blogs at The Moonbat and tweets at @SimonCopland.


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