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Gavin Phillips

Seedbank Officer

Gavin is a field botanist whose primary role sees him travelling throughout NSW collecting seeds for the Australian PlantBank at the Australian Botanic Gardens, Mount Annan. An avid photographer and hiker, Gavin is passionate about the conservation and ecology of our unique native flora, particularly rare and threatened species and Eucalypts.

Having grown up exploring the bush of Central West NSW and spending many years climbing and hiking in remote areas of eastern Australia, Gavin now uses these skills to track down rare and threatened species, assisting in conservation actions and research concerning some of our most fragile plants. This work takes him to all corners of NSW and beyond, where finding new populations and the occasional new species, as well as meticulously recording ecological observations, helps to build our understanding of our incredible environment.

I love being in the bush and learning about everything around me. When I first studied conservation at TAFE on the Southern Tablelands of NSW, the first species we learnt to identify were Eucalypts and I fast developed a fascination for these trees that define much of the Australian landscape. My current work on threatened species has only served to broaden my interest in the ecology of the Australian bush and a passion for its conservation.”

Research Interests

  • Ecology, conservation and taxonomy of Eucalyptus, Angophora and Corymbia species;
  • Threatened species ecology and conservation;
  • Ex situ conservation, especially seedbanking, of Australian native plants;
  • Conservation of species affected by Myrtle Rust; and
  • Conservation and taxonomy of Australian native orchids.

Current Projects

  • Collection of seed of threatened species as part of the NSW Government’s Saving Our Species program
  • Collection of seed and cutting material of species affected by Myrtle Rust (Austropuccinia psidii)
  • Expert advice on threatened species conservation for Saving Our Species projects



Hunting for the Suggan Buggan Mallee in the Snowy River Wilderness​

The Only Place in the World​

Rare Plants Bloom in Far West NSW After Winter Rain

Seed Banking After Bushfires An Insurance Policy For Native Plants 


Sommerville K. D., Cuneo P., Errington G., Makinson R. O., Pederson S., Phillips G., Rollason A., Viler V., Offord C. A. (2019) Conservation in the wake of myrtle rust – a case study on two critically endangered Australian rainforest plantsPacific Conservation Biology.

Fensham R.J., Laffineur B., Collingwood T.D., Beech E., Bell S., Hopper S.D., Phillips G., Rivers M.C., Walsh N., White M. (2020) Rarity or decline: Key concepts for the Red List of Australian eucalypts. Biological Conservation, 243: 108455.