BDC Alumni, Lachlan McRae

Wednesday, 04 Aug 2021

Lachlan commenced high school at BDC in 2009 and began to set athletics records, representing the College at both regional and state athletic events. He transitioned to Coffs Harbour Senior College in 2012 to complete his HSC. Inspired by his parents who both work for the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), Lachlan naturally gravitated towards commencing a Bachelor of Environmental Science and Management degree at the University of Newcastle in 2016.

Between 2016-2020, Lachlan’s passion for conserving and learning about Australia’s native animals led him to volunteer on a number of exciting university projects. Notably, he helped research the vulnerable squirrel glider in Lake Macquarie, investigated the habitat preferences and behaviour of the vulnerable Davies’ Tree Frog in Barrington Tops National Park, and assisted with capture-mark-recapture surveys that led to a better understanding of the endangered green and golden bell frog’s ecology on Kooragang Island.

Lachlan’s work with the green and golden bell frog transitioned into a paid summer scholarship in 2018/2019. His passion and work ethic during the scholarship led to an on-going paid position as an Amphibian Research Assistant where he continued working with the green and golden bell frog on Kooragang Island. This was his first paid role in the field of Ecology and was a key moment in his career as an Ecologist. 

The year 2020 was another important point in Lachlan’s career. In January/February of 2020, he completed a botanical internship at the Australian National Herbarium in Canberra. Before finishing his bachelor’s degree in July 2020, he landed his dream role as Fauna Ecologist with Travers Bushfire & Ecology and is currently still working there. In this role, he undertakes surveys to detect and protect threatened animals and their homes, specialising in the detection and identification of bat calls using specialised sound-detection equipment. 

Whilst working, Lachlan decided to continue his research journey by undertaking an Honours degree. He has just submitted his research thesis that estimated the density and home range of short-eared possums in Mt Hyland Nature Reserve and Gibraltar Range National Park. Such information is key for monitoring the species and ensuring their survival into the future. He will be sending his work off for publication in the coming weeks.

Lachlan’s commitment to wildlife conservation and environmental stewardship continues to be recognised through his accumulation of various awards, including the Don McNair Scholarship in Plant Identification and Illustration, Australian National Herbarium internship, Saving our Species Conservation Scholarship, Hunter Environmental Institute Undergraduate Scholarship, Amphibian Conservation Biology Scholarship and New Colombo Plan Climate Change Scholarship.

Bishop Druitt College takes great pride in having provided Lachlan part of his early education and look forward to watching his journey as one of Australia’s up-and-coming environmental ecologists.