Environment portfolio appointments for Antarctic, climate science

There’s movement in the Environment portfolio, with the Antarctic Division’s chief scientist taking on the directorship and the Murray-Darling Basin Authority chief going to the top of the department.

Australian Antarctic Division chief scientist Nick Gales has been named as the successor to the organisation’s retiring director, Tony Fleming, who leaves the role this Thursday.

Nick Gales

Nick Gales

Gales, a former veterinarian whose main area of expertise is marine mammals, first joined the AAD in 2001 as a senior researcher. He led its wildlife conservation and fisheries program and played a lead role in the establishment of the Australian Marine Mammal Centre, before becoming the division’s chief scientist in 2011. He is also the chief science adviser for the whole Department of the Environment.

Gales also represents Australia on the International Whaling Commission’s scientific committee. As the government’s leading whale expert, he acted as its key expert witness in the high profile 2013 action against Japan’s allegedly scientific whaling program in the International Court of Justice.

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