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Information can be the key to addressing some of the most challenging natural resource management issues, but is all information equal? In his role as a zoologist, Matt often has to interface with community members and local councils. He makes it clear that, in addition to the scientific facts, the beliefs and perceptions of community members have significant bearing on how issues are defined and addressed. Often putting aside his own ideas and scientific interests, he strives to work in the best interest of the community members; in his view, this is the compromise of a public servant. His sincere desire to understand invasive species issues from the perspective of those who experience them day-to-day informs Matt’s approach to engagement with landholders and other stakeholders.
Dr Matt Gentle is a Researcher at the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.