Honorary Associate Professor Cris Brack

Honorary Associate Professor

Honorary Associate Professor Cris Brack completed a B.Sc.(Forestry) with 1st Class Honours at the ANU as a Forestry Commission Trainee in 1981 and then went to work for the NSW Government. After 3 years as a field forester, he moved to Sydney where he eventually became the Senior Inventory Officer responsible for quantifying the growth and value of plantations and native forests in NSW.

In 1994, he returned to the ANU to teach and conduct research into forest measurement and management. Since then, his most significant research contributions have been the development of optimal sampling strategies, modelling tools, and decision-support systems for trees and associated biota at stand, landscape and continental scales.

This research integrates his knowledge of, and innovation in, applied statistics (for sampling), data acquisition (from remotely sensed imagery and ground-based surveys), modelling (of tree and stand dynamics), and expert and decision support systems (as integrating methods).

This research has significant national and international standing because of its broad applications in both natural, plantation and urban environments, and its integration of quantitative and qualitative information.

This research has been influential in the development of the National Carbon Accounting System for Australia (winner of the Eureka Environmental Science Award), and in catalysing the development and adoption of new approaches by forest and land managers and policy makers.

This work has supported research grants, consultancies or other income in excess of $2 million, including:

  • Greenhouse Action Strategic R&D projects
  • Climate change and plantation management for FWPRDC
  • Various ACIAR projects to improve PNG human resources and education systems and inventory and information systems
  • A city-wide census of urban public-land trees
  • The development of a decision support system.

In 2009, Associate Professor Brack took leave to become the inaugural Chair and Professor of Forestry at the Waiariki Institute (Rotorua, New Zealand) and subsequently became the Director of Research with a mandate to increase the research profile and potential of that Institute in fields such as primary industry, Maori development, nursing and health studies, computing and business.

After a successful 3 years, he returned to the ANU to take up teaching and research roles in the Fenner School of Environment & Society.

Research interests

  • Plant Physiology
  • Forestry Management And Environment
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Environmental Management
  • Agricultural Land Management
  • Tree Nutrition And Physiology
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Forestry Sciences
  • Other Education
  • Environmental Science And Management

Researcher's projects

  • Understanding the Carbon and Pollution Mitigation Potential of Australia's Urban Forest.
  • Developing Sampling and Measurement Guidelines for determining carbon in forests and woodlands.
  • Understanding Uncertainty and Risk in Forest Carbon (and other) estimates.
  • Improved Teaching and Learning for Higher Degree (Research) students.


Ghazalli, A, Brack, C et al 2019, 'Physical and Non-Physical Benefits of Vertical Greenery Systems: A Review', Journal of Urban Technology, vol. 26, no. 4, pp. 53-78.

Available student projects

Measuring and Monitoring tree and forest growth with an integration of field, airborne and satelight sensors (including drones and multi-temporal, gigapixel cameras). See http://borevitzlab.anu.edu.au/projects-overview/national-arboretum-pheno...

Growing and managing urban forests, especially their sustainable development in harsh climates and with uneven age class and species numbers.

Active management of woodlands and forests, especially where major landuse changes have resulted in relative over/under abundances of ecologically important tree sizes and species.

Past student projects

Solichin, S. 2017. Enhanced Systems for Measuring and Monitoring REDD+: Opportunities to Improve the Accuracy of Emission Factor and Activity Data in Indonesia (PhD)

Stock, D. 2017. The impacts of thinning on structural attributes of Silvertop Ash (Eucalyptus sieberi L.Johnson) forests of SE Australia (Masters)

Pecenko, A. 2016. The habitat value and public perceptions of Totem Trees in Canberra urban parklands (Honours - First)

Bush, D. 2015. An investigation of genetic-by-environment interaction in southern Australian trials of Eucalyptus cladocalyx and implications for breeding (PhD)

Soraya, E. 2015. Long-term stand- and tree-level response to intensive silviculture in Eucalyptus sieberi regrowth (PhD)

Edwards, R. 2015. The Suitability of Commercial Low-Cost UASs for Forest Assessment (Honours - 2A)

Nugroho, N. 2014. Landscape scale carbon stock assessment of tropical peat swamp forests using an integrated field measurement and remote sensing technique (PhD)

El Halim, R. 2014. The Impact of Indonesian logging system on West Papuan Forest Tree Biodiversity and Productivity (Masters)

Ross, C. 2013. What’s Killing the Trees? An investigation of Eucalypt dieback in the Monaro region, NSW. (Honours - First class)

Chalise. M. 2013. Estimation of stand-level aboveground forest biomass: A quest for efficiency and reliability (Masters)

Beh, J-L. 2012. Seeing the soil through the trees: The utility of stem shape and taper in the butt swell for predicting soil depth in Australian Pinus plantations (PhD)

Waterworth, R. 2009. Dynamics of stem growth and shape in Pinus radiata D.Don under contrasting water and N availability (PhD)

Lee, A. 2008. Utilising airborne laser (LiDAR) to improve the assessment of Australian native forest structure (PhD)

Lowson, C. 2008. Estimating carbon in direct seeded environmental plantings. (Honours - First Class)

Golman, M. 2007. Resource planning for Samsai Niksek tribal forest of Papua New Guinea - recognising land, people and the forests (PhD)

Roberts, S. 2007. Projecting Farm Scale Product Volumes and Values. (Honours - First Class)

Musk, R. 2006. Estimating stem profile using canopy metrics (PhD)

Gowae, G. 2005. A Cohort Model for Pometia genus in the lowland tropical rainforests of Papua New Guinea (PhD).

McElhinny, C. 2005. Quantifying stand structural complexity in woodland and dry sclerophyll forest, south-eastern Australia. (PhD).

Kemmerer, E. 2005. Optimising sawlog production in even-aged eucalypt stands. (PhD)

Gilbert, M. 2004. Trends in Urban Tree Removal on Leased Land across Canberra, ACT. (Honours - First Class)

Soraya, E. 2004. Management models for rattan gardens of Kedang Pahu West Kutai, East Kalimantan, Indonesia. (Masters by research)

Andriyana, W. 2004. Testing the feasibility of centroid and importance sampling for estimating volume of standing trees in a tropical forest context. (Masters by research)

Agombe, S. 2004. Site Form and improving volume estimation of uneven-aged forest stands in northern Namibia (Masters by research).

Kyle, J. 2003. Investigating land cover change and vegetation growth in Turner as a way of quantifying the changes in Canberra as a Garden City. (Honours - 2A Class)

Ho, A. 2002. Particulate pollution capture and retention by Eucalyptus elata (Dehnh) in the A.C.T. (Honours - First Class)

Titheradge, S. 2002. Tree crown dieback of Fraxinus oxycarpa cv Raywood in Canberra's urban forest. (Honours - 2A Class)

Ellis, P. 2001. The aerodynamic and combustion characteristics of Eucalypt bark - a firebrand study. (PhD)

Payne, D. 2001. Modelling the effect of forest management on the carbon pools in a Eucalyptus pilularis (blackbutt) regrowth forest. (Honours - 2A Class)

Garner, M. 1999. Determining an Appropriate Protocol for Amenity Tree Valuation in Australia. (Honours - First Class)

Ozolins, A. 1999. Abundance and Decline of Isolated Trees in the Agricultural Landscape of Central West NSW. (Honours - First Class)

Wee, M.L. 1999. Predicting Urban Tree Benefits and Costs using Growth Models (Honours - First Class)

Pokharel, B. 1998. Use of GIS and modelling to determine the site productivity of an uneven-aged forest. (Honours - First Class)

Frankcombe, M. 1997. Determination of site productivity in native regrowth forests using permanent growth plot data. (Honours - First Class)

Brookhouse, M. 1997. Identification and analysis of growth rings in Eucalyptus obliqua and E. cypellocarpa. (Honours - First Class)

Dekaris, D. 1997. Incorporating point density, tree dominance, soil type and altitude into taper models for Eucalyptus pilularis. (Honours - 2A Class)

Crook, D. 1997. A comparison of the importance and centroid sampling methods in the valuation of Pinus radiata trees. (Honours 2A Class)

Croft, A. 1996. Comparison and verification of basal area growth models for Pinus radiata plantations. (Honours - First Class)

Rivers, G. 1996. Evaluating MARVL inventory system volume and value estimates. (Honours - 2A Class)