Dr David Freudenberger

Honorary Senior Lecturer

David has a diverse research career commencing in 1980 conducting an Honours project on long term grassland and shrubland dynamics across the coastal hills of Southern California. This led to an interest in herbivory and digestion applied to MSc research on nutrition in farmed red deer (Lincoln University, NZ), and a PhD on the digestive physiology of kangaroos and goats (UNE, Armidale, NSW), followed by a post-doc back in NZ on the seasonality of gut function and metabolism in red deer (Massey University). To get himself out of the lab and animal house, David joined CSIRO Wildlife and Ecology in 1991 to conduct grazing management research in the rangelands of eastern Australia. By 2000, CSIRO shifted research focus from eastern rangelands to agricultural landscapes dominated by woodlands. This led to research on the impact of landscape fragmentation on woodland bird assemblages and other taxa. In such highly cleared landscapes restoration is a priority, so David led a number of research projects on the ecosystem services derived from government supported native plantings in southern NSW. This research put David in contact with the NGO, Greening Australia, which he joined in 2007 as Chief Scientist. There his collaborative research projects included effectiveness and cost of revegetation technologies, carbon sequestration measurement and modelling, biofuels from native species, native sandalwood production, and the benefits of biochar application for improving restoration effectiveness. David joined ANU in 2012 to continue research in applied restoration practice and lectures in management of wooded landscapes. He also consults for the Australian mining industry on rehabilitation design and implementation.

Research interests

Ecological restoration

Mine site rehabilitation 

Impact of feral herbivores 


  • Adams-Schimminger, M.A., Fifield, G., Doran, B., and Freudenberger, D. (2017). Woodland rehabilitation and biodiversity conservation in an agricultural landscape in south Eastern Australia. Case Studies in the Environment  DOI: https://doi.org/10.1525/cse.2017.sc.399598
  • Stapleton, J.P., Ikin, K. and Freudenberger, D. (2017). Coarse woody debris can reduce mammalian browsing damage of woody plant saplings in box-gum grassy woodlands. Ecological Management and Restoration 18, 223-30. https://doi.org/10.1111/emr.12270.
  • Thackway, R. and Freudenberger, D. (2016) Accounting for the drivers that degrade and restore landscape functions in Australia. Land, 5, 40; doi:10.3390/land5040040, http://www.mdpi.com/2073-445X/5/4/40/pdf
  • Perring, M., Jonson, J., Freudenberger, D., Parsons, R. Rooney, M., Hobbs, R., Standish, R.J. (2015) Soil-vegetation type, stem density and species richness influence biomass of restored woodland in south-western Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 344, 53-62.
  • Freudenberger, D., Grigg, L. and Reeger, R. (2013). The Bunya BioLink: an application of Greening Australia’s strategic approach to large scale conservation. pp 153-162, In J. Fitzsimmons, I. Pulsford and G. Wescott (eds), Linking Australia’s Landscapes, CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood
  • Freudenberger, D. (2012). Practical challenges in monitoring and adapting restoration strategies and actions. In D. Lindenmayer and G. Gibbons (eds), Biodiversity Monitoring in Australia,  pp. 121-126. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.