Research that secures the future: Environment
As experts in sustainable development, we enable industry to deliver maximum economic value to our community, whilst simultaneously safeguarding the environment.
Inspired by our namesake, research centres at the Harry Butler Institute collaborate across academia, public sector, and industry on projects with impacts ranging from local to global.
Key stakeholders and end users of our research include industry partners from the energy, water, mining, health, land development, food and tourism sectors; the State Government of Western Australia, the Federal Government and the community sector.
Our research centres
The Harry Butler Institute is turning research into real-life impact via our multidisciplinary, tech-focussed research centres. Explore our research centres below.
New state-of-the-art facility
The Harry Butler Institute is located at Murdoch University’s Perth campus, where we are developing a world-first research and education facility in Western Australia. The Harry Butler Science Centre will be a proactive innovation hub where community, industry and academia collaborate to provide scientific solutions, achieving the coexistence of human development and biodiversity. We are inviting industry partners to help us realise our vision for the Science Centre. Contact us to express your interest or learn more about this exciting opportunity.
Excellence in research: Our people
Professor Simon McKirdy
Pro Vice Chancellor Harry Butler Institute and Professor in Biosecurity at Murdoch University
Professor Simon McKirdy has extensive experience covering corporate leadership, research management, policy development and the management of biosecurity operations within the government and private sectors.
He has international expertise in biosecurity and, in particular, plant biosecurity. He completed his PhD in Plant Pathology at the University of Western Australia.
His career has included the roles of Quarantine Plant Pathologist for the State and Commonwealth governments; Program Manager at Plant Health Australia; eight years as CEO of the Australian Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre; and Biosecurity Science and Risk Manager at Chevron Australia.
He is Chairperson of the Western Australian Biosecurity Council that provides advice to the Western Australian government through the Minister for Agriculture.
The Hon Ian Campbell
Chairman of the Harry Butler Institute Board
Former Federal Minister for the Environment Ian Campbell was a Senator in the Australian Parliament in a range of portfolios in the Howard government from 1996 to 2007. As Minister for the Environment with responsibility for climate change, he represented Australia at all global climate change negotiations from 2004 to 2007.
He re-ignited global opposition to whaling and oversaw an historic expansion of Australia's Marine Protected areas including the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. He initiated the construction of Australia's first runway in Antarctica to enable easier access for scientists. He led a substantial expansion in support for solar panels on homes, schools and cities; and ensured Australia was the first nation to ban incandescent light bulbs.
As Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 1996 to 2004, he was a member of the Budget Committee of Cabinet from 2004 to 2007 and responsible for a number of key reforms in the Australian economy.