60 seconds with ... Sebastian Pfautsch

Sebastian Pfautsch
Sebastian Pfautsch is a lecturer from the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment (HIE). Sebastian's research, along with the rest of his colleagues at HIE, is world-class.

In the recent Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report, the HIE received five ERA 5 ratings in the disciplines that it contributes research in. An ERA 5 ranking means "well above world standard" and is the highest ranking possible.

Sebastian's research examines environmental impacts on Australia's forests. These impacts include climate extremes such as droughts and heatwaves, but also how mining affects ecosystem functions.  

How long have you worked at the University and what's the best thing about working here?

I started working at Western in 2012. The best thing is being part of a great team of like-minded scientists, propelling my own aspirations.

Which campus are you based on?


What is your favourite place on one of the campuses?

My favourite place is my 'outdoor office' at the Hawkesbury Forest Experiment where I have access to an incredible amount of resources for my research.

When you're not at work, where will we find you?

Somewhere between the NSW Art Gallery (musing), Iron Cove Bay (running) and my favourite Japanese restaurant, Tokyo Syokudo.

What did you want to be when you grew up?

A wildlife documentary filmmaker.

What was your first job?

Working in a factory that made paints – really smelly job!

What has been your greatest success?

I hope that is still to come… but both my promotion at Western and being invited to the editorial board of a renowned international scientific journal were great commendations for my work.

If you could go to just one country in the world for a vacation, which country would it be and why?

Bhutan. It is the only country in the world where all forests are protected by decree of their king. I'd love to meet this man.

What is your favourite book, movie and/or album?

Book: Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. Movie: most Coen brothers' movies. Music: Big Calm by Morcheeba.

If you could invite anyone to dinner who would it be and why?

Dinner with Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. I am a big 007 fan…