Doctor Rachael Nolan

I’m fascinated by the role of disturbances in ecosystems, in particular the effects of fire on the landscape. I have two main areas of research. The first is focused on understanding how ecosystems respond to disturbance, and what this means for ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, habitat values and water resources. The second research area I focus on is developing models of forest flammability due to dynamics in fuel loads and fuel moisture content.

I enjoy being out in the bush, so much of my research involves fieldwork. I also do some remote sensing and modelling.

I currently work with Assoc. Prof Matthias Boer in the NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub, which is a collaboration between four universities working closely with the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, the NSW Rural Fire Service and NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

For more information, visit: rachaelnolan.com (opens in a new window)

Areas of research/teaching expertise

Fire ecology, plant ecology, plant ecophysiology, ecohydrology

Grants

Quantifying forest mortality after unprecedented drought and bushfires in Eastern Australia – Hermon Slade Foundation. 2020-2023. (Nolan, Collins, Choat, Medlyn, Griebel, Boer).

Forecasting live fuel moisture content, the on/off switch for forest fire - Australian Research Council Linkage grant, with industry partners NSW Rural Fire Service, NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and ACT Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate. 2020-2023. (Nolan, Yebra, Boer, van Dijk, Choat, Medlyn, Resco de Dios, Renzullo)

When does fire kill trees? - Western Sydney University Early Career Researcher Fellowship. 2019.

Novel methods for monitoring carbon storage in forests and woodlands – Innovations Connections grant. 2018. (Ramp, Nolan).

Selected publications

Bradstock RA, Nolan RH, Collins L, Resco de Dios V, Clarke H, Jenkins M, Kenny B, Boer MM, (2020) 'A broader perspective on the causes and consequences of eastern Australia's 2019-20 season of mega-fires: A response to Adams et al.', Global Change Biology, vol.26, no.7, pp E8-E9

Kattge J, Bonisch G, Diaz S, Lavorel S, Prentice IC, Leadley P, Tautenhahn S, Werner GDA, Aakala T, Abedi M, Acosta ATR, Adamidis GC, Adamson K, Aiba M, Albert CH, Alcantara JM, Alcazar CC, Aleixo I, Ali H, Amiaud B, Ammer C, Amoroso MM, Anand M, Anderson C, Anten N, Antos J, Apgaua DMG, Ashman TL, Asmara DH, Asner GP, Aspinwall M, Atkin O, Aubin I, Baastrup-Spohr L, Bahalkeh K, Bahn M, Baker T, Baker WJ, Bakker JP, Baldocchi D, Baltzer J, Banerjee A, Baranger A, Barlow J, Barneche DR, Baruch Z, Bastianelli D, Battles J, Bauerle W, Bauters M, Bazzato E, Beckmann M, Beeckman H, Beierkuhnlein C, Bekker R, Belfry G, Belluau M, Beloiu M, Benavides R, Benomar L, Berdugo-Lattke ML, Berenguer E, Bergamin R, Bergmann J, Carlucci MB, Berner L, Bernhardt-Romermann M, Bigler C, Bjorkman AD, Blackman C, Blanco C, Blonder B, Blumenthal D, Bocanegra-Gonzalez KT, Boeckx P, Bohlman S, Bohning-Gaese K, Boisvert-Marsh L, Bond W, Bond-Lamberty B, Boom A, Boonman CCF, Bordin K, Boughton EH, Boukili V, Bowman DMJS, Bravo S, Brendel MR, Broadley MR, Brown KA, Bruelheide H, Brumnich F, Bruun HH, Bruy D, Buchanan SW, Bucher SF, Buchmann N, Buitenwerf R, Bunker DE, Burger J, Burrascano S, Burslem DFRP, Butterfield BJ, Byun C, Marques M, Scalon MC, Caccianiga M, Cadotte M, Cailleret M, Camac J, Camarero JJ, Campany C, Campetella G, Campos JA, Cano-Arboleda L, Canullo R, Carbognani M, Carvalho F, Casanoves F, Castagneyrol B, Catford JA, Cavender-Bares J, Cerabolini BEL, Cervellini M, Chacon-Madrigal E, Chapin K, Chapin FS, Chelli S, Chen SC, Chen AP, Cherubini P, Chianucci F, Choat B, Chung KS, Chytry M, Ciccarelli D, Coll L, Collins CG, Conti L, Coomes D, Cornelissen JHC, Cornwell WK, Corona P, Coyea M, Craine J, Craven D, Cromsigt JPGM, Csecserits A, Cufar K, Cuntz M, da Silva AC, Dahlin KM, Dainese M, Dalke I, Dalle Fratte M, Anh TDL, Danihelka J, Dannoura M, Dawson S, de Beer AJ, De Frutos A, De Long JR, Dechant B, Delagrange S, Delpierre N, Derroire G, Dias AS, Diaz-Toribio MH, Dimitrakopoulos PG, Dobrowolski M, Doktor D, Drevojan P, Dong N, Dransfield J, Dressler S, Duarte L, Ducouret E, Dullinger S, Durka W, Duursma R, Dymova O, E-Vojtko A, Eckstein RL, Ejtehadi H, Elser J, Emilio T, Engemann K, Erfanian MB, Erfmeier A, Esquivel-Muelbert A, Esser G, Estiarte M, Domingues TF, Fagan WF, Fagundez J, Falster DS, Fan Y, Fang JY, Farris E, Fazlioglu F, Feng YH, Fernandez-Mendez F, Ferrara C, Ferreira J, Fidelis A, Finegan B, Firn J, Flowers TJ, Flynn DFB, Fontana V, Forey E, Forgiarini C, Francois L, Frangipani M, Frank D, Frenette-Dussault C, Freschet GT, Fry EL, Fyllas NM, Mazzochini GG, Gachet S, Gallagher R, Ganade G, Ganga F, Garcia-Palacios P, Gargaglione V, Garnier E, Garrido JL, de Gasper AL, Gea-Izquierdo G, Gibson D, Gillison AN, Giroldo A, Glasenhardt MC, Gleason S, Gliesch M, Goldberg E, Goldel B, Gonzalez-Akre E, Gonzalez-Andujar JL, Gonzalez-Melo A, Gonzalez-Robles A, Graae BJ, Granda E, Graves S, Green WA, Gregor T, Gross N, Guerin GR, Gunther A, Gutierrez AG, Haddock L, Haines A, Hall J, Hambuckers A, Han WX, Harrison SP, Hattingh W, Hawes JE, He TH, He PC, Heberling JM, Helm A, Hempel S, Hentschel J, Herault B, Heres AM, Herz K, Heuertz M, Hickler T, Hietz P, Higuchi P, Hipp AL, Hirons A, Hock M, Hogan JA, Holl K, Honnay O, Hornstein D, Hou EQ, Hough-Snee N, Hovstad KA, Ichie T, Igic B, Illa E, Isaac M, Ishihara M, Ivanov L, Ivanova L, Iversen CM, Izquierdo J, Jackson RB, Jackson B, Jactel H, Jagodzinski AM, Jandt U, Jansen S, Jenkins T, Jentsch A, Jespersen JRP, Jiang GF, Johansen JL, Johnson D, Jokela EJ, Joly CA, Jordan GJ, Joseph GS, Junaedi D, Junker RR, Justes E, Kabzems R, Kane J, Kaplan Z, Kattenborn T, Kavelenova L, Kearsley E, Kempel A, Kenzo T, Kerkhoff A, Khalil MI, Kinlock NL, Kissling WD, Kitajima K, Kitzberger T, Kjoller R, Klein T, Kleyer M, Klimesova J, Klipel J, Kloeppel B, Klotz S, Knops JMH, Kohyama T, Koike F, Kollmann J, Komac B, Komatsu K, Konig C, Kraft NJB, Kramer K, Kreft H, Kuhn I, Kumarathunge D, Kuppler J, Kurokawa H, Kurosawa Y, Kuyah S, Laclau JP, Lafleur B, Lallai E, Lamb E, Lamprecht A, Larkin DJ, Laughlin D, Le Bagousse-Pinguet Y, le Maire G, le Roux PC, le Roux E, Lee T, Lens F, Lewis SL, Lhotsky B, Li YZ, Li XE, Lichstein JW, Liebergesell M, Lim JY, Lin YS, Linares JC, Liu CJ, Liu DJ, Liu U, Livingstone S, Llusia J, Lohbeck M, Lopez-Garcia A, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Lososova Z, Louault F, Lukacs BA, Lukes P, Luo YJ, Lussu M, Ma SY, Pereira CMR, Mack M, Maire V, Makela A, Makinen H, Malhado ACM, Mallik A, Manning P, Manzoni S, Marchetti Z, Marchino L, Marcilio-Silva V, Marcon E, Marignani M, Markesteijn L, Martin A, Martinez-Garza C, Martinez-Vilalta J, Maskova T, Mason K, Mason N, Massad TJ, Masse J, Mayrose I, McCarthy J, McCormack ML, McCulloh K, McFadden IR, McGill BJ, McPartland MY, Medeiros JS, Medlyn B, Meerts P, Mehrabi Z, Meir P, Melo FPL, Mencuccini M, Meredieu C, Messier J, Meszaros I, Metsaranta J, Michaletz ST, Michelaki C, Migalina S, Milla R, Miller JED, Minden V, Ming R, Mokany K, Moles AT, Molnar VA, Molofsky J, Molz M, Montgomery RA, Monty A, Moravcova L, Moreno-Martinez A, Moretti M, Mori AS, Mori S, Morris D, Morrison J, Mucina L, Mueller S, Muir CD, Muller SC, Munoz F, Myers-Smith IH, Myster RW, Nagano M, Naidu S, Narayanan A, Natesan B, Negoita L, Nelson AS, Neuschulz EL, Ni J, Niedrist G, Nieto J, Niinemets U, Nolan R, Nottebrock H, Nouvellon Y, Novakovskiy A, Nystuen KO, O'Grady A, O'Hara K, O'Reilly-Nugent A, Oakley S, Oberhuber W, Ohtsuka T, Oliveira R, Ollerer K, Olson ME, Onipchenko V, Onoda Y, Onstein RE, Ordonez JC, Osada N, Ostonen I, Ottaviani G, Otto S, Overbeck GE, Ozinga WA, Pahl AT, Paine CET, Pakeman RJ, Papageorgiou AC, Parfionova E, Partel M, Patacca M, Paula S, Paule J, Pauli H, Pausas JG, Peco B, Penuelas J, Perea A, Peri PL, Petisco-Souza AC, Petraglia A, Petritan AM, Phillips OL, Pierce S, Pillar VD, Pisek J, Pomogaybin A, Poorter H, Portsmuth A, Poschlod P, Potvin C, Pounds D, Powell AS, Power SA, Prinzing A, Puglielli G, Pysek P, Raevel V, Rammig A, Ransijn J, Ray CA, Reich PB, Reichstein M, Reid DEB, Rejou-Mechain M, de Dios VR, Ribeiro S, Richardson S, Riibak K, Rillig MC, Riviera F, Robert EMR, Roberts S, Robroek B, Roddy A, Rodrigues AV, Rogers A, Rollinson E, Rolo V, Romermann C, Ronzhina D, Roscher C, Rosell JA, Rosenfield MF, Rossi C, Roy DB, Royer-Tardif S, Ruger N, Ruiz-Peinado R, Rumpf SB, Rusch GM, Ryo M, Sack L, Saldana A, Salgado-Negret B, Salguero-Gomez R, Santa-Regina I, Santacruz-Garcia AC, Santos J, Sardans J, Schamp B, Scherer-Lorenzen M, Schleuning M, Schmid B, Schmidt M, Schmitt S, Schneider JV, Schowanek SD, Schrader J, Schrodt F, Schuldt B, Schurr F, Garvizu GS, Semchenko M, Seymour C, Sfair JC, Sharpe JM, Sheppard CS, Sheremetiev S, Shiodera S, Shipley B, Shovon TA, Siebenkas A, Sierra C, Silva V, Silva M, Sitzia T, Sjoman H, Slot M, Smith NG, Sodhi D, Soltis P, Soltis D, Somers B, Sonnier G, Sorensen MV, Sosinski EE, Soudzilovskaia NA, Souza AF, Spasojevic M, Sperandii MG, Stan AB, Stegen J, Steinbauer K, Stephan JG, Sterck F, Stojanovic DB, Strydom T, Suarez ML, Svenning JC, Svitkova I, Svitok M, Svoboda M, Swaine E, Swenson N, Tabarelli M, Takagi K, Tappeiner U, Tarifa R, Tauugourdeau S, Tavsanoglu C, te Beest M, Tedersoo L, Thiffault N, Thom D, Thomas E, Thompson K, Thornton PE, Thuiller W, Tichy L, Tissue D, Tjoelker MG, Tng DYP, Tobias J, Torok P, Tarin T, Torres-Ruiz JM, Tothmeresz B, Treurnicht M, Trivellone V, Trolliet F, Trotsiuk V, Tsakalos JL, Tsiripidis I, Tysklind N, Umehara T, Usoltsev V, Vadeboncoeur M, Vaezi J, Valladares F, Vamosi J, van Bodegom PM, van Breugel M, Van Cleemput E, van de Weg M, van der Merwe S, van der Plas F, van der Sande MT, van Kleunen M, Van Meerbeek K, Vanderwel M, Vanselow KA, Varhammar A, Varone L, Valderrama MY, Vassilev K, Vellend M, Veneklaas EJ, Verbeeck H, Verheyen K, Vibrans A, Vieira I, Villacis J, Violle C, Vivek P, Wagner K, Waldram M, Waldron A, Walker AP, Waller M, Walther G, Wang H, Wang F, Wang WQ, Watkins H, Watkins J, Weber U, Weedon JT, Wei LP, Weigelt P, Weiher E, Wells AW, Wellstein C, Wenk E, Westoby M, Westwood A, White PJ, Whitten M, Williams M, Winkler DE, Winter K, Womack C, Wright IJ, Wright SJ, Wright J, Pinho BX, Ximenes F, Yamada T, Yamaji K, Yanai R, Yankov N, Yguel B, Zanini KJ, Zanne AE, Zeleny D, Zhao YP, Zheng JM, Zheng J, Zieminska K, Zirbel CR, Zizka G, Zo-Bi IC, Zotz G, Wirth C, (2020) 'TRY plant trait database - enhanced coverage and open access', Global Change Biology, vol.26, no.1, pp 119-188

Nolan RH, Blackman CJ, de Dios VR, Choat B, Medlyn BE, Li XM, Bradstock RA, Boer MM, (2020) 'Linking Forest Flammability and Plant Vulnerability to Drought', Forests, vol.11, no.7, Article no.779

Nolan RH, Boer MM, Collins L, de Dios VR, Clarke H, Jenkins M, Kenny B, Bradstock RA, (2020) 'Causes and consequences of eastern Australia's 2019–20 season of mega‐fires', Global Change Biology, vol.26, no.3, pp 1039-1041

Tarin T, Nolan RH, Eamus D, Cleverly J, (2020) 'Carbon and water fluxes in two adjacent Australian semi-arid ecosystems', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.281, Article no.UNSP 107853

Geng QL, Ren QF, Nolan RH, Wu PT, Yu Q, (2019) 'Assessing China's agricultural water use efficiency in a green-blue water perspective: A study based on data envelopment analysis', Ecological Indicators, vol.96, pp 329-335, Part 1

Nolan RH, Sinclair J, Waters CM, Mitchell PJ, Eldridge DJ, Paul KI, Roxburgh S, Butler DW, Ramp D, (2019) 'Risks to carbon dynamics in semi-arid woodlands of eastern Australia under current and future climates', Journal of Environmental Management, vol.235, pp 500-510

Santini NS, Adame MF, Nolan RH, Miquelajauregui Y, Pinero D, Mastretta-Yanes A, Cuervo-Robayo AP, Eamus D, (2019) 'Storage of organic carbon in the soils of Mexican temperate forests', Forest Ecology and Management, vol.446, pp 115-125

Yebra M, Scortechini G, Badi A, Beget ME, Boer MM, Bradstock R, Chuvieco E, Danson FM, Dennison P, Resco de Dios V, Di Bella CM, Forsyth G, Frost P, Garcia M, Hamdi A, He B, Jolly M, Kraaij T, Martin MP, Mouillot F, Newnham G, Nolan RH, Pellizzaro G, Qi Y, Quan X, Riano D, Roberts D, Sow M, Ustin S, (2019) 'Globe-LFMC, a global plant water status database for vegetation ecophysiology and wildfire applications', Scientific data, vol.6, no.1, p 155

Zhu QGZ, Yang XH, Yu BF, Tulau M, McInnes-Clarke S, Nolan RH, Du ZY, Yu Q, (2019) 'Estimation of event-based rainfall erosivity from radar after wildfire', Land Degradation & Development, vol.30, no.1, pp 33-48

Nolan RH, Drew DM, O'Grady AP, Pinkard EA, Paul K, Roxburgh SH, Mitchell PJ, Bruce J, Battaglia M, Ramp D, (2018) 'Safeguarding reforestation efforts against changes in climate and disturbance regimes', Forest Ecology and Management, vol.424, pp 458-467

Nolan RH, Hedo J, Arteaga C, Sugai T, de Dios VR, (2018) 'Physiological drought responses improve predictions of live fuel moisture dynamics in a Mediterranean forest', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.263, pp 417-427

Nolan RH, Sinclair J, Eldridge DJ, Ramp D, (2018) 'Biophysical risks to carbon sequestration and storage in Australian drylands', Journal of Environmental Management, vol.208, pp 102-111

Nolan RH, Tarin T, Rumman R, Cleverly J, Fairweather KA, Zolfaghar S, Santini NS, O'Grady AP, Eamus D, (2018) 'Contrasting ecophysiology of two widespread arid zone tree species', Journal of Arid Environments, vol.153, pp 1-10

Nolan RH, Vesk PA, Robinson D, (2018) 'Recovery potential of microwetlands from agricultural land uses', Ecological Management & Restoration, vol.19, pp 81-84

Rumman R, Cleverly J, Nolan RH, Tarin T, Eamus D, (2018) 'Speculations on the application of foliar( 13)C discrimination to reveal groundwater dependency of vegetation and provide estimates of root depth and rates of groundwater use', Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, vol.22, no.9, pp 4875-4889

Santini NS, Cleverly J, Faux R, McBean K, Nolan RH, Eamus D, (2018) 'Root xylem characteristics and hydraulic strategies of species co-occurring in semi-arid Australia', IAWA Journal, vol.39, no.1, pp 43-62

Nolan RH, Tarin T, Santini NS, McAdam SAM, Ruman R, Eamus D, (2017) 'Differences in osmotic adjustment, foliar abscisic acid dynamics, and stomatal regulation between an isohydric and anisohydric woody angiosperm during drought', Plant Cell and Environment, vol.40, pp 3122-3134

Boer MM, Nolan RH, De Dios VR, Clarke H, Price OF, Bradstock RA, (2017) 'Changing Weather Extremes Call for Early Warning of Potential for Catastrophic Fire', Earths Future, vol.5, pp 1196-1202

Nolan RH, Tarin T, Fairweather KA, Cleverly J, Eamus D, (2017) 'Variation in photosynthetic traits related to access to water in semiarid Australian woody species', Functional Plant Biology, vol.44, pp 1087-1097

Nolan RH, Fairweather KA, Tarin T, Santini NS, Cleverly J, Faux R, Eamus D, (2017) 'Divergence in plant water-use strategies in semiarid woody species', Functional Plant Biology, vol.44, pp 1134-1146

Benyon RG, Nolan RH, Hawthorn SND, Lane PNJ, (2017) 'Stand-level variation in evapotranspiration in non-water-limited eucalypt forests', Journal of Hydrology, vol.551, pp 233-244

Tong XJ, Li J, Nolan RH, Yu Q, (2017) 'Biophysical controls of soil respiration in a wheat-maize rotation system in the North China Plain', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.246, pp 231-240

Nolan RH, de Dios VR, Boer MM, Caccamo G, Goulden ML, Bradstock RA, (2016) 'Predicting dead fine fuel moisture at regional scales using vapour pressure deficit from MODIS and gridded weather data', Remote Sensing of Environment, vol.174, pp 100-108

Nolan RH, Boer MM, Resco de Dios V, Caccamo G, Bradstock RA, (2016) 'Large-scale, dynamic transformations in fuel moisture drive wildfire activity across southeastern Australia', Geophysical Research Letters, vol.43, pp 4229-4238

Eamus D, Huete A, Cleverly J, Nolan RH, Ma XL, Tarin T, Santini NS, (2016) 'Mulga, a major tropical dry open forest of Australia: recent insights to carbon and water fluxes', Environmental Research Letters, vol.11, p 18

Resco de Dios V, Fellows AW, Nolan RH, Boer MM, Bradstock RA, Domingo F, Goulden ML, (2015) 'A semi-mechanistic model for predicting the moisture content of fine litter', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol.203, pp 64-73

Nolan RH, Lane PNJ, Benyon RG, Bradstock RA, Mitchell PJ, (2015) 'Trends in evapotranspiration and streamflow following wildfire in resprouting eucalypt forests', Journal of Hydrology, vol.524, pp 614-624

Nolan RH, Mitchell PJ, Bradstock RA, Lane PNJ, (2014) 'Structural adjustments in resprouting trees drive differences in post-fire transpiration', Tree Physiology, vol.34, pp 123-136

Nolan RH, Lane PNJ, Benyon RG, Bradstock RA, Mitchell PJ, (2014) 'Changes in evapotranspiration following wildfire in resprouting eucalypt forests', Ecohydrology, vol.7, pp 1363-1377

Vesk PA, Nolan R, Thomson JR, Dorrough JW, Mac Nally R, (2008) 'Time lags in provision of habitat resources through revegetation', Biological Conservation, vol.141, pp 174-186