Doctor Rachael Nolan

Doctor Rachael Nolan

Senior Research Support Program Fellow - Bushfire Research: Environmental and Social Impacts,
Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment


Dr Rachael Nolan works at the intersection of plant ecophysiology, fire ecology and forest fire management. Her research bridges science, policy and management, aiming to provide an early warning of the risk of bushfires, and to predict their impacts on ecosystems under a changing climate.Dr Nolan holds a Research Support Program Fellowship in Bushfire Research at Western Sydney University. She is a node leader of the NSW Bushfire and Natural Hazards Research Centre, and was a lead researcher in its predecessor, the NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub. Along with her colleagues at the Bushfire Hub, Dr Nolan was awarded the prestigious Eureka Prize for Applied Environmental Research in 2021. She sits on the Science and Management Effectiveness Advisory Committee for Parks Victoria, and is an Associate Editor at the Australian Journal of Botany.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Nolan.


  • PhD University of Melbourne
  • BEnvSc Monash University

Organisational Unit (School / Division)

  • Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment


Location: M14.G.05

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Previous Teaching Areas

  • EART2001 Climate Change Science, 2023
  • ENVL2007 Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 2021
  • ENVL2008 Australian Ecosystems: Threats and Solutions, 2023


Chapters in Books

  • Gallagher, R., Barrett, S., Bell, S., Copeland, L., Dillon, R., Gosper, C., Keith, D., Le Breton, T., Mackenzie, B., Messina, A., Neldner, V., Ngugi, M., Nolan, R., Ooi, M., Tasker, E., Tozer, M., Walsh, N., Yates, C. and Auld, T. (2023), 'Blackened roots and green shoots : emerging trends in decline and recovery in Australian plant species after the 2019-20 wildfires', Australia's Megafires: Biodiversity Impacts and Lessons from 2019-2020, CSIRO Publishing 9781486316649.
  • Penman, T., Clarke, H., Gibson, R., Collins, L. and Nolan, R. (2023), 'The 2019-20 Australian wildfires : precursors, characteristics and implications for the future', Australia's Megafires: Biodiversity Impacts and Lessons from 2019-2020, CSIRO Publishing 9781486316649.

Journal Articles

  • Cunningham, C., Williamson, G., Nolan, R., Teckentrup, L., Boer, M. and Bowman, D. (2024), 'Pyrogeography in flux : reorganization of Australian fire regimes in a hotter world', Global Change Biology, vol 30, no 1 .
  • Khanal, S., Nolan, R., Medlyn, B. and Boer, M. (2024), 'Disentangling contributions of allometry, species composition and structure to high aboveground biomass density of high-elevation forests', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 554 .
  • Lane, P., Benyon, R., Nolan, R., Keenan, R. and Zhang, L. (2023), 'Forests, fire and vegetation change impacts on Murray-Darling basin water resources', Australian Journal of Water Resources, vol 27, no 1 , pp 68 - 84.
  • Hislop, S., Stone, C., Gibson, R., Roff, A., Choat, B., Nolan, R., Nguyen, T. and Carnegie, A. (2023), 'Using dense Sentinel-2 time series to explore combined fire and drought impacts in eucalypt forests', Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, vol 6 .
  • Griebel, A., Boer, M., Blackman, C., Choat, B., Ellsworth, D., Madden, P., Medlyn, B., Resco De Dios, V., Wujeska-Klause, A., Yebra, M., Younes Cardenas, N. and Nolan, R. (2023), 'Specific leaf area and vapour pressure deficit control live fuel moisture content', Functional Ecology, vol 37, no 3 , pp 719 - 731.
  • Collins, L., Day-Smith, M., Gordon, C. and Nolan, R. (2023), 'Exposure to canopy fire reduces the biomass and stability of carbon stored in fire tolerant eucalypt forests', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 528 .
  • Dickman, L., Jonko, A., Linn, R., Altintas, I., Atchley, A., Bar, A., Collins, A., Dupuy, J., Gallagher, M., Hiers, J., Hoffman, C., Hood, S., Hurteau, M., Jolly, W., Josephson, A., Loudermilk, E., Ma, W., Michaletz, S., Nolan, R., O'Brien, J., Parsons, R., Partelli-Feltrin, R., Pimont, F., Resco de Dios, V., Restaino, J., Robbins, Z., Sartor, K., Schultz-Fellenz, E., Serbin, S., Sevanto, S., Shuman, J., Sieg, C., Skowronski, N., Weise, D., Wright, M., Xu, C., Yebra, M. and Younes, N. (2023), 'Integrating plant physiology into simulation of fire behavior and effects', New Phytologist, vol 238, no 3 , pp 952 - 970.
  • Westerband, A., Wright, I., Maire, V., Paillassa, J., Prentice, I., Atkin, O., Bloomfield, K., Cernusak, L., Dong, N., Gleason, S., Guilherme Pereira, C., Lambers, H., Leishman, M., Malhi, Y. and Nolan, R. (2023), 'Coordination of photosynthetic traits across soil and climate gradients', Global Change Biology, vol 29, no 3 , pp 856 - 873.
  • Collins, L., Trouve, R., Baker, P., Cirulus, B., Nitschke, C., Nolan, R., Smith, L. and Penman, T. (2023), 'Fuel reduction burning reduces wildfire severity during extreme fire events in south-eastern Australia', Journal of Environmental Management, vol 343 .
  • Khanal, S., Nolan, R., Medlyn, B. and Boer, M. (2023), 'Mapping soil organic carbon stocks in Nepal's forests', Scientific Reports, vol 13, no 1 .
  • Le Breton, T., Lyons, M., Nolan, R., Penman, T., Williamson, G. and Ooi, M. (2023), 'Megafire-induced interval squeeze threatens vegetation at landscape scales', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol 20, no 5 , pp 327 - 334.
  • Griebel, A., Metzen, D., Pendall, E., Nolan, R., Clarke, H., Renchon, A. and Boer, M. (2022), 'Recovery from severe mistletoe infection after heat- and drought-induced mistletoe death', Ecosystems, vol 25, no 1 , pp 1 - 16.
  • Griebel, A., Peters, J., Metzen, D., Maier, C., Barton, C., Speckman, H., Boer, M., Nolan, R., Choat, B. and Pendall, E. (2022), 'Tapping into the physiological responses to mistletoe infection during heat and drought stress', Tree Physiology, vol 42, no 3 , pp 523 - 536.
  • Wang, B., Spessa, A., Feng, P., Hou, X., Yue, C., Luo, J., Ciais, P., Waters, C., Cowie, A., Nolan, R., Nikonovas, T., Jin, H., Walshaw, H., Wei, J., Guo, X., Liu, D. and Yu, Q. (2022), 'Extreme fire weather is the major driver of severe bushfires in southeast Australia', Science Bulletin, vol 67, no 6 , pp 655 - 664.
  • Gallagher, R., Allen, S., Mackenzie, B., Keith, D., Nolan, R., Rumpff, L., Gosper, C., Pegg, G., Van Leeuwen, S., Ooi, M., Yates, C., Merow, C., Williams, R., Nikolopoulos, E., Beaumont, L. and Auld, T. (2022), 'An integrated approach to assessing abiotic and biotic threats to post-fire plant species recovery : lessons from the 2019-2020 Australian fire season', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol 31, no 10 , pp 2056 - 2069.
  • Linley, G., Jolly, C., Doherty, T., Geary, W., Armenteras, D., Belcher, C., Bliege Bird, R., Duane, A., Fletcher, M., Giorgis, M., Haslem, A., Jones, G., Kelly, L., Lee, C., Nolan, R., Parr, C., Pausas, J., Price, J., Regos, A., Ritchie, E., Ruffault, J., Williamson, G., Wu, Q. and Nimmo, D. (2022), 'What do you mean, 'megafire'?', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol 31, no 10 , pp 1906 - 1922.
  • Nolan, R., Foster, B., Griebel, A., Choat, B., Medlyn, B., Yebra, M., Younes, N. and Boer, M. (2022), 'Drought-related leaf functional traits control spatial and temporal dynamics of live fuel moisture content', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol 319 .
  • Nolan, R., Collins, L., Gibson, R., Samson, S., Rolls, K., Milner, K., Medlyn, B., Price, O., Griebel, A., Choat, B., Jiang, M. and Boer, M. (2022), 'The carbon cost of the 2019-20 Australian fires varies with fire severity and forest type', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol 31, no 10 , pp 2131 - 2146.
  • Nolan, R., Anderson, L., Poulter, B. and Varner, J. (2022), 'Increasing threat of wildfires : the year 2020 in perspective : a Global Ecology and Biogeography special issue', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol 31, no 10 , pp 1898 - 1905.
  • Nolan, R., Price, O., Samson, S., Jenkins, M., Rahmani, S. and Boer, M. (2022), 'Framework for assessing live fine fuel loads and biomass consumption during fire', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 504 .
  • Price, O., Nolan, R. and Samson, S. (2022), 'Fuel consumption rates in resprouting eucalypt forest during hazard reduction burns, cultural burns and wildfires', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 505 .
  • Collins, L., Clarke, H., Clarke, M., McColl Gausden, S., Nolan, R., Penman, T. and Bradstock, R. (2022), 'Warmer and drier conditions have increased the potential for large and severe fire seasons across south-eastern Australia', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol 31, no 10 , pp 1933 - 1948.
  • Balaguer-Romano, R., Diaz-Sierra, R., De Caceres, M., Cunill-Camprubi, A., Nolan, R., Boer, M., Voltas, J. and Resco de Dios, V. (2022), 'A semi-mechanistic model for predicting daily variations in species-level live fuel moisture content', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol 323 .
  • Gibson, R., White, L., Hislop, S., Nolan, R. and Dorrough, J. (2022), 'The post-fire stability index : a new approach to monitoring post-fire recovery by satellite imagery', Remote Sensing of Environment, vol 280 .
  • Losso, A., Challis, A., Gauthey, A., Nolan, R., Hislop, S., Roff, A., Boer, M., Jiang, M., Medlyn, B. and Choat, B. (2022), 'Canopy dieback and recovery in Australian native forests following extreme drought', Scientific Reports, vol 12, no 1 .
  • Clarke, H., Nolan, R., Resco De Dios, V., Bradstock, R., Griebel, A., Khanal, S. and Boer, M. (2022), 'Forest fire threatens global carbon sinks and population centres under rising atmospheric water demand', Nature Communications, vol 13, no 1 .
  • Abram, N., Henley, B., Gupta, A., Lippmann, T., Clarke, H., Dowdy, A., Sharples, J., Nolan, R., Zhang, T., Wooster, M., Wurtzel, J., Meissner, K., Pitman, A., Ukkola, A., Murphy, B., Tapper, N. and Boer, M. (2021), 'Connections of climate change and variability to large and extreme forest fires in southeast Australia', Communications Earth and Environment, vol 2 .
  • Nolan, R., Gauthey, A., Losso, A., Medlyn, B., Smith, R., Chhajed, S., Fuller, K., Song, M., Li, X., Beaumont, L., Boer, M., Wright, I., Wright, I. and Choat, B. (2021), 'Hydraulic failure and tree size linked with canopy die-back in eucalypt forest during extreme drought', New Phytologist, vol 230, no 4 , pp 1354 - 1365.
  • Poyatos, R., Granda, V., Flo, V., Adams, M., Adorjan, B., Aguade, D., Aidar, M., Allen, S., Alvarado-Barrientos, M., Anderson-Teixeira, K., Aparecido, L., Altaf Arain, M., Aranda, I., Asbjornsen, H., Baxter, R., Beamesderfer, E., Berry, Z., Berveiller, D., Blakely, B., Boggs, J., Bohrer, G., Bolstad, P., Bonal, D., Bracho, R., Brito, P., Brodeur, J., Casanoves, F., Chave, J., Chen, H., Cisneros, C., Clark, K., Cremonese, E., Dang, H., David, J., David, T., Delpierre, N., Desai, A., Do, F., Dohnal, M., Domec, J., Dzikiti, S., Edgar, C., Eichstaedt, R., El-Madany, T., Elbers, J., Eller, C., Euskirchen, E., Ewers, B., Fonti, P., Forner, A., Forrester, D., Freitas, H., Galvagno, M., Garcia-Tejera, O., Ghimire, C., Gimeno, T., Grace, J., Granier, A., Griebel, A., Guangyu, Y., Gush, M., Hanson, P., Hasselquist, N., Heinrich, I., Hernandez-Santana, V., Herrmann, V., Holtta, T., Holwerda, F., Irvine, J., Isarangkool Na Ayutthaya, S., Jarvis, P., Jochheim, H., Joly, C., Kaplick, J., Kim, H., Klemedtsson, L., Kropp, H., Lagergren, F., Lane, P., Lang, P., Lapenas, A., Lechuga, V., Lee, M., Leuschner, C., Limousin, J., Linares, J., Linderson, M., Lindroth, A., Llorens, P., Lopez-Bernal, A., Loranty, M., Luttschwager, D., Macinnis-Ng, C., Marechaux, I., Martin, T., Matheny, A., McDowell, N., McMahon, S., Meir, P., Meszaros, I., Migliavacca, M., Mitchell, P., Molder, M., Montagnani, L., Moore, G., Nakada, R., Niu, F., Nolan, R., Norby, R., Novick, K., Oberhuber, W., Obojes, N., Oishi, A., Oliveira, R., Oren, R., Ourcival, J., Paljakka, T., Perez-Priego, O., Peri, P., Peters, R., Pfautsch, S. and et al, .. (2021), 'Global transpiration data from sap flow measurements : the SAPFLUXNET database', Earth System Science Data, vol 13, no 6 , pp 2607 - 2649.
  • Nolan, R., Bowman, D., Clarke, H., Haynes, K., Ooi, M., Price, O., Williamson, G., Whittaker, J., Bedward, M., Boer, M., Cavanagh, V., Collins, L., Gibson, R., Griebel, A., Jenkins, M., Keith, D., Mcilwee, A., Penman, T., Samson, S., Tozer, M., Bradstock, R. and Bradstock, R. (2021), 'What do the Australian Black Summer fires signify for the global fire crisis?', Fire, vol 4, no 4 .
  • Nolan, R., Collins, L., Leigh, A., Ooi, M., Curran, T., Fairman, T., Resco de Dios, V. and Bradstock, R. (2021), 'Limits to post-fire vegetation recovery under climate change', Plant, Cell and Environment, vol 44, no 11 , pp 3471 - 3489.
  • Collins, L., Bradstock, R., Clarke, H., Clarke, M., Nolan, R. and Penman, T. (2021), 'The 2019/2020 mega-fires exposed Australian ecosystems to an unprecedented extent of high-severity fire', Environmental Research Letters, vol 16, no 4 .
  • Resco de Dios, V. and Nolan, R. (2021), 'Some challenges for forest fire risk predictions in the 21st century', Forests, vol 12 .
  • Martin, M., Alcaraz Sendra, O., Bastos, A., Bauer, N., Bertram, C., Blenckner, T., Bowen, K., Brando, P., Rudolph, T., Buchs, M., Bustamante, M., Chen, D., Cleugh, H., Dasgupta, P., Denton, F., Donges, J., Donkor, F., Duan, H., Duarte, C., Ebi, K., Edwards, C., Engel, A., Fisher, E., Fuss, S., Gaertner, J., Gettelman, A., Girardin, C., Golledge, N., Green, J., Grose, M., Hashizume, M., Hebden, S., Hepach, H., Hirota, M., Hsu, H., Kojima, S., Lele, S., Lorek, S., Lotze, H., Matthews, H., McCauley, D., Mebratu, D., Mengis, N., Nolan, R., Pihl, E., Rahmstorf, S., Redman, A., Reid, C., Rockstrom, R., Rogelj, J., Saunois, M., Sayer, L., Schlosser, P., Sioen, G., Spangenberg, J., Stammer, D., Sterner, T., Stevens, N., Thonicke, K., Tian, H., Winkelmann, R. and Woodcock, J. (2021), 'Ten new insights in climate science 2021 : a horizon scan', Global Sustainability, vol 4 .
  • Tarin, T., Nolan, R., Medlyn, B., Cleverly, J. and Eamus, D. (2020), 'Water-use efficiency in a semi-arid woodland with high rainfall variability', Global Change Biology, vol 26, no 2 , pp 496 - 508.
  • Tarin, T., Nolan, R., Eamus, D. and Cleverly, J. (2020), 'Carbon and water fluxes in two adjacent Australian semi-arid ecosystems', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol 281 .
  • Nolan, R., Blackman, C., Resco de Dios, V., Choat, B., Medlyn, B., Li, X., Bradstock, R. and Boer, M. (2020), 'Linking forest flammability and plant vulnerability to drought', Forests, vol 11, no 7 .
  • Nolan, R., Rahmani, S., Samson, S., Simpson-Southward, H., Boer, M. and Bradstock, R. (2020), 'Bark attributes determine variation in fire resistance in resprouting tree species', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 474 .
  • Santini, N., Villarruel-Arroyo, A., Adame, M., Lovelock, C., Nolan, R., Galvez-Reyes, N., Gonzalez, E., Olivares-Resendiz, B., Mastretta-Yanes, A. and Pinero, D. (2020), 'Organic carbon stocks of Mexican montane habitats : variation among vegetation types and land-use', Frontiers in Environmental Science, vol 8 .
  • Bradstock, R., Nolan, R., Collins, L., Resco de Dios, V., Clarke, H., Jenkins, M., Kenny, B. and Boer, M. (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 8 - 9.
  • Nolan, R., Boer, M., Collins, L., Resco de Dios, V., Clarke, H., Jenkins, M., Kenny, B. and Bradstock, R. (2020), 'Causes and consequences of eastern Australia's 2019-20 season of mega-fires', Global Change Biology, vol 26, no 3 , pp 1039 - 1041.
  • Resco de Dios, V., Anderegg, W., Li, X., Tissue, D., Bahn, M., Landais, D., Milcu, A., Yao, Y., Nolan, R., Roy, J. and Gessler, A. (2020), 'Circadian regulation does not optimize stomatal behaviour', Plants, vol 9, no 9 .
  • Kattge, J., Bonisch, G., Diaz, S., Lavorel, S., Prentice, I., Leadley, P., Tautenhahn, S., Werner, G., Aakala, T., Abedi, M., Acosta, A., Adamidis, G., Adamson, K., Aiba, M., Albert, C., Alcantara, J., Alcazar C, C., Aleixo, I., Ali, H., Amiaud, B., Ammer, C., Amoroso, M., Anand, M., Anderson, C., Anten, N., Antos, J., Apgaua, D., Ashman, T., Asmara, D., Asner, G., Aspinwall, M., Atkin, O., Aubin, I., Baastrup-Spohr, L., Bahalkeh, K., Bahn, M., Baker, T., Baker, W., Bakker, J., Baldocchi, D., Baltzer, J., Banerjee, A., Baranger, A., Barlow, J., Barneche, D., 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, M., Berenguer, E., Bergamin, R., Bergmann, J., Bergmann Carlucci, M., Berner, L., Bernhardt-Romermann, M., Bigler, C., Bjorkman, A., Blackman, C., Blanco, C., Blonder, B., Blumenthal, D., Bocanegra-Gonzalez, K., Boeckx, P., Bohlman, S., Bohning-Gaese, K., Boisvert-Marsh, L., Bond, W., Bond-Lamberty, B., Boom, A., Boonman, C., Bordin, K., Boughton, E., Boukili, V., Bowman, D., Bravo, S., Brendel, M., Broadley, M., Brown, K., Bruelheide, H., Brumnich, F., Bruun, H., Bruy, D., Buchanan, S., Bucher, S., Buchmann, N., Buitenwerf, R., Bunker, D., Burger, J., Burrascano, S., Burslem, D., Butterfield, B., Byun, C., Marques, M., Scalon, M., Caccianiga, M., Cadotte, M., Cailleret, M., Camac, J., Camarero, J., Campany, C., Campetella, G., Campos, J., Cano-Arboleda, L., Canullo, R., Carbognani, M., Carvalho, F., Casanoves, F., Castagneyrol, B., Catford, J., Cavender-Bares, J., Cerabolini, B., Cervellini, M., Chacon-Madrigal, E., Chapin, K., Chapin, F., Chelli, S., Chen, S., Chen, A., Cherubini, P., Chianucci, F., Choat, B., Chung, K., Chytry, M., Ciccarelli, D., Coll, L., Collins, C., Conti, L., Coomes, D., Cornelissen, J., Cornwell, W., Corona, P., Coyea, M., Craine, J., Craven, D., Cromsigt, J., Csecserits, A., Cufar, K., Cuntz, M., da Silva, A., Dahlin, K., Dainese, M., Dalke, I., Dalle Fratte, M., Dang-Le, A., Danihelka, J., Dannoura, M., Dawson, S., De Beer, A., De Frutos, A., De Long, J., Dechant, B., Delagrange, S., Delpierre, N., Derroire, G., Dias, A., Diaz-Toribio, M., Dimitrakopoulos, P., 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, R., Ejtehadi, H., Elser, J., Emilio, T., Engemann, K., Erfanian, M., Erfmeier, A., Esquivel-Muelbert, A., Esser, G., Estiarte, M., Domingues, T., Fagan, W., Fagundez, J., Falster, D., Fan, Y., Fang, J., Farris, E., Fazlioglu, F., Feng, Y., Fernandez-Mendez, F., Ferrara, C., Ferreira, J., Fidelis, A., Finegan, B., Firn, J., Flowers, T., Flynn, D., Fontana, V., Forey, E., Forgiarini, C., Francois, L., Frangipani, M., Frank, D., Frenette-Dussault, C., Freschet, G., Fry, E., Fyllas, N., Mazzochini, G., Gachet, S., Gallagher, R., Ganade, G., Ganga, F., Garcia-Palacios, P., Gargaglione, V., Garnier, E., Garrido, J., Gasper, A., Gea-Izquierdo, G., Gibson, D., Gillison, A., Giroldo, A., Glasenhardt, M., Gleason, S., Gliesch, M., Goldberg, E., Goldel, B., Gonzalez-Akre, E., Gonzalez-Andujar, J., Gonzalez-Melo, A., Gonzalez-Robles, A., Graae, B., Granda, E., Graves, S., Green, W., Gregor, T., Gross, N., Guerin, G., Gunther, A., Gutierrez, A., Haddock, L., Haines, A., Hall, J., Hambuckers, A., Han, W., Harrison, S., Hattingh, W., Hawes, J., He, T., He, P., Heberling, J., Helm, A., Hempel, S., Hentschel, J., Herault, B., Heres, A., Herz, K., Heuertz, M., Hickler, T., Hietz, P., Higuchi, P., Hipp, A., Hirons, A., Hock, M., Hogan, J., Holl, K., Honnay, O., Hornstein, D., Hou, E., Hough-Snee, N., Hovstad, K., Ichie, T., Igic, B., Illa, E., Isaac, M., Ishihara, M., Ivanov, L., Ivanova, L., Iversen, C., Izquierdo, J., Jackson, R., Jackson, B., Jactel, H., Jagodzinski, A., Jandt, U., Jansen, S., Jenkins, T., Jentsch, A., Jespersen, J., Jiang, G., Johansen, J., Johnson, D., Jokela, E., Joly, C., Jordan, G., Joseph, G., Junaedi, D., Junker, R., Justes, E., Kabsems, R., Kane, J., Kaplan, Z., Kattenborn, T., Kavelenova, L., Kearsley, E., Kempel, A., Kenzo, T., Kerkhoff, A., Khalil, M., Kinlock, N., Kissling, W., Kitajima, K., Kitzberger, T., Kjoller, R., Klein, T., Kleyer, M., Klimesova, J., Klipel, J., Kloeppel, B., Klotz, S., Knops, J., Kohyama, T., Koike, F., Kollmann, J., Komac, B., Komatsu, K., Konig, C., Kraft, N., Kramer, K., Kreft, H., Kuhn, I., Kumarathunge, D., Kuppler, J., Kurokawa, H., Kurosawa, Y., Kuyah, S., Laclau, J., Lafleur, B., Lallai, E., Lamb, E., Lamprecht, A., Larkin, D., Laughlin, D., Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y., Le Maire, G., Le Roux, P., Le Roux, E., Lee, T., Lens, F., Lewis, S., Lhotsky, B., Li, Y., Li, X., Lichstein, J., Liebergesell, M., Lim, J., Lin, Y., Linares, J., Liu, C., Liu, D., Liu, U., Livingstone, S., Llusia, J., Lohbeck, M., Lopez-Garcia, A., Lopez-Gonzalez, G., Lososova, Z., Louault, F., Lukacs, B., Kukes, P., Luo, Y., Lussu, M., Ma, S., Maciel Rabelo Pereira, C., Mack, M., Maire, V., Makela, A., Makinen, H., Malhado, A., 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, T., Masse, J., Mayrose, I., McCarthy, J., McCormack, M., McCulloch, K., McFadden, I., McGill, B., McPartland, M., Medeiros, J., Medlyn, B., Meerts, P., Mehrabi, Z., Meir, P., Melo, F., Mencuccini, M., Meredieu, C., Messier, J., Meszaros, I., Metsaranta, J., Michaletz, S., Michelaki, C., Migalina, S., Milla, R., Miller, J., Minden, V., Ming, R., Mokany, K., Moles, A., Molnar, A., Molofsky, J., Molz, M., Montgomery, R., Monty, A., Moravcova, L., Moreno-Martinez, A., Moretti, M., Mori, A., Mori, S., Morris, D., Morrison, J., Mucina, L., Mueller, S., Muir, C., Muller, S., Munoz, F., Myers-Smith, I., Myster, R., Nagano, M., Naidu, S., Narayanan, A., Natesan, B., Negoita, L., Nelson, A., Neuschulz, E., Ni, J., Niedrist, G., Nieto, J., Niinemets, U., Nolan, R., Power, S., Reich, P., Tissue, D., Tjoelker, M. and Wright, I. (2020), 'TRY plant trait database : enhanced coverage and open access', Global Change Biology, vol 26, no 1 , pp 119 - 188.
  • Zhu, Q., Yang, X., Yu, B., Tulau, M., McInnes-Clarke, S., Nolan, R., Du, Z. and Yu, Q. (2019), 'Estimation of event-based rainfall erosivity from radar after wildfire', Land Degradation and Development, vol 30, no 1 , pp 33 - 48.
  • Nolan, R., Sinclair, J., Waters, C., Mitchell, P., Eldridge, D., Paul, K., Roxburgh, S., Butler, D. and 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, N., Adame, M., Nolan, R., Miquelajauregui, Y., Pinero, D., Mastretta-Yanes, A., Cuervo-Robayo, A. and Eamus, D. (2019), 'Storage of organic carbon in the soils of Mexican temperate forests', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 446 , pp 115 - 125.
  • Geng, Q., Ren, Q., Nolan, R., Wu, P. and 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, no 1 , pp 329 - 335.
  • Yebra, M., Scortechini, G., Badi, A., Beget, M., Boer, M., Bradstock, R., Chuvieco, E., Danson, F., Dennison, P., Resco de Dios, V., Di Bella, C., Forsyth, G., Frost, P., Garcia, M., Hamdi, A., He, B., Jolly, M., Kraaij, T., Martin, M., Mouillot, F., Newnham, G., Nolan, R., Pellizzaro, G., Qi, Y., Quan, X., Riano, D., Roberts, D., Sow, M. and Ustin, S. (2019), 'Globe-LFMC, a global plant water status database for vegetation ecophysiology and wildfire applications', Scientific Data, vol 6 .
  • Nolan, R., Drew, D., O'Grady, A., Pinkard, E., Paul, K., Roxburgh, S., Mitchell, P., Bruce, J., Battaglia, M. and Ramp, D. (2018), 'Safeguarding reforestation efforts against changes in climate and disturbance regimes', Forest Ecology and Management, vol 424 , pp 458 - 467.
  • Nolan, R., Hedo, J., Arteaga, C., Sugai, T. and Resco de Dios, V. (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, R., Tarin, T., Rumman, R., Cleverly, J., Fairweather, K., Zolfaghar, S., Santini, N., O'Grady, A. and Eamus, D. (2018), 'Contrasting ecophysiology of two widespread arid zone tree species with differing access to water resources', Journal of Arid Environments, vol 153 .
  • Nolan, R., Sinclair, J., Eldridge, D. and Ramp, D. (2018), 'Biophysical risks to carbon sequestration and storage in Australian drylands', Journal of Environmental Management, vol 208 , pp 102 - 111.
  • Rumman, R., Cleverly, J., Nolan, R., Tarin, T. and Eamus, D. (2018), 'Speculations on the application of foliar 13C 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.
  • Nolan, R., Vesk, P. and Robinson, D. (2018), 'Recovery potential of microwetlands from agricultural land uses', Ecological Management and Restoration, vol 19, no 1 , pp 81 - 84.
  • Santini, N., Cleverly, J., Faux, R., McBean, K., Nolan, R. and 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.
  • Boer, M., Nolan, R., Resco de Dios, V., Clarke, H., Price, O. and Bradstock, R. (2017), 'Changing weather extremes call for early warning of potential for catastrophic fire', Earth's Future, vol 5, no 12 , pp 1196 - 1202.
  • Nolan, R., Tarin, T., Santini, N., McAdam, S., Rumman, R. and 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, no 12 , pp 3122 - 3134.
  • Tong, X., Li, J., Nolan, R. and 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, R., Fairweather, K., Tarin, T., Santini, N., Cleverly, J., Faux, R. and Eamus, D. (2017), 'Divergence in plant water-use strategies in semiarid woody species', Functional Plant Biology, vol 44, no 11 , pp 1134 - 1146.
  • Benyon, R., Nolan, R., Hawthorn, S. and Lane, P. (2017), 'Stand-level variation in evapotranspiration in non-water-limited eucalypt forests', Journal of Hydrology, vol 551 , pp 233 - 244.
  • Nolan, R., Tarin, T., Fairweather, K., Cleverly, J. and Eamus, D. (2017), 'Variation in photosynthetic traits related to access to water in semiarid Australian woody species', Functional Plant Biology, vol 44, no 11 , pp 1087 - 1097.
  • Nolan, R., Resco de Dios, V., Boer, M., Caccamo, G., Goulden, M. and Bradstock, R. (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, R., Boer, M., Resco de Dios, V., Caccamo, G. and Bradstock, R. (2016), 'Large-scale, dynamic transformations in fuel moisture drive wildfire activity across southeastern Australia', Geophysical Research Letters, vol 43, no 9 , pp 4229 - 4238.
  • Eamus, D., Huete, A., Cleverly, J., Nolan, R., Ma, X., Tarin, T. and Santini, N. (2016), 'Mulga, a major tropical dry open forest of Australia : recent insights to carbon and water fluxes', Environmental Research Letters, vol 11, no 12 .
  • Resco de Dios, V., Fellows, A., Nolan, R., Boer, M., Bradstock, R., Domingo, F. and Goulden, M. (2015), 'A semi-mechanistic model for predicting the moisture content of fine litter', Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, vol 203 , pp 64 - 73.
  • Nolan, R., Lane, P., Benyon, R., Bradstock, R. and Mitchell, P. (2015), 'Trends in evapotranspiration and streamflow following wildfire in resprouting eucalypt forests', Journal of Hydrology, vol 524 , pp 614 - 624.
  • Nolan, R., Mitchell, P., Bradstock, R. and Lane, P. (2014), 'Structural adjustments in resprouting trees drive differences in post-fire transpiration', Tree Physiology, vol 34, no 2 , pp 123 - 136.
  • Nolan, R., Lane, P., Benyon, R., Bradstock, R. and Mitchell, P. (2014), 'Changes in evapotranspiration following wildfire in resprouting eucalypt forests', Ecohydrology, vol 7, no 5 , pp 1363 - 1377.
  • Vesk, P., Nolan, R., Thomson, J., Dorrough, J. and Mac Nally, R. (2008), 'Time lags in provision of habitat resources through revegetation', Biological Conservation, vol 141, no 1 , pp 174 - 186.

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.

This information has been contributed by Doctor Nolan.

Current Projects

Title: Quantifying the recovery trajectory and aboveground productivity in rainforest species after fire on rich versus poor soils
  • The Hermon Slade Foundation
Western Researchers: Kristine Crous, David Ellsworth, Rachael Nolan and Brendan Choat
Years: 2022-07-01 - 2026-02-02
ID: P00028098
Title: Determining the physiological underpinnings of Eucalypt dieback in NSW
  • NSW Environmental Trust (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Brendan Choat, Belinda Medlyn, Sebastian Pfautsch, Rachael Nolan, Matthias Boer, David Tissue, Paul Rymer and Mark Tjoelker
Years: 2021-06-18 - 2025-02-01
ID: P00027031
Title: Understanding the impact of dieback on koala populations in NSW- literature review
  • NSW Department of Planning and Environment
Western Researchers: Rachael Nolan, Matthias Boer, Belinda Medlyn, Rachael Gallagher, Ben Moore and Brendan Choat
Years: 2023-06-21 - 2024-06-03
ID: P00028774
Title: Forecasting live fuel moisture content, the on/off switch for forest fires
  • ACT Parks and Conservation Service
  • Australian National University (non ACRG)
  • University of Lleida
  • New South Wales Rural Fire Service
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
  • Department of Planning and Environment
Western Researchers: Rachael Nolan, Matthias Boer, Belinda Medlyn and Brendan Choat
Years: 2020-10-31 - 2025-10-30
ID: P00025973
Title: HIE-WSU Technical services
  • NSW Government Natural Resources Commission
Western Researchers: Rachael Nolan and Brendan Choat
Years: 2023-12-11 - 2024-06-30
ID: P00029061
Title: Cumberland Plain Conservation Plan - Research Strategy and Implementation
  • Department of Planning and Environment
Western Researchers: Paul Rymer, Uffe Nielsen, Jeff Powell, Yolima Carrillo Espanol, Catriona Macdonald, Matthias Boer, Elise Pendall, Rachael Nolan, Ben Moore, Markus Riegler, Juan Francisco Salazar Sutil and Neil Perry
Years: 2021-05-01 - 2025-05-27
ID: P00027309
Title: Physics-aware machine learning for data-driven fire risk prediction
  • Australian Research Council (ACRG)
Western Researchers: Matthias Boer, Rachael Nolan and Paul Hurley
Years: 2022-01-01 - 2025-12-31
ID: P00027234
Title: Quantifying forest mortality after unprecedented drought and bushfires in Eastern Australia
  • The Hermon Slade Foundation
Western Researchers: Rachael Nolan, Matthias Boer, Brendan Choat and Belinda Medlyn
Years: 2020-07-01 - 2024-06-30
ID: P00026509

Previous Projects

Title: The regreening of the Blue Mountains: Using citizen science to study post-fire recovery in the Blue Mountains
  • Department of Planning and Environment
Western Researchers: Belinda Medlyn, Paul Rymer, Sally Power, Brendan Choat, Rachael Nolan, Amy-Marie Gilpin, Uffe Nielsen, Matthias Boer, Kate Umbers and Ben Moore
Years: 2021-05-01 - 2022-06-30
ID: P00027295


Current Supervision

Thesis Title: The Biogeography of Fire: Mapping Key Fuel Types Across NSW
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Objective quantification of national forest cover and carbon stocks in support of the REDD+ Programme ? a methodological study combining remote sensing, forest inventory data and statistical modeling
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Tree mortality and forest recovery following unprecedented drought and bushfires
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Quantifying differences in post-fire recovery of forests; what are the causes of variation in post-fire recovery in the aftermath of the Black Summer bushfires across different forest types in New South Wales?
Field of Research:

Previous Supervision

Thesis Title: Predicting Vegetation Dynamics in Australia's Arid Zone
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Tree mortality and forest recovery following unprecedented drought and bushfires
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Effect of Elevated Temperatures and Drought Stress on Seed Germination and Functional Traits of Seedlings in the Cumberland Plain
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: Objective quantification of Nepal's forest carbon stocks in support of the REDD+ Programme: a methodological study combining remote sensing, forest inventory data and statistical modelling
Field of Research:
Thesis Title: The Effect of Fire History and Severity on the Flowering Phenology of Spotted Gums (Corymbia Maculata)
Field of Research:

Western Sydney University

Locked Bag 1797
Penrith NSW 2751

ABN 53 014 069 881
CRICOS Provider No: 00917k