Annette Cowie has a background in soil science and plant nutrition, with particular interest in sustainable resource management. She is the Director of Rural Climate Solutions, a joint venture between NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the University of New England. Previously Annette led the New Forests research program in the NSW DPI for ten years, researching environmental services from planted forests, focusing on greenhouse gas mitigation, amelioration of dryland salinity and land rehabilitation through use of recycled organics. Annette is also Co-Task Leader of the International Energy Agency Bioenergy research group on Greenhouse Gas Balances of Biomass and Bioenergy Systems.
Annette’s particular expertise and research interests include:
- Sustainable land management – indicators, assessment and policy development
- Soil carbon dynamics in agriculture and forestry: Sustainability assessment of bioenergy and biochar systems, including land use change issues and certification
- Life cycle assessment, especially to assess the carbon footprint of wood products, and climate change mitigation value of reforestation, bioenergy and biochar systems
- Synergies between environmental goals through sustainable land management
- Estimation and accounting for GHG emissions and removals in agriculture and forestry, for inventory and emissions trading
During 2011, Annette was one of the six members of the Domestic Offsets Integrity Committee, an independent expert committee that was established to assess offset methodologies proposed under Australia’s Carbon Farming Initiative. Annette is a member of the International Standards Organisation working group developing the standard for quantifying and communicating the carbon footprint of products, and the committee developing sustainability criteria for bioenergy. She has more than 50 peer reviewed publications, largely focused on terrestrial carbon cycle, GHG accounting and sustainable land management.