About us


Alex Kusmanoff

AK picAlex Kusmanoff has a background in law and environmental science, and has also worked in various policy roles for the Australian and Victorian governments. He has more recently completed a PhD with the RMIT Interdisciplinary Conservation (ICON) Science lab, in which he investigated use of framing techniques for enhancing conservation messages. Alex is currently continuing this research theme with the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub project: using social and economic opportunities for threatened species recovery. His research applies social science concepts, particularly from psychology and economics, to empirically test alternatively-framed information, and to analyse contemporary conservation communications.

Matthew Selinske

IMG_4943Matthew is a PhD candidate with the Interdisciplinary Conservation ICON Science lab at RMIT University. Matthew is currently working on a range of research projects including evaluating the social dimensions of private land conservation, biodiversity footprint analysis, conservation behavior change and predictive modeling of human behavior.

Previously, Matthew worked in forest and prairie restoration projects in Minnesota and New York, and managed a protected area in West Africa, focused on primate conservation. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota College of Natural Resources and his MSc from Interdisciplinary Centre for Conservation Science at Imperial College London. His research is supported by RMIT University, the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program’s Threatened Species Recovery Hub.


Emily Gregg

R15pi1ou_400x400Emily is a PhD student with the ICON Science lab at RMIT University. She has a background in ecology and wildlife management, and is interested in transferring knowledge from other disciplines, such as strategic communications and social marketing, to improve outcomes for both wildlife and human communities. Her PhD project aims to improve communications for threatened species conservation, with a focus on effectively engaging the public and decision-makers with so-called “non-charismatic” species, including reptiles, rodents, and invertebrates.

Nicholas Yarmey

DSC_0076_croppedNicholas has a degree in environmental science from the University of Alberta Augustana Campus. His background spans the natural and social sciences, including research on mitigating human-beaver conflicts, sustainability outreach, and community-based research for Indigenous communities across Canada. The thread that ties his work together is a desire for human-human and human-nature coexistence.

He is currently a masters student at the University of Connecticut in natural resources and the environment, where he is researching conflicts between humans and black bears. With expansion of both black bear populations and human development, conflicts between the two species are becoming more frequent and require management. His work combines quantitative and qualitative social science and GIS to better understand residents’ attitudes towards bears and their preferences for management.