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Forest scientist gains Order of Australia

Injecting scientific knowledge into the forestry debate has been a driving force behind the career of Canberra scientist Sadanandan Nambiar. Source: The Canberra Times

Dr Nambiar was born in India and has lived in Australia since 1970. He moved to the capital in 1989 to take up a position researching forestry at the CSIRO.

He was appointed an officer of the Order of Australia for his ”distinguished service to science, particularly in the field of sustainable productivity and management of forests, as a researcher and author, and as a role model for young scientists”.

Dr Nambiar said he considered himself an applied scientist who had sought to inform public debate on how natural and man-made forests worked and how they could best be handled.

“I don’t think I can honestly say I set out to pursue knowledge for the sake of knowledge … my call was a bit different – the pursuit of science for the use of science in a balanced way, for a better society,” he said.

Dr Nambiar said he was proud his team had been able to provide a good basis for the sustainable production of Australian forests and balanced answers to the management of native forests in Australia and south-east Asia.

He never intended for his move to Australia to be permanent, but he said he found Australia to be a welcoming place and decided the CSIRO was the right place to pursue his work.

“In issues that matter, (Australia) is the fairest place I know,” Dr Nambiar said.