Damien Cook – Senior Ecologist

Damien Cook is Co-director of Rakali Ecological Consulting, a company specialising in ecological consultancy.  Damien’s roles within the company include ecological consulting, project planning, client liaison and delivering training. Damien is also a shareholder in Australian Ecosystems Pty Ltd, an ecological restoration company with its own large scale indigenous plant nursery.

Damien Cook is the Co-director and Senior Ecologist at Rakali Ecological Consulting, which has been operating since 2012. Damien also established and ran Australian Ecosystems Pty Ltd, an ecological restoration company with its own large scale indigenous plant nursery up from 1997 until 2012.

Damien has been a keen naturalist for 30 years and has developed a sound knowledge of flora and fauna ecology, identification and habitat requirements. He is a recognised expert in wetland, riparian and terrestrial ecology, particularly in the factors affecting the establishment and management of aquatic and wetland plants, and also the revegetation of terrestrial ecosystems.Damien picture for website

Damien has been instrumental in planning and delivering some of the largest and most complex ecological restoration projects to date in Australia including the 40 hectare Waterways Estate in Braeside, South East Melbourne for which Damien received a Restoration Excellence Award from the Society for Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA) in Nov 2016.  Damien also developed the restoration of 200 hectares of coastal park at the Victorian Desalination Plant, Wonthaggi.

Damien is highly competent in plant identification, wetland and riparian vegetation survey and mapping, data analysis, identifying threats to natural ecosystems, determining water requirements for aquatic ecosystems, and report writing.  He is experienced in providing management information and determining appropriate species for ecological restoration in particular circumstances as dictated by environmental factors.

Damien conducts training sessions and lectures on ecology and related subjects for industry and community groups. Damien has been on numerous scientific advisory groups including ‘Growling Grass Frog Technical Advisory Group’, ‘Western Grassland Reserve Technical Advisory Group’.  He wrote the original nomination which led to ‘Seasonal Herbaceous Wetlands (Freshwater) of the Temperate Lowland Plains’ being listed on the EPBC Act. Damien has extensive experience in applying the Index of Wetland Condition (IWC), having utilized this methodology since its inception for many Catchment Management Authorities and for a statewide assessment of wetlands coordinated by the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research (DELWP).