Asking smart people dumb questions- Science Week interview with Bella Walker

19 Aug 21

Our Stories

Meet Bella, our Graduate Forester.

Graduating with a Bachelor of Forest Science and Management last year, Bella has been on the OneFortyOne team since November. To celebrate National Science Week, we asked Bella to share some of her science story (which includes a great podcast recommendation!).

Tell us a bit about your background (study, particular interest areas, what’s your science?)
I completed a Bachelor of Forest Science and Management at Southern Cross University in Lismore NSW.

I originally started off with an Environment/Marine degree but when I found out about the Forest Science degree and I knew I had to swap, it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Just about all aspects of the natural environment interest me but especially plant behaviour, mycology (fungi) and entomology (insects).

What’s your day job & how is science involved?
Since finishing my studies I’ve been working at OneFortyOne here in the Green Triangle where Pinus radiata is the main species being grown.

Many types of sciences and technologies underpin all aspects of forest management. For the most part I’ve been involved in establishment and managing young age stands for pests, weeds, and nutritional deficiencies.

Those areas alone involve soil/plant sciences, seed genetics, plant nutrition and chemical and biological pest control.

Another big part of working in forests is fire management which involves fire behaviour and climate sciences.

Outside of work, what do you get up to?
I enjoy doing creative hands-on things like gardening, cooking and art or just being outside in nature.

Who is your favourite scientist (real life, fictional, dead or alive)?
I’m a fan of Alexander von Humboldt who was a German scientist/explorer around in the 18th/19th Century he was the first to put together the concept of nature and that all the natural world is interconnected at some level. And of course, the natural world champion, David Attenborough. 

What’s your favourite science quote or saying?
I have a favourite science podcast call ‘Ologies’ by Alie Ward. One of their tag lines is ‘ask smart people dumb questions’, and I think that’s something every single person can do, questioning and starting conversations is what science is all about.

OneFortyOne acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their deep connections to land, water, and community. We pay our respect to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations people today.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, Māori communities have a strong spiritual connection between people and the land – the wellbeing of one sustains the wellbeing of the other. We strive to build meaningful relationships with iwi as tangata whenua (people of the land/region), to be responsible intergenerational kaitiaki (stewards/guardians) of the land where our forests grow.