Executive Team

Director and Chief Executive

Prof Tim Entwisle

Leads and promotes the activities of the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and Cranbourne, the National Herbarium of Victoria and the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) in order to achieve the highest standards in horticultural, scientific and financial management, and in visitor and education programs.

Professor Entwisle is a highly respected scientist, scientific communicator and botanic gardens director. He took up the role of Director and Chief Executive of Royal Botanic Gardens in March 2013, following two years in a senior role at Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and eight years as Executive Director of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in Sydney.

He has been a regular contributor to and chair of national and State advisory committees. In 2011, he was co-chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the XVIII International Botanical Congress held in Melbourne. Professor Entwisle is currently an Honorary Professorial Fellow in the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne and a Visiting Professor in the School of Biological and Biomedical Science, Durham University.  

You can visit Tim at his blog talkingplants.blogspot.com.au

Chief Botanist and Director, Plant Sciences and Biodiversity

Prof David Cantrill PhD, BSc (Hons)

Responsible for scientific research into plant biodiversity and systematics, and management of the State Botanical Collection. As Chief Botanist, Professor Cantrill holds statutory responsibility under the Royal Botanic Gardens Act 1991 and the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981.

Professor Cantrill worked as a senior research scientist in Europe for 15 years, first for the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge and later at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. He has published over 100 scientific articles; is an editor of Grana, an international journal for pollen studies; and sits on a number of international editorial and scientific advisory boards. His research interests focus on integrating information from fossil and living floras to understand the origins of patterns of diversity in the southern hemisphere.

He holds an honorary professorship with the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne and is currently chair of the Council of Australian Biological Collections.

Director, ARCUE

Assoc Prof Mark McDonnell PhD, MSc, BA

Responsible for scientific studies of plant biodiversity and ecological processes in Australian cities and towns as head of the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE). Currently, his studies focus on applying ecological science to the management and preservation of biodiversity in urban and suburban environments in Victoria. Dr McDonnell is also an Associate Professor with the School of Botany at The University of Melbourne.

Director, Corporate Resources

Jenny Steinicke BA, Grad Dip Bus

Responsible for initiating and co-ordinating projects to improve corporate governance and management, including financial management and planning, human resources, marketing and communications, information services, business development and implementation, and legal, legislative and contractual issues. Ms Steinicke is also responsible for contract, financial and project management of the Australian Garden Stage 2 project at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne and the Working Wetlands project at the Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne.

Director, Melbourne Gardens

Chris Cole Dip Hort (Kew)

Responsible for horticultural planning and operations, including landscape planning, management and development of living plant collections, arboriculture, environmental horticulture and research, nursery operations, and management of site facilities and infrastructure at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne. Mr Cole also provides direction for the development and delivery of public programs for Melbourne Gardens and is responsible for managing the development and implementation of the Working Wetlands project.

Director, Cranbourne Gardens

Chris Russell BSc (Hons), Grad Dip Land Rehab

Responsible for the management and operation of Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne, including the Australian Garden, horticultural planning and operations, conservation research and management, development and delivery of public programs, and landscape and infrastructure development and management. Mr Russell is also responsible for strategic planning for future site use, input into land-use planning in the region surrounding the Cranbourne Gardens and the ‘on-ground’ delivery of capital works projects, including the Australian Garden Stage 2 project.