Megan Hirst

Post Doctoral Fellow  

Megan Hirst is a plant ecologist with specialist experience in ex situ seed banking and plant conservation through her work with the Victorian Conservation Seedbank at Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. Meg holds a PhD in plant ecology from the University of Melbourne and is a teacher and researcher with experience in growing, tending and studying plants in both scientific, public gardens and experimental settings.


Refereed journal articles

Hirst, M. J., Arnott, J., & Larke, R. A. (2023). Raising Rarity: creating meaningful and sustainable conservation outcomes through community-based outreach. Sibbaldia: the International Journal of Botanic Garden Horticulture, (22).

Sunner, N., Hirst, M.J., Venn, S., & Williams, N.S.G. (2021). Exploring seed ecology and habitat of the vulnerable Swamp Everlasting-Xerochrysum palustre. Australasian Plant Conservation. 29 (3), 3–6.

Hirst, M.J., Griffin, P.C., Wu, L.H. & Hoffmann, A.A. (2020). Testing the environmental warming responses of Brachyscome daisy species using a common garden approach Austral Ecology, 45: 717-730. doi:10.1111/aec.12885.

Hirst, M.J., Messina, A., Delpratt, J. & Murphy, S.M. (2019). Raising rarity: horticultural approaches to conserving Victoria's rare and threatened wildflowers. Australasian Plant Conservation. 27(4), 14–16.

Hirst, M.J. (2019). Raising rarity: testing the horticultural potenital of our rare and threatened flora. Botanic News. Summer edition, 10–11.

Hirst, M.J. (2017). Plant evaluation and selection for conservation horticulture: Improving the odds. The Botanic Garden 49, 39 -40.

Hirst, M. J., Griffin, P. C., Sexton, J. P. and Hoffmann, A. A. (2017), Testing the niche-breadth–range-size hypothesis: habitat specialization vs. performance in Australian alpine daisies. Ecology. doi:10.1002/ecy.1964

Hirst, M. J., Sexton, J. P., and Hoffmann, A. A. (2016) Extensive variation, but not local adaptation in an Australian alpine daisy. Ecology and Evolution 6, 5459 – 5472

Hirst, M.J. (2013). A global message from an old bird. The Botanic Garden 37, 9–10.

Slatyer, R.A., Hirst, M. and J.P. Sexton. (2013). Niche breadth predicts geographic range size: a general ecological pattern. Ecology Letters. doi:10.111/ele.12140.


Hirst, M and Larke, R (2022). Raising Rarity: Expanding the alpine collection. The Journal of the Alpine Garden Society Victorian Group. ISSN 2653-4622

Hirst, M. J., Warren, G. (2021) Botany Bootcamp: a public program to combat plant blindness. Hortjournal 14

Hirst, M. J (2021) Conserving alpine habitats and species: challenges, collections and collaborationThe Botanic Gardener.

 Hirst, M. J (2018) Travels with my grant. The Botanic Gardener.

Hirst, M. J., Messina, A., Walsh, N., and Murphy, S. (2018). Everything you need to know about seed banking and the Victorian Conservation Seedbank (but were afraid to ask). Botanic News. Winter edition. 17 - 19.

Messina, A., Hirst, M.J., Walsh, N.G. (2017) Getting by with a little help from my friends. Samara: The International Newsletter of the Millennium Seed Bank Partnership. Issue 30. Aug 2016 - Jan - 2017, 13 

Hirst, M.J. (2013). A phylogenetic and morphological approach in a key Australian plant genus, BrachyscomeAustralasian Plant Conservation 21, 24–26.

Hirst, M.J. (2012). Native daisies add versatility. Australian Horticulture 109, 8.

Hirst, M.J., Nitschke, C.R., Walsh, N.G. and Arndt, S.K. (2010). Does an increase in the duration of cold stratification have an effect on the germination of Eucalyptus nitens H.Deane & Maiden and three other Victorian eucalypt species? In R. Pendleton, S. Meyer and B. Schultz (eds), Proceedings of the Seed Ecology III Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah, June 2010, p. 67. International Society for Seed Science, Salt Lake City.

Kohout, M., Coates, F., Hirst, M. and Downe, J. (2009). Wellington Mint Bush – population responses to fire and browsing at Holey Plains State Park. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Heidelberg.

Book chapters

Hirst, M.J., Commander, L.E., Emery, N., Guja, L.K., Liyanage, G., Merritt, D.J., Norton, S.L., Stevens, A., Turner, S.R., & Wood, J.A. (2021). Chapter 7 Seed germination and dormancy, In: Martyn Yenson, A.J., Offord, C.A., Meagher, P.F., Auld, T.D., Bush, D., Coates, D.J,, Commander, L.E., Guja, L.K., Norton, S.L., Makinson, R.O., Stanley, R., Walsh, N., Wrigley, & D., Broadhurst L (eds.), Plant Germplasm Conservation in Australia: strategies and guidelines for developing, managing and utilising ex situ collections. Third edition. Australian Network for Plant Conservation, Canberra, pp. 187- 239.