A/Prof Stephen Livesley



Stephen investigates soil-plant-atmosphere interactions in natural and managed ecosystems. Stephen studied in the UK gaining a PhD in Tropical Soil Science from The University of Reading. He has held research positions in the University of Western Australia, the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Monash University.

At the University of Melbourne, Stephen has led research to quantify the carbon and greenhouse gas implications of landscape management and land-use change events in tropical savannas, forest systems and now the urban landscape.

Stephen’s urban ecosystem research and teaching interests relate to the role of trees, soil and other vegetation systems in providing environmental and social benefits, such as microclimate cooling, energy saving, carbon sequestration, biodiversity habitat and improved nutrient/water cycling.


Research grants and consultancies


Recent projects

ARC Linkage – LP110100686 (2011-13) $220k ‘Ecosystems services from large urban green spaces – the biodiversity and carbon benefit of urban golf courses’ S J Livesley, N S Williams, N  Stork, A Hahs

Carlton Connect (2013-14) $126k ‘Health and wellbeing in broadband enabled Greenfield communities’ Fitzgerald, Gleeson, Livesley et al.

Office of Living Victoria (2013-2015) $542k ‘Trialling, testing and promotion of IWCM road edge treatments to maximise benefits for local stormwater reduction, street tree health’ R Mitchell, S Eggleton, D Blenkiron, S J Livesley and A Coutts.

City of Melbourne and Melbourne Water (2013-14) $200k ‘Improving the management of stormwater in inner-city Melbourne’ S J Livesley, C Szota and T Fletcher.

Nursery Garden Industry Australia (2012) $30k ‘Designed Green Facades’ S J Livesley

City of Melbourne (2012) $20k ‘Urban tree responses to drought and heat’. S J Livesley

VCCCAR funding (2011-12) $296k ‘Responding to the urban heat island: optimising the implementation of green infrastructure’ A Coutts, N S Williams, S Chandra, D McEvoy, S J Livesley, D Hes, T Fletcher, N Tapper, J Beringer.

Nursery Garden Industry Australia (2011) $9k ‘Tree canopy cover in residential areas of Australian cities’ S J Livesley.

Nursery Garden Industry Australia (2009) $50k ‘Energy-saving benefits of urban trees’

Current PhD students

Recent publications

Somerville P, Farrell C, May P, and Livesley S (2019) Tree water use strategies and soil type determine growth responses to biochar and compost organic amendments. Soil and Tillage Research 192: 12-21

Ordóñez-Barona C, Threlfall C, Kendal D, Hochuli DF, Davern M, Fuller RA, van der Ree R, Livesley S (2019) Urban forest governance and decision-making: A systematic review and synthesis of the perspectives of municipal managers. Landscape & Urban Planning, In Press.

Kendal D, Dobbs C, Gallagher R V, Beaumont J, Baumann J, Williams NSG, Livesley SJ (2018) A global comparison of the climatic niches of urban and native tree populations. Global Ecology and Biogeography. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12728

Livesley S J, Baudinette B and Glover D (2013) Rainfall interception and stem flow by eucalypt street trees – the impacts of canopy density and bark type. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening (Accepted September 2013) (IF: 1.6)

Berry R, Livesley S J and Aye L (2013) Tree canopy shade impacts on solar irradiance received by building walls and their surface temperature. Building and Environment (accepted June 2013) (IF: 2.4)

Grover S P, Cohan A, Chan H S, Livesley S J, Beringer J and Daly E (2013) Occasional large emissions of nitrous oxide and methane observed in stormwater biofiltration systems. Science of the Total Environment doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.01.035. (IF: 3.3)

May P B, Livesley S J and Shears I (2013) Managing and monitoring tree health and soil water status during extreme drought in Melbourne, Victoria. Arboriculture and Urban Forestry 39(3): 136-145. (IF: – )

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