Dr Robyn Cleland has been appointed as the new chief environmental biosecurity officer for the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Deputy secretary of biosecurity and compliance Andrew Tongue said Dr Cleland brought a wealth of experience and expertise to the role.

“Dr Cleland has held senior leadership roles in the Australian Public Service for over a decade now,” Mr Tongue said.

“She has worked across the portfolios of agriculture, health and environment, working in policy, compliance and regulation. Her scientific expertise spans biosecurity, plant health, biotechnology, food, ecology and agriculture.

“The role of the chief environmental biosecurity officer is to liaise between government and the community to raise awareness and build Australia’s capacity to manage biosecurity risks.

“This is a hugely important role, charged with protecting Australia’s unique wildlife, our way of life, and our status as a clean, green exporter of high-quality food.

“Dr Cleland has worked with state and territory jurisdictions, NGOs and the community across a number of national regulatory schemes and has extensive experience in engaging with diverse stakeholders across contentious issues.

“Before she joined the APS, Dr Cleland was a research scientist at the University of Cambridge, the University of Sheffield and the Australian National University.

“The sheer breadth and depth of Dr Cleland’s expertise and skills mean she will excel in this position.