Posted: November 17, 2022

View the recording from our conversation with Darren Marhsall, Southern Queensland Landscapes’ pest and community engagement specialist, about his work using community engagement as an essential strategy for feral pig management in Australia.

Session Description

For landholders in Australia, feral pigs represent a key natural resource management and pest control issue. Feral pigs destroy landscapes and wildlife habitats, reduce the value and productivity of agricultural operations, and serve as vectors of diseases that threaten other animal and human populations. After more than a decade of working in pest control without feeling like he was seeing a significant change, Darren began to think differently about “the pig problem” and “the people problem.” In this talk, Darren shares stories from the field that illustrate why a key piece of feral pig research is getting people motivated to work together and how ecology data can be used to inspire collective action. 

Storyteller Bio

Darren Marshall is a specialist in engaging people in effective, coordinated pest animal control and landscape scale environmental management. Darren is currently a General Manager with Southern Queensland Landscapes. He is completing a PhD.I, testing different engagement strategies, which use scientific research as a vehicle to motivate landholders to take collective action to address the feral pig issue in Australia. This study is part of a collaboration with the University of New England (Australia) and Penn State University (USA).  

Darren has also worked with Inglewood Shire Landcare, (the then) Queensland Department of Natural Resources, the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Australian Army. Darren’s interests lie in improving environmental management through working with land managers to tackle issues that can only be addressed at a landscape scale, particularly linking good research with on-ground outcomes. 

About the Series

Stories from the Field is a conversation series on community engagement and applied research. The series is designed to bring academics and practitioners together for informal discussions about the challenges and opportunities of doing work with communities, businesses, and the public sector. Stories from the Field is hosted by Penn State's Center for Economic and Community Development, an applied research center dedicated to strengthening local and regional development in Pennsylvania and beyond.