EcoScience NT


EcoScience NT


EcoScience NT comprises a select group of highly qualified environmental scientists who have a deep understanding of the ecology, environmental processes and management issues pertaining to Northern Australia.

EcoScience NT is a scientific consulting company that provides a range of services across Northern Australia. Our small team of professional environmental scientists has extensive local experience and collaborates with a network of specialist sub-consultants on a project-by-project basis.

We specialize in mangrove ecology and have completed numerous major research, assessment, and monitoring projects in Darwin Harbour. Our company director, Dr. Kristin Metcalfe, has conducted vital research on mangrove forest productivity and biodiversity in the Darwin region. Additionally, our senior scientist, Adam Bourke, holds a master’s degree in mangrove ecology and has over 12 years of experience as an environmental consultant.

To date, we have completed over 90 environmental studies, including 58 consultancy projects in Darwin Harbour. While our expertise lies in mangrove ecology, we also possess sound knowledge of terrestrial habitats and freshwater ecosystems in the Top End.

Using our extensive local experience we offer the following services;


Environmental Impact Assessment

Terrestrial flora including riparian, vine forest and wetland flora surveys

Weed survey and management

Impact assessment and mitigation


Biodiversity Surveys

Mangrove flora and fauna

Terrestrial flora including threatened species


Mangrove Monitoring

Flora & invertebrate fauna

Mangrove health monitoring and reporting

Remote sensing – RPAS surveys including NDVI


Mangrove Rehabilitation

Design and implementation

Monitoring of rehabilitation success


weed management

Weed survey, planning and management



Pre-impact assessment

Vegetation rehabilitation monitoring



Mangrove talks and tours

Schools, university and community groups

Private customised mangrove experiences

Conference and tour groups


Environmental Health Monitoring & Reporting


Ecological studies & habitat evaluation

Terrestrial flora surveys

Vegetation and habitat mapping

Remote sensing surveys – true colour and NDVI imagery

At EcoScience, we provide our clients with comprehensive services of the highest quality that cater to the unique requirements of the Top End environment. Our team’s in-depth knowledge of the region includes expertise in flora and vegetation ecology, as well as vertebrate and invertebrate zoology, coastal and intertidal ecosystems, including complex mangrove communities. With our integrated approach, we aim to deliver top-quality outcomes that align with the goals and objectives of our clients.

Drawing on over four decades of experience, EcoScience NT has has a strong, but not exclusive focus on coastal ecology and also conducts surveys for impact assessment and management in terrestrial habitats including savannah, riparian, sandstone and freshwater wetland habitats.

EcoScience NT has contributed to numerous ecological studies including Environmental Impact Assessment and monitoring programs, for a diverse range of clients across Northern Australia.

We have conducted comprehensive surveys on flora and fauna, as well as mapping and managing weeds, and performing ecological assessments in various terrestrial habitats. Our clients have included Rio Tinto Alcan Gove, Newmont Asia Pacific, INPEX, Santos, Xstrata Zinc, SKM, BHP Billiton, Jacobs and Coffee Natural Systems, among others. Our projects have spanned locations across the Top End and Gulf of Carpentaria, reaching as far south as the edge of the Tanami desert. 

Featured Projects



The Sea Dragon project is a large-scale, land based prawn aquaculture development in Northern Australia. EcoScience NT designed and installed a comprehensive mangrove monitoring program for the Core Breeding and Broodstock Maturation Facility at Point Ceylon in Bynoe Harbour.

EcoScience was commissioned  by Sea Farms Pty Ltd in September 2021 to design a state of the art monitoring program to monitor the health of mangroves surrounding the proposed Bynoe Harbour prawn maturation facility. The monitoring program includes numerous mangrove flora indicators, rapid biodiversity assessment, remotely sensed imagery including NDVI (Normalised Difference Vegetation Index) and assessment of Nitrogen isotopes (𝛿15N analysis) present in mangrove leaves. The program was specifically tailored to enable the detection of potential impacts from the future discharge of nutrient rich effluent from the facility.

Adam J Bourke - RTK GPSMonitoring involves numerous indicators – studied by a combination of detailed field surveys and remotely sensed data. The program will enable the detection of change over time, at the scale of individual trees or within polygons surrounding permanent monitoring sites.

To date, baseline data for the 2021 dry season and 2022 wet season has been presented to Sea Dragon as a baseline summary report. The comprehensive database and imagery obtained will serve as a platform for future monitoring once construction and operation commences.



Rehabiliation- monitoring success

EcoScience NT has been monitoring the success of mangrove rehabilitation at the Gas Export Pipeline  (GEP) site on Wickham Point in Darwin Harbour since it was established in 2013.

Rehabilitation of this site was commissioned by INPEX after clearing of 1.26 ha of mangroves was required for a major gas pipeline corridor. A number of different techniques were used to fast-track reforestation and restoration the site (see Mangrove Rehabilitation). Planting of nursery cultivated seedlings and direct sowing of propagules was combined with innovative techniques to facilitate natural seedling recruitment.

Scientific monitoring of rehabilitation success was undertaken by INPEX from 2014 to 2016 as part of the company’s EIS requirements. Since that time, monitoring of mangrove regeneration and reforestation has been conducted as a voluntary research project by EcoScience NT. Ongoing studies aim to document restoration of the site and to determine the long-term success of the different rehabilitation techniques.

In 2018, drone imagery combined with ground based monitoring, indicated patchy regeneration of the cleared corridor. Subsequent rapid regeneration of the forest in the central section of the corridor was observed between 2019 and 2021. This dense regrowth of mangroves in some areas virtually excluded the use of intensive ground based monitoring techniques – especially those involving direct counts of seedlings,  height and density measurements.The last detailed ground-based monitoring survey at the GEP was conducted in 2020.

In 2021, EcoScience negotiated a joint pilot research project with CSIRO, in which terrestrial LiDar was trialled to determine whether  this advanced technology could be used to obtain monitoring data such as tree height, canopy cover and species richness.



Santos Darwin LNG Plant


A comprehensive mangrove monitoring program has been in place to monitor the health of mangrove communities surrounding the Santos Darwin LNG plant at Wickham Point in Darwin Harbour since it’s construction in 2004.

Formerly owned by Cononco Phillips, the MMP is one of the most comprehensive long term scientific monitoring programs associated with any development in the NT. EcoScience NT has been involved in mangrove monitoring surveys and reporting for the DLNG for 12 years and recently completed field work for the 2022 program.

Mangrove monitoring - flora assessment

Mangrove health is monitored using key indicators such as canopy cover, tree health and photo-monitoring, comparing current data and imagery against baseline data.

Rehabilitation of the pipeline shore crossing is also conducted annually while documenting changes in the distribution and extent of mangroves surrounding the Santos LNG plant.

In 2023, a remote sensing trial using the EcoScience Phantom 4 drone will be conducted to improve the surveillance capacity of the program and increase field survey efficiency.

Join our next mangrove tour:
Saturday 9am 14 October 2023.

Discover the mysterious and magnificent mangrove forests of Darwin Harbour during a guided mangrove walk and talk.

Over the last decade, EcoScience has collaborated with numerous community groups, schools and organisations to host educational walks and talks through easily accessible mangrove forests including the East Point Mangrove Boardwalk. These events are both fun and informative and have been very popular.

Custom mangrove walking tours can also be arranged that are tailored to suit the specific interests and/or theme for different community groups, school excursions, university courses, meetings and conferences.

Mangrove Walk and Talk 1 July 2023