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Botanic Gardens chief plucked to lead Australian Antarctic Division

The Morrison government has picked Kim Ellis, an army veteran and the chief of Sydney’s Royal Botanic Garden, to lead the Australian Antarctic Division as it enters “an exciting new era of research”.

Mr Ellis, an ex-logistics specialist with 20 years service in the military, replaces Nick Gales who joined the Antarctic division in the 1980s as a veterinary scientist studying elephant seals and penguins before his appointment as director in 2015.

Trading in the shrubbery for the frozen south: Outgoing executive director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kim Ellis.

Trading in the shrubbery for the frozen south: Outgoing executive director of the Royal Botanic Gardens Kim Ellis.

“Currently the executive director of Botanic Gardens and Centennial Backgrounds in NSW, and having led a diverse range of high profile government and science organisations, Mr Ellis brings a wealth of experience to this position,” Melissa Price, the federal Environment Minister, said.

It is understood Dr Gales helped advise the selection panel that nominated Mr Ellis. The parkland chief’s experience included visiting Antarctic at least once in a logistics support role.

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