Cameron Yates

Program Coordinator

Cameron Yates is a spatial fire ecologist working with over 23 years’ GIS and remote sensing experience in the savannas’ of northern Australia. Early work Cameron conducted focused on the ecological consequences of fire regimes in the Victoria River District of the Northern Territory. Cameron was involved with the development of greenhouse gas emissions abatement methodology, known as Savanna Burning ( This involved the establishment of an extensive array of field sites to collect and analyse vegetation fuels related to fire information, and the publication of the results. He has helped train Indigenous rangers and National Parks staff to undertake prescribed fire management, planning and reporting.

Cameron has extensive experience with developing and establishing ground based ecological monitoring programs and relating them to satellite based spatial products across the tropical savannas and rangelands of northern Australia and Papua New Guinea. He has worked on a number of natural resource programs in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Western Australia developing remotely sensed monitoring methodologies to map land condition, land clearing and weeds.

Cameron is the Project Coordinator for the Darwin Centre for Bushfire Research, managing a suite of fire related projects, predominantly on Indigenous lands, and is developing a dynamic, satellite derived, map of “grass curing” for north Australia to aid with forecasting fire danger and to improve fire management activities.

Contact Information:

+61 438 870 536


Journal Articles

Eames T, Russell-Smith J, Yates C, Edwards A, Vernooij R, van derWerf GR, Ribeiro N, Steinbruch F (2020) Instantaneous pre-fire biomass and fuel load measurements from multi-spectral UAV mapping in southern African savannas. Fire, in review.

Fisher, R., Vigilante, T., Yates, C., & Russell-Smith, J. (2003). Patterns of landscape fire and predicted vegetation response in the North Kimberley region of Western Australia. International Journal of Wildland Fire12(4), 369-379.

Lynch D, Russell-Smith J, Evans J, Yates CP, Edwards AC (2018) Incentivising fire management in Pindan (Acacia shrubland): a proposed vegetation fuel type for Australia’s savanna burning greenhouse gas emissions abatement methodology. Ecological Management & Restoration 19:230-238.

Maier, S. W., J. Russell-Smith, A. C. Edwards and C. Yates (2013). “Sensitivity of the MODIS fire detection algorithm (MOD14) in the savanna region of the Northern Territory, Australia.” ISPRS journal of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 76: 11-16.

Russell-Smith J, Edwards AC, Sangha K, Yates CP, Gardener M (2020) Challenges for prescribed fire management in Australia’s fire-prone rangelands – the example of the Northern Territory. International Journal of Wildland Fire 29: 339-353.

Russell-Smith J, Evans J, MacDermott H, Brocklehurst P, Schatz J, Lynch D, Yates C, Edwards A (2019) Tree recruitment dynamics in fire-prone eucalypt savanna. Ecosphere 10(3):1-21, e02649.

Russell-Smith J, Moura LC, Yates CP, Beatty R, Mafoko J, Johnston S (2020) Market-based options for supporting sustainable fire management of fire-prone Cerrado (savanna) remnant landscapes. Biodiversidade Brasiliense, in press

Russell-Smith J, Yates C, Vernooij R, Eames T, van der Werf G, Edwards A, Beatty, Lekoko O, Mafoko J, Monagle C, Johnston S (2020) Opportunities and challenges for savanna burning emissions reduction in southern Africa. Global Environmental Change, submitted.

Russell-Smith J, Yates CP, Edwards AC, Murphy BP, Whitehead PJ, Lawes MJ. 2015. Deriving multiple benefits from carbon market-based savanna burning projects: an Australian example. PLoS ONE 10(12): e0143426Russell-Smith, J. and A. C. Edwards (2006). “Seasonality and fire severity in savanna landscapes of monsoonal northern Australia.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 15(4): 541-550.

Russell-Smith, J., C. Yates, A. Edwards, G. E. Allan, G. D. Cook, P. Cooke, R. Craig, B. Heath and R. Smith (2003). “Contemporary fire regimes of northern Australia, 1997-2001: change since Aboriginal occupancy, challenges for sustainable management.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 12(3-4): 283-297.

Whitehead PJ, Murphy BP, Evans J, Lynch D, Yates CP, Edwards AC, MacDermott H, Watt F, Russell-Smith J (2020) Turnover of standing and fallen dead trees in north Australian savannas: issues for fire management. Ecosphere, submitted.

Whitehead PJ, Murphy BP, Evans J, Yates CP, Edwards AC, MacDermott HJ, Lynch DC, Russell-Smith J (2020) Recruitment, growth and mortality of trees in Australian savannas: predicting effects of fire management on tree biomass. Ecological Monographs, in revision

Yates CP, MacDermott H, Evans J, Murphy BP, Russell-Smith J (2020) Seasonal fine fuel and coarse woody debris dynamics in north Australian savannas. International Journal of Wildland Fire, in press.

Yates, C. P., A. C. Edwards and J. Russell-Smith (2008). “Big fires and their ecological impacts in Australian savannas: size and frequency matters.” International Journal of Wildland Fire 17: 768-781.