Claire Farrell

14349_0180Claire is a Lecturer in Green Infrastructure, based at the Burnley Campus of The University of Melbourne. Her main research interest involves using plants to make cities more liveable.

Claire’s current research is on using green roofs for stormwater mitigation and improving biodiversity in Australian cities. As green roofs are difficult places for plant to survive, much of her  research has focused on the drought tolerance and water use strategies of native Australian plants, including granite outcrop vegetation. Recently her research involves using natural ecosystems as mimics to design optimal green roofs.  This includes investigating the role plant diversity has on the stormwater and cooling benefits of green roofs. Other research interests include improving water and nutrient retention of green roof substrates, the potential use of vegetables in rain gardens and using Australian shrubs in designed plantings (the woody meadow project).

Research Gate profile

Contact Claire:

Research grants:

Woody Meadow Field Trials  awarded by TRAWALLA FOUNDATION 2015 – 2017

Mimicking natural ecosystems to improve green roof performance (ARC Linkage Grant) 2013 – 2016

“Does biodiversity matter: Using ecological theory to optimise rain garden performance”. Awarded by National Garden Industry Australia 2010-2011.

“Vegetable Raingardens – the benefits and performance”. Awarded by Melbourne Water 2010-2013.

Recent green infrastructure publications:

C Szota C.F., N Williams, TD Fletcher (2016) A practical tool for designing vegetated roofs to optimise rainfall retention (Un outil pratique pour optimiser la rétention des eaux pluviales dans les toitures végétalisées – Contrôle à la source). In: Novatech – planning and technologies for sustainable urban water management.  9th international conference, Lyon, France.

C. Farrell, C.T.N. Cao, X.Q. Ang and J.P. Rayner, 2016. Use of water-retention additives to improve performance of green roof substrates. Acta Hort. (ISHS): 271-278.

Chambers D.P., Walker C., Williams K., Rayner J., Farrell C., Butt A.-M. & Rostan-Herbert D. (2016) Engaging Students with Environmental Sustainability at a Research Intensive University: Examples of Small Successes. In: Teaching Education for Sustainable Development at University Level, pp. 205-219. Springer International Publishing.

Rayner J.P., Farrell C., Raynor K.J., Murphy S.M. & Williams N.S. (2016) Plant establishment on a green roof under extreme hot and dry conditions: The importance of leaf succulence in plant selection. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 15, 6-14.

Williams NSG, Rayner JP, Lee KE, Fletcher TD, Chen D, Szota C and F. C., 2016. Developing Australian green roofs: overview of a 5-year research program. Acta Hort (ISHS).: 345-352

Farrell C, Szota C, Arndt SK. Urban Plantings: ‘Living Laboratories’ for Climate Change Response, 2015. Trends in Plant Science 20(10): 597-599.

Szota, C., C. Farrell, S.J. Livesley and T.D. Fletcher, 2015. Salt tolerant plants increase nitrogen removal from biofiltration systems affected by saline stormwater. Water Research 83: 195-204.  doi:10.1016/j.watres.2015.06.024.

Richards, P.J., C. Farrell, M. Tom, N.S. Williams and T.D. Fletcher, 2015. Vegetable raingardens can produce food and reduce stormwater runoff. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 14: 646-654.  doi:10.1016/j.ufug.2015.06.007.

Cao, C.T., C. Farrell, P.E. Kristiansen and J.P. Rayner, 2014. Biochar makes green roof substrates lighter and improves water supply to plants. Ecological Engineering 71: 368-374.

Lee, K.E., K.J.H. Williams, L.D. Sargent, C. Farrell and N.S. Williams (2014) Living roof preference is influenced by plant characteristics and diversity. Landscape and Urban Planning 122: 152-159.

Farrell, C., X.Q. Ang and J.P. Rayner, 2013a. Water-retention additives increase plant available water in green roof substrates. Ecol. Eng, 52: 112-118.

Farrell, C., C. Szota, N.S.G. Williams and S.K. Arndt, 2013b. High water users can be drought tolerant: using physiological traits to improve green roof plant selection. Plant and soil 372: 177-193 Plant Soil, DOI 10.1007/s11104-013-1725-x.

Farrell, C., R.E. Mitchell, C. Szota, J.P. Rayner and N.S.G. Williams, 2012. Green roofs for hot and dry climates: Interacting effects of plant water use, succulence and substrate. Ecol. Eng, 49: 270-276.

Hucker, P. and C. Farrell, 2011. Does plant diversity in biofilters affect stormwater runoff quality and quantity? NGIA Technical Nursery Papers, December, Issue 10.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s