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The Possingham Lab is in the Faculty of Science at The University of Queensland split between two schools – the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Maths and Physics. All of our work is directly supported by The University of Queensland via administration, facilities, grants and research infrastructure.

Most of our research is using decision science thinking to pose and solve conservation problems. We do odd bits of field work – often on birds. We like using models to predict the future, and we like to test those models with new and existing data. We like ecological theory, things that change in space and time and inventing clever ways of extracting information from old data. The mathematical and statistical tools we use are diverse, ranging from the basic to the complex.

Read about a few of our projects in the Research Themes section or for a more casual introduction to lab work – read a few issues of Decision Point.

Most importantly we try to do research that has impact, research that changes the way that the world works.  Our work has helped save hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of woodland and forest and informed the creation of many of the world’s marine protected area systems.

Who are the people the lab?  Anyone who thinks they are in the lab. We have lots of friends, both in the two centres Hugh directs – the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and the National Environmental Science Programme Threatened Species Recovery Hub - and in over 20 countries around the world. Many of them like to visit – lab meetings and talks are twice a week. If you want to join us, or visit us, go to the opportunities tab.

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Lab twitter feed:

saverygo Today I popped into #Ottawa’s @FelineCafe for a cup of coffee and some kitten cuddles. #Caturday for the win (They… https://t.co/AiuakygL5j
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saverygo RT @SeabirdSentinel: “We can’t technology our way out of this” #PlasticPollution https://t.co/fYDbQf1Llx
saverygo RT @DrEmmaLJohnston: I can relate to the findings of this study! I started with $0 set-up funds, no laboratory space & I accepted the first…
saverygo RT @marktakesphoto: Nikon d500 is great at capturing flying fish. @BBCEarth @NikonUSA @NikonAsia @NatGeo https://t.co/fvhop11IYj
saverygo RT @500womensci: Continuing with our focus on the #SciMomJourney for International Women’s Month, today we want to talk about parental leav…
saverygo RT @callarayy: West coast friends, keep your 👀open for ⚰️🦇’s https://t.co/Ot3B9k5NdY
saverygo @PetrelStation @DrAnaQueiros Agreed! Plastic may be convenient but there is nothing convenient about plastic pollut… https://t.co/0Pc5aU4892
saverygo RT @TheLabAndField: Believe this is the oldest reference to a storm-petrel being used as a candle (yes, a candle). From Thomas Pennant's "B…
MariaBeger RT @bob_london: The drone photo Met Police didn't want me to take #PeoplesVoteMarch #PutitothePeople #PeoplesMarch #RevokeArticle50march ht…
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MariaBeger Brisbane here I come! https://t.co/ZB7qDLXNZX
MariaBeger @DrTashaBarlow I beat you to it - I handed it in a bit after the deadline :-)
MariaBeger RT @bode_e: @ShauhinAlavi @HyenaProject @meganpetersdorf Great point! Data analysis and modelling are totally easy and free. But also worth…
MariaBeger If like me you are weirded out by the bizarreness of the UK govt consider signing this Petition: Revoke Article 50… https://t.co/NMDrf1rlw7
MariaBeger RT @CoralConsortium: Are you interested in working with NOAA and the CRC to advance coral reef restoration? ERT Inc. on behalf of NOAA is r…
MariaBeger RT @CoralReefFish: The declining interest in natural history is reflected on the decline in field-based studies: field-based publications d…
MariaBeger RT @eatreml: Renee is launching her latest book ‘Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery’ today in Brisbane @wherethewildthingsare_b…
MariaBeger RT @HugePossum: Plastic pollution is a problem we must all address, but we should never lose focus on the bigger issues: habitat, climate,…
MariaBeger @DrTashaBarlow I also had an easy morning - enjoying a coffee with Ailuk after his violin exam! https://t.co/uWRs4xaC7Q
BeyerHawthorne Philae lander en route to comet 67P right now. Exciting moment given the odds of even getting #Rosetta there.
BeyerHawthorne Landowners destroy habitat to dodge immenent protection legislation. Conervation planning must acount for this! http://t.co/SMBelGA6TW
BeyerHawthorne A major problem in conservation planning is finding ways of accounting for myopic reversals of protection. E.g. http://t.co/EV9MvhE87S
BeyerHawthorne Slam on the breaks. We have it all wrong: Tony Abbott adviser warns of threat of 'global cooling'. No, not Apr 1st. http://t.co/iXn80UgD7M
BeyerHawthorne Happy to see a woman has won this years Fields medal for the first time. http://t.co/qIoG6ED7q2
AChauvenet RT @EuanRitchie1: A terrific new paper in @AustralEcology 'Towards meaningful monitoring: A case study of a threatened rodent' by @Hayley_G
AChauvenet RT @can_essay: It's intuitive that reservoirs and secondary hosts will make mitigation of #Bsal #chytrid and other #wildlifediseases much h…
AChauvenet RT @ithinkwellHugh: PhD students often tell me they have no idea how their research is going. You could ask your supervisor: Am I on track?…
AChauvenet RT @DrNatOsborne: Come work with me! The @ENVPlanManage discipline in @Griffith_ENV is looking for a Lecturer in Environmental Planning/Pol…
AChauvenet RT @hormiga: A surprising number of students are paying for articles when they hit a paywall! A lot of our libraries can get these articles…
AChauvenet RT @DollyJorgensen: Looking for a good early career researcher (from anywhere, with any humanities background) interested in working on how…
AChauvenet RT @ayeshatulloch: To reduce fire risk and meet climate targets, over 300 scientists call for stronger land clearing laws https://t.co/dVaf
AChauvenet RT @BiodiversityGuy: Did you know that @EcolSocAus Hot Topics have a doi and can be cited? My feral horse Hot Topic that was published last…
AChauvenet @erinbiba I hadn't thought of that but it makes sense, and now I am sad.
AChauvenet RT @slamup: and though we all would like to thank you for humouring us on this special day we also need you…
biodiversityBD @kmillerheidke This is GREAT! You should go on Australian Idol! Seriously though, good luck, have fun :-)
biodiversityBD @shornwell cheers Sean! :-D
biodiversityBD @ChrisOBryan89 @ARC_CEED @ICCB2017 thanks for the nice tweet! :-D
biodiversityBD What is an adequate protected area network? Protect everything? 20%? Or do better each year? Great symposium + talks @cdkuempel @HugePossum
biodiversityBD RT @CarlaWildlife: PADDD is often overlooked in conservation yet has impacted over 3200 PAs and 2.2mill km2 @RachGolden #ICCB2017 https://t…
biodiversityBD RT @LeahLeopold: @saverygo shares @sesync @BiodiversityASU work on cost effective decision-making in face of uncertainty #ICCB2017 https://…
biodiversityBD Big tumour data could save lives and reduce the cost of health care. Very international collaboration for betterment of humanity.
biodiversityBD Devastating but engaging news piece on the state of the Great Barrier Reef https://t.co/P5PA3W0U79 @Nicki__S #TheProjectTV
MattHHolden RT @megcevans: Want to review for @ConLetters ? Let us know 👇 https://t.co/S3lCFLorQt
MattHHolden RT @QuantaMagazine: The ecologist Jennifer Dunne reconstructed the feeding relationships among the weird, 500-million-year-old creatures of…
MattHHolden @bluecology @CoorongDan1 @bode_e @HyenaProject It should be easy to infer that field and experimental papers are in… https://t.co/1CTqkeHEoz
MattHHolden I find this gender-neutral voice very pleasing to the ear - I would choose it for my electronic devices if it were… https://t.co/v3USIlri3N
MattHHolden Chemical composition of honey from #bees can be an important pollution indicator. https://t.co/bdlyXfws47 Interesti… https://t.co/3CnXVjmwNc
MattHHolden RT @stevenstrogatz: From one of my daughters https://t.co/lJKJqKBkp6
MattHHolden RT @HugePossum: A dozen more spots to go and we will reach our target of 100 PhD students. Please send this on to your colleagues in Austr…
MattHHolden RT @DynamicEcology: A statistical profile of recent EEB faculty job applicants https://t.co/8levSejJNc https://t.co/mwNyQyUEXG
MattHHolden RT @HugePossum: Plastic pollution is a problem we must all address, but we should never lose focus on the bigger issues: habitat, climate,…
cdkuempel RT @SofiaLop11: Interesting opportunity to meet students from different regions and backgrounds!! Enrolment extended until the end of the m…
cdkuempel RT @villasenor_jc: Might be very relevant to many of us @ecodatasci https://t.co/OlywDn9p4C
cdkuempel RT @questlove: Impossible Burger Lovers & Cheesesteak Connoisseurs https://t.co/BsIYZqgswT #QuestloveCheesesteaks #ImpossibleCheeseSteaks
cdkuempel In the past 2 months, 3 restaurants have just "forgot" my order. Starting to get a complex - is it me? is it them?… https://t.co/QhJG3hwN3e
cdkuempel RT @RLadiesSB: It was wonderful to see so many Santa Barbara R-Ladies and allies yesterday @nceas to learn about streamlined workflows in R…
cdkuempel RT @BeccaTaylorEcon: Hot off the press – I wrote an article about my new paper: https://t.co/JHIefVN0cc Key finding: Banning plastic carry…
cdkuempel RT @AustCoralReefs: Calling all #Students! #SavetheDate for the #ACRSWritingRetreat Aug 6-12 #MagneticIsland #Townsville! Stay tuned for mo…
cdkuempel RT @nceas: Julie Lowndes @juliesquid wants the Force of open data science to be with you. Learn how the mentorship program she launched, @o
cdkuempel RT @DocFroehlich: The @SBIndyNews highlighting @nceas Artist in Residence program and the resulting #WomenInScience exhibit at the @MOXISB
cdkuempel RT @DocFroehlich: Seafood fraud or mislabeling is no joke. But it does make me ponder the friction btw diet diversification & our ability…
kwekings RT @JEcology: New on the blog: our blog editor @PierreMariotte shares some thoughts and his personal experiences on what it means to be an…
kwekings RT @DLNarango: Check out our new paper in @PNASNews! With help from DC-area homeowners we found that your yard needs at least 70% #nativepl
kwekings RT @xingli_giam: Looking for talented and driven MS/PhD students to join my lab and the Conserv Sci initiative @UTK_EEB. Potential topics:…
kwekings RT @JEcology: Thinking about writing a review paper? Read 'The anatomy of an excellent review paper' by @panemma published in @FunEcology f…
kwekings Check out the .gif showing an R function being called in an Excel cell https://t.co/RvBCNOuvzV
kwekings Academia should aim "to improve society, not chase citations" nor grant money/patents https://t.co/Hy25ZeipPo
kwekings Education for the future https://t.co/QWBGceda9H
kwekings Meat consumption, health, and the environment: a review https://t.co/vstrX0QyX1
kwekings Paying it forward as a mentor https://t.co/R5S83rsz2Y
kwekings @marcuschua whyamiafternoonofday5why?? #conferenceproblems
BonMappin RT @sccs_aus: Last chance to register and submit your abstract for #SCCSAus2019! Registration closes next week (Feb 28th). With inspiration…
BonMappin Scientists investigation into the cause of mass fish kills #MurrayDarling finds excess water extraction upstream i… https://t.co/m0u9Ec7D7u
BonMappin RT @wellcometrust: The #malaria data re-use prize will support researchers who can generate a new insight, tool, or health application from…
BonMappin RT @saverygo: Across the globe thousands of species are #endangered - but $$ for #conservation is limited. Managers face some very tough de…
BonMappin RT @ConBiology: Our editor's pick for October 2018 is "Standardized reporting of the costs of management interventions for biodiversity con…
BonMappin RT @greensjeremy: Today we get the shocking news that Coles has backflipped on the plastic bag ban. Don't let them get away with it. RT i…
BonMappin RT @dszim: This analysis should spark a much-needed discussion and progress on how we transparently and consistently report on the costs of…
BonMappin RT @j_a_mcgowan: New Paper in Cons Bio: We provide a framework to account for the co$ts of conservation and management. Our hope is to bol…
BonMappin RT @adriantmurdock: Great turnout for #nationaltreeday at Waverton Park in North #Sydney @BonMappin @PlanetArk @NthSydCouncil https://t.c…
BonMappin @DRobcito @WythamWoods1 Actually looking through to the next quad.. I think I’m wrong!
mainambui RT @wiomsa: Video and article from the GIS training workshop currently taking place in Mauritius. Une formation sur les données spatiales d…
mainambui RT @UNEnvironment: We need marine protected areas 🌊 To avoid overfishing To allow degraded oceans to recover To build resilience to #clima
mainambui RT @EnvScMQ: Our Spatial Information expert Maina Mbui (@mainambui) and Will Farebrother are currently in stunning Mauritius teaching a #GI
mainambui #mdpiremotesensing Earth Observation Technology Applied to Coral Reefs https://t.co/jmAOeIEBQl @RemoteSens_MDPI
mainambui Madagascar agrees to a 10 year fisheries agreement with Chinese consortium https://t.co/KfOF0RosB6
mainambui RT @EnvScMQ @wiomsa @NCSecretariat New paper published in @MEPS_IR shows incorporating management feasibility & col… https://t.co/eFDx3iZ6sb
mainambui RT @HighSeasAllianc: In 1982, the UN adopted the Convention on the Law of the Sea, but left the #highseas free from restrictions. Now, nego…
mainambui RT @aboudjumbe: .@dobura @cordioea Ocean diamonds: Africa's 'blue economy' @AJEnglish https://t.co/sLxGD3bwny
mainambui RT @aboudjumbe: A family photo of Governmental, Inter-Governmental, Research, Academic, Legal, Conservation and other NGOs Experts meeting…
mainambui RT @aboudjumbe: Jospeh Maina of @Macquarie_Uni working for the @NCSecretariat program on connectivity, environmental flows, and marine spat…
j_a_mcgowan RT @cyclonewatson: Great to see the new @EnviroDecisions Alliance up and going. congrats to the energetic leadership @McMadLab. Check out t…
j_a_mcgowan RT @shanahandanz: Today we welcomed titipounamu into @Zealandia. Deputy Mayor @jilldaynz captured the sentiment perfectly - today was about…
j_a_mcgowan @LauraEllenDee I wish!!!! I’d love to do more of this.
j_a_mcgowan @LauraEllenDee @HugePossum We had a very talented animator who completely understood our vision!
j_a_mcgowan Amazing! So glad to see it’s being used @LauraEllenDee https://t.co/AGA5Gc6LFu
j_a_mcgowan RT @EU_DOPA: Why don't you join the #EUDatathon and show us what could be done with the results of our analysis of #protectedareas? We hav…
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: To tackle the biggest challenges facing humanity today, @nature_org and @techstars partnered on the #Sustainability #Accele
j_a_mcgowan RT @diefelcorr: Which are the environmental impacts of biofuels? How to identify and implement more sustainable biofuels? Our new paper…
j_a_mcgowan RT @jamesecology: By mapping specific threats to imperiled species, we identify 'hotspots' (where many species are impacted) and 'coolspots…
j_a_mcgowan RT @jamisonervin: Congrats to @DrKWilkinson from @ProjectDrawdown for making top 25 influential #climate leaders: https://t.co/cwMlNtuSsy!
MorenaMills RT @blogdosakamoto: Metade dos colégios não tem rede de esgoto. Mas, para muitos, o problema da educação é a "doutrinação gayzista-globalis…
MorenaMills RT @amyluers: Excited to announce new @Belmont_Forum and @FutureEarth Trans-disciplinary call for proposals on Climate, Environment, and…
MorenaMills RT @ICCB2019: #GoodNews - we’ve extended the deadline to apply for #ICCB2019 travel grants AND broadened the prospective pool of applicants…
MorenaMills @Brett5678 @CClubbe @FaunaFloraInt @imperialcollege You did so well Brett! Well done! I’m very proud of you!
MorenaMills RT @Brett5678: A proud day for me, but I could not have achieved this without an amazing team around me! Let’s hope this work can really he…
MorenaMills RT @OryxTheJournal: Out now: Malus niedzwetzkyana, an #Endangered wild relative of domesticated apples, is an important component of the wa…
MorenaMills @Georgina_Gurney @adriana_chac @jcu Awesome news Georgie!!! Your plans sound great!
MorenaMills RT @cwsindia: On #WorldWildlifeDay, CWS is proud to announce Wild Shaale - a conservation education program for children living in conflict…
MorenaMills RT @Georgina_Gurney: Exciting job with @WorldFishCenter for a scientist interested in how community-based small-scale fisheries management…
MorenaMills RT @GAhmadia: Excited to share a new job: marine spatial analyst position with WWF and Nat Geo working on some great projects to help us ma…
HugePossum RT @lililutra: Hear @HugePossum speak about "Decision analysis as the meaning of life"! @DICE_Kent are pleased to be part of the new @Envir
HugePossum RT @ProfTerryHughes: Hands up everyone who’s happy to give up blue skies and stars, so the fossil fuel companies can continue business as u…
HugePossum RT @martine_maron: New paper by @ZoeStoneNZ sheds light on what the northern population of the Eastern Bristlebird - Queensland's rarest bi…
HugePossum RT @cyclonewatson: Great to see the new @EnviroDecisions Alliance up and going. congrats to the energetic leadership @McMadLab. Check out t…
HugePossum RT @kateumbers: The David Attenborough of the #austalps Respect your elders. https://t.co/pDcZp6Lz4b
HugePossum RT @jamisonervin: To celebrate International #ForestDay, take a moment to read new blog by @nicoledesant from @NYDF_Platform on why #indige
HugePossum RT @ParisBates94: Bleaching is still happening across the globe, despite not being front an centre in the media as it was a few years so! h…
HugePossum RT @justinehausheer: Coming up soon at 11:00am Brisbane time… @HugePossum explains how decision analysis is the meaning of life (yes, reall…
HugePossum RT @martine_maron: They can't talk and don't vote — but their fate will feature in the NSW election https://t.co/w1dijbxfTN via @abcnews
HugePossum RT @cyclonewatson: It's pretty obvious, but we need to protect the last remaining intact forests as a fundamental strategy to keep climate…
RKRunting @ResPlat @unimelb @nikkirubinstein Thanks for the opportunity to participate in a wonderful initiative #ResBaz
RKRunting How does #forest sparing vs sharing stack up against improving management in tropical forests? Our new paper shows… https://t.co/nxHQqaFMVf
RKRunting RT @brettabryan: If you are a senior researcher interested in working with a great team on simulating Australian land-use change and it's i…
RKRunting Excited to announce I will be joining the School of Geography at @unimelb as a Lecturer in Spatial Science from Jan… https://t.co/ZT1TveYMKM
RKRunting RT @ARC_CEED: How #economic theory can help maximise benefits and decrease risk in #conservation planning. https://t.co/fjCJ8gsgIJ @RKRunti
RKRunting RT @j_a_mcgowan: New paper: Addressing transboundary conservation challenges through marine spatial prioritization in Cons Bio. We examined…
RKRunting I really enjoyed participating in the @ARC_CEED twitter conference today #CEEDTC2018! To commemorate the occasion,… https://t.co/FEI9DHzmIi
RKRunting @dpannell66 @j_r_rhodes @CathLovelock @brettabryan @JAppliedEcology In the future we are also looking at using diff… https://t.co/50O8k8FDFs
RKRunting @dpannell66 @j_r_rhodes @CathLovelock @brettabryan @JAppliedEcology We applied a whole range of different risk aver… https://t.co/YBfth2apPj
christhebirder @mike_young00 Hey Mike sounds like an Action Plan is maybe in the works!
christhebirder RT @ScienceChiefAu: Dr Finkel is in Adelaide tomorrow talking about the origins and importance of citizen #science at #CitSciOz18. Have you…
christhebirder I’m excited to be attending the second Australian Citizen Science Conference in Adelaide this week. It will be inte… https://t.co/NB9Jgz8oxr
christhebirder RT @roconscicom: We're too slow, too inconsistent and invertebrates tend to get ignored when we list threatened species according to @chri
christhebirder RT @austmus: #FrogID is here! It’s a scientific rescue mission and everyone can get involved. By recording #frog calls with our new FrogID…
christhebirder RT @ANUmedia: First critically endangered swift parrot babies of the season!!ANU researcher @teamswiftparrot over the moon to find a 30 day…
christhebirder RT @TSR_Hub: Swift Parrot habitat is being legally logged in Tas under RFA. Loggers exempt from EPBC Act! https://t.co/LbbAquulvM via @C
christhebirder RT @TSR_Hub: Habitat loss is the #1 threat to Australia's species and it makes all the other threats worse https://t.co/IQmAhN8kop via @Con
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: "Effective conservation requires science-based decisions" New feature from @GMMace highlights how evidence should inform wh…
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vivtulloch Best “in the field” photo used for media ever...snorkeling in New Caledonia https://t.co/4ZiG8aCgeu via @abcnews
vivtulloch RT @RobHarcourt: A year of #Discovery- #seals A’s #oceanographers revealing the secrets of the Southern Ocean ⁦@IMOSAnimalTrack⁩ ⁦@SydneyM
vivtulloch RT @oceana: #URGENT: Use your voice to help #DefendMarineMammals. Tell your member of Congress: Defend whales, dolphins and other marine m…
vivtulloch @redlipblenny I think I need to get there! Only 2 hours drive from where I live now!
vivtulloch @PaulineSkarrott @m_dimarco There is very little data on the extent of micro plastics in Antarctic waters and the i… https://t.co/ca6JIDMPyC
vivtulloch Check out the video by @CSIROnews of our new research linking climate change with future whale and krill declines.… https://t.co/fBI6Iz2uOK
vivtulloch @CSIROnews Research conducted by @vivtulloch and @bluecology!
vivtulloch Great blog on our new research linking whales, krill and climate change #CSIRO https://t.co/0caiQd9zn0
vivtulloch RT @ayeshatulloch: Depressing new research by the amazing @vivtulloch showing future krill declines under #ClimateChange will negate #whale
rubenvli RT @MattIDCarter: New #OA research out today in @SciReports. Sex and region differences in the ontogeny of early-life at-sea behaviours in…
rubenvli @m_pasku @ARC_CEED Hi Marta, you can find it here https://t.co/GNuJLngRv0
rubenvli RT @j_a_mcgowan: Best practice for using marine IBAs in spatial prioritisation new @ConLetters research from @ARC_CEED @DICE_Kent https://t…
rubenvli RT @BrendanGodley: Pls RT. Can companies eg @sainsburys be influenced by RT's of images of ridiculous excessive #plastic ? Aubergines have…
rubenvli RT @HugePossum: If you thought natural world heritage sites were safe, think again @cyclonewatson @jamesecology https://t.co/4S0ORdUDLf
rubenvli Complementing expert priorities and stakeholder preferences for marine management of Moreton Bay #MBQR2016.@NRMecon https://t.co/Oh0jMVVbOL
rubenvli RT @JAppliedEcology: Coarse spatial resolutions ⬇ commission errors in species ranges but ⬆ #conservation planning costs https://t.co/Jp8y7

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MSc in Conservation Biology

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  • Intensive 1 year program
  • taught by world class conservation & industry specialists
  • filed experience in rainforest, coastal, reef & outback habitats
  • dedicated cohort support services