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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 1) I am still working on my doctorate. 2) I do not study lungs. #nerdy #junkmail
saverygo RT @maerkelig: Boys & girls history has been made today with the creation of the #RossSea MPA in the Southern #Ocean ... it'll be in the sc…
saverygo Big news: The world's largest marine protected area has just been established in Antarctica
saverygo @GGlusman That's great to hear!
saverygo Freshwater ecosystems face immediate threats #canpoli #conservation #WaterIsLife
saverygo RT @ChelseaRochman: Methods for extracting and identifying #microplastics in fish and inverts! @AmieLusher @SciMatt
saverygo RT @NatureEcoEvo: Wildfire strongly linked to declining sage-grouse populations over the past 30 years across the Great Basin
saverygo If you collaborate with Phillip Island Nature Parks don't miss out on the upcoming #PISCI1 @PhillipIslandNP Researc…
saverygo RT @pengchiara: Phillip Island research symp on twitter #PISCI1 call 4 contributions by Nov 1st DM 4 details @PhillipIslandNP @AUS_NZ_Seabi
saverygo RT @mvpgeo: Cool example of DIY tools and citizen science - using smartphones to estimate chl a fluorescence, by Anna Friedrichs #OO2016
MariaBeger RT @JaneLubchenco: This court decision is huge. Species may be listed as endangered based on climate models. @NOAA listed ice seals. https…
MariaBeger RT @iadinec: A review of optimization methods to solve adaptive management problems @conservationdec @hugepossum @cindyeh
MariaBeger RT @NatureEcoEvo: Report reveals a big dependence on freshwater fish for global food security via @physorg_com
MariaBeger RT @justinehausheer: Hey about the new #nightparrot discovery? Read more about their conservation on @nature_brains
MariaBeger RT @MaritWilk: Mounting evidence for nature health benefits! England's green spaces worth £2.2bn to pub health - #e
MariaBeger RT @RichardMcLellan: Mosquitoes winning under #ClimateChange, salmon losing #SpeciesOnTheMove #biodiversity https:/…
MariaBeger RT @G_Boccaletti: Watch: A world without fish, is a world without food. Vote now for nature_org technology that can help save them! https:/…
MariaBeger RT @Yates_KL: Ever thought about the incorporation of invasive species into conservation planning... great new paper out
MariaBeger RT @UniDive_FREA: Tonight: FREA lecture by Dr Christine Dudgeon on fish ID. 7pm room 519, UQ Chamberlain Building. #UniDiveFREA Photo: Reef…
MariaBeger RT @ARC_CEED: Starting Monday with nifty #map of habitat shifts due to #climatechange by @nature_org @dan_majka. Implications for planning…
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!
BeyerHawthorne A major problem in conservation planning is finding ways of accounting for myopic reversals of protection. E.g.
BeyerHawthorne Slam on the breaks. We have it all wrong: Tony Abbott adviser warns of threat of 'global cooling'. No, not Apr 1st.
BeyerHawthorne Happy to see a woman has won this years Fields medal for the first time.
AChauvenet RT @cdkuempel: Check out our new paper looking @ how rapid protected area expansion has impacted equitable representation @HugePossum @ACha
AChauvenet @SoapboxScience @DoctorKarl @WaspWoman would love to chat about #SoapboxScience Australia!
AChauvenet RT @ARC_CEED: #Conservation triage should be hard - it involves complex ethical dilemmas. New paper out @FrontEcolEvol
AChauvenet RT @Pettorelli: The 3rd @RSECJournal issue for this year is out!! all about #ecosystemservices & essential biodiver…
AChauvenet RT @saverygo: Choosing a career outside of academia shouldn't be seen as a failure: #PhdChat #science #careers
AChauvenet Congratulations @DavidJachowski ! Looking forward to receiving my copy.
AChauvenet RT @saverygo: Can decision trees be used to conserve trees (and other plants)? @ARC_CEED Dylan Jones at #Postgrad2016 pres work w/ @AChauve
NRMecon @ultimatemegs @maritkragt @AChauvenet @saverygo @kerrie_a_wilson @wef article mentioned women don't get critical feedback from bosses
NRMecon RT @maritkragt: Gender Equality by Design written by Harvard's Iris Bohnet via @Harvard_Press
NRMecon RT @kylegriffin1: Wow—Today's @nytimes features a 2-page spread of all the people, places & things Trump has insulted on Twitter since decl…
NRMecon Anyone in Sydney want to get on board with closing the #gendergap ?? - The University of Sydney
NRMecon Reviewer no 2 doesn't seem to be struggling with feedback aspects @maritkragt @AChauvenet @saverygo @ultimatemegs
NRMecon There are still major hurdles for women in the workplace via @wef
NRMecon RT @BirdlifeOz: It's the last day of the Aussie Backyard Bird Count - get out there and count some birds! #AussieBirdCount
biodiversityBD RT @ZSLScience: Landmark report shows global wildlife populations on course to decline by 67% by 2020 #LivingPlanet
biodiversityBD RT @Jess_n1: Beautiful :) BBC News - Mist rolls over cliffs at West Bay
biodiversityBD Officemate @JendallKones takes to airwaves to make people aware of large scale wilderness loss! Well done!
biodiversityBD Landmark paper on the catastrophic loss of wild areas across the globe @ABCenvironment @abcnews @ABCscience
biodiversityBD RT @WCSNewsroom: World suffers 'catastrophic' wilderness loss, study says | Fox News |
biodiversityBD New paper on wilderness loss shows potential that no "significant wilderness areas left in less than a century."
biodiversityBD RT @EddieGame: Science glam. At #Eureka16 w @McMadLab who is 1 of 3 short listed for Early Career Researcher of the year. Woohoo. https://t…
biodiversityBD TRIUMPHANT AT LAST! First For Loop in Python for a *real* thing! @gdiacona, it was a mere overwrite issue :-)
biodiversityBD RT @EJMilnerGulland: Human pop incr by 23%, world economy by 153%, but ecol footprint by 9% in last 16 yrs; room for hope?
MattHHolden @ultimatemegs it would lower demand by uncertain amount @ each price, which we test, ~80% decrease in max demand necessary to be effective
MattHHolden RT @seb_schreiber: I prefer divergent improper integrals which yield an infinite amount of chocolate
MattHHolden Only indefinite integrals for me too ... when integrating with respect to chocolate @gdiacona @NRMecon @BonMappin
MattHHolden Understanding and solving environmental conflict #EnvConflict by @suepillans @HugePossum @kerrie_a_wilson
MattHHolden RT @YumMusings: Ah but good pt by Manfredo: who gets to decide what's moral and what's not? #environmentalethics #EnvConflict
MattHHolden #EnvConflict Panel discusses trade offs between what's "morally right" and what's "effective" @GCITweet @duanbiggs
MattHHolden Mining industry plans on adapting to #climatechange while simultaneously avoiding the word. #EnvConflict @NESS_Aus
MattHHolden Rather than convince people #climatechange is more important than other issues, link climate change to these issues…
MattHHolden There is 97% consensus on #GlobalWarming among #climate #scientists but public thinks there is 67% consensus among…
MattHHolden Bloggers doubling down on science denial, increasingly talking against #science rather than policy #climatechange
cdkuempel RT @grnfirescience: Equitable representation of Ecoregions in Protected Areas improving @cdkuempel @HugePossum http…
cdkuempel Check out our new paper looking @ how rapid protected area expansion has impacted equitable representation…
cdkuempel RT @Yates_KL: SUPERB PhD opportunity with @MariaBeger on subtropical reefs. Don't miss the opportunity to work with some of the best in the…
cdkuempel RT @Prof_CallumYork: Overwhelming support for conservation of sharks and rays at CITES - a wonderful victory for science, common sense and…
cdkuempel RT @Ben_Collen: How do we tackle the 1 in 6 species on the @IUCNRedList classified as data deficient? w/ @LucieMBla
cdkuempel Successful R training at @WWF_ID. Thanks @bluecology for making your R materials freely available--Find them here:
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: #Conservation triage should be hard - it involves complex ethical dilemmas. New paper out @FrontEcolEvol
cdkuempel RT @Antzkiwi: Under the #Antarctica sea ice in front of Scott Base today. Turn on your sound. @AntarcticaNZ @UCNZ
kwekings #PrecautionaryPrinciple waved around as a blank cheque undermines its message. #oops #ididittoo #ithink #needtofindoutmore
kwekings Singapore's incessant land reclamation causes environmental problems where the sand comes from, e.g. Cambodia
kwekings #floraSG update: wonder what was #Embelia_lampani (common??)? it's = #Grenacheria_lampanii and so now inherits national status of Endangered
kwekings 2nd ASEAN Universities Workshop: Plants and Fungi. If you can't register, please email me or Amy Choong.
kwekings @winstontlchow so urban trees + soil = net C source? That's going to be sad news for those promoting it as an ecosystem service
kwekings Urban heat reduces photosynthesis and hence carbon sequestration potential of street trees; so will global warming
kwekings Two talks by @kerrie_a_wilson 23 Sep 4pm & 27 Sep 9.30am @ARC_CEED
kwekings SG banks have made >USD3billion worth of loans to palm oil and rubber sectors. @dbsbank and @OCBCBank score 1/30...
kwekings SG banks have made >USD3billion worth of loans to palm oil and rubber sectors. @dbsbank and @OCBCBank score 1/30
BonMappin RT @RichardMcLellan: On average populations of vertebrate species declined by 58% between 1970 & 2012 - @LPI_Science #LivingPlanet Report h…
BonMappin RT @EuanRitchie1: Why isn't this a bigger story? Shocking.
BonMappin RT @TaraGMartin: Intact ecosystems provide best defence against climate change
BonMappin Court rules #auspol environment dept. decision to allow deep sea port on islands without assessment despite 38 thre…
BonMappin RT @michaelaplein: Congratulations to @kerrie_a_wilson. Well done and definitely deserved! @ARC_CEED @UQ_News
BonMappin RT @UNSW: .@DrEmmaLJohnston: Politics needs the vision and evidence-based decision making of scientific leaders #auspol
BonMappin .@StephenWoroniec unfortunately its being spun as a win from both sides of politics for jobs yet only its only 1500
BonMappin Adani’s Carmichael set to clear threatened black-throated finch habitat fast-tracked as “critical infrastructure”…
mainambui RT @donohueian: I'm looking for people interested in doing a PhD in the area of global change and ecosystem stability. Please RT! https://t…
mainambui Catastrophic Declines in Wilderness Areas Undermine Global Environment Targets
mainambui Australia is now a global hotspot for land clearing. I support a call for stronger laws to #ProtectHabitat!
mainambui RT @JoshuaCinner: How coral reefs can thrive in the Anthropocene
mainambui Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs
mainambui Impact on illegal trade of Kenya’s ivory burning should be measured: UQ scientists
mainambui #PLOSONE: Modeling Reef Fish Biomass, Recovery Potential, and Management Priorities in the Western Indian Oce ...
mainambui #mdpiremotesensing Designing Climate-Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks by Combining
mainambui RT @EricHolthaus: The warmth of Earth’s oceans is now literally off the charts.
mainambui New study tackles conflicting goals in the Coral Triangle via @physorg_com
j_a_mcgowan RT @GabrielGrims: Runner up, best presentation at the first Maldives Marine Science Symposium. Congratulations @nisthu @j_a_mcgowan https:/…
j_a_mcgowan RT @deepseadawn: U. British Columbia hiring new faculty in geography, geospatial science, GISci #jobs
j_a_mcgowan RT @EJMilnerGulland: Short survey on human costs of Marine Protected Areas. Please RT & complete if you have experience of MPAs. Thanks! ht…
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: @j_a_mcgowan and I working with #ISMAR to develop #Marxan marine spatial plans for Adriatic @ARC_CEED @arc_gov_au https://t…
j_a_mcgowan RT @Prof_CallumYork: Much of science is a thorough and detailed testing of what seems intuitively obvious. Sometimes we get surprises thoug…
j_a_mcgowan RT @cdkuempel: Day 1: Multi-criteria decision making and Marxan case studies with @j_a_mcgowan and @HugePossum in Indonesia
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: @j_a_mcgowan, @HugePossum and @cdkuempel teaching structured decision-making and #marxan in Indonesia @ARC_CEED https://t.c…
j_a_mcgowan RT @MariaBeger: A year ago, out paper highlighted conservation priorities in the Coral Triangle @HugePossum @j_a_mc
MorenaMills RT @rafael_magris: Abrolhos region urges the need for spatial planning
MorenaMills RT @ABCcatalyst: Tonight 8pm @ABCcatalyst: In a warming world, reefs and their marine life are on the frontline. #GreatBarrierReef @BrettM_
MorenaMills RT @ProfTerryHughes: I showed the results of aerial surveys of #bleaching on the #GreatBarrierReef to my students, And then we wept. https:…
MorenaMills RT @Society4ConBio: .@ICCB2017 abstract format information is now available! #ICCB2017
MorenaMills @ConnectedWaters thanks Steph! We need to catch up!! Any London plans?
MorenaMills Wonderful 3 weeks teaching some really smart masters students conservation science. Now, it's time for research.
MorenaMills RT @ARC_CEED: Valuing #ecosystemservices makes headlines;can it also help decision-making? @guardian suggests way fwd for #coraltriangle #c
MorenaMills Congrats @kerrie_a_wilson! Amazing achievement! @ScienceGovAu
MorenaMills RT @ICCB2017: Heads up! #ICCB2017 First Call for Abstracts to be announced soon... Stay tuned! @Society4ConBio @LACA_SCB
MorenaMills Before Matt. Same as always! @MattHHolden @ICCB2017 @Society4ConBio @LACA_SCB
HugePossum RT @ZSLScience: Landmark report shows global wildlife populations on course to decline by 67% by 2020 #LivingPlanet
HugePossum RT @CBDNews: Ideas from #Harvard : "Experts Offer Solutions Integrating Conservation and Economic Development" @thecrimson
HugePossum RT @pjdgreatlakes: The 7 biggest problems facing science, according to 270 scientists @htallis @HugePossum @KathyCo
HugePossum RT @nature_org: Biodiversity up 40% & biomass up 1014% on an oyster reef we restored, compared to the bay bottom: v…
HugePossum RT @MarkTercek: Looking forward to @LeoDiCaprio's climate film #BeforetheFlood on 10/30. Watch on @NatGeoChannel or stream online https://t…
HugePossum RT @J_Stingemore: Rare orchid rears head in WA one year after blaze: an exciting "needle in a haystack" find. #Thre
HugePossum RT @MattHHolden: Understanding and solving environmental conflict #EnvConflict by @suepillans @HugePossum @kerrie_a_wilson @ARC_CEED @GC
HugePossum RT @GabrielGrims: Runner up, best presentation at the first Maldives Marine Science Symposium. Congratulations @nisthu @j_a_mcgowan https:/…
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: Interested to see White headed pigeons in my Canberra garden this Spring @EnvComm_ACT @CBRNatureMap @canberraindian1 @m
HugePossum RT @nature_org: Climate change threatens all of our future work and much of what we’ve already accomplished, says TNC CEO @MarkTercek at li…
RKRunting Congrats @kerrie_a_wilson - Life Scientist of the Year!
RKRunting RT @oceaniaesforum: Hear ye! Hear ye! The call for Town Hall Meetings is now open! Town Hall Meetings offer a sounding board for... https…
RKRunting RT @kerrie_a_wilson: An overview of our research on Borneo
RKRunting RT @LauraEllenDee: Why functional diversity can help #EcosystemServices withstand more variable #temperatures: http…
RKRunting Great new #ECR paper on incorporating socio-ecological systems into restoration planning @ARC_CEED
RKRunting Australia is now a global hotspot for land clearing. I support a call for stronger laws to #ProtectHabitat!
RKRunting RT @megcevans: New paper by the always impressive Jessie Wells: mapping impacts and perceptions of flooding in #Borneo @emeijaard https://t…
RKRunting Great new paper: #carbon can financially out-compete #OilPalm in floodplain landscapes.
RKRunting RT @j_r_rhodes: Ecosystem service payments offset conservation costs under sea level rise @RKRunting @CathLovelock @BeyerHawthorne https://…
RKRunting @megcevans Thanks!!!
christhebirder RT @ChrisOBryan89: A great look at a white-throated gerygone (Gerygone olivacea) tending to its spider-silk nest! #birding @christhebirder
christhebirder @gregrobertsqld @staffo_sez the Queensland Ornithological Conference was on Greg. Steve Murphy gave a great talk about Night Parrot ecology
christhebirder @staffo_sezh Happy to chat about it at some point, was a great talk with lots of juicy ecology details
christhebirder GPS tracking confirms Night Parrots do visit water points! #2016QOC
christhebirder There have been 3 Night Parrot nests discovered now! And the one that failed as eggs was predated by Mulga Snake #2016QOC
christhebirder RT @martine_maron: Biodiversity protection can be lost very quickly; we need an independent umpire for the environment: @EuanRitchie1 #SCBO
christhebirder Australia is now a global hotspot for land clearing. I support a call for stronger laws to #ProtectHabitat!
christhebirder RT @PetrelStation: Excellent talk by @TimDoherty_ on invasives predators influence on #extinctions - cant wait for the impending publicatio…
christhebirder RT @MattHHolden: Wanted dead: invasive species control on #straddie Great poster @hgcacerese #SCBO2016 @ARC_CEED @NRMecon @SalitKark https:…
vivtulloch @HugePossum we need actions not hotspots maps, translates humans hopes dreams and fears about coral reef management into maths #ICRS2016
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: Oil palm expansion is huge in tropics - potential massive #ridgetoreef impact on coral reefs @vivtulloch #ICRS2016
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: Marine protected areas have been key mgmt approach for coral reefs, but don't stop pollution! Need #ridgetoreef mgmt @vivtu
vivtulloch Need to act now with the best data available to guide management action and prevent further reef decline @bluecology #ICRS2016
vivtulloch @bluecology new ridge-to-reef approach solves disconnect btw academic & applied management needs #ICRS2016
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: Current 'best practice' guidelines for oil palm development not good enough to conserve coral reefs @vivtulloch #ICRS2016 #…
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: We should account for past history of sediment exposure when modelling reef response to land-clearing @vivtulloch #ICRS2016
vivtulloch RT @OlesonLab: @vivtulloch links palm oil land use to reef degradation finding different response based on reef characteristics #ICRS2016
vivtulloch RT @ultimatemegs: We can reduce impacts of oil plan but existing best practices ignore ocean impacts #ICRS2016 @vivtulloch
vivtulloch RT @j_a_mcgowan: @vivtulloch shows how strategic planning for palm oil can deliver substantial benefits to reefs in PNG. #ICRS2016
rubenvli RT @JAppliedEcology: Coarse spatial resolutions ⬇ commission errors in species ranges but ⬆ #conservation planning costs

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