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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 RT @invivoexvivo: A song for the academics. #Postdoc Blues by John K Samson @theweakerthans @AcademiaObscura #phdch
saverygo RT @NRMecon: There are still major hurdles for women in the workplace via @wef
saverygo RT @RobHarcourt: shearwater dinner for a white bellied sea eagle @MPRG_MQ
saverygo @GrantHumphries @sjurdur @TheLabAndField @RallidaeRule yes, Keyhole- the two week free trial is what I used for #WSTC2
saverygo @NRMecon @AChauvenet @DRobcito @MorenaMills Low 🍷supply? Tragic! Good thing "wine producers ... keep wine stocks in order to respond."
saverygo RT @ChrisOBryan89: Camels can drink lots of water, but how does that impact sensitive waterholes and cultures in arid Oz? @McMadLab @EddieG
saverygo RT @kerrie_a_wilson: A wonderful night celebrating Australian science
saverygo @GrantHumphries @sjurdur @pengchiara @PhillipIslandNP oops. Forgot the hashtag. Oops, rookie mistake.
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…
MariaBeger RT @Ocean_Networks: New 13-year study tracks effects of changing #ocean temperatures on #phytoplankton #climatechan
MariaBeger RT @AtheneDonald: Too Sweet, Or Too Shrill? The Double Bind For Women. As true for UK science as US Congress
MariaBeger RT @RobHarcourt: shearwater dinner for a white bellied sea eagle @MPRG_MQ
MariaBeger RT @AndySHoey: Near total mortality of bleached corals on Nth Direction Isl #bleaching #GBR @CoralCoE @jcu @lirrf
MariaBeger RT @_coraltriangle_: Indonesia has more islands than any other country on Earth. Dive into spectacular Rajah Ampat through this video,... h…
MariaBeger RT @saul42: China Adopts Tough Laws Against Illegal Fishing via @saul42
MariaBeger RT @experrinment: Ocean acidification & global warming are bad for a coral reef's sex life. If #climatechange was reducing our sex by 50-fo…
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
AChauvenet .@SoapboxScience did you see this fantastic video about Soapbox Brisbane? #scicomm #womeninscience
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
NRMecon RT @TheEconomist: Our analysis of the presidential debates, using facial-analysis software
NRMecon RT @CienciaContrato: "Países inteligentes aumentan el financiamiento a ciencia, tecnología e innovación en tiempos de crisis"
NRMecon Where are all the female economists in Australia? via @theage
NRMecon RT @aggwarrior: With 2016 @kerrie_a_wilson and 2015 @JaneElith Life Scientist of the Year award winners. @NRMecon @mjecoservices https://t…
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?
biodiversityBD RT @dlizcano: Scientists finally found Zenkerella, the world's most mysterious mammal
biodiversityBD We support sensible land clearing laws! Thanks @jackietrad and @StevenJMiles 4 evidence based policy. @ARC_CEED
MattHHolden Academic #economist running for #POTUS. Interesting positions: guaranteed income, #carbontax, eliminate #incometax
MattHHolden RT @NRMecon: #WomenInSTEM!! Congratulations @kerrie_a_wilson this years Life Scientist #PMprize and @JaneElith last years winnner @ARC_CEED
MattHHolden Undergrads and younger, enter an essay contest where you interview and write about a woman working in #math (includ…
MattHHolden #climagechange as threat to #biodiversity often overstated compared to #agriculture and #overexploitation- see also…
MattHHolden @ICCB2017 @Society4ConBio @LACA_SCB Will calls for symposium proposals happen before or after calls for abstracts? Haven't seen any yet.
MattHHolden RT @CarlaWildlife: Free speech is a right, but audience is a privilege @DrMaggieHardy
MattHHolden RT @cdkuempel: Check out our new paper looking @ how rapid protected area expansion has impacted equitable representation @HugePossum @ACha
MattHHolden Really enjoying the @DynamicEcology bogs on #mathematical constraints in #ecology and #evolution by Jeremy Fox
MattHHolden @YumMusings @silverlangur @OSFramework @m_dimarco @gdiacona @hgcacerese "Methods: Unicorn" ... darn it, I've been scooped!
MattHHolden RT @JohnCUrschel: Hey, there’s a lot of crazy technology in there. The mathematician in me can’t help it. #QC35 @Bose
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 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
kwekings Pope urges Christians to save polluted planet from 'debris, desolation and filth'
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”…
BonMappin RT @saverygo: Global research ranking for #ecology & #environment puts #UQ at #3, @JCU at #20 Looking good Australia! @UQ_News @ABCNewsBri
BonMappin RT @TSCommissioner: PhD Opportunity @TSR_Hub – Improving threatened species communications
BonMappin Hasten end of dated fossil-fuel subsidies. @TaraGMartin puts the figures into perspective #keepitintheground
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 @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
j_a_mcgowan Slovenia Croatia Italy Montenegro #Marxan in the Adriatic. Don't worry plenty of wine and dolphins to follow
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
MorenaMills RT @NESS_Aus: Great PhD scholarship on offer with @RMIT effective messaging for #conservation
HugePossum RT @EcoLog_L: Re: [ECOLOG-L] Should Calculus Be Required of All Ecology/Biology Majors?: 2016/10/23 -- Malcolm McCallum
HugePossum RT @UQ_News: Researchers propose trial to protect native animals by leasing them privately. #UQ's @HugePossum comments.
HugePossum RT @ID_Nature: TNC Kembangkan Pola Pendampingan Desa di Sekitar Hutan via @tribunkaltim
HugePossum RT @Nature_Climate: Farmers are making a difference for soil in Iowa by testing innovative agriculture practices #climateinnovation https:/…
HugePossum RT @ARC_CEED: Not a silver bullet, but private protection & market incentives can play important role in conservation. @ANUFennerSchool @aw
HugePossum RT @inspiringaus: 'My research is dedicated to helping people make smarter environmental decisions' - #PMprize winner @kerrie_a_wilson @UQ_
HugePossum RT @NeilBurgess081: The World Database on Protected Areas #WDPA has gone mobile and full of #conservation features @protectedplanet. See ht…
HugePossum RT @guardianeco: Park ranger murdered while trying to protect Congo's rare gorillas
HugePossum RT @deepseadawn: U. British Columbia hiring new faculty in geography, geospatial science, GISci #jobs
HugePossum RT @MarkTercek: Great map showing the effect of climate change on wildlife migration, from TNC’s @dan_majka: https:…
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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