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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.

 group pic 2

Lab twitter feed:

saverygo @glennalthor @MargieWilkes Beauty, thanks Glen! Good call Margie!
saverygo When to eat chocolate: A Researchers Guide #phdlife #scholarly #alwaysprepared
saverygo Found this great #beetle on the way to work today. Does anyone know what it is? #entomology #wildoz
saverygo RT @thelabandfield: Anyone know how to include phylogeny as a predictor in an analysis? Challenge: multiple responses per spp. Potential fo…
saverygo @thelabandfield Hope you'll share when you find out
saverygo RT @sjurdur: Spectacular story! How a Guy From A Montana Trailer Park Overturned 150 Years of Biology #SciComm
saverygo RT @MariaBeger: Coral reef bright spots: Nature cover today! @ARC_CEED @CoralCoE @mainambui @JoshuaCinner https://…
saverygo RT @heath3rc: Super cool, I want to play... How to control someone else's arm with your brain
saverygo This is a comic worth reading. The story of Margaret Hamilton- the Woman who put Men on the Moon. #WomenInSTEM
MariaBeger RT @BrendanGodley: #OA paper:Captive breeding& trial #reintroduction -yellow-spotted mountain #newt #ESR Pls RT htt…
MariaBeger RT @WSF2017: Sections of #GreatBarrierReef Suffering frm 'Complete #Ecosystem #Collapse' by @MikeySlezak https://t.…
MariaBeger An incredible interactive visualisation of global shipping. by @k_i_l_n, @UCL_Energy, @ucl #dataviz
MariaBeger Bright spots in the Conversation: reefs w/ higher than expected fish biomass @ARC_CEED @bluecology @Prof_CallumYork
MariaBeger RT @ReefLifeSurvey: Latest Nature issue -on the cover: identifying 'Bright spots' in global reef ecosystems using the global RLS dataset ht…
MariaBeger RT @TrevorABranch: Fisheries researchers and marine reserve advocates must work together more, says @HilbornR https…
MariaBeger RT @CECHR_UoD: Teenagers Surrounded by Green Are Less Aggressive #nature for #nurture
MariaBeger RT @sbekessy: How very depressing
MariaBeger RT @DianaF1080: Uni of Melbourne fellowship Also 4 Research Fellows in the new National Centre for Coasts and Clim…
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 @ALERTconserv: Scientists Unite Against Accelerated Habitat Loss in Australia
AChauvenet RT @ZahraaAhmady: On my Soapbox last Saturday. Bringing science to the streets. @NanomedicineLab @SoapboxScience
AChauvenet RT @ARC_CEED: MT @HugePossum: Anti-trawling reefs is the most cost-effective way to save #Mediterranean #seagrass beds.
AChauvenet RT @DCC_AU: A fantastic role with @Swinburne- a family-friendly,flexible employer! @WomenSciAUST
AChauvenet RT @timeshighered: The 10 commandments for influencing policymakers:
AChauvenet RT @AlanLewCh: DEFRA Hen Harrier Plan not working - RSPB withdraws support. @MarkAvery
AChauvenet RT @Wingtags: Bad news for Australia's largest Cockatoo - mining threatening habitat @ParrotOfTheDay @ANUFennerSchool @scienceANU https://…
AChauvenet RT @ICCS_updates: Your opportunity to feed into new policy around #biodiversity in the UK.
AChauvenet RT @megcevans: Also adding sweetheart, darling (other women often call me these), "too emotional", irrational etc #womeninscience https://t…
NRMecon Our awesome lab at UQ! @UQ_News
NRMecon RT @jgeldmann: Answer a few questions on: "Social equity matters in protected areas" for exciting study @Macroeco
NRMecon RT @AcademicsSay: How to find typos: 1. Click submit
NRMecon RT @jubak: Have your say! Govt asks for your opinion on the future of #biodiversity following #brexit
NRMecon @CarlaWildlife sorry for the spam Carla, meant to tag @ARC_CEED
NRMecon RT @Oceana: Women play a huge (often overlooked) role in subsistence fishing around the world
biodiversityBD Howard Raiffa, Mathematician Who Studied Decision Making, Dies at 92
biodiversityBD Thanks #SCBO2016 for a week of stimulating discussions and presentations! Great work organising Vanessa Adams :-)
biodiversityBD Hamish McCallum @Griffith_ENV shows that Devil Facial Tumour affects the FITTEST individuals!?!? #SCBO2016
biodiversityBD Veronica Gama @ARC_CEED on importance of migratory status in determining threat status.Two hummingbirds could be upgraded to threatened!
biodiversityBD RT @stigner_: Australia is now a global hotspot for land clearing. I support a call for stronger laws to #ProtectHabitat!
biodiversityBD Nice talk @stigner_ ! Need some space for migratory shorebirds to eat before long journey to Asia. Some dog free beaches needed #SCBO2016
biodiversityBD RT @RobHarcourt: Brendan Kelaher deconstructs the political bias that harmed NSW marine parks #SCBO2016
biodiversityBD Getting good feels from "conservation goes viral" session at #SCBO2016. Thanks @MorenaMills and speakers for a positive discussion!
biodiversityBD RT @MatgoStyles: @rosie A breathtaking video showing how many people came out in London to support Orlando.
MattHHolden @kerrie_a_wilson @abcnews also words to avoid when writing women academic letters of rec: hard-working, caring ...
MattHHolden Very cool #research idea on #manuscript flow and #publishing in #ecology by Tim Paine cant wait to read the results
MattHHolden RT @Bill_Sutherland: Recently established cougars in South Dakota save $1.1 million annually in collision costs with deer. Cons Lett. https…
MattHHolden Noam Levin discusses quantifying land use change from historical maps & GIS at @ARC_CEED seminar @SalitKark
MattHHolden Interesing argument, using #evolution, to explain why we shouldn't speed near #pedestrians by @DrJuneAndrews
MattHHolden RT @SofiaLop11: Learning how maths and models are very useful for #conservation. Thanks to Eve @X_EDLab, Matt @MattHHolden!
MattHHolden RT @RichardMcLellan: Sadly ... on our doorstep ... "A vast underwater forest is roasting to death" #ClimateChange h…
MattHHolden RT @mariajosesmart: Spatial associations of ecosystem services and biodiversity as a baseline for systematic conservation planning https://…
cdkuempel RT @MaseykF: Chatting to future conservation scientists. SCB Brisbane at UQ Market Day @SCBBrisUQ @CEED @SCBOceania
cdkuempel RT @newscientist: Deepest-ever reef survey by divers discovers new fish species
cdkuempel Come on @Migaloo1 make it up to the Sunshine Coast by Thurs! Would be so cool to see
cdkuempel RT @YumMusings: No more rats: New Zealand to exterminate all introduced predators #invasivespecies #conservation @M
cdkuempel RT @HugePossum: Conservation and ecology journal ranks for 2015 via @conservbytes
cdkuempel Come say hi tomorrow at market day and here about our great #UQ club!
cdkuempel RT @BrendanGodley: Young people put their Vision for Nature. Please Read, RT and talk about this!
cdkuempel RT @RichardMcLellan: Planet Earth, the half-empty zoo 2014 Living Planet Report #biodiversity -52%
cdkuempel RT @jubak: Have your say! Govt asks for your opinion on the future of #biodiversity following #brexit
kwekings Next @floramalesiana symposium in Borneo in 2019, but where in Borneo?
kwekings "When in doubt, say Euphorbiaceae" originator is dedication incarnate, stands from wheelchair to talk @fmalesiana10
kwekings #Pterospermum javanicum paraphylectic, Malayan and #floraSG taxon to be renamed; lancifolium is grewiifolium instead: Ganesan @fmalesiana10
kwekings Oldfield: 25% of IUCN red spp. are trees, should be allocated with 25% of spp. conservation resources? @fmalesiana10
kwekings Phrase "Think global, act local" actually came from a Scottish botanist #fmalesiana10 takeaways
kwekings Retweeted floramalesiana10 (@fmalesiana10): Latest vol. of Flora Malesiana on Lythraceae has been recently...
kwekings Retweeted floramalesiana10 (@fmalesiana10): Dr Saw Leng Guan has been awarded the Botanics Medal for his...
kwekings RT @fmalesiana10: Latest vol. of Flora Malesiana on Lythraceae has been recently published with Lamiaceae & Alangiaceae next expected https…
kwekings RT @fmalesiana10: Dr Saw Leng Guan has been awarded the Botanics Medal for his contribution to taxonomy and work in the region
BonMappin RT @mongabay: Sri Lanka set to become first nation to protect all mangroves ~ #WorldMangroveDay
BonMappin RT @cyclonewatson: great article by @jamesecology on what is needed to save one of Southern Africa's conservation jewels
BonMappin RT @OECD: #Chile plans the largest marine reserve in the Americas, w/Nazca-Desventuradas park; read
BonMappin RT @TSR_Hub: Great interview w/@RadioNational about translocation of 11 endangered southern brown bandicoots. #threatenedspecies https://t…
BonMappin Qld moves towards introducing cash back scheme for #recycling cans and containers @UQ_News
BonMappin RT @globalforests: #DidYouKnow: #SouthKorea doubled its tree cover through a #restoration program? Click here to learn more
BonMappin RT @OECD_ENV: Is your city walkable? Watch: reasons to #walkitout :
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
mainambui A Fisherman and Conservationist: A Kenyan Fisherman Restores Corals for 40 Years via @NatGeo
mainambui Dbytes #206 (4 August 2015):
j_a_mcgowan RT @ellycknight: A framework for assessing whether animal-borne telemetry is necessary for conservation management
j_a_mcgowan RT @ARC_CEED: Animal-borned telemetry can improve ecological understandinf of endangered spp, but is it worth the time & money? https://t.c…
j_a_mcgowan RT @fiskeforbrains: Going to spend my morning reading this...looks like a good one.
j_a_mcgowan RT @jamesburnham: 47 variables across 56 lakes over 5 years to say that 3 species of #waterbirds are correlated to ... (wait for it) wat…
j_a_mcgowan RT @jamesburnham: Nice to see the accepted paper from @j_a_mcgowan hit the internets so soon after her talk at #NACCB2016 !
j_a_mcgowan Our @JAppliedEcology paper on Integrating animal-borne telemetry & conservation management
j_a_mcgowan T. Kuemmerle: post -deforestation land use change has important impacts on carbon emissions in production landscapes #NAACB2016
j_a_mcgowan First timer at #NACCB2016 Nancy Knowlton shares #oceanoptimism success stories #earthoptimism
j_a_mcgowan RT @johnagallo: McGowaan & @HugePossum "Value of Information" Theory: explicit about uncertainty, & tradeoffs, helps prioritize what you re…
MorenaMills RT @Oceana: Women play a huge (often overlooked) role in subsistence fishing around the world
MorenaMills RT @HugePossum: The Nature Conservancy is looking for a lead economist to help them save the planet
MorenaMills RT @Mike_Mascia: Premium for certified organic drives farm practices. Why not other eco-certification schemes? #org
MorenaMills RT @bec_colvin: Religion balances out conservatism in shaping environmental consumer behaviours @KirstiJylhae @Mark
MorenaMills RT @rini_rants: .@LucHoffmannInst is looking for a science-policy expert for a short term consultancy
MorenaMills RT @glennalthor: My wonderful and talented lab mate @cromerodd just gave a fantastic talk on wolf conflicts & conservation #SCBO2016 https:…
MorenaMills #LMMA network recognised for their amazing conservation & resource management achievements in the Pacific #SCBO2016
MorenaMills Congrats @JaszzyJas for the best student presentation award at #SCBO2016 !!!
MorenaMills Gama: Bird threat assessment need better data on migration for good conservation decisions #SCBO2016
MorenaMills Romero: wolf conservation has social impacts. We need conflict resolution mechanisms #scbo2016
HugePossum Land clearing is still the greatest cause of extinctions - and leaves a huge extinction debt for future generations
HugePossum RT @UQ_News: What does #PokemonGo mean for wildlife conservation? #UQ's @CarlaWildlife&@megcevans discuss https://t…
HugePossum RT @ConservResearch: Lectureship in conservation at @BangorUni Great team, great location, great place to work!
HugePossum RT @fiskeforbrains: @j_a_mcgowan @HugePossum had a proper read today: very interesting+ raises lots of points that ill have to go away & gr…
HugePossum RT @PetrelStation: The excitement dust settles & the realities of achieving #PFNZ are aired #conservation https://t…
HugePossum RT @ocean_wealth: Mangroves store carbon, make fish, attract tourists & protect communities. #WorldMangroveDay http…
HugePossum Conservation and ecology journal ranks for 2015 via @conservbytes
HugePossum RT @MarkSpeakman: NSW gov't makes $1m investment to protect endangered #SwiftParrot in Central Coast, Riverina http…
HugePossum RT @CoralCoE: Want to take part in a critical conversation? Don't miss the Virginia Chadwick memorial foundation lecture #GBR
HugePossum RT @ARC_CEED: Animal-borned telemetry can improve ecological understandinf of endangered spp, but is it worth the time & money? https://t.c…
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!!!
RKRunting A great new method by @BeyerHawthorne et al for solving #conservation planning problems It's super fast & accurate!
RKRunting Which policy option achieves BOTH #biodiversity and #carbon outcomes? Find out @CSIROnews @ARC_CEED @kerrie_a_wilson
RKRunting And thanks for your contribution @LisaAMandle !
RKRunting Turns out we're not forgetful, just outsourcing our memory via @ConversationUK
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:…
christhebirder RT @drmparrott: @christhebirder Problematic feedback loops for reptiles-great ideas for fixing issues coming from #SCBO2016
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

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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
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