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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 @puffintours @mollybawntours Great photo! Do you ever see a RAZO with a gls tag? There are about 15 out there still.
saverygo RT @DrMaggieHardy: Get ready for #NatSciWk with a panel of #QLD media experts 19 July! All things #scicomm. Tix https://t.co/SlOiMPeG1p htt…
saverygo @physiologyfish @SharkMourier I did, to some extent!
saverygo A sign now is now hanging outside the #Australian PM's office, calling for protecting #coral reefs. #ICRS2016 #GBR https://t.co/UsNoJcQOrF
saverygo RT @BBCNewsAsia: Cathay Pacific announces shark fin ban https://t.co/ZBBxicUdiJ https://t.co/2IRDEbxoGY
saverygo RT @Astro_Jessica: Follow along with my next adventure @ESA_CAVES. @astro_ricky & I set off tomorrow! So excited for #caves2016 https://t.…
saverygo Govt buys cattle station to reduce sediment flowing to #GreatBarrierReef https://t.co/nGUGDKdr6o @qldscience
MariaBeger RT @j_a_mcgowan: @cdkuempel tackles the expand vs enforce dichotomy in MPAs .... Enforcement critical in maximising fish biomass @ARC_CEED
MariaBeger RT @HugePossum: Real marine conservation outcomes at hugescale with #Marxan #ICRS2016 https://t.co/YI6c9zPlUL
MariaBeger RT @GAhmadia: Not a bad location for a post-conference meeting @MariaBeger #ICRS2016 https://t.co/vvHrwPXgwO
MariaBeger RT @Rebeccaweeks: Welly: MPA design is 10% data, 90% achieving stakeholder & political consensus @CoralACenter #ICRS2016
MariaBeger RT @shanahandanz: Our new paper: 30 minutes in nature per week will provide incredible health benefits @KevinJGaston @RichFullerUQ https:…
MariaBeger RT @CoralReefFish: .@ProfTerryHughes: some corals recover when herbivores come back, but different assemblage! #ICRS2016 https://t.co/TKu5c
MariaBeger Possingham: There are no simple answers to dealing with risk in marine spatial planning #ICRS2016 @HugePossum @bluecology @EddieGame
MariaBeger RT @NasherK: Metric combining exposure sensitivity & recovery more representative of #resilience on reefs than indicator sum says @MariaBeg
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 Interested in #WomenInScience issues? Volunteer now to help during @SoapboxScience Brisbane 20/08 https://t.co/SykOdXzu2b @NRMecon
AChauvenet RT @Protohedgehog: The Dean of our faculty just sent this email. Vaguely reassuring in these dark times. https://t.co/N2Qxy2zEGF
AChauvenet RT @ElisaBayra: When in Rome, do as the Roman's do! Or Hawaii at #ICRS2016 @HugePossum @ARC_CEED #conservation #marxan https://t.co/0S4tfk
AChauvenet RT @neilfdigital: Can't believe the result. This image says it all for me. #EURefResults https://t.co/FozKNoNoH6
AChauvenet RT @scottbix: "We've done it without a bullet being fired." – Nigel Farage, forgetting that a Member of Parliament was assassinated over #B
AChauvenet Are you interested in promoting #WomenInScience? Volunteer for Australia's 1st @SoapboxScience ever !! https://t.co/Rt0eYJUkoh @ARC_CEED
AChauvenet Interested in #technology for #conservation? Join the new #SCB ConsTech Working Group today! https://t.co/YkQg30waJm @jj_lahoz @whereisklara
AChauvenet RT @saverygo: A sign now is now hanging outside the #Australian PM's office, calling for protecting #coral reefs. #ICRS2016 #GBR https://t.…
AChauvenet A thousand times YES!! No to all-male panels and Yes to male champions of change @kerrie_a_wilson @HugePossum https://t.co/NzkE9rLp6f
NRMecon RT @duanbiggs: #brexit - a good outcome still possible. Today is wake-up call to EU to fix itself and then 2nd referendum https://t.co/27zR
NRMecon RT @EJMilnerGulland: Border security fencing: the end of transboundary wildlife conservation in Europe? New study led by @johndclinnell htt…
NRMecon RT @Oceana: Morgan Freeman has just announced the new nationwide shark fin bill that will provide a #FinBanNow https://t.co/z0qwUvOo5M
NRMecon RT @mariajosesmart: Massive systematic review on ecosystem service quantification reports poor measures and lack of consensus @IPBES https:…
NRMecon RT @shanahandanz: Our new paper: 30 minutes in nature per week will provide incredible health benefits @KevinJGaston @RichFullerUQ https:…
NRMecon RT @Oceana: The #US should be a leader in shark conservation. Tell your member of Congress you want a #FinBanNow: https://t.co/fG87Vpv91M
NRMecon RT @DonADriscoll: Australia is in the midst of a preventable extinction crisis. https://t.co/AOFNAwxqKd
NRMecon RT @maritkragt: Infographic: how much does Australia spend on science and research? https://t.co/JMFJyTqdFH via @ConversationEDU
NRMecon RT @Oceana: Trawling is main threat in Mediterranean. Has driven the kelp forests to the brink of extinction in the Adriatic Sea https://t.…
biodiversityBD RT @MatgoStyles: @rosie A breathtaking video showing how many people came out in London to support Orlando. https://t.co/HbUsAf0T2Y
biodiversityBD RT @abcnewsPerth: Strange, silky marsupial mole makes rare appearance in WA's Kimberley https://t.co/kMtOFQ96kn https://t.co/YUCQst8f1l
biodiversityBD YAY!! Guess who just became a PhD candidate?? :-) C'est MOI!!
biodiversityBD Ooh, I'll be coming back to this one down the track! https://t.co/IZp7AuYjlG
biodiversityBD Radio program on the plight of shorebirds that fly between Australia and eastern Asia each year. Have a listen! https://t.co/QOpceeDwjX
biodiversityBD When do you try something new? https://t.co/wMbrK6xODx
biodiversityBD RT @j_a_mcgowan: New comment: Linking movement ecology to decision science w value of information @HugePossum https://t.co/kg5b3L7jPC https…
biodiversityBD RT @MarkTercek: Excited to announce TNC’s new Chief Scientist, Dr. Hugh Possingham: https://t.co/ZCc7uTlMv9 Welcome, @HugePossum! https://t…
biodiversityBD RT @saverygo: Old tourist photos show population increase of #seabird over the last century https://t.co/FSLenYxwkI @Edd_Hammill https://t…
biodiversityBD This and other PhD and post-doc positions in biodiversity conservation at the University of Queensland are now open: https://t.co/lLRbaY4K7s
MattHHolden RT @AChauvenet: @NRMecon @kerrie_a_wilson @DRobcito @MattHHolden More casual sexism. How about we stop and think about our messages? https:…
MattHHolden Come to our seminar on #conservation in social-ecological systems, @ASU, hosted by @biodiversityASU. @LeahLeopold https://t.co/EzDAinQSQW
MattHHolden #ResModel2016 , #math to protect & study our planet, great conference w @HugePossum @NRMecon @ARC_CEED https://t.co/ruwpQr8cij
MattHHolden .@NRMecon Talks about the value of information in social ecological systems at #resmodel2016. @ARC_CEED https://t.co/QU44kcHJao
MattHHolden Encarna Estaban: Optimal groundwater mngmnt under regime shifts. 50% of wetlands have vanished #resmodel2016 https://t.co/BddmwTpQAu
MattHHolden .@HugePossum brings back the whiteboard to conferences in his keynote on value of info #resmodel2016 @ARC_CEED https://t.co/ltSQTkJyAX
MattHHolden Engaging stakeholders in model building process key for building trust - Garciela Ana Canziani #resmodel2016 https://t.co/aYgu25Jpmk
MattHHolden Graciela Ana Canziani: need to incentivize sharing biodiversity data & models #opendata #openscience #resmodel2016 https://t.co/LgdLGhniI0
cdkuempel MPAs aren't MPAs until you have compliant users #ICRS2016
cdkuempel #GBR poaching is opportunistic and high even in areas previously thought to be the best enforced #ICRS2016
cdkuempel RT @bluecology: Cash bar only at #ICRS2016 events. Why? The $ saved funded 150 scholarships for least advantaged. So stop complaining
cdkuempel RT @OlesonLab: Nelson - simple consumption and catch calendars reveal seafood consumption patterns in Ulithi atolls dependent on access #IC
cdkuempel RT @ultimatemegs: Jeremy Jackson accuses global conservation community of giving up on the Carribbean "NGO & scientific community gave up o…
cdkuempel . @MarkEakin @ICRS2016 Couldn't effective management b4 bleaching increase resilience to disturbance? Sounds like we should just give up!
cdkuempel RT @MarkEakin: @ICRS2016 Jeremy Jackson: Best predictor of coral declines for last few decades is local human behavior.
cdkuempel RT @ultimatemegs: language that talks about future 4 children resonates but IMO creates perverse narrative outcome: creates perception lots…
cdkuempel RT @ultimatemegs: Outcomes not outputs #ICRS2016 @cdkuempel
cdkuempel RT @j_a_mcgowan: @cdkuempel tackles the expand vs enforce dichotomy in MPAs .... Enforcement critical in maximising fish biomass @ARC_CEED
kwekings Retweeted The Economist (@TheEconomist): For some hard-line Protestants in Northern Ireland, Brexit is a... https://t.co/ySAiTQgWmW
kwekings RT @TheEconomist: For some hard-line Protestants in Northern Ireland, Brexit is a religious prophecy come true https://t.co/uGVeR8WLhF http…
kwekings #floraSG update: #Burmmania_wallichii overlooked in RDB2008 & checklist, but was in Saunders 1996 Gardens' Bulletin: 1 specimen by Ridley.
kwekings Tallest known tropical tree #Shorea faguetiana found in Maliau using LiDAR https://t.co/BM0O3qZTkC
kwekings Beta version but this is fantastic! A government who puts data out is a brave and smart one. https://t.co/OOkWUxleEQ
kwekings centimetre-resolution GPS possible for mobile phones by reformulating the equations for computational efficiency https://t.co/ODPSITbGfX
kwekings If scientists want to influence policymaking, they need to understand it https://t.co/vkCrF6M8Kb
BonMappin .@HollyKirk this might be of interest to you https://t.co/34pfFLA7YD
BonMappin RT @RJLilley: Thanks for sharing and inspiring @ProjectSeagrass @ICRS2016 #ICRS2016 #OceanOptimism 🌱🐙🐠🐚🐟 https://t.co/HEiLSTOJlv
BonMappin RT @ElisaBayra: #coral #marinerestoration community at #ICRS2016, pls report on cost, area, success and duration of your projects! @HugePos
BonMappin RT @GetUp: This farmer took to the Harbour Bridge to protest increased vegetation clearing. Talk about Direct Action! https://t.co/XELvVn0m
BonMappin RT @ensiamedia: Norway, U.S. pledge to coordinate forest protection efforts https://t.co/XLmKFAsYkj #conservation via @mongabay https://t.c…
BonMappin RT @TSR_Hub: Dr April Reside from @UQ_News reports from a recent #threatenedspecies workshop. https://t.co/S2zUQRDEXH https://t.co/PfcAM9t
BonMappin #Research opportunity define criteria for #conservation #restoration success at new #Biodiversity Science Institute https://t.co/rgPu2D05w6
mainambui RT @JoshuaCinner: How coral reefs can thrive in the Anthropocene https://t.co/pptsbtspvT
mainambui Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs https://t.co/62Ik39mNVr
mainambui Impact on illegal trade of Kenya’s ivory burning should be measured: UQ scientists https://t.co/BgsYcWAREK
mainambui #PLOSONE: Modeling Reef Fish Biomass, Recovery Potential, and Management Priorities in the Western Indian Oce ... https://t.co/aXU0dkvKi9
mainambui #mdpiremotesensing Designing Climate-Resilient Marine Protected Area Networks by Combining https://t.co/ExBbd6Q45O
mainambui RT @EricHolthaus: The warmth of Earth’s oceans is now literally off the charts. https://t.co/XfWVi5DcGQ https://t.co/g1orZHHXbL
mainambui New study tackles conflicting goals in the Coral Triangle http://t.co/PpZWQe8wgd via @physorg_com
mainambui A Fisherman and Conservationist: A Kenyan Fisherman Restores Corals for 40 Years http://t.co/Ry48qx8t28 via @NatGeo
mainambui Dbytes #206 (4 August 2015): http://t.co/OxCJZM3hdm
mainambui RT @JoshuaCinner: Apects of fishers adaptive capacity up over time, but only infrastructure & access 2 credit doi:10.1038/nclimate2690 http…
j_a_mcgowan @cdkuempel tackles the expand vs enforce dichotomy in MPAs .... Enforcement critical in maximising fish biomass @ARC_CEED #ICRS2016
j_a_mcgowan @MariaBeger redefines reef resilience w/ stochastic modelling rather than scoring and ranking criteria #Decisionscience #ICRS2016 @ARC_CEED
j_a_mcgowan RT @MadAboutMarine: Great talk @j_a_mcgowan -incorporating telemetry studies into spatial planning to make better conservation decisions ht…
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: #ICRS2016 scientists - if you want you science to be useful for saving coral reefs, do a value of information analysis @j_a
j_a_mcgowan RT @cdkuempel: .@j_a_mcgowan talking about telemetry data:"New data may be interesting but not all data is useful for decision making" #ICR
j_a_mcgowan RT @braunianmotion: @j_a_mcgowan linking animal telemetry derived data to conservation actions #ICRS2016 @HugePossum https://t.co/dvfQZVph8r
j_a_mcgowan @vivtulloch shows how strategic planning for palm oil can deliver substantial benefits to reefs in PNG. #ICRS2016
j_a_mcgowan Few places left in the Intro to Marine Spatial Planning course at #IMCC4 #marxan @Pacmara @Hugepossum Register Now! https://t.co/omO89kp2Re
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: Another #Marxan success story - biggest marine park in #Malaysia @j_a_mcgowan @MariaBeger @CarissaJoyKlein #WWF https://t.c…
j_a_mcgowan Movement ecology meets decision science with #zoatrack in our MSc in Conservation Biology course @HugePossum https://t.co/UxeJTbcuOQ
MorenaMills Great article by @shanahandanz finding 30mins in green spaces reduces depression and high blood pressure https://t.co/JnHDxph6eJ … @ARC_CEED
MorenaMills RT @megcevans: New paper by the always impressive Jessie Wells: mapping impacts and perceptions of flooding in #Borneo @emeijaard https://t…
MorenaMills RT @DrEmmaLJohnston: #GreatBarrierReef: Government buys $7m #cattle station responsible for 40% of #sediment input to the Normanby #river h…
MorenaMills We poison our ocean and food with plastic microfibres whevever we wash our clothes. Can we just avoid plastic yarn? https://t.co/i7Crcxt0TY
MorenaMills The rise of enviornmental crime includes a widening trafficing portfolio with ozone depleting substances & seafood https://t.co/O6hq2DGTBv
MorenaMills RT @michael_e_cox: Good piece about academic writing by Steven Pinker: https://t.co/Q9vEOw9KKk via @chronicle
MorenaMills RT @Rare_org: How do we help communities become shepherds of their own environment? It’s simple: here’s our Theory of Change https://t.co/y
MorenaMills RT @GCITweet: Can scientists restore marine coastal ecosystems? https://t.co/iZ8saR2GOR @ElisaBayra #climatechange https://t.co/g2WgzG8wGo
MorenaMills RT @Ana__Nuno: Map the interactions between Sustainable Development Goals for integrated policy https://t.co/PKNwqFQdYz
MorenaMills RT @naj_graham: A short video explaining our nature paper on coral reef Bright Spots https://t.co/v0JqUp7rrU https://t.co/Wv8BCzcC9x @Lancs
HugePossum #Postdoc position on migratory #birds @RichFullerUQ lab in Brisbane https://t.co/ifxWzaXAlq. @UQ_News
HugePossum RT @bluecology: My summary of lessons learned from #ICRS2016 https://t.co/AjYqy4uZrt
HugePossum RT @DrDavidLRoberts: Spix Macaw has been rediscovered!!! https://t.co/XpXt0gx8qA
HugePossum RT @damanaki: Protecting our #oceans starts with quantifying their benefits to people. #MakeASplash https://t.co/9FrwNnLpjG https://t.co/22
HugePossum RT @stephwear: "Ask not what your planet can do for you, but rather - what you can do for your planet" - Nancy Knowlton #ICRS2016 #oceanopt
HugePossum RT @TNCHawaii: @HugePossum @ICRS2016 We need win-win solutions for people & fish: less sediment, marine protected areas, better laws/enforc…
HugePossum Real marine conservation outcomes at hugescale with #Marxan #ICRS2016 https://t.co/YI6c9zPlUL
HugePossum RT @UQ_News: Tapping fishers’ memories reveals long-lost fishing trends. Read here. https://t.co/87dACU6YiQ https://t.co/tjQ0WU9ubc
HugePossum RT @ConversationEDU: Need a good news conservation story? Farmers are helping bring you one. https://t.co/ygNZbuuCny https://t.co/GGqk7OsZkf
HugePossum RT @cdkuempel: Why we all came (or should have come) to #ICRS2016 : more maths! Thanks @HugePossum https://t.co/5bMnJd94VZ
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. https://t.co/zftG44fZIn
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 https://t.co/L0vIVuQXfR. It's super fast & accurate!
RKRunting Which policy option achieves BOTH #biodiversity and #carbon outcomes? Find out https://t.co/djWLQDvK48 @CSIROnews @ARC_CEED @kerrie_a_wilson
RKRunting And thanks for your contribution @LisaAMandle !
RKRunting Turns out we're not forgetful, just outsourcing our memory https://t.co/vpAXwixnBQ via @ConversationUK
RKRunting New geoprocessing software from @NatCapProject and @richpsharp is so awesome it has inspired its own song! http://t.co/Q124nnn5ww
RKRunting Our new paper on alternative futures for Borneo's forests #orangutans #oilpalm http://t.co/Y8LigO8hiq @emeijaard @ArcusGreatApes @HugePossum
christhebirder .@ultimatemegs @ec_minister Yes that would be a great project for Aus as well.
christhebirder For shame @HyundaiAus leave our beautiful snakes alone! All snakes are protected, killing them is illegal and stupid https://t.co/ElOTTVbBgP
christhebirder Great article from @staffo_sez on how much we don't know with threatened spp. Plants and invertebrates suffer most https://t.co/L8gXnCxPQI
christhebirder Claims of 49 new threatened spp in EPBC Act are exaggerated. There are actually 21 new spp, 1 uplisting & 27 taxonomic revisions @HugePossum
christhebirder RT @eurekaprizes: Congratulations @DrEmmaLJohnston on fantastic new role as Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) @UNSWnews https://t.co/DiQWDbVs
christhebirder .@HugePossum this proposal asks for changes to Ramsar listing and National Park status for #MoretonBay https://t.co/illDQgQWwF
christhebirder #Ramsar #shorebirds and #dugong habitat to be destroyed in Moreton Bay. QLD residents please sign and share this https://t.co/ZfPhKlSxT6
christhebirder @saverygo Careful it could be a drop-bear!
christhebirder RT @austmus: This ain't no earthworm – new species of blind snake discovered in NT: https://t.co/nmdVYBe8ML @AustmusResearch https://t.co/
christhebirder At the @Places_You_Love workshop on environmental law reform. Keen to see what they are looking at doing. #naturelaws
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 https://t.co/RYQOWxEsUc
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 https://t.co/D7
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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