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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 @PatsyDelacey Here are some incredible #WomeninSTEM you don’t want to miss: @jenni_pro @ChelseaRochman @Cocotrosshttps://t.co/MpvtMxxdkN
saverygo RT @IBIS_journal: #BOU18TC Deadline for submission! 30 Sept Fecha límite de envío / Date de fermeture https://t.co/iAuGu5laCT Submit and…
saverygo @IKEACASupport Thanks for sorting out the technical issue so efficiently!
saverygo @IKEACASupport I am getting an error when trying to place an order in Canada for pickup at one of the local pick up… https://t.co/OFoplvaqni
saverygo RT @UofTTrashTeam: Hey Twitter! We’re the @UofT Trash Team dedicated to #SciComm, community engagement & supporting solutions to #PlasticPo
saverygo RT @htallis: Conceptual models - the boring-sounding secret superpower to unlock the universe! Think health doesn't have anything to do wit…
saverygo @JaszzyJas So exciting!!!! I tried to find a gif of runner approaching the finish line. That how I’m imagining you right now :)
saverygo RT @environmentca: #DYK our marine bird research is contributing to Canada’s #OceansProtectionPlan? Click here to watch wildlife biologist…
MariaBeger Fieldwork is going well! Recorded this grey nurse shark on my transect #SolitaryIslandsMarinePark @Cant91Jameshttps://t.co/RLFNVjswI5
MariaBeger RT @LachsLiam: Reef flats located right alongside the coastal road and sea defense developments of Kunigami District, Okinawa, with surpris…
MariaBeger RT @ReefConsUK: Final chance to present at #RCUK2018! Our annual #coral #reef conference happening 1 Dec 2018. Deadline for submissions & s…
MariaBeger RT @Cant91James: Well Japan has once again been amazing! Plus we had 100% success in relocating our coral plots! Balls in your court now Au…
MariaBeger RT @conservationx: 🎉 Introducing our 20 finalists for the Con X Tech Prize! Each of these teams will receive $3,500 to take their idea to t…
MariaBeger Aiming to mainstream the use of connectivity information in spatial planning! @LeedsEcoEvo @ARC_CEED @BrendanGodleyhttps://t.co/wvzfrBB5RX
MariaBeger RT @nature: Rather than examining how marine biodiversity is affected by climate change, ecologists must also look at how organisms experie…
MariaBeger RT @ARC_CEED: #Conservation planning is highly uncertain in the face of #climatechange and sea-level rise. CEED @UQ_News @UQ_sees @UQ_CBCS
MariaBeger RT @bgyraho: And if would probably be smaller if it didn’t include the CEO’s and Vice Chancellors who need 11% to be retained for their exc…
MariaBeger RT @GrettaPecl: #SpeciesOnTheMove conference launching at last! #krugerpark July 2019! Interdisciplinary conference considering all aspect…
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 @HugePossum: While some fear that triage approaches make extinction acceptable, the evidence shows that prioritisation and simple formul…
AChauvenet RT @katejhelms: Love maths and ecology? Come do a PhD on optimal threatened and invasive species management at @QUTSciEng with me, @bode_e,…
AChauvenet RT @mcberkman: BREAKING NEWS: Just two days before the deadline @QLDLabor will prosecute Adani for knowingly spilling toxic coal sludge in…
AChauvenet RT @pvisconbio: Honoured to have received this from @Society4ConBio and looking forward to the start of #SCCS Europe 2018. https://t.co/XvG
AChauvenet RT @researchremix: Only men have applied for this software dev job so far. Any women out there who know #python, #databases, and want to c…
AChauvenet RT @BrenWintle: B! Plus start properly funding recovery actions! We spend pitifully little on endangered species. The uncomfortable #Threat
AChauvenet RT @fudgeh0g: Know of someone looking for a GIS based conservation honours project? Spatial ecology of feral cats project available- amazin…
AChauvenet RT @BiodiversityGuy: Tenured position in wildlife management at the University of Queensland: Lecturer / Senior Lecturer in Wildlife Manage…
AChauvenet RT @cbaker_research: 1 day left to vote for a new ESA hastag @HugePossum @MattHHolden @michaelaplein @mickresearch @LauraSonter @bode_e @jo
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
biodiversityBD And the winner for "best moustache and dancing gorilla-man" @Eurovision 2017 is... ITALIA!!! Good luck Francesco!!! https://t.co/UmYTtVFAfv
MattHHolden RT @benorlin: Shocked and humbled: "Math with Bad Drawings" has hit #103 on Amazon's list of bestselling books. Like, books. All books. T…
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MattHHolden DNA of cows now introduced to non animal products to make leather & meat, genes from algae put in canola for omega… https://t.co/wWn9WYcSPF
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MattHHolden RT @Daily__Owls: There's nothing cuter than sneaky owl legs. https://t.co/NG6vpdmCSl
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MattHHolden RT @bluecology: New work looks at how saving habitats supports global sustainability of fisheries https://t.co/8HaSgoON6S https://t.co/BOD7
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MattHHolden We must consider habitat when assessing the health of our fish stocks. New paper by @bluecology @TrevorABranchhttps://t.co/LKTKLByQDq
MattHHolden RT @DrRossPiper: Insects of the day: Tortoise beetles that think they're thorns (Dorynota spp.) https://t.co/85J726qa6h
MattHHolden Love lots of these recommendations regarding mathematical notation - but don't like the grammar recs. It's OK to sp… https://t.co/RW6veP8Byb
cdkuempel RT @nakedcapsid: Co-author #14 on a manuscript of 16 authors. https://t.co/ajlsytjFRc
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cdkuempel RT @phoeberacine: #finfish aquaculture is illegal in Alaska, so farmers created a #mariculture task force to work towards growing a shellfi…
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cdkuempel RT @DickKingSmith: Shrews sometimes travel in a sort of ‘conga line’ formation, with the mother leading, and all the little shrews grasping…
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cdkuempel RT @j_a_mcgowan: Monday Sept 24 @Yale I will be speaking about designing decision support tools to solve user-inspired conservation challen…
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cdkuempel RT @MatsBEBC: After 38 years in academia, 19 years as the Head of a unit (@AnimEcol_UU), I have seen a lot and learnt a few things. Here ar…
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cdkuempel RT @ReefLifeSurvey: Here's hoping this is the last eulogy we have to read for an Australian marine species.. :( Eulogy for a seastar, Aus…
cdkuempel RT @AlistairDove: Some 265 scientists are able to publish a peer-reviewed paper a week. How, HOW??!! https://t.co/EqGaVRpwJy
cdkuempel RT @ithinkwellHugh: It's Postdoc Appreciation Week. All over the world, postdocs work away in labs, offices,in the field and in their spare…
cdkuempel RT @DocFroehlich: Really nice write-up of our most recent paper on #ClimateChange and marine #aquaculture https://t.co/iMdW7jz0Ig via @tunp
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: We ranked searches of '#climatechange' on #Google from 150 countries from most to least aware. We then divided countries into…
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
kwekings Retweeted Emilio M. Bruna (@BrunaLab): @hormiga Also I printed out several 8x10 copies of this @hadleywickham twee… https://t.co/hD2MfHwRDF
kwekings RT @BrunaLab: @hormiga Also I printed out several 8x10 copies of this @hadleywickham tweet and hung them around the lab to remind us all th…
kwekings Testing the idea of a universal basic income with experiments https://t.co/zG1raasD9e
kwekings Retweeted SCB RCB (@ReligionConBio): The Venerable Bhante Metteyya on restoring the sacred garden of Lumbini, the… https://t.co/gtEpI5TNvd
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!
BonMappin @DRobcito @WythamWoods1 Looks like St Edmunds hall?
BonMappin This weekend is #NationalTreeDay. Get along to your local event and plant a tree! https://t.co/MZn2CT8nvT https://t.co/xfXp7z7km8
BonMappin RT @ConBiology: Standardized reporting of the financial costs of conservation projects means that data in published studies can be transfer…
BonMappin RT @IUCN: Today is #WorldMangroveDay! Check out four ways mangroves can help us achieve the #SDGs https://t.co/m6V4E2DYLq https://t.co/F9fA
BonMappin RT @MattHHolden: Costs are often the most important piece of information for making good decisions. We must publish cost data. @gdiacona pr…
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…
mainambui RT @JendallKones: 4 #CEEDTC2018 Large, strict (IUCN I-II) PAs are less likely to face high human pressure (although many still do). Since 1…
mainambui RT @EOMAP: SDB Day 2018 - Satellite-Derived Bathymetry Technology and User Forum Register now: https://t.co/aXDuKVm2mY #satellite #bathyme
mainambui RT @ChristinacHicks: What an inspirational team. I know their excellence well, as do all the scientists they have mentored over the years h…
mainambui @ThumbiMwangi Hi..a weird quest. I am about to name my son Thumbi..wife suggests we do a swahili translation instea… https://t.co/58cBQ4Tzhy
mainambui RT @naj_graham: Just out in @sciencemagazine - return time of coral bleaching events shortening - Spatial and temporal patterns of mass ble…
mainambui RT @jamesecology: New paper on Niassa National Reserve: an amazing wilderness in Mozambique which is critical for conserving African mega-f…
j_a_mcgowan Monday Sept 24 @Yale I will be speaking about designing decision support tools to solve user-inspired conservation… https://t.co/txFRBy4i1v
j_a_mcgowan RT @AmandaConsSci: Come join me at @COMPASSscicomm! This is an amazing team to work with, and you will lead highly impactful work at the in…
j_a_mcgowan RT @dicapriofdn: .@wild_ark joins forces with local Igiugig Community of Lake Iliamna and Alaskan #conservation groups, to help protect som…
j_a_mcgowan RT @TammyEDavies: New paper: Research advances and gaps in marine planning: towards a global database in systematic conservation planning:…
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: While some fear that triage approaches make extinction acceptable, the evidence shows that prioritisation and simple formul…
j_a_mcgowan RT @simongerman600: This video shows several map projections. So many ways to display a three-dimensional globe as a two-dimensional map. S…
j_a_mcgowan RT @ConLetters: New in @ConLetters : Predicting impact to assess the efficacy of community‐based marine reserve design https://t.co/YMiMLIK
j_a_mcgowan New paper shows that Aus MPAs are no better than random for protecting the endemic Shy Albatross. We call on more s… https://t.co/pzCDs80UWg
j_a_mcgowan RT @MattHHolden: We must learn from #climate forecasting & start combining predictions from multiple models to guide #conservation decision…
j_a_mcgowan RT @Dapellegreen: New publication from @Tools4Msp : Addressing cumulative effects, maritime conflicts and ecosystem services threats throu…
MorenaMills RT @terra_et_mare: How well are we doing in #marineconservation & #marineprotectedarea planning? https://t.co/ntVoEIpbJP Moving fast, but i…
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MorenaMills RT @MartinaDFonzo: Endangered species that fit on a NY subway train... 😩 ⁦shocking illustration! ⁦@GMMace⁩ ⁦@HugePossumhttps://t.co/1HB
MorenaMills RT @ConSciImperial: Congrats to all of our cohort this year!!! Postgraduate study is not for the feint hearted but be rest assured your har…
MorenaMills RT @EmmaJMcIntosh: Conservation planning on the big screen @imperial today! Featuring the new database of plans by @terra_et_mare @jcu @Con
MorenaMills RT @ARC_CEED: Better social-ecological integration must underpin #sustainability #science, say authors of a new study. https://t.co/bTYRFCD
MorenaMills RT @FossilFree_IC: You’ll probably hear a lot today about how @imperialcollege is solving big societal problems. But at the same time, it’s…
MorenaMills RT @Genderaquafish: https://t.co/iDiY7bKl6Q Dr Danika Keliber's main points in "Counting the Invisible" 1. Feminism can improve fisheries…
MorenaMills RT @NathanJBennett: New article -> Achieving the promise of integration in social-ecological research: a review and prospectus - Led by @ag
MorenaMills RT @Georgina_Gurney: Check out our new paper assessing the state-of-play for the marine conservation planning literature https://t.co/Xc2Wk
HugePossum RT @Rebeccaweeks: The Conservation Planning Database, online now! https://t.co/MM9Rrh1vDh Hours of effort inputting marine case studies by…
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HugePossum RT @j_a_mcgowan: Monday Sept 24 @Yale I will be speaking about designing decision support tools to solve user-inspired conservation challen…
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HugePossum RT @nature_org: It took 9 years of hard work and we're proud to say the lobsters of the Bahamas are now certifiably sustainable! This mark…
HugePossum RT @CornellBirds: Four billion: that's the number of birds that will fly across the United States this fall. (We counted.) Thanks to the ra…
HugePossum RT @MartinaDFonzo: Endangered species that fit on a NY subway train... 😩 ⁦shocking illustration! ⁦@GMMace⁩ ⁦@HugePossumhttps://t.co/1HB
HugePossum RT @JaszzyJas: I don't understand why not all of my supervisors think this is a great #thesis title - imagine how many more people would re…
HugePossum RT @ProfTerryHughes: We need to take global action on climate change to save vulnerable ecosystems: “We need to do more than ban plastic st…
HugePossum RT @nature_org: Nature is the original and most natural carbon-capture technology that has been in use for over 1 billion years. Don't let…
HugePossum RT @nature_org: Excessive fishing off Peru led to declining fish & less-rewarding fishing shifts. So the fishers learned more about their f…
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
RKRunting @dpannell66 @j_r_rhodes @CathLovelock @brettabryan @JAppliedEcology Thanks David! It was a really fun project to work on.
RKRunting 6/6 #CEEDTC2018 Many potential applications of MPT for conservation – not just reserve design! Get in touch for mor… https://t.co/GO1xxpnGmL
RKRunting 5/6 #CEEDTC2018 Diversification of site selection using MPT could reduce risk by 50% for only a 25% reduction in ex… https://t.co/xcrAYna1Or
RKRunting 4/6 #CEEDTC2018 We applied our MPT approach to reserve design for #coastal #wetlands and #EcosystemServices under… https://t.co/JNZzQzu5UN
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 @Sci_Officer @marinemammalogy @katie_at_sea @Sci_Officer Maybe bycatch threat is lower with herring fishing but wha… https://t.co/8IL051mTm4
vivtulloch RT @ayeshatulloch: How to share data on species to inform conservation and avoid them being exploited by poachers https://t.co/m6gMHKtCqi h…
vivtulloch RT @leslieamlwch: What should you do with all that biodiversity data wasting away on old harddrives? Share it...if the conservation benefit…
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: New PhD projects to work on the global conservation of coastal wetlands with @ConnollyLab @fern_adame @GriffithARI @WorldI
vivtulloch RT @MattHHolden: Big benefits of sharing spatial #biodiversity data, not just risks. @ayeshatulloch produces concrete guidelines for when &…
vivtulloch RT @ayeshatulloch: When might the conservation benefits of sharing biodiversity data about the locations of populations outweigh the risks…
vivtulloch @ayeshatulloch shows important benefits of sharing spatial #biodiversity data, and risks of withholding it. Develop… https://t.co/5li2IW8MDU
vivtulloch RT @HannahSFraser: 1 #CEEDTC2018 Many standard ecological research practices increase the probability that findings are due to chance rathe…
vivtulloch RT @bluecology: Can recovering whale species continue to bounce-back from whaling under climate change? @vivtulloch answers this important…
vivtulloch RT @BrenWintle: 6/6 KEEP COUNT Monitoring crucial to inform conservation at local-global scales. Know where, when we’re winning and losing,…
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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