Read our monthly magazine FREE ONLINE

CEED long RGB 01


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 @PolarFoundation @SCAR_Tweets @EducaPoles A new game worth exploring @HugePossum?
saverygo RT @sciam: 20 big questions about the future of humanity answered by leading scientists
saverygo RT @ARC_CEED: Growth rate 4 #humanfootprint < econ & population, but planet already altered @NatureComms https://t.…
saverygo Next time you call for an Uber, the car that picks you up might not have a driver. #thisisthefuture
saverygo @erinmccreless Great paper!
saverygo #HotOffThePress: Most island vertebrate extinctions could be averted by removing invasive species @erinmccreless
saverygo Manage the sea ice, feed the #Penguins. A new #educational #seabird game #app is available!
saverygo RT @megcevans: On ScoMo's call for science to pass the #pubtest, by @Brooks_Rob via @ConversationEDU
saverygo RT @SmithsonianMag: These simple fixes could save thousands of birds a year from fishing boats.
saverygo @SeabirdSentinel @PlasticOceans Will it be playing in Brisbane? Ping @JaszzyJas
MariaBeger RT @ScottishSeas: Plastic litter particles cemented in ocean sediment will become a legacy of the plastic era https…
MariaBeger RT @CoralReefFish: Giant coral reef in protected area shows new signs of life! #OceanOptimism
MariaBeger RT @BrendanGodley: #OA paper:Whale alarm fails to deter migrating humpback #whales:an empirical test #ESR plsRT htt…
MariaBeger RT @ljp2026: Visitors rush to Great Barrier Reef to catch it "before it's gone" Climate Home - via @ClimateHome
MariaBeger Atauro also meets 5 of 6 conservation objectives with highest benefit @HugePossum @DrEmmaLJohnston @j_a_mcgowan
MariaBeger Atauro Island: scientists discover the most biodiverse waters in the world
MariaBeger Do you know where Malaysia’s biggest marine park is? @CarissaJoyKlein @HugePossum @Rebeccaweeks @AnotherBobSmith
MariaBeger RT @ProfTerryHughes: Help the #Reef by protecting trees. Clearing in QLD increased Australia's emissions by 6% last year = 8 million cars h…
MariaBeger RT @DrEmmaLJohnston: Profile of oceanographer John Church: "The Don Bradman of #sealevel rise". #climatechange via…
MariaBeger RT @AChauvenet: Join us for #SoapboxScience Brisbane - Sat 20 August, 1-4pm King George Square
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 @DrEmmaLJohnston: Check out this wonderful site telling the stories of 6 Australian #womeninscience with interviews & #intheirownwords h…
AChauvenet RT @SmallPondSci: On absurd tenure requirements at small institutions
AChauvenet RT @D_Keating: What a god awful world we live in, where someone feels the need to complain about it.
AChauvenet First @SoapboxScience event in Australia a success despite a bit of rain! @UQ_News @ARC_CEED @GCITweet @AdvanceQld
AChauvenet .@saunders_meg drawing a crowd for @SoapboxScience Brisbane talking about sea level rise @GCITweet @UQ_gpem
AChauvenet Prof. @JoanVac talking physics at @SoapboxScience Brisbane- with cameo of @Hockinglab ! #scicomm #womeninscience
AChauvenet Fascinating the crowd: @kate_seib on her soapbox on saturday #scicomm #womeninscience @ARC_CEED @AdvanceQld
AChauvenet Are #biodiversity targets letting down threatened species? Focus on area is not enough @ultimatemegs #notjustarea
NRMecon RT @SoapboxBrisbane: Science on a soapbox comes to King George Square Thanks @brisbanetimes ! @NRMecon @ARC_CEED @G
NRMecon @tomjwebb Good to know! I've just gotten a Mac and it was driving me crazy...
NRMecon RT @TheEconomist: Poor and developing countries tempted by Olympic strategies should think twice
NRMecon RT @qldscience: We had a great #natsciwk! Don't forget to enter our #ThisIsScience comp!
NRMecon Want to know what's in the box? Come to @SoapboxBrisbane to find out! @saverygo #NatSciWk @ARC_CEED
NRMecon RT @d_curnick: Englands plastic bag use drops 85% since 5p charge introduced #OceanOptimism #OneLess #IMCC4 https:/…
NRMecon Want to chat about #MoretonBay? Paid focus group: Thurs 8th Sept at 7:30pm in #WestEnd @WeAreBrisbane @fisheriesQLD
NRMecon Paid focus group! Thurs 8th Sept, 7:30pm West End Please express interest at:
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
biodiversityBD RT @AChauvenet: Now in @sciencemagazine "Expanding protected areas is not enough" #notjustarea @ARC_CEED @ultimate
biodiversityBD Awesome essay on gender equity by @BarackObama
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
MattHHolden Prof @stevenstrogatz on the beauty of #math and its use in #biology and beyond! @TheSIAMNews @SMB_MathBiology
MattHHolden @AChauvenet @DrMaggieHardy Absolutely! What do you say Dr. Hardy? First seminar invite via twitter :), will send formal email @ARC_CEED
MattHHolden @MariaBeger @AChauvenet @NRMecon Related: I'm tired of men dominating the "greatest athletes of all time" lists
MattHHolden Is @Simone_Biles the greatest athlete all time? Her 2.1pt win > sum of all victory margins in the last 9 #olympics
MattHHolden @AChauvenet @kerrie_a_wilson @michaelaplein @saverygo #canada #australia among top 3 most diverse at a pathetic 11-12% (best of the worst)
MattHHolden Rediculous, only 8.9% of #math journal editors are women. @AChauvenet @kerrie_a_wilson @michaelaplein #genderEquity
MattHHolden Top 4 #math publishers ranked by % female editors are all societies or uni press. For-profit publishers not diverse
MattHHolden 19.1% of SIAM editors female, best out of #math journal publishers, (median 7.6%) @TheSIAMNews @womeninmaths
MattHHolden 8.9% of #math journal editors are women. Most prestigious journal has 0 women editors @stevenstrogatz @womeninmaths
cdkuempel RT @Seasaver: #Microplastics should be banned in cosmetics to save oceans, MPs say #pollution
cdkuempel RT @Bill_Sutherland: Come and work with us as a research assistant ensuring ConservationEvidence succeeds in changing global conservation h…
cdkuempel I could pick out one thing I understood: program #Marxan! Wish I could understand the rest! @Matt_Marxan
cdkuempel RT @bluecology: Do Australia's sharks need saving from fishing? New article in @ConversationEDU
cdkuempel Can art exist without science? Can #science exist without #art?
cdkuempel RT @NatureEcoEvo: How has the global human footprint changed over last 16 yrs? A new update in @NatureComms https:/…
cdkuempel RT @BorneoFutures: Good news from Sarawak. Sarawak establishes 2.2M acres of protected areas, may add 1 M more. htt…
cdkuempel RT @saunders_meg: Alaskan village votes in favour of relocating due to climate change via @telegraphnews
cdkuempel RT @glennalthor: Excellent protocol on effectiveness of systematic conservation planning by @EmmaJMcIntosh!
cdkuempel RT @ProfTerryHughes: Keeping global warming to 1.5C won't be possible, & we'll miss 2C too if #CSG is seen as "transitional" from #coal ht…
kwekings A tree that died can be resurrected as a habitat elsewhere via @canberratimes
kwekings Student mentorship: still learning
kwekings Median home values within 200m of urban drains restored to streams increased by 4.7%
kwekings Retweeted The Workers' Party (@wpsg): We oppose the Administration of Justice Bill.
kwekings RT @wpsg: We oppose the Administration of Justice Bill.
kwekings Multiple recent records of the elusive Malayan porcupine in Singapore with a flurry of camera-trap deployments
kwekings Nine completely legit but #fakePokemonGoEcology articles
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
BonMappin RT @CalebMcclennen: Major study reveals significant shift on the impact of humankind on land over last 20+ yrs. ht…
BonMappin RT @DianaF1080: #conservation Professor position available at #UQ. We need someone to be the new Hugh Possingham!
BonMappin RT @cyclonewatson: The global terrestrial human footprint is slowing but still huge implications for biodiversity conservation
BonMappin RT @SoapboxBrisbane: Thank you for being one of our fantastic volunteers @BonMappin You guys make the day! #NatSciWk
BonMappin Great day talking science at a great event! Fab organisation by @AChauvenet @SoapboxBrisbane
BonMappin Come on down to @SoapboxBrisbane in King George square
BonMappin RT @Georgina_Gurney: #Postdoc @Cambridge_Uni with @Bill_Sutherland on assessing the impact of environmental management
BonMappin RT @CarlaWildlife: Happy to be apart of the young researchers covering the #IUCNcongress in #Hawaii keep updated & follow @CoveringIUCN htt…
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 @Nicki__S: Great article by @bluecology on the need to work with fisheries for better shark conservation
j_a_mcgowan RT @ARC_CEED: Is cool tech useful 4 #conservation mgt? Assessing value of animalborne telemetry in #ecology rsrch JAppliedEcology https://t…
j_a_mcgowan RT @RobHarcourt: #5ScientistPledge but only 5... so, excluding my lab who all inspire: @ElizMadin @mickresearch @AlanaMGrech @j_a_mcgowan @…
j_a_mcgowan RT @IUCN: #NowReading @NewYorker piece: Are conservationists worrying too much about #climatechange? @NatureNews
j_a_mcgowan RT @westgatecology: The Lindenmayer lab is hiring! 3 postdocs: 2 field officers: https://t.…
j_a_mcgowan RT @sesync: We're hiring! @sesync has positions open in data science & communications coordination! For info on all our openings https://t.…
j_a_mcgowan RT @bycatchorg: Short-term consultant opportunity to assist with seabird bycatch assessment workshops
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: #Marxan helped deliver Malaysia's largest MPA via @wordpressdotcom
MorenaMills @CarlaWildlife @ARC_CEED Thanks Carla! It's been amazing to work with all you wonderful researchers. I'll definitely miss this place!
MorenaMills RT @ultimatemegs: We need $$ for m/ment, strategic & systematic monitoring & PAs placed to prevent threats #notjustarea #aichitargets https…
MorenaMills RT @saverygo: Getting excited for attending the #IUCNcongress in Honolulu in 2 weeks & workshops w. @HugePossum @ultimatemegs @cyclonewatso
MorenaMills RT @saverygo: Excited for attending the #IUCNcongress in Honolulu in 2 weeks & workshops w. @AChauvenet @ARC_CEED @BonMappin @m_dimarco @Le
MorenaMills RT @saverygo: Looking forward to this weekends #NatSciWk event: @SoapboxBrisbane Aug 20 1-3pm!! It'll be a blast!
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
HugePossum RT @saverygo: The #Brisbane @SoapboxScience event was a hit with the public, and even made the news! @AChauvenet #W
HugePossum RT @BorneoFutures: Good news from Sarawak. Sarawak establishes 2.2M acres of protected areas, may add 1 M more. htt…
HugePossum RT @JessicaMillerAU: Completely fascinating conversation about leopards and their conservation with @alexbraczkowski & @rfidler @UQ_gpem ht…
HugePossum RT @NatureEcoEvo: How has the global human footprint changed over last 16 yrs? A new update in @NatureComms https:/…
HugePossum RT @BAlexSimmons: Check it out @HugePossum: Swiss band turn @sdlanghans 's #Marxan #river #restoration research into song! #artscience http…
HugePossum RT @DianaF1080: #conservation Professor position available at #UQ. We need someone to be the new Hugh Possingham!
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: Saving Australia's wildlife from #extinction by establishing feral-free islands
HugePossum RT @GrettaPecl: 'It's time to reign this shit in': Physicists Eager To Hear What Frank At Pub Reckons They Shld Study | SBS Comedy https://…
HugePossum RT @CalebMcclennen: Major study reveals significant shift on the impact of humankind on land over last 20+ yrs. ht…
HugePossum @neophema1 I agree - tax is civilisation
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

Check out UQ's new
MSc in Conservation Biology

DSCN3986 smaller


  • Intensive 1 year program
  • taught by world class conservation & industry specialists
  • filed experience in rainforest, coastal, reef & outback habitats
  • dedicated cohort support services