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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 RT @YumMusings: Giving decision makers guidance in the absence of good data. @saverygo is on it for addressing #seabird threats #Postgrad20
saverygo RT @hgcacerese: @saverygo talks at #Postgrad2016 about where and why #seabirds are declining
saverygo Can decision trees be used to conserve trees (and other plants)? @ARC_CEED Dylan Jones at #Postgrad2016 pres work w…
saverygo Conserving #Australia wildlife on North Stradbroke Island - @hgcacerese works w. stakeholders to tackle invasive sp…
saverygo RT @UQherp: Our president Bianca op den Brouw presenting some interesting venom research at #Postgrad2016
saverygo Yes he did. @biodiversityBD rose to the challenge of fitting #PokemonGo into a talk about species conservation.…
saverygo Mini lesson on Structured Decision Making by @biodiversityBD at #Postgrad2016 - nailed it. O
saverygo So basically, #Columbia is the best. This is my impression from a talk by Pablo Negret at #Postgrad2016 So. Much.…
saverygo Blending #sociology & #ecology in conservation: Rachel Friedman bringing humans into the equation at #Postgrad2016
saverygo Marine spatial prioritisation is key to planning good #MPAs - but the ocean is 3 dimensional! @rubenvli has a solut…
MariaBeger RT @newscientist: Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds
MariaBeger RT @emeijaard: Study analyzes four decades of images – overturning assumptions role of industrial plantations in Borneo forest loss.https:/…
MariaBeger RT @lirrf: The Tasselled Wobbegong is the greatest ambush hunter of all sharks. Credit - Sharkgifmaker
MariaBeger RT @CoralReefFish: Global coral bleaching event might become new normal
MariaBeger RT @CalebMcclennen: New partnership to save #sharks and rays announced @LeoDiCaprio at #OurOceans @WCSNewsroom http…
MariaBeger RT @parkinsonje: Now there's a headline. @TIME piece on #coral #bleaching in New Caledonia & @SeaviewSurvey. https:…
MariaBeger @AChauvenet @NRMecon it's possible that fewer women apply for ERC fellowships because they feel (rightly or wrongly) that they won't succeed
MariaBeger RT @BrendanGodley: Marine Ecologists: It is now time to follow @MEPS_IR on Twitter. Please RT.
MariaBeger RT @ProfTerryHughes: This giant clam survived #bleaching in March, and is slowly regaining its algal sybionts; Cairns, last week. https://t…
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 @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
AChauvenet RT @ARC_CEED: Congratulations to @AChauvenet @NRMecon & Nathalie Butt - @SoapboxBrisbane See what happened on the day:
AChauvenet RT @m_dimarco: Our paper shows the neg effect of coarse resolution when using @IUCNRedList range maps for #conservation planning @cyclonewa
AChauvenet RT @DianaF1080: #oppla, an online resource for people studying and conserving ecosystem services, passed on by UNEP -WCMC @UNEPAsiaPacific
AChauvenet RT @saverygo: If you missed it, here are the #IUCNCongress Hawai'i Commitments #NatureForAll #ConservationWeek
AChauvenet RT @BESPolicy: Listen to the talks from last week's #BrexitScience event with @ZSLScience @WCL_News @sciencecampaign @RoyalSocBio https://t…
AChauvenet RT @ultimatemegs: In honour of #PeerReviewWeek @MethodsEcolEvol share tips and tricks, worth a read even if you're a seasoned reviewer http…
AChauvenet RT @megcevans: uh, did you *really* ask "every man, woman and child"? @AdvanceQld @qldscience #HDWI #womeninscience #womeninSTEMM https://t…
AChauvenet RT @cyclonewatson: The world's carbon stores are going up in smoke with vanishing wilderness via @ConversationEDU @…
NRMecon RT @NESS_Aus: Speed dating for environmental social scientists at the NESS workshop today #socialscience @UQ_gpem @UQ_News
NRMecon RT @EconomicsUQ: Read Dr David Adamson's UQ Small Change blog post: 'Predicting future jobs is a mug’s game'
NRMecon Great meeting of the network of environmental social scientists @ARC_CEED @GCITweet @UQ_News @NESS_Aus @megcevans
NRMecon RT @megcevans: Wow. Am I in opposite-land? At a @NESS_Aus workshop with 16 women and one man #gender #socialsciences #disciplinarybias
NRMecon Great start to the Aust NZ workshop on #experimentaleconomics @EconomicsUQ @UQ_News
NRMecon Excited for the start of the @UQ_News So#Economics wshop on #experimental-economics @ARC_CEED @kerrie_a_wilson
NRMecon RT @ScottJeffrey58: It's National Punctuation Day! Share a comma with someone today. #NationalPunctuationDay
NRMecon RT @saverygo: On Weds I chat w/ #UQ #Sustainability & @NRMecon about doing the same on our campus. It just makes cents! #forkit https://t.c…
NRMecon RT @ARC_CEED: Congratulations to @AChauvenet @NRMecon & Nathalie Butt - @SoapboxBrisbane See what happened on the day:
NRMecon RT @UN_Water: 6 things to know about mangroves - why are these forests so important? @ConservationOrg
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 Conservation triage should be more like medical triage, ethics must be accounted for!
MattHHolden These points are not often discussed in "land sharing vs. land sparing debates". Seems like important things to con…
MattHHolden Great story. Literally win-win conservation @iaaforg @athletics_kenya @FloTrack @letsrundotcom @HugePossum
MattHHolden RT @stevenstrogatz: Numbers & politics: Rescaling the federal budget to a family budget, to make it more comprehensible (via Terry Tao): ht…
MattHHolden RT @dr_krystal: For school funding, it's important to know equity & equality are different! Equity in education is needed #insiders https:/…
MattHHolden @m_dimarco are you applying to this? you might want to
MattHHolden RT @susanjcheng: Cornell EEB hiring a quantitative ecologist w/focus in big data or ecosystem-global models: @ESWNt
MattHHolden @ChrisOBryan89 @MendeleySupport a small challenge for my grant proposal due at 5 pm tomorrow. Here is to hoping it's fixed by then.
MattHHolden RT @mbi_osu: (1/2) Today at Noon Eastern: National Mathematical Biology Colloquium with Simon Levin of @Princeton
MattHHolden @YumMusings Oops I misunderstood. Nevermind.
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
cdkuempel RT @uiowa: Cheer on UI alumna Erin Walker as she competes on @Jeopardy this Wednesday at 4:30 CST. 💛⚫️ 💛 #HawkeyePride @KWWL
cdkuempel RT @YumMusings: Prioritising ocean #conservation in 3D! @rubenvli @ARC_CEED describes rsrch at #UQ #Postgrad2016 conference
cdkuempel RT @bluecology: Learning from failures, new blog post:
cdkuempel RT @HugePossum: Higgs would not find his boson in today's 'publish or perish' research culture | Jim al-Khalili
cdkuempel RT @EuanRitchie1: Out now. Trophic cascades in 3D: Network analysis reveals how apex predators structure ecosystems
cdkuempel RT @ShaunCoffey: simply love this...National Geographic photo of the year
cdkuempel Great job @LaurenNadler and interesting research! Check out the video!
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'
kwekings Superblock strategy in Barcelona will reclaim half of road space, paradoxically may improve traffic
kwekings @kerrie_a_wilson from @ARC_CEED speaking on Structured Approaches to Env Mgmt at Sg Bot Gdns 27 Sep 9.30am
kwekings We're past the peak of ANOVA: ecology curricula not keeping up with contemporary analytical techniques
kwekings @RichFullerUQ and @kerrie_a_wilson from @ARC_CEED visiting and giving talks at NUS Dept of Biol Sci on 2 and 23 Sep
kwekings #floraSG update: #Rothmannia_macrophylla is now in a monotypic genus #Singaporandia! Happy belated from Wong & Pereira 2016 Sandakania 21:21
BonMappin #Qldpol failure #landclearing reform coupled with historic bleaching may lead @UNESCO to consider in-danger listing
BonMappin RT @BirdlifeOz: #CarnabysBlackCockatoo habitat listed as #Endangered. @ColinBarnett must review plans to clear 9,700ha on Swan Plain https:…
BonMappin @_NickGolding_ hey you around long? Would love to catch up
BonMappin Great to see #auspol prioritising actions and species to reduce our #biodiversity loss @ARC_CEED @TSR_Hub
BonMappin Just submitted my first peer review. I feel like a real scientist now. Opposite to #impostersyndrome. #phdchat
BonMappin Check out our blog about the science policy master class with Wentworth group @shornwell
BonMappin RT @HuffPostUK: Britain has become one of the most “nature depleted” countries in the world #StateOfNature https://…
BonMappin @NoelleKumpel yes thanks. I read up on it now. Great news and brings some optimism!
BonMappin Travel campaign commemorating creatures we’ve lost & are in danger of forgetting @Expedia
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 @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
j_a_mcgowan RT @CarissaJoyKlein: 97% of species have <10% of their range in #MPAs. Consider this in Aichi11. #IUCNCongress http…
j_a_mcgowan RT @Tools4Msp: The presentation we gave yesterday on #MSP and #Marxan in the #Adriatic is visible online here: @j_a
j_a_mcgowan RT @Tools4Msp: @j_a_mcgowan "sometimes we don't need more data, we need to deal with #uncertainty" #Marxan #MSP
j_a_mcgowan Decision support tools for #MSP in the Adriatic - workshop just getting going! #marxan @ARC_CEED @PacMARA
j_a_mcgowan RT @Tools4Msp: On our way to a #Marxan course in #Croatia to meet and discuss with (among others) @j_a_mcgowan about #MSP and supporting to…
MorenaMills RT @NESS_Aus: NESS #environmental #conflict forum happening at @UQ_News on October 28. Details & RSVP here:
MorenaMills RT @NESS_Aus: Great start to the NESS PhD and ECR workshop- room full of great minds
MorenaMills RT @_JessicaBlythe: Beer that helps the reef, TP that helps the planet! Won't save the world, but feels like a good start #whogivesacrap ht…
MorenaMills @pcousteau can you send @MaksymPolyakov and I more details? Great to hear you speak yesterday!
MorenaMills 30% of all seafood contains plastic. Want to know more? #IUCNCongress
MorenaMills RT @DavidGillMarine: Overwhelmed decision makers need help, data,solutions to achieve sust. agricult., it's not just about political will #…
MorenaMills Jason Clay: We need to shift consumption strategies, but difficult as it is such a politicised issue. Do less, influence more #IUCNCongress
MorenaMills .@JeffDSachs highlights population pressure as key issues for sustainable development. Simple solution: Keep girls in schools #IUCNCongress
MorenaMills Alexander Muller: if food waste was a country it would be the third biggest emitter of carbon dioxide #IUCNCongress
HugePossum RT @DianaF1080: Dingo ate my babies! Chris Jolly #AusMamSoc16 dingoes killed toad-smart northern quolls translocated to Kakadu from island…
HugePossum RT @BronFancourt: .@astobowilson describing a new glider species in northern Australia #AusMamSoc16
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: Fantastic today to see well over 100 Australian mammal scientists sharing evidence and lessons in fighting #extinction
HugePossum RT @Condamine_nrm: @TSCommissioner have you heard of Tibbles the #cat? Great example of the impact predators like cats have on wildlife htt…
HugePossum RT @guardianeco: Lack of tree clearing reforms a roadblock to saving Great Barrier Reef
HugePossum RT @bluecology: You need to own your failures to learn from them. New blog post:
HugePossum RT @TSR_Hub: The TSR Hub's @dpannell66 (Project 6.1) asks "What is a threatened species worth?" #threatenedspecies #wildlife
HugePossum Have you heard of the new way to help wildlife on the edge? Take on a fun challenge with @edgepledge. #extinction
HugePossum Is it possible that prescribed burns kill more people through smoke inhalation than the benefits they provide? #bushfire16 Bradstock
HugePossum RT @ZoeStoneNZ: Bushfire 2016 conference underway. @HugePossum welcoming the crowd #bushfire16 #UQ
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!!!
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
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
rubenvli RT @JAppliedEcology: Coarse spatial resolutions ⬇ commission errors in species ranges but ⬆ #conservation planning costs

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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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