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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 RT @sebpardo: New #Rstats package on CRAN! red: spatial tools that facilitate extinction risk assessment according to @IUCNRedList https://…
saverygo Up up and away! Off to Honolulu and #iucnCongress with @BonMappin. Looking forward to the Saving Species session:
saverygo @thelabandfield @sjurdur @RallidaeRule I used Keyhole to track usage for #WSTC2. The free trial was just long enough
saverygo RT @TaraGMartin: Immediate action essential for Southern Resident killer whale survival via @Raincoast
saverygo RT @CelebrateOceans: 8 maps that show plastic's impact on the world's oceans- and what's being done about it https:…
saverygo RT @thelabandfield: Two #seabirdersaturday jobs closing next week: MPAs & plastics. Details:
saverygo RT @GemClucas: TB: puffin lining nest with plastic line on @skomer_island. Sad to see. #plasticfree #seabirdersaturday
saverygo @SeabirdSentinel @Ashley_UQL @SoapboxBrisbane @SoapboxScience I don't think so, but if it is I'll let you know :)
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 You were amazing @Hockinglab ! Thank you for being part of the first @SoapboxScience Brisbane
AChauvenet RT @ultimatemegs: Excited for the#iucncongress to start tomorrow!! For those of you who can't make it I'll be live tweeting from Thursday!…
AChauvenet RT @UQ_News: Good luck to the #UQ @eurekaprizes finalists tonight. The FANTOM5 project and Dr Eve McDonald-Madden.
AChauvenet RT @DrMaggieHardy: Anyone know an ento student who would be keen to represent the International Branch to the ESA? Please RT! Thanks. https…
AChauvenet RT @willaonthego: Mathematician/Stats/DataScience Academic Positions - we are committed to equity and diversity please circulate! https://t…
AChauvenet RT @JAppliedEcology: How well does Australian border #biosecurity prevent introduction of #WildlifeDisease? Read @Celine_Bellard’s post htt…
AChauvenet RT @kwekings: @RichFullerUQ and @kerrie_a_wilson from @ARC_CEED visiting and giving talks at NUS Dept of Biol Sci on 2 and 23 Sep https://t…
AChauvenet RT @hihinews: Only a few hours until we start our #reintroduction course here in Hawaii. We cant wait! @andersen_inger @calgaryzoo @IUCNRed
AChauvenet RT @taphovenatrix: "I worried constantly about making mistakes, which, it turned out, did not prevent them." Great read by @csittenfeld htt…
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 @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
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!
MattHHolden Fantastic talks on #DataScience for social good by @datascifellows We #Conservation #scientists can learn from these
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
cdkuempel RT @UQ_News: Good luck to the #UQ @eurekaprizes finalists tonight. The FANTOM5 project and Dr Eve McDonald-Madden.
cdkuempel RT @MarinePolicy: How the world subsidizes overfishing, in two charts | @voxdotcom
cdkuempel RT @YumMusings: Interesting read via @nytimes: Why Men Want to Marry Melanias and Raise Ivankas #feminism #womenatw
cdkuempel RT @ultimatemegs: Amidst the self-congratulations on #protectedareas a reminder that we are whittling them away and stripping budgets http…
cdkuempel RT @rebecca_jarvis: Three new #postdoc positions for "catalyst" researchers in biodiversity #postdocjobs #ecrchat
cdkuempel RT @WWF: "Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better" - Albert Einstein #picoftheweek
cdkuempel RT @kwekings: @RichFullerUQ and @kerrie_a_wilson from @ARC_CEED visiting and giving talks at NUS Dept of Biol Sci on 2 and 23 Sep https://t…
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: R cane toads the worst? Data type affects answer in prioritizing #invasive spp mgt @GGuillera @jj_lahoz @qaecology https://t.…
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
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.
BonMappin RT @saverygo: Up up and away! Off to Honolulu and #iucnCongress with @BonMappin. Looking forward to the Saving Species session: https://t.c…
BonMappin RT @IUCN: Now is the time to be bold for a sustainable future #IUCNcongress via @NatGeo Society
BonMappin RT @OceanOptimism: 3 days. 3rd Sept sees @JaneGoodallInst and Anne Walton (@NOAA) speak at the #IUCNcongress https…
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
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 @damanaki: The challenges facing #OurOcean respect no boundaries so we must come up with global solutions @JohnK
j_a_mcgowan RT @bluecology: Will closing commercial fisheries enhance recreational fishing? New article:
j_a_mcgowan Improving local actions for coral reefs vs reengineering the global economy. Where do scientists and managers fit?
j_a_mcgowan Many felt helpless after #ICRS2016 Climate change is a juggernaut that needs champions like @ProfTerryHughes @oveHG
j_a_mcgowan RT @damanaki: Sustainable #fishing practices support #ocean health & livelihoods of coastal communities https://t.c…
j_a_mcgowan RT @G_Boccaletti: People and nature suffer when #waterscarcity sets in. My piece on market-based solutions: https:/…
j_a_mcgowan RT @cyclonewatson: Lets keep climate change in perspective when trying to save coral
j_a_mcgowan "Don't let climate crush coral effort" Our post #ICRS2016 Nature correspondence
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 @lizwcs: Only place in world with Asian elephants and Sumatran tigers, orangutans and rhinos should be protected.
HugePossum RT @DiseaseEcolAust: New paper:Tassie #devils evolving rapidly to fight their deadly #cancer @GU_Sciences @NatureCo
HugePossum RT @John_CITES: 'In a world of 7 billion people how can we protect wildlife?' My #IUCNCongress #CoP17 op-ed https:/…
HugePossum RT @BirdlifeOz: A new global standard for biodiversity to be launched #IUCNCongress #KeyBiodiversityAreas ping @Mik
HugePossum RT @Conserve_WA: In the #EmeraldEdge, a small fish plays a huge role for people & nature. Learn why:
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: #Kiwirrkurra and #Birribillu traditional owners explain how traditional burning protects #ThreatenedSpecies https://t.c…
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: Rita's patchwork burning with @BushHeritageAus makes her country safer for wildlife and reduces wildfires #WildOz https…
HugePossum RT @DianaF1080: Three (fixed-term, part-time) positions to develop a #plainswanderer stewardship program with landholders
HugePossum RT @TheBodyShop: Pop Quiz! Do you know where Malaysia’s biggest marine park is? Answer shared by @HugePossum https:…
HugePossum RT @BirdlifeOz: Pls remember that swooping is a natural behaviour for native birds, they are only protecting their eggs and young. https://…
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
RKRunting And thanks for your contribution @LisaAMandle !
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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