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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 @M_Hartl @sciencemagazine @NewsfromScience Harsh, but true. The stakes are high!
saverygo Remember the @sciencemagazine paper re fish ingesting #plasticpollution? Read THIS before you cite it. #misconduct
saverygo RT @PacificSeabirds: #PSG2017 Abstracts are due no later than this Friday by 11:59pm PST. #seabirds #ornithology #c
saverygo .@BBCEarth Awesome episode of #planetearth2: Deserts. Shame they missed the impressive Australian deserts. Next ser…
saverygo RT @Nina_OHanlon: Save the date for #WSTC3 ! We are very excited to hear about all the amazing #seabird work going on around the world! #o
saverygo The reality of doing a #PhD..... it's a roller coaster #phdchat #notalwaysawesome #totallynormal
saverygo RT @Tessa_M_Hill: Seeking #SciComm role models? My students say: @NaomiOreskes @Summer_Ash @helenscales @ABTagenda @AcademicBatgirl @KHayho
saverygo RT @AnimalConserv: Translocation and hand-rearing result in short-tailed #albatrosses returning to breed in the Ogasawara Islands https://t…
saverygo Research from @NASA would seem to contradict the claims about #seabird #poop & #climatechange! Such is #science
saverygo Very weak evidence for the claim that bird poop helps cool the Arctic in summer 1/2 @CooperIslandAK
MariaBeger RT @Sal_Keith: Application time BSc/MSc students for KAUST’s coral reef 3 week summer course Deadline Jan 6th. Its…
MariaBeger RT @UNSWnews: What keeps you up at night? We posed the question to 12 of our leading researchers - hear them at @UNSW today
MariaBeger @DrLucyHawkes @MovingAnimals @lucaborger Hey Nicole!!! Well done!
MariaBeger @MariaBeger I need to name them: this guy is Pagrus auratus or Snapper
MariaBeger RT @criobe_pf: Last 2 days for session proposal at #ipfctahiti! Don't wait to send your proposal!
MariaBeger RT @bio_diverse: The protection gaps for the world's rivers - 70% of rivers have no PAs in their upstream catchments
MariaBeger eat less (meat), use less aircon, fly less, shade windows, paint the roof white, waste less... most efficient thing…
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 @MattHHolden: Recent (ECR) tenure-track hires in #ecology likely gender balanced on average! Good news indeed #genderEquity @kerrie_a_wi
AChauvenet RT @terngirl: Are you a scientist? Take this survey! #ESA16 #scicomm
AChauvenet RT @PurpleNeety: Refuges provide protection from fire, predation, drought. April Reside #ESA16 #esa16comic @TSR_Hub
AChauvenet RT @TSR_Hub: How do stakeholders perceive the efficacy of biodiversity offset policy in Australia? @megcevans @UQ_News 1215pm #ESA16
AChauvenet RT @dieterhochuli: CSI sea turtle! @WorldInPlainEng shows how isotope analysis of turtle barnacles reveals their movements and behaviours #…
AChauvenet RT @GeorgiaGarrard: Hey ecology peeps, @fidlerfm @sbekessy & I are doing a super quick survey about scientists in public debate https://t.c…
AChauvenet RT @megcevans: Do #biodiversity #offsets work? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I'll tell you some reasons *why* we don't know - 12:15 Carnac Room #ESA16 #envsocs
AChauvenet RT @megcevans: New report: "The Strategy has not effectively influenced #biodiversity #conservation activities" #ES
AChauvenet RT @Pettorelli: Yes, we are bringing @SoapboxScience to Italy next year!
AChauvenet RT @ARC_CEED: Flexible #conservation doesn't always improve outcomes. @gdiacona @UQBiology on costs-benefits for #koalas now at #ESA16
NRMecon We need SEQ for a paid focus group on #MoretonBay Tues 6 Dec 7:30pm West End @fisheriesQLD @WeAreBrisbane
NRMecon Looking for #SEQ participants for a paid focus group 7:30pm, Tues 6 Dec, West End express interest: @WestEndMagazine
NRMecon Looking for #SEQ participants for a paid focus group: 7:30pm, Tues 6 Dec, West End express interest:…
NRMecon Please share with your networks @AntoineCamus19 @ARC_CEED
NRMecon Participate in our paid focus group! 7:30pm, Tuesday 6th December, West End | 1130838594
NRMecon #koala on the way to Stradbroke Pest Management Meeting @hgcacerese @ARC_CEED
NRMecon PHD Comics: Turnout via @phdcomics
NRMecon RT @DeptAgNews: $1M in grants avail for projects to improve transparency & reliability of Aus water market info. Apps close 30/11. https://…
NRMecon RT @TheEconomist: Our quote of the day is from German poet, philosopher and playwright Friedrich Schiller
NRMecon RT @SeaAroundUs: This is what the amount of #catches by commercial groups in the waters of #Canada's Pacific looks like. Learn more https:/…
biodiversityBD Funny what you will turn to to make the Marxan input files go down when alone in the office -
biodiversityBD @YumMusings oh-mah-gersh, look at him! *gush*
biodiversityBD RT @TaraGMartin: Observed impacts of climate change - from genes to biomes to people @cyclonewatson @BrettScheffers
biodiversityBD Meanwhile, in Queensland:
biodiversityBD RT @TSCommissioner: Awesome to spend time with 300 Australians fighting #extinction driven by invasive species today. Thanks for having me…
biodiversityBD @Barnaby_Joyce, some good points but there's room for improving efficiency before clearing more habitat. What's the line for nature? #auspol
biodiversityBD @UQ_News's Great Court is full of Caper White Butterflies today in a one in 6-10 year event. Very beautiful:
biodiversityBD RT @diefelcorr: Four environmental reasons why fast-tracking the Carmichael coal mine is a bad idea via @Conversati
biodiversityBD RT @HugePossum: Scientist Hugh Possingham quits over Baird government's land-clearing plan via @smh
biodiversityBD @conservbytes blog on how offsetting/@unredd could be contagious in the right setting. Links with diffusion of inno…
MattHHolden Recent (ECR) tenure-track hires in #ecology likely gender balanced on average! Good news indeed #genderEquity
MattHHolden The mustache comes off for #Movember Cantor set style. C2 & C3 #math staches. @hgcacerese @seb_schreiber
MattHHolden RT @PurpleNeety: Good planning can overcome any challenges assoc. with everyday nature in cities. @sbekessy #ESA16 #ESA16comic
MattHHolden RT @PurpleNeety: Refuges provide protection from fire, predation, drought. April Reside #ESA16 #esa16comic @TSR_Hub
MattHHolden Can diet studies like this #seal & #salmon example help us better achieve #conservation goals? #foodwebs &…
MattHHolden RT @ShaunCoutts1: We may not be able extrapolate pop performance as far as we would like, or need. Summary of our new paper at https://t.c…
MattHHolden "hypothesis testing is overrated and hypothesis generation is underrated" Great post on exploratory studies and #statistics by @StatModeling
MattHHolden Martha E Pollack, #compsci prof & @UMich provost, to be next @Cornell president @GirlsWhoCode
MattHHolden RT @klholden: "I think I could turn and live with animals... I stand and look at them long and long." #WaltWhitman #poetry #solace https://…
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: Food for thought via @bluecology: Google Scholar influences who we cite. Should we algorithms determine? new blog: https://t.…
cdkuempel RT @saverygo: Way to go #Australia: Single-use plastic bags to be banned in Queensland from 2018
cdkuempel RT @CarlaWildlife: Wise words of a huge possum: "Decision science is just quantified common sense" @HugePossum #PLCConf16
cdkuempel RT @BonMappin: First fledgling night #parrot seen since the elusive bird was rediscovered #grnfirescience #threate
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: Starting w/a framework to align social & ecological, @OrjanBodin presents on #socioecological networks @UQBiology https://t.c…
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: Bringing equality to #protectedarea networks, @cdkuempel @AChauvenet @HugePossum call 4 multi-objective @ConLetters https://t…
cdkuempel RT @hsi_australia: Sydney based? Join us at a rally for the protection of sharks & marine life. 4th December at Manly Beach
cdkuempel RT @YumMusings: First poster session of PhD! Enjoying chatting with a very social #socialnetwork crew #ASNAC2016 #phdlife #socioecological
cdkuempel RT @JaszzyJas: Another inspiring speech from @HugePossum - never be afraid to speak up, #university's are one of the few places that still…
cdkuempel RT @BonMappin: NSW Government accused of turning a blind eye to alleged illegal land clearing #landclearing #nswpol
kwekings Insect mortality from roads: #Lepidoptera second highest; impact trauma, direct collisions observed
kwekings Iridescence in some understorey plants because of iridoplasts with higher quantum yield under the forest canopy
kwekings Retweeted GlobalTreesCampaign (@globaltrees): #DYK Dipterocarps are dominant trees in SE Asia’s rainforests,...
kwekings RT @globaltrees: #DYK Dipterocarps are dominant trees in SE Asia’s rainforests, comprising up to 90% of the canopy layer #TreeTuesday https…
kwekings To maximise researcher success: do low-power studies, prioritise novel findings... that will be wrong 1/2 the time
kwekings Retweeted CEED (@ARC_CEED): In the market for a #postdoc position in #conservation & #environmental...
kwekings Retweeted Kerrie Wilson (@kerrie_a_wilson): An exciting new research assistant role at @arc_ceed, based at UQ...
kwekings RT @ARC_CEED: In the market for a #postdoc position in #conservation & #environmental decision-making? 2-yr post at UQ CEED node! https://t…
kwekings RT @kerrie_a_wilson: An exciting new research assistant role at @arc_ceed, based at UQ
kwekings Is there no way to run from ggplot???
BonMappin RT @WildlifeObits: Join us & @cyclonewatson in saying goodbye to the Caspian tiger, one of the largest cats to have ever lived 🐯https://t.c…
BonMappin RT @ProfTerryHughes: Thanks to our colleagues @GBRMPA and @AIMS for pulling together to produce this map. @jcu @CoralCoE
BonMappin RT @CarlaWildlife: Wise words of a huge possum: "Decision science is just quantified common sense" @HugePossum #PLCConf16
BonMappin RT @HPWecology: Woinarski: engaging in policy & process is uncomfortable, but ecologists must do it. We can't just talk to ourselves #esa16
BonMappin RT @fudgeh0g: 90 extinct species in Australia since European settlement. We have an obligation to conserve those remaining. Woinarski #esa1
BonMappin RT @physiologyfish: Australia SHOULD be a leader, a model for #conservation success #esa16 says J. Woinarski, right?
BonMappin First fledgling night #parrot seen since the elusive bird was rediscovered #grnfirescience
BonMappin #auspol decide Australia's #PalmOil food labelling rules. Please sign letter to your minister to show your support.
BonMappin China is going ahead with an ambitious policy despite international climate action uncertainty #ActOnClimate
BonMappin .@ARC_CEED 's Luke Shoo: #restoration success can only be acknowledged if recorded.
mainambui @ITCAlumni @LibITC I dont..cant' access my own pdf
mainambui @ITCAlumni @LibITC ..for instance, alumni accounts arent enabled to access academic outputs
mainambui RT @tveitdal: 2016 Will Be Hottest Year (by a big margin), UN Climate Meeting Told
mainambui @ITCAlumni as Alummni do we have access to ITC library?
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
j_a_mcgowan RT @ARC_CEED: Aus-Indonesian collaborative research in #Conservation in #Coral Triangle in @AusSciStories @j_a_mcgowan @MariaBeger https://…
j_a_mcgowan RT @ARC_CEED: Still thinking about #UNFCCC #COP22? @j_a_mcgowan dishes on #climatechange impacts on the #coralreef #DecisionPoint https://t…
j_a_mcgowan RT @oceansresearch: Canada announces new #MPA Marine Protected Area in #Arctic #icmmpa4 ht @pewenvironment #beluga
j_a_mcgowan RT @kerrie_a_wilson: Become a Postdoctoral Fellow @arc_ceed, based at UQ
j_a_mcgowan RT @MariaBeger: New ways of collaborating for conservation in @_coraltriangle_ @HugePossum @j_a_mcgowan @ARC_CEED
j_a_mcgowan RT @Oceana: Give up on coral reefs? There’s plenty left to fight for, scientists say:
j_a_mcgowan RT @GabrielGrims: Runner up, best presentation at the first Maldives Marine Science Symposium. Congratulations @nisthu @j_a_mcgowan https:/…
j_a_mcgowan RT @deepseadawn: U. British Columbia hiring new faculty in geography, geospatial science, GISci #jobs
j_a_mcgowan RT @EJMilnerGulland: Short survey on human costs of Marine Protected Areas. Please RT & complete if you have experience of MPAs. Thanks! ht…
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: @j_a_mcgowan and I working with #ISMAR to develop #Marxan marine spatial plans for Adriatic @ARC_CEED @arc_gov_au https://t…
MorenaMills RT @bec_colvin: Check out my energy conflict slides from the @NESS_Aus #EnvConflict forum drawing on:
MorenaMills RT @NESS_Aus: Catch up on the great conversations from the NESS #EnvConflict forum - visuals and presentations live here:
MorenaMills RT @futurecitiescat: What happened at the #FutureofPlanning Innovators Panel? @euanmills reflects on the event http…
MorenaMills The Global Fishing Watch makes me very excited
MorenaMills Another busy week working on Marine Protected Areas in São Paulo.…
MorenaMills A wonderful list of fully funded PhD opportunities on Solutions for a Changing Planet! Come and work with us!
MorenaMills RT @suepillans: A pleasure #drawing out Professor Mike Manfredo's plenary talk from @ColoradoStateU at @NESS_Aus #EnvConflict Forum at @UQ_
MorenaMills RT @suepillans: Just some of the issues #drawn out of @NESS_Aus Forum on #EnvConflict at @UQ_News "Scientific facts are not a solution to…
MorenaMills Well done @cromerodd, @bec_colvin for your great work organising the #enviroconflict forum. Great work!! @NESS_Aus
HugePossum RT @nature_careers: Join the The Nature Conservancy team! See our latest #job opening here: #ThinkGreen #Sustainabi
HugePossum RT @nature_careers: This #job might be a great fit for you: Policy GLOBE Intern - 44754 - #ThinkGreen #Sustainabili
HugePossum RT @nature_brains: How hunting promotes healthy ecosystems in the Australian desert.
HugePossum RT @OEHmedia: OEH & @EcolSocAus awarded 6 early career ecologists an Outstanding Outreach Award for inspiring others:
HugePossum Join the survey about the role of ecologists in public policy and advocacy
HugePossum RT @ARC_CEED: How to eradicate #invasivespecies from Lord Howe Island? @cbaker_research modelled spread of weeds to inform decision-making…
HugePossum A messy pile of magazines and reports - yes, all about nature
HugePossum RT @ABCemergency: #QLD Very dangerous #thunderstorms moving N-NE. Forecast to affect the area east of #Gympie and #KinKin by 5:25 pm https…
HugePossum RT @ARC_CEED: Relevant paper for new #ESA16 presentation on solutions for managing large #invasivespecies networks! Divide & conquer - @iad
HugePossum RT @MarkTercek: Re-inventing cities with nature -huge opportunity -"Better Cities, Better Growth: India’s Urban Opportunity"
RKRunting Congrats @kerrie_a_wilson - Life Scientist of the Year!
RKRunting RT @oceaniaesforum: Hear ye! Hear ye! The call for Town Hall Meetings is now open! Town Hall Meetings offer a sounding board for... https…
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!!!
christhebirder A great loss to herpetology
christhebirder One of the best workshops I've ever attended! @TSR_Hub @grnfirescience @ARC_CEED
christhebirder Something I've been up to lately - trying to solve the problem of data poor species with some inspiring people
christhebirder RT @megcevans: .@HugePossum resigns from expert panel over @mikebairdMP's draft #landclearing laws: "It's not what we agreed to" https://t…
christhebirder RT @megcevans: Four environmental reasons why fast-tracking the Carmichael coal mine is a bad idea via @Conversatio
christhebirder RT @ChrisOBryan89: A great look at a white-throated gerygone (Gerygone olivacea) tending to its spider-silk nest! #birding @christhebirder
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
vivtulloch RT @HugePossum: Which #coral reefs are a priority for #marineconservation when there are land-based threats #marxan
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
rubenvli Complementing expert priorities and stakeholder preferences for marine management of Moreton Bay #MBQR2016.@NRMecon
rubenvli RT @JAppliedEcology: Coarse spatial resolutions ⬇ commission errors in species ranges but ⬆ #conservation planning costs

Check out UQ's new
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
  • dedicated cohort support services