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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 It's not always easy having a scientist in the family. Thanks for putting up with us :) #phdchat #ScholarSunday
saverygo RT @elhazen: Using telemetry data to quantify the overlap between oil and Atlantic bluefin tuna. #DeepwaterHorizon #SelfPromotion https://t…
saverygo RT @TrevorABranch: Rapid evolution inside marine reserves for fish with smaller home ranges may erode fishery benefits of reserves https://…
saverygo RT @Reuters: Swaziland's rhino horn sale bid seen doomed at U.N. meeting on wildlife trade
saverygo RT @CITES: CITES #CoP17, the most important conservation event you’ve never heard of is about to start via @washing
saverygo RT @John_CITES: CITES #CoP17 is about to kick off this morning in Johannesburg - largest @CITES meeting ever - follow it via webcast https:…
saverygo RT @pboesu: ¡Runner-up for the #IAPC6 poster award goes to @petrelstation!
saverygo RT @ChelseaRochman: As an alumna of @UCSDnews and @ucdavis, I am honored to be featured in University of California news!
saverygo The Madrid Statement summarized in the article below is published in a Health journal (impact factor 8), and suppor…
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…
MariaBeger RT @MattHHolden: Cards against Humanity sponsoring women science scholarships @womeninmaths @WomenSciAUST #genderEquity #STEM
MariaBeger @DrLucyHawkes yes but they are not published. mentoring is good, and encouraging everyone we know to apply.
MariaBeger A year ago, out paper highlighted conservation priorities in the Coral Triangle @HugePossum @j_a_mcgowan @ARC_CEED
MariaBeger 70% of the funded people are men. @AChauvenet @NRMecon were the high profile female scientists too scare to apply?
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 @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 @…
AChauvenet RT @redlisteco: Congratulations to Jon Paul Rodriguez, 2003 Whitley Award winner, on his recent election!...
AChauvenet RT @HugePossum: Fabulous conservation postdocs now available - the latest round of NatureNet Fellows just advertised @nature_brains https:/…
NRMecon RT @aggwarrior: Our article demonstrating the use of a social-ecological framework to guide conservation planning @kerrie_a_wilson https:/…
NRMecon RT @GatelyMark: New marine Reserves to safeguard sea turtles, sharks and more.
NRMecon RT @kerrie_a_wilson: An overview of our research on Borneo
NRMecon RT @ElisaBayra: Regenerative farming may be our best shot at cooling the planet. #climatechange
NRMecon RT @ARC_CEED: Back from the dead? #deextinction could change #conservation priorities. @gdiacona @iadinec @Joe_Ecology @HugePossum https://…
NRMecon @ultimatemegs winning! 👍🏻
NRMecon Paid focus group | Other Jobs | Gumtree Australia Brisbane South West - West End | 1123312909
NRMecon Want to chat about #MoretonBay? Paid focus group this Thursday night in #WestEnd @WeAreBrisbane
NRMecon We need 2 people for a PAID FOCUS GROUP on Moreton Bay: 7:30pm Thurs 8th Sept, West End @ARC_CEED @WestEndMagazine
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 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.
MattHHolden Why college textbooks are so expensive! Interesting @planetmoney podcast @NRMecon
MattHHolden Cards against Humanity sponsoring women science scholarships @womeninmaths @WomenSciAUST #genderEquity #STEM
MattHHolden RT @jeffreyfkelly: Horrible Facebook Algorithm Accident Results In Exposure To New Ideas via @theonion
MattHHolden RT @MathBioPaul: Yipee! :-) Approved! 2 new PhD prgrms for my dept @unevadareno! PhD in Mathematics; PhD in Statistics & Data Science https…
cdkuempel RT @m_dimarco: Our paper shows the neg effect of coarse resolution when using @IUCNRedList range maps for #conservation planning @cyclonewa
cdkuempel RT @ARC_CEED: Aussie Gums could be gonners as climate changes - Nature climate Change Dr Nathalie Butt #climatecha
cdkuempel RT @emeijaard: Well done by the French. France becomes first country to ban all plastic cups and plates to save environment
cdkuempel Day 2: Can you beat #Marxan? Our group got close- lowest score was $1882. Try it here: @HugePossum @j_a_mcgowan
cdkuempel Day 2: Spatial #conservation planning principles- takes @HugePossum ~40 minutes, but this video does it in 6
cdkuempel Day 1: Multi-criteria decision making and Marxan case studies with @j_a_mcgowan and @HugePossum in Indonesia
cdkuempel RT @HugePossum: @j_a_mcgowan, @HugePossum and @cdkuempel teaching structured decision-making and #marxan in Indonesia @ARC_CEED https://t.c…
cdkuempel RT @McCarthyEcology: The bane of any groundskeeper's existence - the brush turkey #UQ #wildoz
cdkuempel Great #phdlife blog that hits home: Do research, be nice to others and be nice to yourself!
cdkuempel RT @megcevans: srsly is it really that hard to find a #womeninSTEMM ? #endthemanel #panelpledge #HDWI @GregHuntMP @cosmicpinot https://t…
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 @_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
BonMappin RT @nature_brains: "We need to start focusing on the quality of protected areas, not the quantity.” ~ @cyclonewatson:
BonMappin Great visual summary of our footprint around the globe #IUCNCongress #nature
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 @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
MorenaMills Where do the species you want to save fit? Use project prioritisation protocol to max no of secure site managed spec
MorenaMills Are there new social challenges associated solely to large scale MPAs? Find out @ #IUCNCongress @NathanJBennett
MorenaMills RT @Mike_Mascia: Why does conservation go viral? Ask @MorenaMills at #IUCNCongress rm 310 now!
HugePossum RT @DermotOz: Oceans are a life and death issue: John Kerry via @SkyNewsAust
HugePossum RT @Kiran_DA: New paper: Using sparse tracking data to improve connectivity estimates for priority setting in migratory networks https://t.…
HugePossum RT @Sher_Saini: @PaulREhrlich's excellent blog post about @JulianCribb's new Springer volume; to be published tomorrow! #GlobalGoals https:…
HugePossum RT @m_dimarco: Our paper shows the neg effect of coarse resolution when using @IUCNRedList range maps for #conservation planning @cyclonewa
HugePossum RT @BiodiversityGuy: We are looking for a #wildlife #ecologist to join us as a #TENURED academic #ECRJobs @HugePoss
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: See my new four page summary of the actions and targets in Australia's #ThreatenedSpecies Strategy
HugePossum RT @emeijaard: Well done by the French. France becomes first country to ban all plastic cups and plates to save environment
HugePossum RT @tmboucher: The fantastic Mountain Owlet-nightjar. Seen in the Arfak Mountains, West Papua. @justinehausheer @HugePossum
HugePossum RT @takvera: Hot off the press! Too Darn Hot Times is out! @Sustainable2050 @HugePossum @healthy_climate
HugePossum RT @TSCommissioner: Kudos @Parks_Australia and @tarongazoo saving Listers gecko and the Blue-tailed skink on Christmas Island #SavingSpecie
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

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