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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 @LauraBlissEco: Another dieoff? "Necropsies so far show that the birds are emaciated-w/ no food in their stomachs and little or no fat."…
saverygo RT @sjurdur: plastic cottonbuds should officially be named seahorse mops from now on @PetrelStation @jenni_pro @saverygo @Nina_OHanlon @The
saverygo RT @mfczap: Happy #SeabirderSaturday! RT w/ a fave paper. I'll start: Balance et al 1997: communities on a productivity gradient https://t.…
saverygo Planning to attend the International Ornithological Congress? Sign up here for the latest info! @IOCongress2018
saverygo RT @edinatw: In case you need convincing to apply for an Enderby Scholarship - here's some penguins you will see NOWHERE else
saverygo @edinatw @pboesu Thanks guys. I am 31 and not sure I have the $$ to cover the 30% of costs unfortunately.
saverygo Chile Rejects Mining Project to Protect Humboldt Penguins #seabird #conservation #goodnews
saverygo RT @CSIROnews: New species of subterranean frog found in India, named Bhupathy's purple frog. Appropriate. ^JH htt…
saverygo @sk8sbd @sjurdur @Seabirders Yup. At first, that pretty much describes how you'll go.
saverygo I just can't stay out of the water! Between dives I jumped in to snorkel with a throng of small…
MariaBeger @ultimatemegs @cyclonewatson @HugePossum go for it i reckon - i reviewed a paper and they are hard to get into! *grin
MariaBeger sign the statement if you are against reduction of marine protection in Australia!
MariaBeger @HugePossum and defence is higher than education!
MariaBeger Few survive extreme environments: sub-tropical corals are related @ARC_CEED @PriestleyCentre @LeedsEcoEvo @CoralCoE
MariaBeger RT @ReefConsUK: Fancy a #Hogwarts style banquet to celebrate 20 years of @ReefConsUK @ #ECRS2017?? Conf dinner tickets now online! https:/…
MariaBeger RT @ChasingCoral: Why Watching Chasing Coral Can Help Save the Planet. … — @WWF #ChasingCoral #WWF #SaveOurOceans #…
MariaBeger RT @PLOS: New @PLOSPaleo | Why Precambrian life suddenly got big by Dr. Isabel Torres
MariaBeger RT @arieannabalbar: A great article about science communication!
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 @saunders_meg: Restore vs protect on land vs in the ocean? Here is the link to the paper! @ARC_CEED @UQ_EAIT htt…
AChauvenet RT @cyclonewatson: Threatened species face a democracy deficit with 10 MPs responsible for >600 species They need…
AChauvenet RT @SCBMarine: Our small grants round for marine conservation projects has opened! Check the link for eligibility and dates
AChauvenet RT @SCBBrisUQ: Invitation to all scientists to be co-signatories on this global environmental article #sustainablefuture
AChauvenet RT @MattHHolden: A *small change* in scientists' carbon footprint can have impacts if others follow. Our new #UQ Small Change Blog https://…
AChauvenet RT @CAPAPresident: @LisaAnnese speaking some harsh truth: "Lean In tells women to lean in to the patriarchy to be successful." #SAGE17 @Sci
AChauvenet RT @SciGenderEquity: Return-to-work grants often a trivial amount of $ for an institution but a massive boost for those who need them. @evi
AChauvenet RT @JennyRohn: Because only funding "excellence" always seemed to me like code for "those same few blokes we always fund"...will this help?…
AChauvenet RT @UQ_News: #Environmental #scientists struggle to reduce their carbon footprint. This provides lessons for all. @MattHHolden https://t.c…
NRMecon RT @SamOfLloyd: Check out this cool website just launched by @AnotherBobSmith that aims to coordinate #privateprotectedareas and #conservat
NRMecon RT @ElisaBayra: Interested in #PhD on marine #restoration ? Join an amazing team @ARC_CEED and @Leep_Institute ! @kerrie_a_wilson @NRMecon
NRMecon RT @NathanJBennett: NEW->Equity trade-offs in conservation decision making @ConBiology w/ Liz Law @kerrie_a_wilson @YumMusings @NRMecon htt…
NRMecon Still time to apply for a #PhD with @Leep_Institute and @ARC_CEED to work with our great team @ianbateman14
NRMecon RT @MattHHolden: Fully-protected well-enforced *small #MPAs may have strongest #conservation benefits @HugePossum @NRMecon @cdkuempel @blue
NRMecon RT @CarlaWildlife: How can we best navigate equity trade-offs in conservation decision making? See our new @ConBiology paper! Law et al htt…
NRMecon Better handling of equity in decision making = improved conservation @ARC_CEED @kerrie_a_wilson @CarlaWildlife
NRMecon RT @UofEBusiness: Get involved with our research into #genderbarriers to leadership by taking part in our poll follow @UReportGlobal #girls
NRMecon Tips from a first time symposium organiser #ICCB2017 @ICCS_updates @ARC_CEED @MJBurgass
biodiversityBD @shornwell cheers Sean! :-D
biodiversityBD @ChrisOBryan89 @ARC_CEED @ICCB2017 thanks for the nice tweet! :-D
biodiversityBD What is an adequate protected area network? Protect everything? 20%? Or do better each year? Great symposium + talks @cdkuempel @HugePossum
biodiversityBD RT @CarlaWildlife: PADDD is often overlooked in conservation yet has impacted over 3200 PAs and 2.2mill km2 @RachGolden #ICCB2017 https://t…
biodiversityBD RT @LeahLeopold: @saverygo shares @sesync @BiodiversityASU work on cost effective decision-making in face of uncertainty #ICCB2017 https://…
biodiversityBD Big tumour data could save lives and reduce the cost of health care. Very international collaboration for betterment of humanity.
biodiversityBD Devastating but engaging news piece on the state of the Great Barrier Reef @Nicki__S #TheProjectTV
biodiversityBD And the winner for "best moustache and dancing gorilla-man" @Eurovision 2017 is... ITALIA!!! Good luck Francesco!!!
MattHHolden @dortizba The only more distracting auditorium I've ever watched a lecture in was a glass wall in front of a flock of flamingos
MattHHolden RT @april_reside: 10 tips for supervising students, from our conservation CIs at UQ @grnfirescience @ARC_CEED
MattHHolden RT @icouzin: @MattHHolden @PJSJones @stevenstrogatz Absolutely! These are striped eel catfish. Others behave similarly - @alexjordanbio is…
MattHHolden RT @matthewgburgess: @MattHHolden @Cornell I think a lot of American unis do this actually. Someone should do an econometric study on wheth…
MattHHolden cheeky sol: make departmts pay tuition $ to Uni, then students cost more than postdocs & staff. Think @Cornell did…
MattHHolden @PJSJones Interesting dynamics. Fascinating how they swim over each other before attachment. Worthy of #math invest…
MattHHolden .@saunders_meg shows restoring #seagrass is more cost effective than protection & land based actions to max seagras…
MattHHolden RT @adaptive_plant: Agreed @MattHHolden -Academic conferences urgently need environmental policies I restrict trave…
MattHHolden RT @bluecology: Unintended consequences of malaria control: mosquito nets used for catching small fish. Interesting study of how https://t.…
cdkuempel RT @april_reside: 10 tips for supervising students, from our conservation CIs at UQ @grnfirescience @ARC_CEED
cdkuempel RT @HugePossum: Almost 1000 marine scientists don't think that the new #marine park plan is #science based @JoshFry
cdkuempel RT @ProfTerryHughes: Here's why the sunniest continent on earth doesn't need to burn #coal for electricity.....
cdkuempel RT @JaszzyJas: Boring #bryozoans are analogous to the leaves on trees - taking up CO2 and emitting oxygen! And basically have tree rings -…
cdkuempel RT @projectaware: Have your say b4 Sept, 20. Our Australian marine sanctuaries are more important than ever before. Say no to cutbacks http…
cdkuempel RT @APECSOceania: Increased #human presence in #Antarctica can be risk factor for conserving #Antarctic #biodiversity - @JaszzyJas #APECS1
cdkuempel RT @PolCapdevila90: Scientists should be better storytellers
cdkuempel RT @BonMappin: #Auspol looking to cut marine protection by 50%. The new #MPA management plan is open to feedback
cdkuempel RT @andyroyle_pwrc: Would like to have "scientific papers on tape" so I can catch up on the literature while I'm driving ... or at least su…
cdkuempel RT @Prof_CallumYork: This is such a compelling and disturbing picture.
kwekings No longer functionally extinct: rediscovery of the fig wasp for #Ficus elastica, the India rubber
kwekings Retweeted Dan Richards (@DanRRichards): Diversity and ecosystem service potential of pot plants grown in public...
kwekings RT @DanRRichards: Diversity and ecosystem service potential of pot plants grown in public housing blocks in SG - @rachiiieo new paper! http…
kwekings GlobalTreeSearch: The first complete global database of tree species and country distributions
kwekings OK so someone did it: used Pokemon Go in ecology class for basic community ecology concepts
kwekings Retweeted Xingli Giam (@xingli_giam): We are recruiting graduate (MS & PhD) students to work on...
kwekings RT @xingli_giam: We are recruiting graduate (MS & PhD) students to work on conservation/macroecology/human dimensions topics! Visit: https:…
kwekings Retweeted Buffy the Psych Prof (@DrPsyBuffy): On the first day, I tell my students that their name is valuable...
kwekings RT @DrPsyBuffy: On the first day, I tell my students that their name is valuable and meaningful, and I want to say it right.
BonMappin RT @HugePossum: Almost 1000 marine scientists don't think that the new #marine park plan is #science based @JoshFry
BonMappin How to decide when to restore or protect on land or sea for seagrass
BonMappin #Auspol looking to cut marine protection by 50%. The new #MPA management plan is open to feedback
BonMappin Scientists estimate #landclearing in #Queensland kills 34 million animals each year #qldpol
BonMappin .@y_buckley shows @ARC_CEED Population growth rates are not predictable from climate suitability
BonMappin RT @saunders_meg: Restore vs protect on land vs in the ocean? Here is the link to the paper! @ARC_CEED @UQ_EAIT htt…
BonMappin RT @grnfirescience: Threatened species face a democracy deficit with 10 MPs responsible for >600 species @KevinHoga
BonMappin RT @HugePossum: On #ThreatenedSpeciesDay by far the most important thing we can do is stop land clearing @TSCommissioner
BonMappin RT @AustMarConsSoc: BREAKING: New QLD laws - Single use #plastic bags BANNED; plus 10c Container REFUND from July 2018! MORE:
mainambui RT @MQSciEng: Future humans are likely to have shorter legs & larger eyes says @EnvScMQ's Kira Westaway #natsciwk
mainambui RT @qeemq: Presenting at Australia's Parliament
mainambui RT @AndrewKSkidmore: New #remotesensing vegetation index for GPP in @sciencemagazine Advances - an adjustment of NDVI using scene NIR https…
mainambui RT @AndrewKSkidmore: Scholarships for #PhD #postdoc researchers @EUFAR_science 2 wk course on #remotesensing essential biodiversity variabl…
mainambui RT @mainambui: @ITCAlumni @SIS_MQ great to reconnect with @AndrewKSkidmore during his talk @EnvScMQ on 'Remote sensing of Essential Biodive…
mainambui @ITCAlumni @SIS_MQ great to reconnect with @AndrewKSkidmore during his talk @EnvScMQ on 'Remote sensing of Essentia…
mainambui RT @NOAAClimate: What happens when ENSO's influence combines with other climate phenomena?
mainambui RT @emilysdarling: Mark your calendars, the next @WIOMSA Symposium is in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Oct 30 - Nov 4, 2017 #coral #seagrass #man
mainambui @bluecology perhaps package 'sjPlot'?
j_a_mcgowan RT @follow_the_hoff: Extinction risk most acute for both largest and smallest vertebrates. Our new paper in @PNASNews using @IUCNRedList ht…
j_a_mcgowan RT @HugePossum: Almost 1000 marine scientists don't think that the new #marine park plan is #science based @JoshFry
j_a_mcgowan RT @Society4ConBio: AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellows - Washington D .C. - AAAS
j_a_mcgowan Important guidelines for incorporating marine IBAs into spatial planning now online in @ConLetters
j_a_mcgowan RT @grnfirescience: Threatened species face a democracy deficit with 10 MPs responsible for >600 species @KevinHoga
j_a_mcgowan RT @wild_ark: New marine park will protect up to 142 species, including 27 threatened with extinction.
j_a_mcgowan RT @saunders_meg: Simple rules can guide whether land or ocean based conservation will best benefit marine ecosystems
j_a_mcgowan RT @martine_maron: Just ten MPs represent more than 600 threatened species in their electorates via @ConversationEDU
j_a_mcgowan RT @OpenChannelsOrg: The Nature Conservancy is hiring a Managing Director for their Global Oceans Strategic Initiatives
j_a_mcgowan RT @David_Yarrow: I am proud to announce that I am a global ambassador for @wild_ark This is a young & dynamic organisation & I am happy to…
MorenaMills RT @DalaiLama: What we need today are universal values based not on faith but on scientific findings, common experience and common sense.
MorenaMills RT @rhodes_group: Conferences, Conservation and Colombia: ICCB recap
MorenaMills @ja_tobias that was really fun! Thank you for organising it!
MorenaMills RT @ja_tobias: Keynote from @MorenaMills, discussing the factors influencing whether conservation actions are adopted. #RHIMP2017 https://t…
MorenaMills RT @ElisaBayra: #protection vs #restoration for #conservation ? Simple rules of thumb help us decide what's the better choice! @saunders_me
MorenaMills RT @MarineCons: 2 NEW PAPERS on large #MPAs: human dimensions & biodiversity repr. now & with CC
MorenaMills RT @terra_et_mare: New paper: Redefining community based on place attachment in a connected world via @ConsPlanGroup
MorenaMills RT @BlueVentures: #RECRUTEMENT Assistant Coordinateur qui sera responsable de la mise en œuvre de stratégies cohérentes pour les LMMA http…
MorenaMills RT @Society4ConBio: Update: Application deadline is 8 Sept. Application requirements/contact listed here: https://t…
HugePossum RT @pjdgreatlakes: Cool paper by @Conserve_CA colleagues - #birds #agriculture #migration Dynamic conservation for migratory species https:…
HugePossum What can't nature do for us? She feeds us, provides water, and now defends our homes What can you do for her?
HugePossum Re-evaluate everything you thought about #biodiversity conservation - read @nature_brains
HugePossum RT @npeimbert: What works in conservation? In-depth series starts next week via @Mongabay w/ @HugePossum
HugePossum RT @dwtitley: Why I think sea level rise (a slow/ongoing disaster) will move the #climate policy debate more than a couple of TCs. https://…
HugePossum Almost 1000 marine scientists don't think that the new #marine park plan is #science based @JoshFrydenberg
HugePossum RT @JoeWalston_WCS: Fossil fuel subsidies are a staggering $5 tn per year
HugePossum RT @JayWeatherill: Today marks six months since we released our energy plan. While others are still talking, we’re delivering.
RKRunting Nice work presented by @BrookeWEcology on burning for conservation vs asset protection at #ICCB2017
RKRunting Keeping ranchers ranching is smart conservation policy for the sage grouse @Claire_Runge #ICCB2017
RKRunting RT @kerrie_a_wilson: Bornean orangutans in decline despite conservation efforts via @uq_news
RKRunting RT @j_r_rhodes: Our review of climate change and ecosystem services shows that impacts can be both negative and positive
RKRunting Sad to see Jeffrey Beall's blog gone. Such a useful resource! Who will keep an eye on predatory publishers now?
RKRunting Having a great time at the @oceaniaesforum booth at #2016ACES
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
christhebirder RT @WAParksWildlife: Return to 1616 - one of Australia's most ambitious fauna restoration projects. These hare-wallabies now call Dirk Hart…
christhebirder RT @spottedcatshark: 2/2 #Sawfish rescue a partnership between Malak Malak Rangers @NESPmarinehub @RIELresearch
christhebirder RT @JaszzyJas: Half of #PhDs display signs of psychological distress - regular breaks are important & resting when sick is critical https:/…
christhebirder RT @JendallKones: Which threatened species live in your electorate? Ask your MP how they're going to save 'em @grnf
christhebirder A Red-tailed Phascogale (VU) doing its bit for feral control, with house mouse prey @TSR_Hub #ThreatenedSpeciesDay
christhebirder This boofhead is a Spotted-tailed Quoll (EN) from the QLD/NSW border. Impressive chap #ThreatenedSpeciesDay @TSR_Hub
christhebirder RT @HugePossum: On #ThreatenedSpeciesDay by far the most important thing we can do is stop land clearing @TSCommissioner
christhebirder These controversial Black-throated Finches sth ssp (EN) are threatened by QLD landclearing & a certain mine @TSR_Hub
christhebirder Another fave, a Numbat (Vulnerable). This guy is from Dryandra State Forest in WA #ThreatenedSpeciesDay @TSR_Hub
vivtulloch Marine restoration can be most cost-effective way to maximise coastal marine ecosystems via…
vivtulloch Great article on our study showing endangered whales won't reach half of pre-hunting numbers by 2100 @callapilla
vivtulloch RT @UQ_News: #UQ's @vivtulloch discusses @CSIRO research on the whale population in Southern Ocean yet to recover from whaling. https://t…
vivtulloch whale recovery will need global & local action @MPRG_MQ @RobHarcourt @CSIROnews @ARC_CEED
vivtulloch @RobHarcourt Catch me on the TV this morning promoting this research!
vivtulloch RT @asaesja: Early morning start with @vivtulloch and @sunriseon7 talking about new @CSIROnews & @UQ_News whale research
vivtulloch We show mixed recovery of whales from #whaling, #climatechange may affect whale & krill numbers @CSIROnews
vivtulloch RT @CSIROnews: In the 1900s many whales were commercially harvested close to extinction. With @UQ_News we predict their recovery. https://…
vivtulloch Unsure how to include uncertainty in planning? Don't be - use MarProb @ARC_CEED
vivtulloch New #marxan prioritisation incl. probability of vegetation variability frm #climatechange in #canada @ARC_CEED
rubenvli RT @j_a_mcgowan: Best practice for using marine IBAs in spatial prioritisation new @ConLetters research from @ARC_CEED @DICE_Kent https://t…
rubenvli RT @BrendanGodley: Pls RT. Can companies eg @sainsburys be influenced by RT's of images of ridiculous excessive #plastic ? Aubergines have…
rubenvli RT @HugePossum: If you thought natural world heritage sites were safe, think again @cyclonewatson @jamesecology
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

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