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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 @chrislb104 @SelwynsSeaweed @SisterSeaweed @MBSociety Not familiar. Where did you see it? Could it be welk egg casings?
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saverygo @JonathanSlaght I'll have to check it out on the next visit!
saverygo @JonathanSlaght @Avibase @numenini @orientbirdclub Nice shot!! Where did you see it?
saverygo And now it's my time to migrate along the @EAAFP. It was a great meeting but I'm looking forward to getting home! https://t.co/5sjNf0hkNX
saverygo 10 years? 10 years!! Who would have thought we'd still be working together 10 years after @BamfieldMSC? In… https://t.co/oiLVTIQIfO
saverygo RT @JonathanSlaght: Singapore is infringing on my God-given right to squeeze birds until they cheep. https://t.co/LzBzZnZty5
saverygo RT @MJPolito: OK I'll play #bestcarcass - How about a 2,000 year old Adelie #penguin chick flat as a pancake (yes we radio-carbon dated it)…
saverygo In we go - hoping to see some herps and owls. #nationalparkbuzz #singapore https://t.co/HUbYgIsfFR
saverygo RT @Seabirders: Amazing changes on Bogoslof Island in the Aleutians.. home to many #seabirds https://t.co/fK0WNW0nis #seabirdersaturday #…
MariaBeger RT @HugePossum: Fabulous new #postdoc with Arizona State Uni and TNC on ecological risk assessment and ecosystem service valuation https://…
MariaBeger RT @abcnews: Around Cardwell in north Queensland, farmers and conservationists join forces to save the remaining 1,500 mahogany gliders fro…
MariaBeger RT @postgreen: The crack in this Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 11 miles. A break could be imminent. https://t.co/bWOvxTkjuC https://t.co
MariaBeger RT @briandavidearp: Jonathan Birch explains academic letters of reference, American vs. British style (cc @AcademicsSay) https://t.co/1lp0b
MariaBeger RT @FeliciaLasmana: Maps Reveal How Global Consumption Hurts Wildlife https://t.co/ljLQ3F2IVi via @NatGeo
MariaBeger RT @CITES: China: Hainan bans trade in CITES-listed giant clams & corals due to concern over illegal fishing & overexploitation https://t.c…
MariaBeger RT @BD_Stew: A lesson learned twice: The Story of #Scotland’s #MPAs https://t.co/o3YAcnQIDA Great article on @ArranCoast & our collaboratio…
MariaBeger RT @BESMacroecol: Exciting new senior editor vacancy @MethodsEcolEvol. Great journal to work for! Details here: https://t.co/veXLhD9O3T
MariaBeger RT @NatureEcoEvo: Bachtrog: sex-biased ageing could be to do with chromatin, as suggested by XY-ZW differences #pgg50. Figure from https://…
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! http://t.co/SMBelGA6TW
BeyerHawthorne A major problem in conservation planning is finding ways of accounting for myopic reversals of protection. E.g. http://t.co/EV9MvhE87S
BeyerHawthorne Slam on the breaks. We have it all wrong: Tony Abbott adviser warns of threat of 'global cooling'. No, not Apr 1st. http://t.co/iXn80UgD7M
BeyerHawthorne Happy to see a woman has won this years Fields medal for the first time. http://t.co/qIoG6ED7q2
AChauvenet RT @qldscience: Women in STEM – register now for free #scicomm training in #Brisbane https://t.co/a8NBikVIQ8 https://t.co/Ul15GmAHPX
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AChauvenet RT @ProfTerryHughes: Australia has enough sunshine and wind to power our nation ... without killing off the #GreatBarrierReef https://t.co/
AChauvenet RT @HugePossum: #Obama argues that climate mitigation is smart for the economy (as well as the environment), some companies get it, https:/…
AChauvenet RT @AlongsideWild: People often ask me how they can help solve environmental problems. An easy way to reduce your impact is to simply eat l…
AChauvenet RT @j_a_mcgowan: What is the conservation impact of your research? Let's improve the value of our science for management in 2017! https://…
AChauvenet RT @ARC_CEED: Senior editor post @MethodsEcolEvol accepting applications. #JobOpp #SciComm https://t.co/AE8w7V3pJi
AChauvenet RT @ARC_CEED: How 2 improve #conservation 4 #coralreefs impacted by future #oilpalm dev in PNG? Study @vivtulloch @CarissaJoyKlein https://…
AChauvenet RT @Paxmee: Working on a story, please DM me if you'd like to chat. #notmydebt #centrelink https://t.co/hyD8GZ4nuO
AChauvenet RT @ggreeneva: In whose moral universe is "I want a fancy couch" equivalent to "I don't want to die"? A: … https://t.co/GRk538ZhRp
AChauvenet RT @nceas: NCEAS is hiring! Full-time Comm Officer Position in beautiful #SB. For full consideration apply by Jan 20th #scicomm https://t.c…
NRMecon Hopefully this one works? https://t.co/Po8cbVK7mE @ARC_CEED @maritkragt
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NRMecon Excited to have @CarlaWildlife joining our preconf workshop at #AARES2017 to discuss non-govt solns to #landclearing @AARES_Inc @ARC_CEED
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NRMecon Enjoying the weather while visiting @MorenaMills @imperialcollege @ARC_CEED https://t.co/l3ttCspS9N
NRMecon Excellent discussion and description of best practice #focusgroups in #contingentvaluation #NMV @ARC_CEED @AREatUWA https://t.co/F0vcCz5cW2
NRMecon Interested in #landclearing ? Join the discussion at our workshop https://t.co/bvWY2Is60G #AARES2017 @martine_maron @dpannell66 @AARES_Inc
NRMecon RT @GaetanBurgio: Here is a series of graphs on #NHMRC project grants since 2012: % and Nb Breakdown per academic level & gender. Nothing c…
NRMecon RT @OceanHealthIndx: The 2016 global Ocean Health Index assessment will be released on 8 December -stay tuned! @ConservationOrg https://t.c…
biodiversityBD Funny what you will turn to to make the Marxan input files go down when alone in the office - https://t.co/fIWM9KkDLq
biodiversityBD @YumMusings oh-mah-gersh, look at him! *gush* https://t.co/QjaYMSjt7s
biodiversityBD RT @TaraGMartin: Observed impacts of climate change - from genes to biomes to people @cyclonewatson @BrettScheffers https://t.co/JhvzQBjHXs
biodiversityBD Meanwhile, in Queensland: https://t.co/P4iYbzPNrN
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: https://t.co/lMFllYFava
biodiversityBD RT @diefelcorr: Four environmental reasons why fast-tracking the Carmichael coal mine is a bad idea https://t.co/JTgJqWlZUe via @Conversati
biodiversityBD RT @HugePossum: Scientist Hugh Possingham quits over Baird government's land-clearing plan https://t.co/ZE1gPD9qA9 via @smh
biodiversityBD @conservbytes blog on how offsetting/@unredd could be contagious in the right setting. Links with diffusion of inno… https://t.co/MaNnQPvJty
MattHHolden @ldimitrov @RocketRobos Yes, probability a poacher is punished needs to increase substantially. I can send you the draft if you PM me
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MattHHolden @ldimitrov interesting, I'm investigating the mathematics of catching poachers, our manuscript, in review, sets some targets for efficacy.
MattHHolden Love this explanation of #eigenvectors & #eigenvalues, using #dance and @Google web search as examples to improve… https://t.co/oynEuHdnMi
MattHHolden RT @EJMilnerGulland: Thought-provoking article on linguistic challenges affecting systematic reviews by @westgatecology https://t.co/I5tMTh
MattHHolden Brown roofs, where native #plants naturally colonize nearby rooftops full of soil, interesting #conservation altern… https://t.co/4yospW1M08
MattHHolden Plant covered buildings improve human health, can we design them to also maximize biodiversity? @kwekingshttps://t.co/XvfgTyGmt1
MattHHolden RT @matthewgburgess: Sometimes what seems inefficient is actually efficient when considering larger sets of objectives https://t.co/o2Guib8
MattHHolden RT @ftcreature: the one on the bottom right is trying real hard to be a good cupcake 🍥 https://t.co/pGSooprL4N
MattHHolden RT @ftcreature: 'Sea pigs' are a type of deep ocean-dwelling sea cucumber that are like "living vacuum cleaners," feeding on whatever is de…
cdkuempel RT @WWF: WWF Report :Fish consumption becomes matter of global #FoodSecurity and #Foodjustice https://t.co/KYiaWF4Zxb #Food https://t.co/n
cdkuempel RT @Strange_Animals: A very strange nudibranch filmed in the waters of Bali. (Video: Bemba Mrik) https://t.co/eCRTKgr5Ef
cdkuempel RT @MattLinkie: WOW, how incredible is it to find this in one of your Sumatran tiger camera traps. Only in #Leuser @TheWCS https://t.co/NIO
cdkuempel RT @UQ_News: Why thank you. Rather vainly we'd like to think we're blessed in the brains department as well. Great photo Christine! #UQ
cdkuempel RT @HugePossum: #Obama argues that climate mitigation is smart for the economy (as well as the environment), some companies get it, https:/…
cdkuempel RT @maritkragt: "Nation with Crumbling Bridges and Roads Excited to Build Giant Wall" https://t.co/vbDTu2HaYp via @BorowitzReport
cdkuempel RT @SamOfLloyd: Amazing paper about the barrier cognitive biases pose to sustainability @elkeweber #conservationpsycology https://t.co/VXGs
cdkuempel RT @UQ_News: Caitie Kuempel @cdkuempel is a #UQ ecologist who has done research in Florida, Belize, Panama. Her latest study: https://t.co
cdkuempel RT @EurekAlert: Big data shows how what we buy affects endangered species https://t.co/HrF1p6xGiG via @NTNU @EurekAlert #EurekAlertTrending
cdkuempel RT @HugePossum: Fabulous new #postdoc with Arizona State Uni and TNC on ecological risk assessment and ecosystem service valuation https://…
kwekings Don't be a zero-sum reviewer https://t.co/NjWo74yo21
kwekings Retweeted Sarah Bekessy (@sbekessy): Getting smarter about city lights is good for us and nature too... https://t.co/a1OCLYfW0X
kwekings RT @sbekessy: Getting smarter about city lights is good for us and nature too https://t.co/7DiP16m3UR via @ConversationEDU
kwekings Corals in the way of port development transplanted on sea walls; volunteers lower costs by 23% https://t.co/5CM36djY3v
kwekings Great-granddaughter of last Burmese royal family is an environmental activist https://t.co/YC0l5b4Kor
kwekings TMSI giant clam scientist Neo Mei Lin selected as TED fellow #WomenInScience https://t.co/jOEPvx7gwS
kwekings I found out today that {vegan} has vegemite() and tabasco(). Latter below. Data from @green3birdy https://t.co/ry0PPuZUnR
kwekings Obama publishes Policy Forum in Science on the now-irreversible economic and political momentum of clean energy https://t.co/X9R7YAYhEL
kwekings Sand. Identified by the 2017 horizon scan as becoming a scarce resource. Cities grow upward with it; SG sideways https://t.co/tnDyI5AFBW
kwekings The core of mindfulness practice summarized in a comic. https://t.co/j2qfRUot8d
BonMappin RT @RichardMcLellan: “We need to specifically target #ProtectedAreas to places where habitats are disappearing before it is too late.” http…
BonMappin Some great articles here by @m_dimarco @cdkuempel @AChauvenet @cyclonewatson and others from @ARC_CEED https://t.co/yjzuSwAhpd
BonMappin RT @cyclonewatson: Recent massive rates of habitat conversion means PA gains futile in stopping biodiversity criss https://t.co/NKQ4DKaKbz
BonMappin RT @james_trezise: Pressure on @JoshFrydenberg to save migratory birds and Ramsar listed wetland from major development #auspol https://t…
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 https://t.co/i8iwc
BonMappin RT @CarlaWildlife: Wise words of a huge possum: "Decision science is just quantified common sense" @HugePossum #PLCConf16 https://t.co/LPx8
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? https://t.co/qD4h3EL2NW
mainambui @bluecology perhaps package 'sjPlot'?
mainambui @TheWCS @EnvScMQ @ARC_CEED training hydrologists & water managers in Iringa - S. Tanzania on using R for hydrologic… https://t.co/b8GU6PC16S
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 https://t.co/f1KVuoz6et https://t.co/WHjmvcQHM8
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 https://t.co/pSKUKfevzs
mainambui Australia is now a global hotspot for land clearing. I support a call for stronger laws to #ProtectHabitat! https://t.co/c64fdYp6RL
mainambui RT @JoshuaCinner: How coral reefs can thrive in the Anthropocene https://t.co/pptsbtspvT
j_a_mcgowan RT @Dr_Yannis: A new prototype acoustic tag tells you if your animal has been eaten @MethodsEcolEvol https://t.co/UvLZhoc809
j_a_mcgowan RT @BirdlifeOz: A Fairy Tern banded in Jan 1997 has been rediscovered, making it 20 years old — the oldest known Fairy Tern in Aus! https:/…
j_a_mcgowan RT @Oceana: Endangered Species and the Stuff We Buy, All Mapped Out https://t.co/wCzEGRIq7I via @nytimes
j_a_mcgowan What is the conservation impact of your research? Let's improve the value of our science for management in 2017!… https://t.co/JOxn9bera1
j_a_mcgowan RT @Society4ConBio: Air China bans shark fin cargo, reflecting dramatic shift in attitudes https://t.co/DnYj4d2zzc
j_a_mcgowan RT @ARC_CEED: Selecting surrogate species for #conservation prioritization. An interesting application of network analysis by @ayeshatulloc
j_a_mcgowan RT @damanaki: Will 2017 be the year we get serious about sustainable food? We need to get serious about curbing illegal fishing! https://t.…
j_a_mcgowan RT @Society4ConBio: China plans to ban domestic ivory trade by 2018 https://t.co/yvZZOaZ77A
j_a_mcgowan RT @MicheleLBarnes: NOAA NMFS is hiring 3 social scientists/economists -short window to apply! Pls share: https://t.co/eRr2ztcaPW https://t…
j_a_mcgowan RT @TrevorABranch: Regular one kilometer deep dives by sperm whales to the ocean floor, revealed by new tags https://t.co/hoKTVgl74a https…
MorenaMills RT @PaulREhrlich: World's eight richest people have same wealth as poorest 50% https://t.co/M7BvtNcnqk TRUMP LIKELY WILL MAKE IT WORSE
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MorenaMills RT @WhySharksMatter: How severe are shark population decreases, and how do we know? https://t.co/mvs40c99OK (From 2012)
MorenaMills @ElenaBennett we're doing similar research. I'm co-leading a big project looking at drivers of viral conservation actions. Let's Skype?
MorenaMills RT @AlanaMGrech: Almost 75% of Japan's biggest coral reef has died from bleaching, says report https://t.co/LYdlsMbVr6
MorenaMills RT @GCITweet: Can scientists restore marine coastal ecosystems? https://t.co/iZ8saR2GOR @ElisaBayra #climatechange https://t.co/gqHERf9ZJr
MorenaMills @Rare_org great video!!! @Mike_Mascia and I have a project looking at the diffusion of conservation interterventions. We should connect!
MorenaMills The world is improving for people, but what about the volume of fish in the sea or amount of standing forest? https://t.co/xjfAGFaotV
MorenaMills Final job: Short list pleanary speakers for #ICCB2017. Thanks all @Society4ConBio members 4 great suggestions! @Mike_Mascia @cyclonewatson
MorenaMills RT @_JessicaBlythe: Congrats to our @CoralCoE director @ProfTerryHughes on being in the 10 ppl who mattered in science in 2016! @nature htt…
HugePossum RT @BESConservation: Perhaps we need to build up- not out? https://t.co/0m4zQ9G87e
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HugePossum Examples of how TNC uses economic tools to deliver on ground outcomes for nature https://t.co/FNdEYCZJ2p
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HugePossum RT @Jungle_Lou: Volunteer work can really pay off! https://t.co/2dRohDKSy9
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HugePossum #Obama argues that climate mitigation is smart for the economy (as well as the environment), some companies get it, https://t.co/M2SvFWfHP3
HugePossum I wonder how they will do all their biodiversity offseting? Santos given go ahead, 6100 gas wells, Gladstone project https://t.co/Je7jTPjBlC
HugePossum RT @ProfTerryHughes: Australia has enough sunshine and wind to power our nation ... without killing off the #GreatBarrierReef https://t.co/
HugePossum RT @Strange_Animals: The Tasmanian devil is the largest marsupial predator & it has one of the strongest bites per unit body mass of any ma…
HugePossum RT @RichardMcLellan: New research: Yellow cedar tree species already falling victim to #ClimateChange https://t.co/Gq5W3k9iBF Via @AirResou
RKRunting Having a great time at the @oceaniaesforum booth at #2016ACES https://t.co/PFq1qzR9b6
RKRunting Congrats @kerrie_a_wilson - Life Scientist of the Year! https://t.co/GJt0QiujMD
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 https://t.co/49uwBXOHJc
RKRunting RT @LauraEllenDee: Why functional diversity can help #EcosystemServices withstand more variable #temperatures: https://t.co/4yaUL3EgH4 http…
RKRunting Great new #ECR paper on incorporating socio-ecological systems into restoration planning https://t.co/wT8U7KcnSZ @ARC_CEED
RKRunting Australia is now a global hotspot for land clearing. I support a call for stronger laws to #ProtectHabitat! https://t.co/BebIpzDRcN
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. https://t.co/zftG44fZIn
RKRunting RT @j_r_rhodes: Ecosystem service payments offset conservation costs under sea level rise @RKRunting @CathLovelock @BeyerHawthorne https://…
christhebirder @staffo_sez @Birds_Central @bgosford sorry I was busy procrastinating and my book was at hand!
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christhebirder .@Birds_Central @staffo_sez @bgosford Two-spotted Line-blue Nacaduba biocellata
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christhebirder RT @grnfirescience: @jamesecologys paper shows increasing forest loss and human pressures in Natural World Heritage Sites @cyclonewatson ht…
christhebirder RT @OEHmedia: ≈200,000 birds fill the sky over Booligal Wetlands in a breeding event not seen for 20yrs: https://t.co/RJrSKAoNC6 @WINNews_R
christhebirder This is so cool! Mainland Eastern Quolls breeding. Behind a fence but still exciting (and cute) https://t.co/irCC54zPOQ
christhebirder A great loss to herpetology https://t.co/rkRCXjPgVG
christhebirder One of the best workshops I've ever attended! @TSR_Hub @grnfirescience @ARC_CEED https://t.co/vvzjxGx4gE
christhebirder Something I've been up to lately - trying to solve the problem of data poor species with some inspiring people https://t.co/nIDX1FdnCK
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 https://t.co/ByNdPJdjje via @Conversatio
vivtulloch New #marxan prioritisation incl. probability of vegetation variability frm #climatechange in #canada @ARC_CEEDhttps://t.co/zbg3v1S637
vivtulloch RT @megcevans: Based on the volume and quality of her work I am convinced @ayeshatulloch never sleeps #ESA16 (or she has a twin...) @vivtul
vivtulloch RT @HugePossum: Which #coral reefs are a priority for #marineconservation when there are land-based threats https://t.co/FZqYvQ0hoH #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 https://t.co/RYQOWxEsUc
rubenvli Complementing expert priorities and stakeholder preferences for marine management of Moreton Bay #MBQR2016.@NRMecon https://t.co/Oh0jMVVbOL
rubenvli RT @JAppliedEcology: Coarse spatial resolutions ⬇ commission errors in species ranges but ⬆ #conservation planning costs https://t.co/Jp8y7

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