We are a research group working with Associate Professor Jonathan Rhodes on conservaton and ecosytem services science based at The University of Queensland. We are part of the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science and located (mostly) in the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management.

From left to right: Marie Dade, Rebecca Runting, Jonathan Rhodes, Carla Archibald, Felipe Suarez Castro, Payal Bal
From left to right: Marie Dade, Rebecca Runting, Jonathan Rhodes, Carla Archibald, Felipe Suarez Castro, Payal Bal

Research Themes

Our research focuses on a wide variety of conservation-related problems, but predominantly within four broad areas:

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Service Responses to Landscape and Climate Change

We are interested in how landscape and climate change drivers determine species’ distributions, the structure of ecological communities and ecosystem service provision. We work at a range 0f scales from fine scale analyses in urban neighbourhoods to broad-scale global patterns and processes. The approach we take to this is to combine emprirical data with state-of-the-art statistical and processes based models to develop understanding of impacts and predictive models to inform conservation decision-making.

Conservation Decision-making and Planning

Our work aims to explicitly quantify the consequences of future dynamic change for prioritising alternative conservation actions. In general, we address these questions is question by linking quantitative (often spatial) models with decision theory and use this to gain insights into the ecological, social and economic drivers of optimal decisions. This requires that we work at the interface between the ecological, social and economic sciences and therefore we collaborate widely across these disciplines.

Value of Information and Optimal Monitoring

A critically important question for conservation biology is the extent to which we should invest in conservation action now versus investing in learning about the system of interest so that we can make better decisions in the future. We work on a range of questions related to undersnading the value of new information for conservation decision-making. A novel angle to our work is not simply considering learning about ecological systems, but also considering the value of learning about social and economic aspects critical for conservation decision-making.

Environmental Policy Evaluation

One of the major objectives of applied conservation research is to inform policy decisions for greater environmental sustainability. We achieve this by working closely with governments and NGOs and focussing our work around the evaluation of realistic policy options for issues ranging from koala conservation to forest protection policy.

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