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Theme 4: Sustainable Use

Sustainable use of Biodiversity and Ecosystems.

Managing the sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems demands an integrated approach that reconciles ecological, social and economic dimensions. Research that tackles these three elements simultaneously is challenging due to disparate disciplinary thinking and dialects. 

Dr Sarah Bekessy

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PositionResearcher
AffiliationRMIT University
Member of project(s)4.24.2b4.34.3a5.55.6
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Dr Michael Bode

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PositionARC Post Doctoral Fellow
Member of project(s)1.31.64.14.25.8
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Dr Nathalie Butt

My research focuses on the interaction of climate/climate change and biodiversity, previously mainly applied to forest ecosystems. Currently I am combining species distribution modelling and ecosystem vulnerability for tree species and communities in Australian vegetation groups to predict which treed ecosystems may be most threatened by climate change, and where conservation efforts should focus.

Specific research areas I am working on with Hub Researchers Prof Hugh Possingham and Assoc Prof Clive McAlpine are:

Potential changes in Eucalyptus species' climate space under future climate, related to Projects 1.4 & Read More...

PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)1.43.23.34.1
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Assoc Professor Don Driscoll

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My research interests are in fire ecology, habitat fragmentation, dispersal and connectivity. I continue to explore ways that ecological theory related to those fields can be used to predict effects and to communicate findings. Key NERP-related research includes projects examining dispersal and connectivity in fragmented landscapes, and fire decision theory.

With colleagues at ANU I am exploring the role of the matrix (modified, cleared or urbanized land) on species that depend on small patches of native vegetation (Project 2.2). We have developed a conceptual model of the matrix that will provide new-comers to the field with a rapid and comprehensive understanding of how the matrix works. The conceptual model and asso ...
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PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)2.22.43.13.3a3.43.53.64.14.2
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Ms Megan Evans

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My research is focused on decision making and policy development for environmental issues, by drawing upon principles and tools from economics and conservation science.

I'm currently based at the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University. My PhD aims to examine the role of economic policy instruments in biodiversity conservation and natural resource management, with a particular focus on biodiversity and carbon offsets.

I am involved in a number of projects with the NERP Environmental Decisions Hub, including:

- An examination of the relative effectiveness of biodiversity offsets for conservation (Read More...

PositionPhD Student
Member of project(s)4.3a5.55.6
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ResearcherIDLink
Dr Richard Fuller

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Rich is lecturer in conservation and biodiversity at the University of Queensland.  He heads a research group that focuse on the impact of urbanistion on biodiversity, and urban growth.  Rich's team are also involved in studying threats to international bird migrations.  These are spectacular wild events which are seeing an enormous decline in recent decades.  Their research hopes to understand why and what can be done to halt and reverse this decline.

Please also see this video for more information.

PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)3.3a3.3b3.74.14.24.5
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Dr Phillip Gibbons

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PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)2.12.22.32.44.34.3a5.5
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Dr Fiona Gibson

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Fiona is currently working in the space of bushfire management, biodiversity and water resources. Fiona's research aims to provide better advice to decision makers on effective policy design and the factors driving community adoption of such policies.  In particular, Fiona is working on the NERP projects:

4.1   Trade-offs among social, economic and environmental values, and

5.7   Comparing the value for money from targeted, untargeted and landscape-scale approaches to biodiversity protection

She is also working on ...
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PositionResearch Associate
Member of project(s)4.15.7
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Dr Ascelin Gordon

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PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
AffiliationRMIT University
Member of project(s)4.2b
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Professor Richard Hobbs

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PositionARC Laureate Fellow
Member of project(s)3.13.64.14.24.3
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Dr Karen Ikin

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My research focuses on wildlife and habitat conservation in human-modified environments, such as those that occur in urban and agricultural landscapes. I am particularly interested in how ecological knowledge can be applied to improve conservation, management and planning.

I am currently a post-doctoral fellow with the Conservation and Landscape Ecology Group at the Australian National University. For this, I'm investigating the responses of bird and vegetation communities to patch and landscape scale management interventions in agricultural landscapes. I also have an interest in the conservation, planning and management of wildlife habitat in urban areas.

PositionPost Doctoral Researcher Fellow
Member of project(s)2.12.24.2
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ResearcherIDLink
Dr Chris Ives

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I am a Research Fellow in the Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group. My interests lie in understanding the functioning of cities as socio-ecological systems and how science can be used to inform plans and policies related to biodiversity conservation. I have a diverse research background, having worked in the fields of riparian ecology, urban planning and social psychology. My current research is focused on understanding and planning for the multiple benefits of urban green space for biodiversity and social well-being. I am also working on predicting the impacts on biodiversity of different patterns of future urban growth in Australia.

PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
AffiliationRMIT University
Member of project(s)4.24.2b
E-mail
Dr Heini Kujala

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Heini is a Post Doctoral Research Fellow in Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group at the University of Melbourne. She started her post in August 2012 and is currently involved in NERP Project 4.4.

Heini's background is in ecology and conservation. The main focus of her research lays in the cross section of systematic conservation planning, spatial prioritization and climate change. As part of NERP Project 4.4 she will be working closely with the Regional Sustainability Plans (RSPs) of both Hunter-Valley and Perth-Peel regions where the aim is to facilitate the usage of modern biodiversity conservation methods. The ava ...
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PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)4.4
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PositionPhD Student
AffiliationRMIT University
Member of project(s)4.2
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Dr Pia Lentini

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Pia is a postdoc working with the Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group at the University of Melbourne, focusing on conservation planning and management in heavily modified systems. In particular, she is aiming to determine how we should prioritise where funds for connectivity conservation are spent, and the kinds of actions they are spent on, to ensure an effective increase in dispersal within and across landscapes. In addition, with others at the Australian Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE), she is also focussing on how we can plan for urban growth in a way which minimises impact on the species that inhabit our cities, particularly microbats."

PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)3.3a4.2
E-mail
Professor David Lindenmayer

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PositionResearcher & Node Leader
Member of project(s)1.32.12.22.32.43.13.53.64.24.3
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Dr Martine Maron

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My research focus is in two main areas:
1. Landscape ecology (Project 1.4a), particularly

~ What affects meso-scale diversity in altered landscapes: how different large-scale patterns of clearing, fire, forest management alter the capacity of landscapes to support species and conversely, how these patterns can be manipulated to increase meso-scale diversity; and

~Processes underlying patterns of individual species distribution in human-modified landscapes, such as resource availability and interspecific interactions (for example, with aggressive competitors)

2. Conservation policy, particularly development of defensible and transparent systems for accounting for conservation gains and losses such as in biod ...
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PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)1.4a4.34.3a
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ResearcherIDLink
Fleur Maseyk

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By bringing together the ecological and social aspects of the ecosystem services paradigm for resource management, my research takes a cross-disciplinary approach to using evidence to inform policy development and on-the-ground resource management decision making (Theme 5).
Case studies within agricultural landscapes will be used to explore the tradeoffs between ecosystem services and economic and environmental values in response to conflicting demands on scarce resources (Theme 4).

PositionPhD Student
Member of project(s)4.15.4
E-mail
ResearcherIDLink
Assoc. Prof. Clive McAlpine

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PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)1.41.71.7a1.7b3.24.2
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Assoc. Professor Michael McCarthy

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PositionResearcher & Node Leader
Member of project(s)1.11.23.24.14.24.35.2
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Dr Melinda Moir

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Melinda's research is focused primarily on invertebrates and their management. She has interests in coextinction (extinction of host-dependent taxa with or before their host species), restoration, threatened taxa, refugia, biogeography and taxonomy. Melinda is also interested in the consequences for Australia's invertebrates in a changing climate, and possible management strategies.

 

PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)2.12.33.54.1
E-mail
Professor David Pannell

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My role in the Hub is to bring economics strongly into the research program. I lead the Centre for Environmental Economics and Policy at UWA, which has broad expertise and experience in applying economics to environmental problems. We specialise in approaches that integrate scientific, social and policy information within an economic framework to provide information that supports sound decision making about environmental issues. Our work encompasses both financial and intangible environmental outcomes of environmental changes, and risks as well as benefits.
I am directly involved in several projects in the NERP hub. Project 5.3 is attempting to develop a new approa ...
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PositionWinthrop Professor/ARC Federation Fellow & Node Leader
Member of project(s)3.3a4.15.35.45.55.7
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Dr Kirsten Parris

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PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)4.14.24.4
E-mail
ResearcherIDLink
Professor Hugh Possingham

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PositionDirector
Member of project(s)1.31.41.51.61.7b3.13.23.3a3.3b4.24.34.3a4.55.25.6
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ResearcherIDLink
Ms Keren Raiter

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Keren is a PhD candidate interested in integrating ecological insights into policy and planning for improved decision making and conservation outcomes. She currently investigates mining-related disturbances in relatively intact landscapes with a focus on ‘enigmatic ecological impacts’: ecological impacts of development that are not systematically accounted for in impact evaluations, and that undermine the potential for successful impact mitigation. Keren’s work is aimed at informing improved decisions regarding planning, approving, managing and offsetting extensive developments in the Great Western Woodlands, and other intact landscapes elsewhere. Keren’s methods include spatial analysis, monitoring predator activity using motion-sensor cameras and spoor detection, and application of the landscape functional an ...
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PositionPhD Student
Member of project(s)4.3
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Dr Jonathan Rhodes

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PositionResearcher
Member of project(s)1.71.7a1.7b4.2
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Rebecca Runting

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How we can preserve biodiversity whist simultaneously meeting increasing human needs is an extremely important challenge to address. Biodiversity underpins and interacts with essential Earth system functions that support human activities. But, at the same time, human population growth, coupled with climatic change and natural resource depletion, are likely to place increasing demands on the Earth's finite natural resources and Earth systems. Thus, it is critical that we understand how land-use scenarios will play out under different policy options and to be able to quantify the cumulative impacts of these options on biodiversity and human systems.

This project will address the question: what is the impact of policies that achieve the preservation of biodiversity on food and water security, along with the bro ...
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PositionPhD Student
Member of project(s)4.15.15.8
E-mail
ResearcherIDLink
Dr Danielle Shanahan

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Danielle is currently exploring how the extinction of experience influences both physical and mental human wellbeing in urban landscapes, in collaboration with Hub researcher Dr Richard Fuller (relevant to Projects 4.1 & 4.2). In 2012 she joined the NERP Environmental Decisions Hub after working with the Queensland Government and is particularly interested in trying to bridge the gap between science and policy development for biodiversity. She completed her PhD in 2010 at the University of Queensland where her project focused on developing general rules and testing a pr ...
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PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)4.14.2
E-mail
Dr Ayesha Tulloch

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Ayesha is a conservation biologist interested in monitoring and management of threats to biodiversity. She integrates disciplinary perspectives (economic, social, political and environmental) to evaluate approaches for prioritising conservation investments in multiple stakeholder landscapes. Ayesha has a particular interest in invasive and mobile predators, network theory, return on investment, migratory species and bird ecology.

Ayesha is currently working on tools and approaches for prioritising investment in management and monitoring of multiple species and threats, with a focus on applying decision-making software for systematic conservation planning and cost-effectiveness analysis to choose between actions for species recovery, and incorporating uncertainty in management outcomes and risk aversion into ...
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PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)1.53.3a3.3b5.25.8
E-mail
ResearcherIDLink
Dr Leonie Valentine

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Leonie is a wildlife biologist with broad interests in conservation biology and ecology, particularly focussed around the link between the environment, fauna and human-mediated disturbances. Her research seeks to understand how and why fauna respond to disturbances; the role of fauna in ecosystem function; and, adaptive management strategies available for land managers. Leonie is a post-doctoral research fellow with Prof. Richard Hobbs in the Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology lab at the University of Western Australia as part of the NERP Environmental Decisions Hub and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). Her current research examines aspects of fire management and conservation, the role of fauna in restoration ecology, including the ecosystem dynamics of digging mammals and ...
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PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)2.23.3a4.14.2
E-mail
ResearcherIDLink
Dr Terry  Walshe

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PositionNERP Knowledge Broker
Member of project(s)3.74.1
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Dr Amy Whitehead

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PositionPost Doctoral Research Fellow
Member of project(s)4.4b
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ResearcherIDLink
Dr Kerrie Wilson

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Kerrie Wilson is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (and UQ Node Leader for CEED and The NERP Environmental Decisions Hub). Kerrie is interested in applied conservation resource allocation problems, such as where to invest limited resources to protect biodiversity, to restore habitat, or manage systems. Her research program also focuses on the analysis of uncertainty (with a particular focus on the impact of climate change and other institutional and socio-political factors that influence the likelihood of investment success), landscape dynamics (e.g. the evaluation of land use scenarios and threatening processes), and biodiversity benefit (e.g. how to maximise biodiversity outcomes in restoration and ways to account for multiple benefits such a ...
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PositionResearcher & Node Leader
Member of project(s)1.41.73.3a3.74.14.35.55.6
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ResearcherIDLink
Dr Brendan Wintle

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Wintle is Associate Professor of Conservation Ecology and ARC Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Deputy Director of the National Environment Research Program Hub Environmental Decisions, and theme leader in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Environmental Decisions.
He specializes in uncertainty and environmental decision making and publishes on technical and policy issues around conservation and natural resource management, including optimal conservation investment, optimal monitoring and adaptive management, systematic conservation planning, population viability analysis, habitat modelling and mapping, and decision theory.
Wintle works at the interface between policy and science, serving on the Forest Stewardship Council and Australian Forestry Standard reference committees, the Australian Govern ...
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PositionResearcher & Deputy Director
Member of project(s)1.22.43.64.14.24.34.44.4b5.25.6
E-mail
Michael Wysong

Nowhere is the competing conflict between nature and culture more apparent within a single wildlife species in Australia than with the dingo; a species that is at once both classified as a pest and protected species, and perceived as feral or native. The dingo has long been considered a threat to the pastoral industry and government sponsored dingo control in the form of bounties, barrier fences, poisoning, trapping, and shooting has persisted for many decades. However, recently a growing interest in protecting and conserving the species has emerged centered around the use of the dingo to regulate tropic cascades and protect native prey species from predation by feral cats and foxes.

While many pastoralists view the dingo as an unwanted pest simply to be removed from the environment, other sections of societ ...
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PositionPhD Student
Member of project(s)4.1
E-mail
ResearcherIDLink