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Professor Hugh Possingham FAA BSc PhD

Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow
Director ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions
University of Queensland
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07 3365 2527


  • Metapopulation dynamics
  • Ecological economics
  • Optimal monitoring and environmental accounts
  • Biodiversity and climate change
  • Environmental issues in Queensland, including the Great Barrier Reef and national parks.

Professor Hugh Possingham is a mathematical ecologist who completed a DPhil at Oxford University in 1987 on ‘A model of resource renewal and depletion'. He has held appointments at Stanford University, the Australian National University, the University of New South Wales and the University of Adelaide, doing research on the application of mathematical and computational tools to understanding ecological systems.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

In 2000 he took up a joint appointment between the Departments of Zoology and Entomology, and Mathematics at the University of Queensland and in 2001 became the Foundation Director of the University’s Ecology Centre.

Professor Possingham has done pioneering work on the viability of populations of endangered species and the application of decision theory to conservation biology. He has made contributions to marine, behavioural, population and community ecology and is also a vocal conservation spokesperson and consultant to government on ecological planning issues.Pure and applied population ecology.

The Spatial Ecology Lab is a group of about 30 people comprised of students, postdocs and visitors, headed by Professor Hugh Possingham, who use mathematical and statistical tools to solve problems in ecology and conservation.  Lab members range from empirical ecologists to mathematicians.  Recent research successes include: producing the software that rezoned the Great Barrier Reef, a new theory of optimal monitoring, advances in metapopulation theory, tests of spatial population models, decision support tools for fire, weed and pest management, protocls for optimal monitoring and decsion support for setting global conservation priorities.  Collaboraters come from all over the world including: The United States, UK, Germany, France, Italy and South America.

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