CEED's Director builds bridges in Europe

Hugh birdwatching 5CEED's Director, Hugh Possingham, wears many hats and sits on many chairs. Each winter, like a migratory bird*, Professor Possingham heads north to the English "summer" where he holds a 20% Chair in Conservation Decisions at Imperial College, London. He uses his time at Imperial to engage with CEED partners and students in Imperial College London (which is an official Partner Institution in CEED), Oxford, Cambridge, University College London, Birdlife, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Copenhagen, University of Southern Denmark, Leipzig, Rome, Durrell Institute of Conservation Ecology (DICE) and more.

In his migration this year, Possingham made a detour to attend the 27th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) in Montpellier where many CEED researchers delivered talks and posters on a broad range of environmental decision making topics.


Clear consideration of costs, condition and conservation benefits yields better planning outcomes

WWWay briefSpatial conservation planning is all about figuring out how to prioritise where you will invest your limited resources so you get the best return on your investment. It's about weighing up the costs and the benefits of investing those resources in different ways. A new analysis by Megan Evans from the Australian National University and colleagues from The University of Queensland and the University of Western Australia has revealed that the manner in which the conservation benefit is calculated is critical to estimating the conservation outcomes that will be generated.


Scientists propose polar protection plan

Adelie chick Capr Bird Antarctica reducedInternational scientists have proposed a new pathway for saving the Arctic and Antarctic from their greatest menace – climate change.
The world should tackle immediate threats like pollution, over-fishing and invasive species in both the northern and southern polar regions to boost their ability to withstand climate change, a new study from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) proposes.
"Climate change remains the greatest threat to the Arctic and Antarctic – but there is much we can do right now to alleviate its impact on the polar regions," says Dr Joseph Bennett of CEED and Carleton University, Canada.


Image: Adelie chick - Down molts to feathers on Adelie penguin chick, Cape Bird, Antarctica (Aleks Terauds)

CEED shines at ICCB 2015

ECRs with captionThe première conservation congress of the year is the International Congress for Conservation Biology (or ICCB). In 2015 the 27th ICCB was held during August in Montpellier, France, and CEED researchers and research played many starring roles. We had over 70 researchers delivering seminars and presenting posters talking about the full range of environmental decision science issues – from optimal translocation and eradication through to ethics and mind-mapping.

“It was, as usual, a crazy week,” said CEED Post Doc Megan Saunders in her blog reflecting on the event. “I very much appreciated the opportunity to catch up with colleagues from around the world, meet new ones, and see some flamingos!”


UQ rewards CEED CI Eve McDonald-Madden for excellence in research

Vimeo with captionThis week CEED Chief Investigator Eve McDonald-Madden was awarded a University of Queensland Foundation Research Excellence Award in recognition of her outstanding track record in environmental decision science.

The UQ Foundation Research Excellence Awards – now in their 17th year – recognise excellence and the promise of future success in research for UQ's early to mid-career researchers.


A big opportunity to conserve Australia’s marine natural heritage

cuttlefish copy 2 600x387Two CEED researchers have made a plea for a review of the Commonwealth marine protected areas around Australia to be more representative. Jennifer McGowan and Hugh Possingham have this week posted an editorial on the National Geographic blogsite pointing out Australia has a big opportunity to better conserve our marine natural heritage.

The researchers bemoan the fact that many people can’t see beyond the Great Barrier Reef when it comes to our magnificent marine biodiversity.

"Yes, the Great Barrier Reef is important, but let's not forget about protecting the rest of our marine estate," says McGowan. "As it happens, Australia's network of marine protected areas is currently under review so the time is right to make a stand."

Photo: A giant cuttlefish on Australia's Great Southern Reef. (Photo by XL Catlin Seaview Survey)

Wildlife friendly cities will make us happier and healthier

Dead tree retained in a small greenspace patch providing nest hollows for parrots and cockatoos. Image DLe RouxIt is well known that interaction with our local environment benefits our physical and mental health. A new paper outlines four key ways to protect biodiversity in our cities and towns through managing urban sprawl, enhancing green space, preserving large trees and engaging the community.

Dr Karen Ikin, a researcher with the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) is lead author of the paper Key lessons for achieving biodiversity-sensitive cities and towns published in Ecological Management & Restoration today. She says that Australia's urban landscapes offer opportunities to marry wellbeing and environmental objectives.


CEED researcher confers with Brazilian bird experts at Amazonian congress

Veronica Gama on tower NOC CBOThe Brazilian city of Manaus recently hosted two of the world's most important bird conferences and CEED associate researcher Veronica Gama was there presenting her work on assessing the extinction risk of migratory birds.

Manaus is located in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon. In July it played host to a joint conference of the Tenth Neotropical Ornithological Congress and the Twenty-second Congresso Brasileiro de Ornitologia. Alongside these international conferences there was also the traditional Brazilian birdwatcher's fair known as AVISTAR. Occurring over the same week, these three events attracted more than 600 people including researchers, birdwatchers and students from Brazil and across the world.


New study tackles conflicting goals in the Coral Triangle

Coral triangle nudibranch sept2015

An international team of scientists is using one of the world’s natural wonders, the Coral Triangle of Southeast Asia, to pioneer a new approach that conserves wildlife, protects people’s livelihoods and helps both adapt to climate change.

Published in the scientific journal Nature Communications today, the researchers reveal a framework that gives countries around the Coral Triangle the choice to protect multi-objective hotspots that benefit many different management goals and species, complementary areas that benefit particular goals and species, or a combination of both.

This provides the countries the flexibility to help secure the precious resources of the Coral Triangle within their means, says lead author Dr Maria Beger of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and The University of Queensland (UQ). 


ARC CEED Chief Investigator takes out 2015 Women in Technology award

WIT award recipient Kerrie Wilson with UQ sponsor Prof Linda RichardsAssociate Professor Kerrie Wilson (pictured here with UQ sponsor Professor Linda Richards) was awarded the Life Sciences Research Award at the Women in Technology  (WIT) awards, acknowledging the significant influence of her research on international conservation policy.

The judges observed the novel and innovative research being demonstrated by the ARC Future Fellowship holder and through the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), which that has led to strong applied outcomes. Associate Professor Wilson is The University of Queensland's Node Director for CEED.