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.


Eureka! IUCN Red List of Ecosystems team recognised

david_keith_receives_a_eureka.pngAustralia has led the way in developing the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems, a system that provides international benchmarks for assessing the health and decline of our most precious ecosystems. The team behind the Australian effort was awarded the '2015 NSW Office of Environmentand Heritage Eureka Prize for Environmental Research' this week.

The Australian Museum Eureka Prizes are Australia's premier national science awards, honouring excellence in Research and Innovation and affectionately as the Oscars of the Australian science world.

Leader of the team Professor David Keith (pictured here) from the University of New South Wales accepted the award.


Marxan goes to Barcelona

Ayesha in front of classMarxan, the world's most popular conservation planning software has just made landfall in Barcelona, Spain. She wasn't on holiday (Marxan's creators like to think of the program as 'she'), she was there for work, being introduced to a group of postgraduate students, postdoctoral researchers, conservation practitioners and academics from France, Italy, Spain, Ecuador and South Africa. The introductory Marxan workshop will hopefully lead to better environmental decision-making in all of these countries.

"This is the first time the 'Spatial Conservation Planning with Marxan' course has ever been run in Barcelona," says Ayesha Tulloch, a CEED Postdoctoral Fellow at the Australian National University. "The five-day course provided the participants with the knowledge necessary to use Marxan, as well as advanced skills in applying systematic conservation-planning software to solve different kinds of conservation problems."


SCB Oceana - call for Symposia Open

SCBBrisbane2016logoSociety for Conservation Biology (SCB) Oceana Conference in Brisbane 5 July 2016 is now calling for symposia & workshop ideas. This closes on September 30

Other key dates:

  • Decisions on symposia & workshop announced 15 October 2015
  • Call for abstracts closes 30 November 2015
  • Decisions on abstracts announced 15 January 2016
  • Deadline for early bird registration 1 April 2016
  • Start of regular registration 2 April 2016
  • Start of pre-congress sessions 4 July 2016
  • Start of ICCB-ECCB 6 July 2016
  • Start of post-congress field trips 9 July 2016

CEED Research Fellow fires up in Spain

grim reaper fire themes comCEED Research Fellow Luke Kelly was recently awarded one of five Victorian Postdoctoral Research Fellowships that will see him travel to Spain to study the threat of fires to biodiversity at the Forest Sciences Centre of Catalonia.

The Fellowship is part of Victoria's most prestigious science and innovation awards. Awarded by veski on behalf of the Victorian government, the Fellowship gives Luke the opportunity to spend two years as a guest researcher in Spain, followed by a third year at the University of Melbourne.

Luke has worked with CEED (through the University of Melbourne) as a research fellow for four years and credits the knowledge gained on the project to securing the grant.

"I was thrilled to be offered the Fellowship. It's a fantastic career opportunity and I certainly owe some of the credit to the ARC CEED project," he said.

Luke's PhD research tested the hypothesis that 'pyrodiversity promotes biodiversity'.


Managing feral pigs a priority in managing Lake Eyre Basin

feral pigsA team of Brisbane-based decision scientists, including CEED personnel, have recently published research on priority threat management in the Lake Eyre Basin.
"Australia's Lake Eyre is perhaps best known as the continent's largest lake, and for the rare floods that bring the desert to life. But Lake Eyre is much more than a lake. Taking into account the rivers that drain into it and where they come from, the Lake Eyre Basin is one of largest inland draining systems in the world, the size of Germany, France and Italy combined. It is home to many natural wonders, such as Uluru, and many species of threatened wildlife. It is also threatened by invasive animals and plants, and climate

change. How can we best protect the basin, given finite funds? In two studies (published this week in Global Change Biology and the Journal of Applied Ecology) and in two CSIRO reports we show that managing feral pigs is one of the most effective ways to ensure the basin remains healthy in the future."

And see their Conversation editorial

CEED Director Eureka Prize finalist video

YouTube Eureka 2015CEED Director, Professor Hugh Possingham, is a finalist for a Eureka 2015 Prize for Outstanding Mentor of Young Researchers.

The awards dinner is on Wednesday 26th of August.  See Hugh's video for the nomination HERE

Working together gives orangutans a chance

Sumatran Orangutans Walldesk netWorking together gives orangutans a chance

CEED Chief Investigator Associate Professor Kerrie Wilson and PhD student Courtney Morgans were invited to attend the recent UNEP Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) South East Asia regional meeting in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia.

The four Great Apes (chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos), predominately occur in Africa, however two of the 23 range states are located in Asia. Indonesia and Malaysia are home to the only two species of organutan, named after the islands which they live, Sumatra and Borneo.

GRASP’s August event, the first of its kind for South East Asia, gave CEED the opportunity to meet with a diverse range of stakeholders involved in orangutan conservation including representatives from UN agencies, the Malaysian and Indonesian governments, industry bodies, non-government organisations and research institutions.


IPBES chooses Young Fellows from CEED

IPBES logo E bg bleu 2Vanessa Adams and Sugeng Budiharta are two early-career conservation scientists based at the University of Queensland and affiliated with CEED. Their science will soon be informing international efforts to save biodiversity as they have just been selected as Young Fellows of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).

IPBES is an independent intergovernmental body established by the United Nations in 2012 to provide policy advice to governments to protect the world's precious biodiversity. To assist in this task, IPBES is enlisting the world's best conservation scientists to participate in its assessment processes. This includes recruiting talented early career researchers to participate in a Young Fellows Programme, harnessing the finest emerging talent in the international effort to save biodiversity, and building capability for the future.


Two new publications about invasive plants

Gamba GrassInvasive weeds are a major cause of biodiversity loss and economic damage world-wide. There is often a limited understanding of the biology of emerging invasive species, but delay in action may result in escalating costs of control, reduced economic returns from management actions and decreased feasibility of management. Therefore, spread models that inform and facilitate on-ground control of invasions are needed.

Adams VA, AM Petty, MM Douglas, YM Buckley, KB Ferdinands, T Okazaki, DW Ko and SA Setterfield (2015), Distribution, demography and dispersal model of spatial spread of invasive plant populations with limited data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 6: 782–794. doi: 10.1111/2041-210X.12392

In the paper above, we apply the model to two case studies, gamba grass and para grass, to provide management advice on emerging weed priorities in northern Australia. For both species, we find that the current extent of invasion in our study regions is expected to double in the next 10 years in the absence of management actions. The predicted future distribution identifies priority areas for eradication, control and containment to reduce the predicted increase in infestation.