Professor Hugh Possingham

Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) and Vice-chancellor's senior research fellow (2012-2015).

I like making problems … and getting someone else to solve them for me. My group is amorphous and fuzzy at the edges. Happy to work with anyone that has strong quantitative skills that is dedicated to the conservation of biodiversity or like birds. I have coauthored with over 400 people and supervised more than 50 PhD students. We are outcome focussed and our work helped stop land clearing in Australia, saving 10% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions. We provided tools and knowledge for the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef and Australia's entire EEZ creating a reserve system bigger than 3 million square km.

I completed Applied Mathematics Honours at The University of Adelaide in 1984. After attaining a Rhodes Scholarship I completed a D.Phil at Oxford University in 1987. Postdoctoral research periods followed at Stanford University and ANU (as an ARC QEII Fellow). First job, a Lectureship in Applied Mathematics at The University of Adelaide. In 1995 I was appointed Foundation Chair of the Department of Environmental Science at The University of Adelaide. Elected to The Australian Academy of Science in 2005. Prizes include Fenner medal, Australian maths society medal, two Eureka prizes.


Favourite papers

Mathematical methods for identifying representative reserve networks, H Possingham, I Ball, S Andelman, Quantitative methods for conservation biology, 291-305

Prioritizing global conservation efforts, KA Wilson, MF McBride, M Bode, HP Possingham, Nature 440 (7082), 337-340

Inferring process from pattern: Can territory occupancy provide information about life history parameters? AJ Tyre, HP Possingham, DB Lindenmayer, Ecological Applications 11 (6), 1722-1737

Optimal allocation of resources among threatened species: a project prioritization protocol, LN Joseph, RF Maloney, HP Possingham, Conservation Biology 23 (2), 328-338


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