The main aim of Chrystal's PhD project is to gain an understanding of the combined effects of climate change, habitat loss and other drivers of land-use change on biodiversity. Using this knowledge she will then develop a decision framework for making robust decisions to conserve freshwater biodiversity in the face of both climate and land-use change. This research will combine decision analysis with quantitative ecological models to identify priority actions to conserve freshwater biodiversity threatened by climate and land-use change in South East Queensland. This will address critical questions arising in the development of policy for climate change adaptation, especially in respect to maintaining environmental values and ecosystem function.
Her PhD project will make a significant contribution to our capacity for improved decision making for climate adaptation and to enhance our understanding of the combined effects of climate change and land-use change on biodiversity. A new Decision-Analysis Framework and a Decision model for freshwater biodiversity conservation in South East Queensland will be developed. This will lead to improved adaptation options to ensure freshwater biodiversity resilience; and a shared understanding of how to incorporate climate change adaptation measures into routine conservation strategies and natural resource management.