Conservation decision making 

Conservation Decision Making

The overarching aims of our work is highly applied so it is critical that we make our science as relevant as possible for decisions makers. One way that we do this is to explicitly link models of ecosystem change to decision-making to inform conservation decisions. We work closely with end-users to clearly define decision problems and use predictive models assess the consequences of alternative action for conservation outcomes. However, we are also interested in how alternative decisions influence the trade-offs between biodiversity outcomes and other societal objectives such as economic and well-being outcomes. This sits at the interface between ecological, social and economic sciences and is therefore naturally interdisciplinary.

Current Projects

  • Conservation planning for evolutionary processes

  • Risk and flexibility in conservation planning

  • Coastal planning under sea level rise

  • Conservation planning for ecosystem services

Selected Publications

Hanson, O. J., J. R. Rhodes, H. P. Possingham, and R. A. Fuller. In press (accepted June 2017). raptr: Representative and Adequate Prioritization Toolkit in R. Methods in Ecology and Evolution.


Hanson, O. J., J. R. Rhodes, C. Riginos, and R. A. Fuller. In press (accepted October 2017). Environmental and geographic variables are effective surrogates for genetic variation in conservation planning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Runge, C., A. I. T. Tulloch, A. Gordon, and J. R. Rhodes. In press (accepted April 2017). Quantifying the conservation gains of shared access to linear infrastructure. Conservation Biology.


Runting, R. K., C. E. Lovelock, H. L. Beyer, and J. R. Rhodes. 2017. Costs and opportunities for preserving coastal wetlands under sea level rise. Conservation Letters 10:49-57.


Tulloch, A. I. T., P. Sutcliffe, I. Naujokaitis-Lewis, R. Tingley, L. Brotons, K. M.P.M.B. Ferraz, H. Possingham, A. Guisan, and J. R. Rhodes. 2016. Conservation planners ignore improved accuracy of modelled species distributions to focus on multiple threats and ecological processes. Biological Conservation 199:157-171.


Santika, T., C. A. McAlpine, D. Lunney, K. A. Wilson, and J. R. Rhodes. 2015. Assessing spatio-temporal priorities for species’ recovery in broad-scale dynamic landscapes. Journal of Applied Ecology 52:832-840.