Current Members

Alannah Filer, PhD Candidate

My research focuses on the conservation of the threatened ‘acid frogs’ of eastern Australia using both acoustic and spatial techniques at varying scales. Using spatial mapping I am working on describing the current distribution of the acid frogs, as well as making predictions about the possible effects of future climate and land use changes. Additionally, I use long term acoustic recording devices to monitor the success of important populations of these species. It is my hope that my research on developing and testing new acoustic monitoring techniques will help inform future management programs for these, and other, threatened frog species.

Anazelia Tedesco, PhD Candidate

Anazelia is interested in the science-policy interface, as well as in environmental governance designed to make links between science and society. Her work, supervised by Prof Jonathan Rhodes, Prof Hugh Possingham, Dr. Angela Dean, and Prof Pedro Brancalion, focuses on promoting secondary forest persistence in the Atlantic Forest, improving large-scale forest restoration through natural regeneration. As part of Anazelia’s PhD, she is working in collaboration with several organisations such as The Nature Conservancy, World Resources Institute-Brazil, WWF-Brazil, Espirito Santo Government, and the University of Sao Paulo.

Brendan Dillon, PhD Candidate

My PhD research focuses on i) the way that species biological traits mediate the response of mammal populations to hunting pressure and habitat loss and ii) trade-offs in the cost effectiveness of managing each of these threats and iii) integrating these insights into spatial conservation planning.

Chris O'Bryan, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

I have a background in spatial ecology, landscape-scale conservation, and decision science ranging from studying reptile movement patterns and habitat selection to working on private land management practices and making structured environmental decisions. I finished my PhD at the University of Queensland in 2019 investigating the exposure and contribution of carnivores to humans. I have written about the unrecognised benefits of predators and scavengers in human-dominated landscapes and the unique contribution of apex scavengers to ecosystems and human health. Since the completion of my PhD, I have worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the Sustainable Landscapes Group and the McMadLab focusing on helping management organisations make decisions to maximise their resources for effective conservation.

Claire Runge, Research Fellow

My research centres on finding new ways to improve environmental outcomes in landscapes that are important to both people and nature. I’ve worked on a range of projects, including using social media to map the effects of global industries on Arctic environments and societies, mapping cultural and physical ecosystem services across the Arctic and the US, and examining the ways that food production can support environmental sustainability. Right now I’m working with Jonathan Rhodes and the Commonwealth Threatened Species Unit to support national koala recovery planning.

Deqiang Ma, PhD Candidate

My PhD research focuses on 1) methods to design ecosystem services offsets, 2) impacts of accounting for the supply of ecosystem services on the spatial location of biodiversity offsetting solutions, and 3) impacts of accounting for social equity in access to ecosystem services on the spatial location of biodiversity offsetting solutions. I am a PhD student in interested in  how including ecosystem services considerations might change biodiversity offsetting policies in coastal environments. My PhD focuses on issues following that, 1) how to design ecosystem services offsets, 2) how does accounting for the supply of ecosystem services change the spatial location of biodiversity offsetting solutions, and 3) how does accounting for social equity in access to ecosystem services change the spatial location of biodiversity offsetting solutions.

Frankie Cho, PhD Candidate

Frankie’s PhD project investigates how to make natural capital decisions under uncertainty. Drawing upon the fields of environmental economics and ecology, this project characterises the uncertainties arising from coupled ecological and economic models and identifies efficient spatial landscape configurations to provide ecosystem services. His work, supervised by Prof Brett Day (University of Exeter) and Prof Jonathan Rhodes, is part of the Joint PhD program between the University of Exeter (UK) and the University of Queensland supported by the QUEX Institute.

Imogen Cunningham, Honours Student

Imogen is a student completing the honours year of an Environmental Management degree majoring in Natural Systems and Wildlife. Her interests lie in sustainable development and wildlife ecology and conservation. Her honours research is supervised by Prof. Rhodes and Dr. Jeremy Simmonds is interested in the impacts of the 2019-20 bushfire on the koala in New South Wales. The project utilises expert elicited Bayesian networks for predictive mapping of conditions that may facilitate or hinder population recovery from fire.

Jaramar Villarreal Rosas, PhD Candidate

My research uses ecosystem services thinking to explore how human well-being is impacted by changes to natural capital. I am particularly interested in understanding how different groups in society are impacted, and the social and economic factors behind it. Through my research I am developing spatially-explicit approaches to provide with equitable solutions for people and nature.

Jonathan Rhodes, Professor

​Jonathan is based in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences and the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at The University of Queensland (UQ). He received his PhD in Ecology in 2005 and has been at UQ since 2007, after two years at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart before that. His primary research interests lie in understanding the spatial processes that drive biodiversity and ecosystem services, and developing fundamental principles for decision-making in conservation.

Konrad Uebel, PhD Candidate

My PhD research focusses on i) factors that might influence private land conservation actions of peri-urban landholders, ii) the restorative potential of urban and peri-urban park soundscapes and the impact of traffic noise on this, and iii) natural and urban landscape characteristics surrounding urban and peri-urban parks and their influence on park soundscapes.

Lucy Keniger, PhD Candidate

Michelle Ward, PhD Candidate

Michelle’s research centres on combining remote sensing technology with economic instruments and systematic conservation planning to achieve the best solutions for threatened species. In doing so, she has developed novel, problem-based methods for cost-effectively prioritizing conservation actions, quantified the cumulative impact of broad-scale development on Australian threatened species, investigated complex sustainability problems through scenario analysis, and assessed global-scale structural connectivity of landscapes. She has advanced research skills in spatial prioritisation, and is a proficient user of different tools such as R, InVEST, ArcGIS, Mendeley, QGIS, GitHub, Zonation, GRASS, Marxan, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Office suite. Michelle is currently working on a plausible framework, method, and case study for developing an action plan for recovering all threatened species in Australia. This research is cross-disciplinary, linking methods from remote sensing, ecological modelling, economics, monitoring, and political science. In the near future, she hopes to examine the complex interactions of dynamic threats and develop appropriate conservation actions to ensure species persistence into the future.

Nisa Abeysinghe, PhD Candidate

My research focuses on tackling pests using game theory to support cooperative management. It aims on improving management of invasive species by helping pest mitigating agencies work together. A novel framework is designed using game theory, ecology and spatial distribution to identify how and when pest mitigation agencies collaborate to get optimum agricultural and environmental outcomes.

Noami White, PhD Candidate

Shantala Brisbane, Research Assistant

Shantala is a Research Assistant for the Sustainable Landscapes Group. She has a BSc (Hons) in marine biology and ecology. After working in environmental consulting for a number of years she has more recently worked in research coordination / management and research assistant roles (including marine and coastal restoration, coastal wetland dieback, and research infrastructure requirements in ecosystem science). She is particularly interested in marine and coastal conservation.

Shirali Dave, Research Assistant

Shirali is a research assistant in the Sustainable Landscapes Group. Her current research focuses on understanding social and psychological influences on conservation engagement and decision-making. Shirali completed a BS in Biology and BA in Psychology at Texas Tech University. In 2020, she completed a Masters in Environmental Management and Conservation Biology at UQ. In her spare time, Shirali enjoys spending time in nature, woodworking and painting.