The diversity of life on earth is the natural infrastructure that underpins the global economy. It is also being lost at an unprecedented rate. Unfortunately, the resources available to stem this alarming global loss of biodiversity are both inadequate and poorly allocated. The former is undesirable, but the latter is inexcusable.
We are a group of researchers and students led (mostly astray) by Dr Eve McDonald-Madden, based in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Queensland. Our research is focused on improving environmental decision-making.
To resolve questions in environmental decision-making we use a suite of analysis techniques that are largely novel to ecology and conservation. The foundation of our work is 'Decision Theory', a concept initially used to maximise the effectiveness of scarce military resources while dealing with the uncertainties always present in war.
By investigating the use of techniques from fields such as manufacturing sciences, artificial intelligence research and economic theory we hope to improve decision-making in the face of complexity that is inherent, but often ignored, in environmental problems, incorporating the social context of decisions, the complexity of interacting species and the uncertainty faced by decisions makers.