Research Projects

Solving Complex Environmental Challenges

My research centres around finding spatial solutions to complex environmental challenges. I mainly tackle challenges relating to climate change impacts, and dealing with multiple competing objectives.

So why these two areas?

  • First, climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We are already witnessing the impacts, and even the most optimistic scenarios show that we’re going to continue to experience changes. Ensuring we’re equipped to adapt to these impacts is paramount.
  • Second, finding solutions where objectives are competing is vital, particularly in the context of meeting human demands for food, materials and energy, while maintaining the integrity of the natural environment.

In both cases I generally take an ecosystem services approach - going beyond outcomes for biodiversity to include how humans benefit from nature. I typically include economic instruments. This means not only accounting for economic costs, but also looking at markets for environmental services and other economic theories. To find solutions that account for these complexities in a spatial context, I draw on methods from operations research (mainly integer programming).

See the links below for related papers on each key theme.

My research is primarily focused in these locations: (i) Australian coastal wetlands, (ii) tropical forests on Borneo, and (iii) savanna in northern Australia.