Hugh is a Chief Scientist at The Nature Conservancy, and was the Director of CEED from 2011-2016.
Aside from his day job, Hugh has a variety of broader public roles advising policy makers, conservation groups and managers by sitting on 15 committees and boards outside the University of Queensland including: The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists (founding member), founding editor of Conservation Letters (an international scientific journal), Council of the Australian Academy of Science (recently stepped down), The Myer Foundation Environment committee and several Environmental NGO scientific advisory committees. He and Dr Barry Traill wrote “The Brigalow Declaration”, used by Premier Beattie to halve land clearing in Queensland thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Australia by more than 5% per annum and saving an area the size of Portugal from conversion into farmland.
In November 2016, Hugh became The Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental non-government organization. He will be based in Washington DC and Brisbane.
In 2016, Hugh was elected a foreign associate of the US National Academy of Sciences, the most prestigious science academy in the world. He is one of less than 500 foreign associates – and the only one resident in Queensland.
The Possingham lab uses mathematics to formulate and solve problems for saving plants, animals and ecosystems. They developed the most widely used conservation planning software in the world. Marxan was used to underpin the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef and is currently used in over 150 countries by over 6000 users – from the UK and USA to Madagascar and Brazil – to build the world’s marine and terrestrial landscape plans. Marxan can be used to achieve conservation outcomes while maximizing development opportunities. In addition, many governments and ENGOs use the group’s research for the allocation of funding to threatened species recovery and solving other conservation conundrums.
Possingham has coauthored 560+ refereed publications covered by the Web of Science (27 in Science, Nature or PNAS). He currently directs two national research centres across 11 institutions ($15 million per annum) and he has supervised (or is supervising) 80 PhD students and 50 postdoctoral fellows.
He has one psychological disorder: a compulsive desire to watch birds.
Publications – http://scholar.google.com.au/citations?user=9-veEp8AAAAJ&hl=en
Mathematical methods for identifying representative reserve networks, H Possingham, I Ball, S Andelman, Quantitative methods for conservation biology, 291-305
Prioritizing global conservation efforts, KA Wilson, MF McBride, M Bode, HP Possingham, Nature 440 (7082), 337-340
Inferring process from pattern: Can territory occupancy provide information about life history parameters? AJ Tyre, HP Possingham, DB Lindenmayer, Ecological Applications 11 (6), 1722-1737
Optimal allocation of resources among threatened species: a project prioritization protocol, LN Joseph, RF Maloney, HP Possingham, Conservation Biology 23 (2), 328-338