Current projects

The Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group is actively involved in several projects within leading research centres, and partnerships.

Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions

The Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group are members of the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED), funded by the Australian Research Council.

Most conservation management is unevaluated and inefficient. Using an integrated research program, CEED addresses the gaps in environmental-decision making, monitoring and adaptive management. Using new approaches and tools from ecology, mathematics, statistics, economics and the social sciences, CEED provides leadership in decision making to improve outcomes in conservation and biodiversity.

Dr Sarah Bekessy leads the research theme “Rapidly Transforming Landscapes”.

Further information about CEED

Collaborating organisations in CEED include:

CEED partner organisations include:

CEED’s monthly magazine, Decision Point, presents articles, views and ideas on environmental decision making, biodiversity, conservation planning and monitoring.

National Environmental Research Program Environmental Decisions Hub

Dr Sarah Bekessy leads a research theme within the National Environmental Research Program (NERP) Environmental Decisions Hub.

The NERP Environmental Decisions Hub will help governments secure Australia’s biodiversity through improving environmental decision-making and contributing to a greater understanding of biodiversity issues. This Hub will carry out high quality applied research on all forms of terrestrial biology, in a wide range of environments, and will include new tools, data, models and authoritative syntheses.

Dr Sarah Bekessy's research theme entitled “Sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystems” will assist and inform Strategic Assessments and Regional Sustainability Plans under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.

Further information about the NERP Environmental Decisions Hub

Key collaborating organisations include:

Other collaborating organisations:

Biodiversity Planning in the Urban Fringe: multiple actors, multiple conservation actions, multiple uncertainties

The Interdisciplinary Conservation Science Research Group has an ARC linkage grant seeking to improve conservation planning in urban fringe environments.

Accelerating urbanisation in Australia is considered one of the greatest threats to biodiversity, with over 50% of threatened species occurring in urban fringe areas. At the same time, conservation planners in the urban fringe lack tools that can simultaneously prioritise multiple conservation actions by multiple actors and reconcile complicated tradeoffs.

This project addresses the important gap between conservation theory and real world practice, providing tools for managers to develop optimal strategies given real world constraints. It will result in better theories and models for designing and evaluating conservation policy and plans to ensure good biodiversity outcomes. Results will be generalisable to any complex conservation planning scenario.

Industry partners include:

Reimagining the Suburb: Planning for biodiversity in the urban fringe

This project, supported by The Myer Foundation, is focused on better planning for biodiversity in urban fringe landscapes. It aims to address incompatibilities between native grassland conservation and urban development in Melbourne in two ways. Firstly, by improving prospects for grassland conservation within housing developments; and secondly, by investigating alternative urban development scenarios that mitigate impacts on existing grasslands.

This is one of four native grassland projects funded by The Myer Foundation. Other projects are being conducted by The University of Melbourne, Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne and K2C.

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Acknowledgement of country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer