Researcher biography

I am currently the Deputy Director in Research at the Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science.

I am primarily interested in how we, as scientists, can make meaningful contributions to halting and reversing the ongoing global biodiversity crisis. I am particularly committed to tackling gaps in our knowledge needed for biodiversity conservation, focusing on the following three aspects.

(i) Identifying gaps in existing information and their drivers: I have been working on how information on biodiversity is distributed over space, time and taxa, and what causes the existing gaps in information availability.

(ii) Overcoming information gaps with modelling approaches: I have been applying modelling approaches to better inform conservation initiatives through the use of available, imperfect data. For this I have intensively worked on assessing long-term changes in global waterbird diversity (see for example our recent papers in Nature (also see my blog post) and Nature Climate Change (blog post))

(iii) Bridging the research-implementation gap: I am also keen to provide scientific information for conservation in a more accessible way and have been involved in the Conservation Evidence project as a statistical editor, with the aim of contributing to the implementation of evidence-based decision making in conservation.

I am leading the translatE project (transcending language barriers to environmental sciences), funded by the Australian Research Council, which incorporates the above three aspects in order to understand the consequences of language barriers in biodiversity conservation. The project aims to:

  • assess the importance of scientific knowledge that is available in non-English languages,
  • understand how language barriers impede the application of science in decision making,
  • quantify language barriers to the career development of non-native English speaking scientists, and
  • devise solutions for exchanging information across languages and cultures in an effective manner.

See our work on language barriers in science featured in Nature in 2019 and July and August in 2023, Science in 2020 and 2023, The Conversation in 2021 and 2023, The Guardian, and The Economist, and my presentation on findings from the project (plenary at the 2022 Joint Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia and the Society for Conservation Biology Oceania: from 48:48).

Also see the website of Kaizen Conservation Group for our research, members and latest publications.