Dr Susan Laurance

Senior Lecturer

Dr Susan Laurance

Senior Lecturer, James Cook University (2010-Current)

Tropical Leader, James Cook University (2010-Current)

Research Associate, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (2009-Current)

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama (2006 -2009)

Postdoctoral Fellow, Andrew Mellon Foundation, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama (2004-2006)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, NASA Large-scale Biosphere Atmosphere Experiment in the Amazon (2002-2004)


Executive Councillor of the Association of Tropical Biology and Conservation

Contact Details






+61 7 4042 1237


+61 7 4042 1319



Note: Please direct all student enquiries through the school secretary.

Research Interests

  • Land use and climate change impacts on tropical forest communities

  • Habitat fragmentation and the transmission and prevalence of avian blood parasites

  • Functional traits of invasive species in tropical rainforests

  • Woody vines as ecosystem drivers of forest disturbance and their impacts on forest dynamics, composition and carbon storage

  • Tropical forest ecology and diversity

Dr Susan Laurance


  • BZ2605/5605 Plant Diversity and Adaptations

  • BZ2440/5440 Ecology and Conservation

  • BZ3215/5215 Conservation Biology

Selected Publications

Laurance, S. G. W., A. Andrade, W. F. Laurance. In press.Unanticipated effects of stand dynamism on Amazonian tree diversity. Biotropica.

Laurance, S. G. W, W. F. Laurance, A. Andrade, P. Fearnside, K. Harms, A. Vincentini, and R. Luizao.2010. Influence of soils and topography on Amazonian tree diversity: a landscape-scale study. Journal of Vegetation Science 21:96-106.

Laurance, W. F., M. Goosem, and S. G. W. Laurance.2009. Impacts of roads and linear clearings on tropical forests. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:659-669.

Laurance, S. G. W., H. Nascimento, W. F. Laurance, A. Andrade, P. Fearnside, E. Rebello and R. Condit. 2009. Rapid change in Amazonian forest dynamics: effects of climate change?Journal of Vegetation Science 20:323-333.

Laurance, W. F., S. G. W. Laurance, and D. Hilbert.2008.Long-term dynamics of a fragmented rainforest mammal community. Conservation Biology 22:1154-1164.

Laurance, W. F., H. Nascimento, S. G. W. Laurance, A. Andrade, P. Fearnside, J. Ribeiro.2006.Rain forest fragmentation and the proliferation of successional trees.Ecology 87:469-482.

Malhi, Y., D. Wood, T. Baker, J. Wright, O. Phillips, T. Cochrane. P. Meir, J. Chave, S. G. W. Laurance, et al. 2006.The regional variation of aboveground live biomass in old growth Amazonian forests.Global Change Biology 12:1107-1138.

Laurance, S. G. W., and M. Santamaria Gomez. 2005. Clearing width and movements of understory rainforest birds.Biotropica 37:147-151.

Laurance, W. F. A. A. Oliveira, S. G. W. Laurance, R. Condit, H. Nascimento, T. E. Lovejoy, A. Andrade, S. D’ Angelo, and C. Dick. 2004. Pervasive alternation of tree communities in undisturbaed Amazonian forests. Nature 428:171-175.

Laurance, S. G. W., P. C. Stouffer, and W. F. Laurance.2004.Effects of road clearings on movement patterns of understory rainforest birds in central Amazonia.Conservation Biology 18:1099-1109.

Laurance, S. G. W.2004.Responses of understory rain forest birds to road edges in central Amazonia.Ecological Applications 14:1344-1357.

Laurance, W. F., P. Delamonica, S. G. W. Laurance, H. L. Vasconcelos, and T. E. Lovejoy.2000.Rainforest fragmentation kills big trees.Nature 404:836.

Laurance, S. G. W., and W. F. Laurance. 1999. Tropical wildlife corridors: use of linear rainforest remnants by arboreal mammals.Biological Conservation 91:231-239.

Phillips, O. P., Y. Malhi, N. Higuchi, W. Laurance, P. Núñez, R. Vásquez, S. G. W. Laurance, S. Brown, J. Grace.1998.Changes in the carbon balance of tropical forests: evidence from long-term plots.Science 282:439-442.

Laurance, W. F., S. G. W. Laurance, L. V. Ferreira, J. Rankin-de Merona, C. Gascon, and T. Lovejoy.1997.Biomass collapse in Amazonian forest fragments.Science 278:1117-1118.