Oscar Venter

Australian Postdoctoral Fellow

Oscar Venter

2011 University of Queensland: PhD in Conservation Planning and Decision Analysis. Dissertation: Assessing and planning for the climate and biodiversity outcomes from avoided deforestation

2005 Concordia University: BSc, Honours with Great Distinction, Environmental Science

Contact Details




+61 7 4042 1427






Over the past eight years, I've worked in freshwater, marine and terrestrial systems, in tropical, temperate and arctic realms, and at local, national and global scales. But throughout my research there is a unifying theme, the quest to find answers to questions about how best to converse imperilled biodiversity. To help identify these questions and make sure they are relevant to the real world, I often work in partnership with conservation practitioners. In my research, I use tools from ecological economics, spatial modelling, decision science and meta-analyses.

At present I am particularly interested in understanding how ecosystem services and incentives schemes, such as payments for Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD+), can be used to leverage support for conservation. At JCU, I am the principal investigator for an ARC Discovery project titled "Conservation of tropical forests for their carbon and biodiversity values". To help inform the implementation of the carbon payment scheme REDD+, this project will develop approaches and provide results to predict deforestation at the national and global scales, extend decision theory to tackle the novel challenges presented by REDD+, and determine how it can best deliver carbon, as well as biodiversity benefits.

Selected Publications

My favourite five:

1: Venter, O. and L. P. Koh. In Press. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+): game changer or just another quick fix? Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences.

2: Venter, O., W. F. Laurance, T. Iwamura, K. A. Wilson, R. Fuller, and H. P. Possingham. 2009. Harnessing carbon payments to protect biodiversity. Science 326:1368.

3: Venter, O., E. Meijaard, H. Possingham, R. Dennis, D. Sheil, S. Wich, L. Hovani, and K. Wilson. 2009. Carbon payments as a safeguard for threatened tropical mammals. Conservation Letters 2:123-129.

4: Venter, O., J. W. A. Grant, M. V. Noel, and J. W. Kim. 2008. Mechanisms underlying the increase in young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65:1956-1964.

5: Venter, O., N. N. Brodeur, L. Nemiroff, B. Belland, I. J. Dolinsek, and J. W. A. Grant. 2006. Threats to endangered species in Canada. Bioscience 56:903-910.

CV and full list of publications