Theme 1 - Ecology, biodiversity and conservation

Tropical forests are being felled, burned, logged, and over-hunted at alarming rates, and increasingly suffer from harmful climatic change – jeopardising much of the world’s biodiversity and emitting dangerous greenhouse gases. Under this Theme, we are addressing many of the direct anthropogenic threats to tropical ecosystems and biota and actively searching for strategies to help reduce those threats.

Geographically, our research focuses on tropical Australia, a wide array of locales in our neighbouring Asia-Pacific region, and elsewhere including the Amazon Basin, Andes, and tropical Africa. We focus on understanding mounting threats such as forest fragmentation, road and infrastructure expansion, and destabilising synergisms between climate change and fire. We are also engaged in devising practical solutions to these challenges, such as carbon-trading to promote forest conservation, strategies to improve the viability of protected areas, and international measures to combat illegal logging.

In addition to our research and policy missions, we are working vigorously to influence the general public, popular media and a range of environmental decision makers. Our goal is not just cutting-edge research, but effecting positive changes to advance nature conservation, sustainable development and public awareness.

Theme Members