What science does The Nature Conservancy do and is it useful?


The Nature Conservancy (TNC) operates in 72 countries and every state of the USA.  It was founded by members of the Ecological Society of America in 1953 and is an environmental non-government organisation with over 300 practising scientists worldwide.  While much of the early science done by TNC focussed on protection science (e.g. ecoregional planning and species distribution modelling), science at TNC is now extremely diverse – and embraces all forms of knowledge.  In this talk I will cover about ten case studies that shows how TNC uses science to deliver impact on the ground for nature and people – from fisheries management reform, to debt for nature swaps, and designing power systems for entire states or regions.  


Hugh Possingham is The Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy (TNC), the world’s largest environmental non-government organization. Hugh’s expertise is in ecology, applied mathematics, spatial planning, operations research and economic instruments for conservation outcomes. He has co-authored >650 refereed publications covered by the Web of Science, has supervised >80 PhD students and >50 postdoctoral fellows, and in 2016 was elected a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences. As the Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy, Hugh guides and promotes the work of our >350 practicing scientists working in 72 countries and every state of the US. He chairs the SNAPP (Science for Nature and People Partnership) board and represents The Nature Conservancy on the Natural Capital Partnership led by Stanford University. “Global Science” reports to Hugh – a collection of >30 people working to assist all aspects of science across the conservancy with the primary purpose of ensuring that The Nature Conservancy is a science-based organization. Hugh works with, and is guided by, a Scientific Advisory Council and the Cabinet of Lead Scientists (ten of TNC’s senior scientists