This project aims to develop novel approaches combining network theory, optimisation, and decision science to model complex ecosystem dynamics for optimal ecosystem management. We take into account species-ecosystem function-ecosystem services relationships to address the long lasting debate between conservation for biodiversity vs conservation for ecosystem services. We use both simulations and empirical case studies to show that biodiversity-ecosystem services trade-offs depends on the ecosystem network structure and specific ecological features (i.e., trophic levels of the species providing the ecosystem services/functions). Uncertainty, the value of information, and the risk preference of the managers are also considered in this project to improve the optimal conservation decision making.

Funding: UQI, ARC DECRA, CSIRO top-up scholarship

Advisors: Dr Eve McDonald-Madden, Dr Iadine Chades, Dr Regis Sabbadin

Project members

Hui XIAO

PhD candidate