Why monitor or do research in conservation?

Photo: The Nature Conservancy

Good decisions require data, values and models.

But how much data do we need, how good do the models need to be? We can go on forever collecting data and building better models - both take time and cost money. That time removes opportunity, that money could be spent on actions.

Value of information analysis is a formal approach to answering the question of how much knowledge we need - but it also takes time and money. How much can we spend on formal value of information analyses?

In this talk I will walk through my personal struggle with the question of how much knowledge is enough using several examples. Then I will argue for, and propose, a simple but dodgy solution to the problem. 

Hugh Possingham is currently a Professor of Mathematics and Ecology at The University of Queensland, and a Professor of Conservation Decisions, at Imperial College London. He holds an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow (2014-18) and is Director of The ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and the NESP Threatened Species Hub. Later this year, Hugh will take on the role of Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy (TNC).


Date & time

2–3pm 20 July 2016


EEG Seminar Room, Gould Building 116, Daley Rd, ANU


Hugh Possingham, University of Queensland

Event series


 Claire Stephens

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