Hugh Possingham

Australian scientist Professor Hugh Possingham has been appointed chief scientist with The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest conservation group.

Professor Possingham will lead the work of more than 600 scientists engaged in conservation efforts across 69 countries around the world, including Australia.

He is currently Australian Research Council laureate fellow and director of The Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science at the University of Queensland. He is also director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and the Australian Government’s National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Recovery Hub.

Software developed by Professor Possingham drove the rezoning of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and is now used in more than 150 countries.

“It is a delight to be part of a global conservation organisation with such a strong commitment to using evidence and data to solve environmental problems on the ground,” Professor Possingham said.

“Knowing that The Nature Conservancy employs more than 600 scientists among its 3500 staff, working with thousands of partners to protect nature, is exciting and humbling.”

The Nature Conservancy president and chief executive Mark Tercek welcomed the appointment.

“Throughout his career, Hugh has used science to elevate the impact and effectiveness of conservation programs,” he said. “I am confident that he will build on The Nature Conservancy’s great history of science-based conservation and will help us achieve our ambitious goals.”