Hawthorne Beyer

Quantitative spatial ecologist working at the interface of disease, animal movement, popuation dynamics and conservation planning


My research is at the interface between people and the environment, more specifically how ecological systems are impacted by humans and the implications of this for management of ecological and social systems. As an ecologist I quantify the dynamics of ecological systems with a focus on disease and population dynamics. My applied work promotes evidence-based management in a decision theory and optimisation framework.

After being awarded his PhD from the University of Glasgow in 2010, I worked as a research fellow in Prof. Marie-Josee Fortin's lab at the University of Toronto for 18 months before joining Prof. Hugh Possingham's group at UQ. I am now an ARC DECRA research fellow based in the Centre for Biodiversity & Conservation Science in the Department of Biological Sciences at UQ.

My work outside of the realm of Academia includes developing free software to facilitate geospatial modelling and analysis ('Hawthstools' and the Geospatial Modelling Environment) that have been downloaded over 180,000 times.

Email: hawthorne@spatialecology.com or h.beyer@uq.edu.au

Recent news

December 2016: I won the School Staff Award this year! What a pleasant surprise. It is rather embarassing to be singled out for an award when you are surrounded by people who are brighter and more productive than you, but appreciated nonetheless. Thanks to those who nominated me and voted for me.

December 2016: Teaching evalutions are in for this year... 4.55/5, down from 4.82/5 last year. A significant proportion of students chose to watch the recordings of the lectures instead of coming to class this year. That is disappointing because I enjoy direct interaction with students and I feel the students learn more from that interaction. I think that also partially accounts for the lower ratings.

December 2016: I spent one week in Malaysia this month visiting Ahimsa Arceiz, Jamie Wadie and others at the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus and Krau Wildlife Reserve. It was a great workshop and I very much enjoyed being back in Malaysia. Rather disheartening to see vast expanses of oil palm though. Conservation in SE Asia is a major concern.

December 2016. Both Honours students I worked closely with this year were awarded Firsts. Well done Brooke and Alannah!

November 2016: I am teaching in the Survey Design and Analysis course again this year for the Master of Conservation Science Course at UQ.

August 2016: I became an editor for Conservation Letters this year. I really like this journal and the Editors in Chief (Eddie Game, EF Milner-Gulland and Mark Schwartz) are top notch people. It is a steep learning curve to transition from reviewer to editor, despite have reviewed extensively (75+ manuscripts). I will learn a lot from this.

July 2016: Our Centre (specifically Vanessa Adams et al) organised the Society for Conservation Biology conference in Brisbane in July... a very successful conference.

March 2016: Our paper on using integer linear programming to solve conservation planning problems came out today. I think this will be useful to a lot of people. I was very impressed with the turn-around at Ecological Modelling: the paper went from accepted to published within just a few days.

February 2016: Thanks to the five Science Without Borders students who worked with Morena Mills and I over the summer. Our review of Brazilian threatened species and their threatening processes is shaping up to be an interesting paper.

November 2015: Spent one month in Brazil working with many superb collaborators. Brazil is a remarkable place: larger than Australia and with huge potential for conservation. I am collaborating on a jaguar popluation modelling and conservation plannnig project, several very exciting forest restoration planning projects with IIS, and a threatened species analysis.

August-Sept 2015: I taught the Sampling Design and Analysis in Conservation Science (CONS7008) course with Rich Fuller and Pat Ward, part of the Master of Conservation Science Course at UQ. Had some really great student interactions - thanks to all the students for engaging.

August 2015: Went to the International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) conference in Montpellier (France!). Presented a poster on incorporating metapopulation dynamics into restoration prioritisation. The south of France is superb - I could live there. Great venue, great conference. Well done Pierro Visconti et al for organising.

Recent blogs

Introduction to GIS using R
Quantifying barrier permeability and proximity avoidance by animals
Competition, predation, and migration - individual choice patterns of Serengeti migrants captured by hierarchical models
Herding cats and other perspectives on the organisation of our science
Evidence-based policy-making - improving the impact of research
...see all posts
Beyer headshot CV (PDF) Google Scholar Researcher ID

Australian Research Council DECRA Research Fellow

Email: hawthorne -at- spatialecology.com or h.beyer -at- uq.edu.au


ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions &

Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science &

Environmental Decisions Group,

School of Biological Sciences, Goddard Building

University of Queensland

Brisbane, Queensland 4072 Australia