Lab Members

Lead researcher

Kerrie Wilson Head and Shoulder Jan 2020Professor Kerrie Wilson

Kerrie Wilson is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability and Research Integrity) and previously the Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).  Before joining QUT in January 2019, Kerrie was the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland. She is also an Affiliated Professor in Conservation Science at The University of Copenhagen, the Australian Natural Sciences Commissioner for UNESCO… Read more

Senior Research Fellow

Justine_Shaw_profile picDr Justine Shaw

Justine Shaw is a Senior Research Fellow in Antarctic and island conservation science at Queensland University of Technology. She leads research on Antarctic biodiversity and island ecosystems, including invasive species impacts and management. Justine uses decision science to work collaboratively with conservation managers and policy makers. … Read more

Postdoctoral researchers

Valerie Hagger2Dr Valerie Hagger

Valerie Hagger is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Queensland. Her research interests include ecological and socioeconomic interactions in ecological restoration, biodiversity conservation and climate change. She has previously published her research on the climate change adaptation… Read more

Oakes_HollandOakes Holland

Oakes has completed her PhD project investigating the threat of marine invasive species reaching the Southern Ocean surrounding Antarctica in a warming world. She continues her work as postdoctoral researcher as part of the ARC Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science, Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF). 

Zach CarterDr Zachary Carter

Zach is a quantitative ecologist interested in safeguarding biodiversity from threatening processes. His research is focused on empowering conservation practitioners by giving them tools to make informed, effective management decisions.  


ilva_pic_prof-1Dr Ilva Sporne

Ilva is Deputy Program Manager of ARC Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future program at Queensland University of Technology and a manager of the Wilson Environmental Decisions Lab. Her primary research interest is directed towards understanding the role of institutions or established ‘rules of the game’ play in the achievement of environmental outcomes… Read more


PhD Students

emily massinghamEmily Massingham

Emily is a PhD student in the Wilson lab. Her primary research goal is to tackle great ape conservation by incorporating local knowledge, needs, rights and concerns.  During her PhD, she will examine whether conservation projects are more effective if local people are involved in a meaningful way. Read more

Emma_Church_7.06Emma Church

Emma is a PhD candidate at QUT. Her research explores how behavioural drivers and social contexts including social capital influence individuals to act for nature. Findings of this work will be relevant to industry and government practitioners working to increase participation in sustainability and conservation behaviours. Emma has worked with Office of the Queensland Chief Scientist (DES) reporting on the State of Science in Queensland. She has a breadth of experience working across renewable energy, integrated water management and biodiversity conservation. Emma enjoys working collaboratively with industry, government and community in multi-disciplinary teams and using applied research to tackle sustainability and conservation challenges.

Yolanda-Waters_headshotYolanda Waters

Yolanda’s research explores pathways to engagement with reef-related (particularly climate related) pro-environmental behaviours within the context of the Great Barrier Reef.  Yolanda is particularly interested in in the effects of educational and social experiences both above and below the water.


JB1Joanna Burrows

Joanna Burrows (née Horsfall) is a PhD candidate at QUT, supervised by Professor Kerrie Wilson and Professor Michael Bode. Jo is interested in environmental policy, impact evaluation, and conservation decision-making. Her PhD research examines the role and performance of Antarctica’s protected areas. Formerly a high school teacher, Jo has a diverse professional background – most recently as a Senior Conservation Officer for the Queensland Government, where she developed and implemented policies and programs in areas such as biodiversity offsets, protected areas, and koala habitat protection. Jo holds a Bachelor of Science, Graduate Diploma of Education and Master of Conservation Science.

Erica_pictureErica Csekö Nolasco 

I am a PhD candidate looking into increasing the win-win outcomes of private land conservation. Using socio-ecological systems thinking, I aim to encourage pro-environmental behaviour that maximises benefits for human well-being and biodiversity. My background in Biology (Bsc) and Environmental Sciences (MSc) along with my interest in community involvement makes me believe that integrating people is the best way to solve the environmental crisis. Read more

Larissa_pic_croppedLarissa Lubiana Botelho 

Larissa is a Ph.D. candidate at QUT, and her main research area is modelling complex systems applied to ecology and environmental policy. In her Ph.D., supervised by Prof. Michael Bode, Dr Kate Helmstedt and Prof. Kerrie Wilson, she is undertaking her research as part of the ARC Special Research Initiative in Excellence in Antarctic Science, Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF). She is investigating how internal and external parameters of the Antarctic Treaty System (ATS) affect Antarctica’s governance… Read more

Masters Students

Xiang's photo for SAEFXiang Zhao

Xiang Zhao is a research student working on applying systematic conservation planning tools on management and development of Antarctica’s Protected Areas. He worked on a project protecting the giant panda’s habitats from degradation caused by free-ranging livestock in three IBAs (Wanglang, Xuebaoding, and Xiaohegou Nature Reserves) located in Southwest China … Read more