Courtney Morgans

Courtney_MorgansCourtney was a PhD candidate with the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at the University of Queensland.

After completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of New South Wales she began studying a Masters of Philosophy at the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre under the supervision of Dr Terry Ord, Dr Georgina Cooke and Professor Rob Brooks. Her research investigated the influence of natural selection, sexual selection and gene flow in shaping the phenotypic expression of an unusual land dwelling fish, the Pacific leaping blenny.

During this time Courtney became involved in the NGO sector. Her roles included research, project implementation and project development with organisations such as Oxfam Australia, Taronga Conservation Society, Reef Check Australia, Global Vision International and Sydney Wildlife. This work gave Courtney first hand experience with the complexities surrounding conservation planning and implementation and lead her pursue a deeper understanding of how multiple objectives for resource management can be balanced and how methodical evaluation can improve returns from conservation efforts.

Courtney’s research focused on evaluating the effectiveness of conservation strategies, using the Bornean Orangutan as a case study. Her research investigated how interactions between multiple stakeholders influence decision-making and program success. In addition, she was interested in understanding the impacts conservation efforts have had on protecting the endangered ape to date, and aims to provide recommendations for improved outcomes.

Courtney was supervised by Professors Kerrie Wilson, Kelly Fielding and Erik Meijaard. Her research was undertaken in collaboration with the Borneo futures initiative and was supported by an Australian Post-graduate Award and CEED top up scholarship.

Position: PhD Candidate February 2014 – 2018

Qualifications: Mphil University of New South Wales 2013

Current Location: UQ Brisbane

Contact details:

Researcher ID:

Themes and Projects

Conservation decision making in social-ecological systems theme

Borneo project


Morgans C.L. Guerrero A., Ancrenaz M., Meijaard E. and Wilson K. (2017) Not more, but strategic collaboration needed to save Borneo’s Orangutan. Global ecology and conservation. 11, pp 236 – 246

Young J.C., Rose D.C., Mumby H.S., Benitez-Capistros F., Derrick C. J., Finch T., Garcia C., Home C., Marwaha E., Morgans C.L., Parkinson S., Shah J., Wilson K., Mukherjee, N. (2017) A methodological guide to using interviews in conservation science research. Methods in Ecology and Evolution (in press)

Meijaard E., Morgans C.L., Husnayaen, Abram N.K., Ancrenaz, M. (2017) An impact Analysis of RSPO certification on Borneo forest cover and orangutan populations. Technical report. Available at

Morgans C.L. & Ord T.J. (2013) Natural selection in novel environments: predation selects for background matching in the body colour of a land fish. Animal Behaviour 86: 1241- 1249

Morgans C.L., Cooke GM & Ord TJ (2014) How populations differentiate despite gene flow: Sexual and natural selection drive phenotypic divergence within a land fish, the Pacific leaping blenny. BMC Evolutionary Biology 14: 97