Kerrie Wilson is Professor and Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments at the Queensland University of Technology. She is also an Affiliated Professor in Conservation Science at The University of Copenhagen, Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland and the Australian Natural Sciences Commissioner for UNESCO.
Kerrie Wilson holds a degree in Environmental Science (1999) from the University of Queensland. After completing her PhD in Conservation Biology at The University of Melbourne in collaboration with the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge, Kerrie undertook post-doctoral research at The Ecology Centre before accepting the role of Director of Conservation with The Nature Conservancy Australia program. Kerrie returned to academia in 2008 after being awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship at The University of Queensland. She taught in Conservation Biology and Climate Change courses. In September 2016 Kerrie was appointed as the Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.
Kerrie has a particular interest in applied conservation resource allocation problems, such as where to invest limited resources to protect or restore biodiversity. Her research requires an understanding of both the ecological and socio-economic context and has led to the development of frameworks and decision support tools to inform how funds should be allocated between different activities to maximise conservation outcomes. Her research program also focuses on the analysis of uncertainty (with a particular focus on institutional and socio-political factors that influence investment success), landscape dynamics (e.g. the evaluation of land use scenarios and threatening processes), and quantifying the conservation benefits of investments (for both biodiversity and ecosystem services).
Her research has been published in journals such as Nature, Science, PLOS Biology, Nature Climate Change, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It has resulted in a seminal review for the New York Academy of Sciences and a co-edited book published by Oxford University Press. She has received numerous national awards, including two Australian Research Council Research Fellowships, an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher, the Prime Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, the Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science.