Jessie_WellsI am a post-doctoral researcher working on ecosystem services and landscape planning in Borneo, as part of the Borneo Futures Project in collaboration with other scientists and NGOs. Concurrently, I am working on watershed ecosystem services in Tanzania and Laos, with James Watson and Joseph Maina from ARC-CEED and the Wildlife Conservation Society; and on integrating watershed services into planning for forestry landscapes in Indonesia and Latin America with the SNAP working group on tropical forestry

This research focuses on understanding flows of ecosystem services (especially freshwater), local people’s perceptions and needs for these services, and on landscape planning for multiple objectives including biodiversity conservation, ecosystem services and equitable development.

Key collaborators include Dr. Kerrie WilsonProfessor Hugh Possingham , and Erik Meijaard

For more information, please visit our research theme and project pages:

Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity Conservation

Borneo projects

Previous research topics include the functional diversity of plant traits, seed dispersal, secondary rainforest regeneration, estimating biodiversity metrics for conservation planning, and development of statistical methods.

In 2012, I completed my PhD in rainforest ecology at the University of Queensland, studying seed dispersal and the functional diversity of rainforest regeneration after clearance.

When I’m not researching rainforests or ecosystem services, I volunteer for Oxfam Australia in the area of climate change advocacy, and help to co-ordinate volunteer initiatives in Queensland.

Status: Postdoctoral Researcher

ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions

Email: jessie.wells@uq.edu.au

Roads and intensive logging can cause severe erosion and high flows of sediment to rivers, especially in mountainous terrain – leading to loss of ecosystem services such as freshwater and flood regulation. Some roads form vital connections for local people, but most are built for logging and coal transport. Photo: UNEP GRID-Arendal
Roads and intensive logging can cause severe erosion and high flows of sediment to rivers, especially in mountainous terrain – leading to loss of ecosystem services such as freshwater and flood regulation. Some roads form vital connections for local people, but most are built for logging and coal transport. Photo: UNEP GRID-Arendal

Research Interests:

Quantifying and mapping ecosystem services

  • integrating models of ecosystem processes with studies of benefit flows to people
  • roles of forest ecosystems in climate mitigation and adaptation.

Decision-making for multiple objectives:  ecosystem services, biodiversity and development

  • systematic conservation planning in multi-functional landscapes and seascapes, incorporating objectives for biodiversity, ecosystem services and economic development, with equity in the distributions of costs and benefits across stakeholders.
  • processes for decision making, planning and monitoring that include local perspectives and knowledge, ranging from interview surveys through to participatory modelling and decision making.

Decision-making in the presence of risk and uncertainties

  • for example, uncertainties in current observations and future changes in climate.

Acting and Learning through time: active adaptive management of ecosystems

  • balancing the needs to act now, and to learn about the system to improve future actions.

Ecosystem functional diversity and responses to disturbance.

  • spatial and temporal dynamics of rainforest regeneration after disturbance, including changes in the representation of ecological traits and dispersal interactions.
  • the potential and limitations of natural regeneration and restoration plantings for conservation of rainforest species and functional diversity.

Publications

Wells, J.A, Meijaard, E., Abram, N.K., Wich, S.A. (2013) Forests, Floods, People and Wildlife on Borneo. United Nations Environment Program, Nairobi, Kenya. 54 pages. View online

Runting, R.K., E. Meijaard, N.K. Abram, J.A. Wells, D.G. Gaveau, M. Ancrenaz, H.P. Possingham, S.A. Wich, F. Ardiansyah, M.T. Gumal, L.N. Ambu, and K.A Wilson. (Accepted 03/03/02015) Alternative futures for Borneo show the value of integrating economic and conservation targets across borders. Nature Communications #NCOMMS-13-11526B

Abram, N. K., Meijaard, E., Wells, J. A., et al. (2015). Mapping perceptions of species’ threats and population trends to inform conservation efforts: the Bornean orangutan case study. Diversity and Distributions. Early View DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12286 View online

Pellier, A.-S., J. A. Wells, N. K. Abram, and E. Meijaard (2014). Borneo’s environmental present and future seen through children’s eyes. PLoS ONE View online
Media: Jakarta Globe, Mongabay, Reuters         Video and drawings – CIFOR

Mills, M., Nicol, S., Wells, J., Lahoz-Monfort, J., Wintle, B., Bode, M., Wardrop, M., Walshe, T., Probert, W., Runge, M., Possingham, H., McDonald-Madden, E. (2014). Minimizing the cost of keeping your options open. Conservation Biology 28 (3) 646-653 View online

Abram, N. K., E. Meijaard, M. Ancrenaz, R. K. Runting, J. A. Wells, D. L. A. Gaveau, A.-S. Pellier, and K. Mengersen. (2014). Spatially explicit perceptions of ecosystem services and land cover change in forested regions of Borneo. Ecosystem Services 7: 116-127 View online)

Full list of publications:

http://www.researcherid.com/rid/F-7318-2010