Marissa McBride

Marissa completed her undergraduate degree in mathematics and genetics at the University of Queensland, and did her honours year with Prof Hugh Possingham and Dr Kerrie Wilson looking at incorporating socioeconomic factors into global conservation priorities. Her research interests lie in (quantitative) conservation priority setting, and in decision trade-offs, from both a theoretical and psychological perspective.

Marissa became a PhD student in the Environmental Science Group at the University of Melbourne. Her thesis was looking at quantitative approaches to defining and incorporating expert knowledge into environmental management decisions. Her supervisors were Prof Mark Burgman, university of Melbourne and Dr Petra Kuhnert, CSIRO. Important and interesting questions that arise in the study of expert judgment included

  • What is a good expert?
  • How should a decision maker incorporate an expert’s opinion into his own?
  • How should conflicting expert opinions be resolved?
  • Is there an appropriate quantitative measure of the knowledge of a group of experts?

Marissa maintained an interest in spatial conservation planning, and has been involved in consultancy work with Dr Wilson looking at how to prioritise restoration activities at the Irvine Ranch Natural Landmark in Southern California.




Speirs-bridge, A., F. Fidler, M. F. McBride, L. Flander, G. Cumming, and M. Burgman. in press. Reducing overconfidence in the interval judgments of experts. Risk Analysis.

Bode, M., K. Wilson, M. McBride, and H. Possingham. 2008. Optimal dynamic allocation of conservation funding among priority regions. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 70:2039-2054.

Underwood, E. C., M. R. Shaw, K. A. Wilson, P. Kareiva, K. R. Klausmeyer, M. F. McBride, M. Bode, S. A. Morrison, J. M. Hoekstra, and H. P. Possingham. 2008. Protecting Biodiversity When Money Matters: Maximizing Return on Investment. PLoS One 3(1): e1515.

Wilson, K. A., E. C. Underwood, S. A. Morrison, K. R. Klausmeyer, W. W. Murdoch, B. Reyers, G. Wardell-Johnson, P. A. Marquet, P. W. Rundel, M. F. McBride, R. L. Pressey, M. Bode, J. M. Hoekstra, S. J. Andelman, M. Looker, C. Rondinini, P. Kareiva, M. R. Shaw, and H. P. Possingham. 2007. Maximising the Conservation of the World’s Biodiversity: What to do, Where and When. PLoS Biology. 5. e233

McBride, M. F., K. A. Wilson, M. Bode, and H. P. Possingham. 2007. Incorporating the effects of socioeconomic uncertainty into priority setting for conservation investment. Conservation Biology 21: 1463-1474.

Wilson, K. A., M. F. McBride, M. Bode, and H. P. Possingham. 2006. Prioritising global conservation efforts. Nature. 440:337-340.

Under review

Burgman, M. A., A. Carr, L. Godden, R. Gregory, M. F. McBride, and L. Maguire. Who is an expert? Defining expertise for environmental risk assessment

McBride, M. F., Burgman, M. A. How to be a better expert.

McBride, M. F., K. A. Wilson, J. Burger, Y. Fang,  M. Lulow, D. Olson, M. O’Connell3, and H. P. Possingham. Mathematical problem for definition for restoration planning

Wilson, K. A., M. Lulow, J. Burger, Y. Fang, C. Andersen, D. Olson, M. O’Connell, and M. F. McBride. Prioritising restoration on the Irvine Ranch.


Burgman, M., F. Fidler, M. McBride, T. Walshe, and B. Wintle. 2007. Eliciting expert judgments: literature review. Australian Center for Excellence in Risk Analysis

Research Links:

Australian Center of Excellence for Risk Analysis

Environmental Science Group, School of Botany

School of Psychological Science, La Trobe