Research to understand and improve biological environments

Our research brings together a team of highly motivated and dedicated researchers committed to advancing the knowledge of patterns, causes and measurement of changes in ecosystems.

Through the convenor, our members seek to better understand our biological environment and improve its management to ensure that human health and wellbeing is maintained in the future.

Research themes

    • Polar ecology and cycling of pollutants
    • Emerging infectious diseases and environmental change
    • Social and environmental justice
    • Biodiversity conservation and restoration in the Anthropocene
    • Response and adaptation to climate change
    • Sustainable use of wild populations and natural environments
    • Environmental toxicology and pollution
    • Urban and peri-urban ecology


Professor Hamish McCallum

Areas of expertise:

  • Disease ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Quantitative population dynamics


This research team studies the dynamics of diseases such as Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease, avian malaria, chytridiomycosis and Hendra virus in wildlife populations.

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This program addresses the transport mechanisms of persistent organic pollutants to polar regions, the behaviour of these chemicals once incorporated into high latitude environments, and the impacts on polar biota and ecosystems.

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The Contaminant Biogeochemistry Research Lab develops and implements advanced sampling and analysis techniques to study the behaviour of metals and metalloids in waters, sediments and soils. We apply an innovative, multidisciplinary approach to unravel the complex biogeochemical processes that underpin the movement of contaminants in the natural environment.

Current research

  • Program for Planned Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research (PPBio)
  • Studies of biodiversity decline
  • DNA bar coding of life on Earth
  • Current distribution and function of biodiversity
  • Ecological processes that underlie resilience and recovery
  • Ecology of wildlife disease
  • The mixes of land-users within a landscape that can both sustain desired elements of biodiversity and support production and human occupancy
  • Modelling impacts on individual species, communities and ecosystems
  • Conservation and management of threatened species
  • Long-term ecological research and monitoring

Get in touch

Contact the Environmental Futures Research Institute