Institute for Future

Managing for resilient landscapes


Our research tackles the grand economic, social and environmental challenges facing the world this century. Through this research theme, we are addressing real-world challenges in the environmental sector.

Real-world trends

Landscapes and ecosystems around the world are under enormous pressure from the growing human population, natural habitat loss, shifting climate zones, changing land-use priorities and increasing multinational competition for resources.

Our livelihoods and wellbeing depend on the natural environment’s productivity and health, which are based on the quality of the soil, water and air, and the delivery of high quality ecosystem services.

Grand challenges

The grand challenges the world must address in the environmental sector are:

  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change
  • sustainably producing 50% more food and fibre by 2030
  • maintaining the health of landscapes and ecosystems around the world and reducing the pressure on finite natural resources.

Our research strategy


Landscapes must be resilient and adaptable to retain their structure and functions while absorbing ongoing pressures and disturbances. Our research is designed to drive these changes in the real world:

  • improved resilience and condition of natural and managed ecosystems
  • increased resource use efficiency, productivity and profitability
  • increased ecosystem goods and services.


To drive change in this area we are studying how our urban, agricultural and natural landscapes function and how best to manage them. We are investigating how to:

  • develop management solutions at a variety of spatial and temporal scales, from fields to catchments, from days to decades
  • use state-of-the-art environmental monitoring, simulation and analytical technologies and techniques to develop new management practices
  • provide cost-effective sustainable development solutions for land managers to increase the productivity and diversity of our ecosystems
  • maintain the quality of the air, soil and water, and different ecosystems.

Research centres and facilities

Some of our research is done through:

We use several specialist research facilities, including:

Research programs and tools


We draw on the broad expertise of QUT's six faculties, assembling teams of researchers from different disciplines to work on large-scale projects relating to our natural, built and virtual environments.

Theme leader

Domain leader

Leadership team

Science and Engineering Faculty


Sustainable agroecosystems

Our researchers study how greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural soils are influenced by soil conditions, farm management practices and the climate. From 2012 to 2015, we coordinated the National Agricultural Nitrous Oxide Research Program (NANORP), a national research network to develop strategies and practices for reducing nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural soils while maintaining crop and pasture productivity. This program delivered a data depository for growers, researchers and policy makers called the N2O Network that aggregates N2O (and other non-CO2 gases).

Partnership enquiries

Contact our leadership team about research partnership opportunities.