Mathematically optimising value of information for biodiversity management

Study level


Master of Philosophy


Vacation research experience scheme

Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Kate Helmstedt
Research Fellow (DECRA)
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


When planning environmental management, data are only valuable if they lead to improved outcomes. As new monitoring technologies and approaches are developed, it is critical that they are used optimally to focus on the most important information gaps. Monitoring technologies should only be adopted if they can deliver improved management utility, and new data should be rapidly gathered in locations where early information could offer warning signals of future ecosystem change. Mathematical and statistical approaches to assessing the value of new information must be developed and be ready to implement when new data streams become available.

Research activities

Develop integrated methods to analyse value-of-information, essential variable theory, and returns-on-investment to enable the design and development of efficient monitoring technologies and systems to form part of a 'data to decisions' pipeline.


The explicit aims of the project will depend on the level and background of the student. This project forms part of larger research projects focused on the Great Barrier Reef and Antarctica with other government and university collaborators and stakeholders, and could be used as a launching pad for further research with these groups.

Skills and experience

  • Advanced quantitative skills, or a demonstrated interest in developing them
  • Programming skills (any language), or a demonstrated interest in developing them
  • Mathematics students with backgrounds in Statistics, Operations Research, Applied & Comp Maths, Decision Science are particularly encouraged, as are students with a background in economics or computer science. However, this is not completely necessary.
  • Good interpersonal and written communication skills are necessary, as well as a willingness to meet with and collaborate with scientists outside of maths


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.