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Optimal guerilla conservation

Guerilla conservation is the use of illegal activities to positively or negatively alter a region’s biodiversity. Famous examples include the “direct action” activities of Sea Shepherd (e.g., damaging whaling vessels), or the practice of “tree spiking” that was common in the forest wars in the temperate rainforests of Tasmania and the Pacific Northwest in the USA.In recent years, guerilla conservation actors have attempted to achieve their aims by releasing new species into ecosystems. Examples include the release of foxes into …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

Looking for koalas with drones: project 1

Koalas are an iconic and economically important species for Australia. Threats to koalas have reduced numbers drastically over the past 20 years, and while these threats continue, koala numbers will continue to decline in Queensland and NSW. In this project, you will explore issues related to the better detection of koalas using advanced technologies such as drones.

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences

Conservation of ecological microcosms

Ecosystem models are important elements of conservation science – we want to save species, and those species interact with other species.Ecosystem models therefore need to be complex, if they are to incorporate the full suite of species and interactions that make ecology so interesting and ecological management so difficult.Unfortunately, our ecosystem models have been failing a lot recently. We have trouble predicting the outcomes of our management interventions. Worse, we don't know why they're not working.Ecological microcosms offer a way …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

Optimising portfolios of management for the Great Barrier Reef

This project will involve adapting Modern Portfolio Theory to develop optimal management approaches to sustain the Great Barrier Reef. Modern Portfolio Theory is an integer programming approach that allocates resources in risky scenarios where investment options are correlated. It can accommodate significant and unavoidable uncertainties, stochasticity, and correlations between options. A diversified portfolio is less volatile than the sum of its parts, and therefore in order to ensure environmental benefits in the future we should invest in a diversity of …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
Science and Engineering Faculty

The perverse risks of strong enforcement

Environmental groups often argue that governments should have strong regulatory powers. That is, they should be allowed to:close down fisheries (e.g., the international whale fishery)ban the export of exploited organisms (e.g., the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, CITES)make environmentally destructive actions illegal (e.g., land clearing). However, if the economic actors who are exposed to these changes – the fishers, hunters, farmers – are aware that changes are imminent, they might take strategic, preventative steps to avoid the associated …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

Control and collaboration in the boardroom: an observational investigation

This project aims to explore board-level attributes that favor board monitoring and resource provisioning tasks. While theoretical works (Hillman & Dalziel 2003) identify separate individual directors' attributes as predictors of monitoring (e.g. independence) or resource provisioning (e.g. background knowledge and connections), empirical evidence shows a high overlap between the two tasks (e.g. Minichilli et al 2012; Pugliese et al 2014). This counter-intuitive phenomenon is known as the 'paradox of control and collaboration' within boards (Sundaramurthy & Lewis 2003).Research activitiesThe project …

Study level
Master of Philosophy
Faculty
QUT Business School
Lead unit
School of Accountancy

Towards Design of Chatbots or Conversational Agents for Service Support

Service providers are increasingly exploring the use of conversational agent (CA) or dialog-based system to support end customers, as a CA promises natural method for users to interact and a convenient channel for customer service.Commercial CAs excel in addressing narrow domain-specific tasks that entail a limited number of user interactions such as searching for restaurants, providing location directions, or scheduling meetings.Designing a CA that can support customers with queries on services of a large service system, such as a banking …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Information Systems

Optimal management of revolving funds in biodiversity conservation

In Australia, private biodiversity conservation organisations use revolving-fund programs to achieve conservation goals. Using a fixed amount of capital, land is purchased, protected via conservation covenants, and then re-sold for a profit. The revolving-fund managers then move on to a new property.To achieve long-term success, revolving-fund managers need to ensure that the properties they purchase:contain important biodiversity valuescan be resold at close to or greater than the purchase price (adjusted for inflation), andcan be resold in an appropriately short amount …

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

Corporate board gender diversity and accounting conservatism

Female representation on boards has grown worldwide. There is a stream of study that investigates the relationship between board composition and financial reporting quality. However, there is little evidence on whether corporate board gender diversity is associated with one of the most important financial reporting quality metrics-accounting conservatism.The objective of this proposed study is to investigate the relation between corporate board gender diversity and accounting conservatism in the Australian context.If you are interested in researching this topic as part of …

Study level
Master of Philosophy
Faculty
QUT Business School
Lead unit
School of Accountancy

How many species have been saved by national parks?

National parks are the cornerstone of modern conservation efforts. They now cover more than 10% of the Earth’s land surface, and are found on every continent (and sea) on the planet.We can prove that these national parks stop human destruction of habitat, and we can prove that they benefit the lives and livelihoods of people who visit and surround them. However, we cannot yet prove that they have stopped the extinction of a single species. This is not because we …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mathematical Sciences

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