Researcher biography

Professor Kerrie Wilson is the Executive Director of the Institute for Future Environments at Queensland University of Technology (QUT).  Before joining QUT in January 2019, Kerrie was the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions and an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland. She is also an Affiliated Professor in Conservation Science at The University of Copenhagen and the Australian Natural Sciences Commissioner for UNESCO, and has previously held leadership positions with NGOs, including Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy Australia.

Kerrie has two decades of experience leading and conducting research into the science, strategy and policy of conservation. She is particularly interested in applied resource allocation problems, such as how to invest limited resources to protect or restore biodiversity and what sociopolitical and institutional factors influence investment success in conservation.

Kerrie’s research has been published in high impact journals such as Nature and Science and involves collaborations with government agencies and NGOs at local, national and global levels. Kerrie has received numerous national awards, including the Prime Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the Year, the Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science, two ARC Research Fellowships and an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher.

Kerrie holds a Bachelor in Environmental Science (First Class Honours, awarded in 1999) from UQ and a PhD from The University of Melbourne (2004), undertaken in collaboration with the UN Environment Programme’s World Conservation Monitoring Centre, based in Cambridge.

Research Interests

  • Conservation
  • Biodiversity
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Restoration

Research Impacts

Dr Wilson was the UQ node leader of the National Environmental Research Program Environmental Decisions hub and is a Key Personnel with the National Environmental Science Program Threatened Species Research hub. These hubs undertake research on terrestrial biodiversity in a wide range of environments to assist government agencies to protect and restore Australia' biodiversity. The research includes new tools, data, models and authoritative syntheses that enable Australian governments to make evidence-based decisions to halt, then reverse, the decline in biodiversity.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Hons), The University of Queensland