Doctor of Philsophy (University of Queensland)
Dr Ayesha Tulloch is a conservation decision scientist with a background in ecology and a passion for building knowledge and tools to address the world’s most pressing challenges of recovering biodiversity whilst maintaining human well-being in human-modified landscapes. It is important to Ayesha that her research is applicable and accessible to the people and organisations that make conservation decisions, and she takes a transdisciplinary approach to her research, drawing on a range of field and analytical skills, collaborations and professional experience to address real questions that address the global biodiversity crisis we are currently facing.
Instead of being renowned for its unique wildlife, Australia is becoming known for its terrible conservation record. Hundreds of species and ecosystems are declining or already lost because of human activities. Because budgets to do conservation are limited, we need help choosing how, when and where to conduct management actions that can recover native ecosystems and species before they are lost. Ayesha's research tackles this challenge by building tools for allocating effort to biodiversity management, and designing ways to monitor ecosystem change so that we know whether conservation efforts are working. She has worked on many conservation problems, from the field to the lab to the computer, including recovering native mammals from the impacts of introduced cats and foxes, working with farmers and non-government conservation organisations to restore degraded land, and recovering ecosystems from the Australian megafires of 2019/2020.
Ayesha is building a team of researchers at QUT interested in developing resilient agri-food supply chain interventions that can benefit both biodiversity and people. Despite many efforts to monitor and manage declining species and ecosystems around the world, biodiversity is still not routinely included in mainstream decision-making and continues to decline at the highest rate in human history. Added to this is the problem that both natural and agri-food systems are changing all the time, with climate change likely to increase the impacts of extreme events like drought, fire and economic shocks. Ayesha's goal is to build approaches and tools that can help predict the effectiveness of different kinds of interventions in agri-food systems (e.g. farm sustainability initiatives, consumer marketing to change purchasing behaviours, taxes on “unsustainable” foods), and learn how we can best manage dynamic production and consumption systems to have the best outcomes for people and for nature. Please contact her if you are interested in working with her on this.
Ayesha is a strong supporter of diversity and inclusion and believes that everyone has their own unique path to follow and should be helped through that journey, wherever it takes them. She is a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community and chairs the Queensland Chapter of Queers in Science, a national initiative to support LGBTQIA+ people in STEMM.
Dr Tulloch has a large global research network, having led research projects in Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and Europe. Ayesha collaborates with diverse groups of scientists including ecologists, mathematicians, statisticians, computer scientists, agronomists, social scientists, dieticians, food and nutrition scientists and conservation psychologists.
Ayesha helps deliver effective policy and on-ground actions for sustainable land management and recovery of species and ecosystems. She works closely with both government agencies and non-government conservation organisations including Bush Heritage Australia, the Wildlife Conservation Society, BirdLife Australia, the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Trust and the Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group to answer questions related to how, when and where biodiversity conservation actions might be implemented in landscapes where people's livelihoods and well-being must be maintained.
Ayesha has leadership positions in a number of national and international working groups and projects aimed at delivering policy and biodiversity management advice to practitioners and parliamentarians, including being Vice President of Policy and Outreach for the Ecological Society of Australia since 2019. In 2021 Ayesha received the prestigious NSW Tall Poppy of the Year Award from the Australian Institute of Policy and Science for her achievements in science and public outreach, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales (RZSNSW).
Ayesha is particularly interested in research that has direct influence on policy and management. She is a co-creator of the national Threatened Species Index, which has more than 40 partners including all State and Territory governments, and provides an online interactive tool allowing people to interrogate how threatened plants, mammals and birds are faring anywhere in Australia.
- Tulloch, A., Oh, R. & Gallegos, D. (2022). Environmental and public health co-benefits of consumer switches to immunity-supporting food. Ambio, 51(7), 1658–1672. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/228585
- Tulloch, A., Miller, A. & Dean, A. (2021). Does scientific interest in the nature impacts of food align with consumer information-seeking behavior? Sustainability Science, 16(3), 1029–1043. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/232186
- Lloyd, T., Fuller, R., Oliver, J., Tulloch, A., Barnes, M. & Steven, R. (2020). Estimating the spatial coverage of citizen science for monitoring threatened species. Global Ecology and Conservation, 23. https://eprints.qut.edu.au/232187
- Pathways to Agri-Food Supply Chains That Co-Benefit People and Nature
- Primary fund type
- CAT 1 - Australian Competitive Grant
- Project ID
- Start year
- Social-ecological drivers and outcomes of conservation in private lands
PhD, Principal Supervisor
Other supervisors: Professor Kerrie Wilson, Dr Angela Guerrero Gonzalez
- Modelling and Optimising Food Systems Impacts on Biodiversity, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Enable Sustainable Development
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Associate Professor Kate Helmstedt
- Cross-Habitat Avian Spillover in Small Patches: An Ecoacoustic Analysis of Avian Diversity in Threatened Vegetation Communities
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Associate Professor Susan Fuller, Professor Paul Roe