Hugh Phillip Possingham, FAA (born 21 July 1962, in Adelaide, Australia), is an ARC Laureate Fellow  in the Department of Mathematics, and the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland. He is best known for his work in Conservation Biology, and is currently Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, and the National Environmental Research Hub for Environmental Decisions.
Possingham received his Bachelor's degree with Honours in 1984, from the department of Applied Mathematics at the University of Adelaide. He completed his D.Phil. at Oxford University under Michael Bulmer in 1987, on a Rhodes Scholarship. His thesis focused on optimal foraging theory.
Possingham's first postdoctoral project was with Joan Roughgarden at Stanford University, working on the recruitment dynamics of intertidal communities. He then returned to Australia on a QEII Fellowship at the Australian National University, and undertook research on applications of population viability analysis to conservation biology. He moved to the University of Adelaide, first as a lecturer, then in 1995 as a Professor.
In 2000 Possingham moved to a chair in the departments of Mathematics and Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland in Brisbane. In 2001 he became the director of The Ecology Centre, where he has remained since as both an ARC Professorial Fellow and an ARC Federation Fellow. He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2005
During his academic career, Possingham has published over 400 peer-reviewed papers, and supervised 35 doctoral students. He co-developed the Marxan software for systematic conservation planning, which is considered "the most significant contribution to conservation biology to emerge from Australia's research community". It has been used to plan terrestrial and marine protected area networks for 5% of the Earth's surface, including Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
He has won the Australian Mathematical Society Medal, the inaugural Fenner medal for plant and animal biology from the Australian Academy of Sciences, and the 1999 and 2009 Eureka Prizes for Environmental Research.
Possingham is a member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists, chaired the Australian Government's committees on Biodiversity Hotspots, and on Biological Diversity, the Queensland Government's Smart State Council, and the Wilderness Society's Wild Country Science Council
Possingham co-authored "The Brigalow Declaration" with Dr Barry Traill, used by Queensland Premier Beattie to support an end to land-clearing in Queensland. Land clearance in Queensland was removing 500,000 hectares of native vegetation each year, and was responsible for 10% of Australia's greenhouse gas emissions; its cessation enabled Australia to meet its Kyoto Protocol target. In 2009 he proposed devoting a proportionate fraction of gambling revenues to saving an endangered species, to be selected by a random drawing shown on television before the Melbourne Cup.
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- Fernandes et al. (2005) Establishing representative no-take areas in the Great Barrier Reef: large-scale implementation of theory on marine protected areas, Conservation Biology, 19(6), 1733–1744.
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- Crikey, Australia's Kyoto Target is a Croc
- Game, E.T. "An Endangered Species…Lottery?", The Nature Conservancy blog, 1 December 2009.
- Biodiversity – turning up the heat on hotspots. Possingham, H. P. and K. A. Wilson, Nature (2005) 436:919-920.
- Recruitment dynamics in complex life cycles. Roughgarden, J., Gaines, S.D. and Possingham, H.P., Science (1988) 241:1460-1466.
- The distribution and abundance of resources encountered by a forager. Possingham HP. The American Naturalist (1989) 133:42-60.
- Spatial population dynamics of a marine organism with a complex life cycle. Possingham HP & Roughgarden J. Ecology 71:973-985.
- Limits to the use of threatened species lists. Possingham HP. et al. (2002) Trends in Ecology and Evolution 17:503-507.
- Prioritising global conservation efforts. Wilson KA, McBride M, Bode M & Possingham HP. Nature (2006) 440:337-340.