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Finding new ways to stave off koalas’ demise

NERP Koalas imageScientists are using genetics to save endangered koala populations from the perils of urbanisation.
Our researchers, Dr Jonathan Rhodes from the University of Queensland, has analysed genetic patterns in Queensland koalas and found how striking the right balance between tree cover and roads can help save animals threatened by urban growth. "Koala numbers have dropped massively over the past 15 years in southeast Queensland, and further urbanisation will affect them even more," says Dr Rhodes. "We need smarter and more cost-effective ways to keep our koalas while our cities continue to grow."


Biodiversity underpins the cultural and economic prosperity of Australia. The NERP Environmental Decision hub was funded through the Australian Governments National Environmental Research Program (NERP), for four years from 2011 to 2014.  We will carry out multidisciplinary, applied research in decision science for biodiversity conservation.

The research will result in new tools, data, models and authoritative syntheses that enable Australian governments to make evidence-based decisions that protect biodiversity. Our research program is structured around delivering outcomes on each of the five NERP research priorities: values, ecosystems, threats, sustainable use and markets.”

Our major research themes are :

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