My research concerns the challenges involved in conserving biodiversity. I am interested in understanding how areas can be managed to achieve conservation objectives for minimal cost. In particular, I specialize in operationalizing ecological and evolutionary processes to develop plans for protected area systems that maximize the long-term persistence of biodiversity. I explored this topic in my PhD thesis, entitled “Conserving evolutionary processes”, and you can learn more about it by watching a recording of my exit seminar below.
Hanson JO, Fuller RA, & Rhodes JR (2018) Conventional methods for enhancing connectivity in conservation planning do not always maintain gene flow. Journal of Applied Ecology, In press: https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13315.
Hanson JO, Rhodes JR, Riginos C, & Fuller RA (2017) Environmental and geographic variables are effective surrogates for genetic variation in conservation planning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114: 12755–12760.
Mather AT, Hanson JO, Pope LC & Riginos C (2017) Comparative phylogeography of two co-distributed but ecologically distinct rainbowfishes of far-northern Australia. Journal of Biogeography, 45: 127–141.
Dhanjal-Adams KL, Hanson JO, Murray NJ, Phinn SR, Wingate VR, Mustin K, Lee JR, Allan JR, Cappadonna JL, Studds CE, Clemens RS, Roelfsema CM & Fuller RA (2016) The distribution and protection of intertidal habitats in Australia. Emu, 116: 208–214
Dudaniec RY, Worthington Wilmer J, Hanson JO, Warren M, Bell S & Rhodes JR (2016) Dealing with uncertainty in landscape genetic resistance models: a case of three co-occurring marsupials. Molecular Ecology, 25: 470-486.
Hanson J. O., Salisbury SW, Campbell HA, Dwyer RG, Jardine TD & Franklin CE (2015) Feeding across the food web: The interaction between diet, movement and body size in estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus). Austral Ecology, 40: 275-286.
Bunton JD, Ernst AT, Hanson JO, Beyer HL, Hammill E, Runge CA, Venter O, Possingham HP & Rhodes JR (2015) Integrated planning of linear infrastructure and conservation offsets. In Weber, T., McPhee, M. J., & Andersson R. S. (eds) MODSIM 2015, 21st International Congress on Modelling and Simulation. Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand, December 2015, pp. 1427-1433.
Rabeb D, Othman DS, Essilfie AT, Hansbro PM, Hanson JO, McEwan AG & Kappler U (2015) Maturation of molybdoenzymes and its influence on the pathogenesis of non-typeable Haemophilus influenzae. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6: 01219.
The prioritizr R package uses integer linear programming (ILP) techniques to provide a flexible interface for building and solving conservation planning problems. It supports a broad range of objectives, constraints, and penalties that can be used to custom-tailor conservation planning problems to the specific needs of a conservation planning exercise. Once built, conservation planning problems can be solved using a variety of commercial and open-source exact algorithm solvers. In contrast to the algorithms conventionally used to solve conservation problems, such as heuristics or simulated annealing, the exact algorithms used here are guaranteed to find optimal solutions. Furthermore, conservation problems can be constructed to optimize the spatial allocation of different management actions or zones, meaning that conservation practitioners can identify solutions that benefit multiple stakeholders. Finally, this package has the functionality to read input data formatted for the Marxan conservation planning program, and find much cheaper solutions in a much shorter period of time than Marxan. Download the official version from CRAN, or the developmental version from GitHub. You can learn more about it by watching my talk at User! 2018 below.
Biodiversity is in crisis. The overarching aim of conservation is to preserve biodiversity patterns and processes. To this end, protected areas are established to buffer species and preserve biodiversity processes. But resources are limited and so protected areas must be cost-effective. This R package contains tools to generate plans for protected areas (prioritizations), using spatially explicit targets for biodiversity patterns and processes. To obtain solutions in a feasible amount of time, this package uses the commercial ‘Gurobi’ software package. Download the official version from CRAN, or the developmental version from GitHub.
I developed software for the Field Ecology course (BIOL2015). During the course students would visit Fraser Island and collect data using applications on smart phones. I wrote a data formatting tool to streamline the process of harvesting and validating data collected using the smart phones. This program also prepared the data for statistical analysis. Additionally, I wrote a data visualization tool to help students explore trends in the data that they collected. I have contributed to the further development of these tools on-and-off over the last few years.
I was primarily responsible for producing tidal flat maps for the East-Australasian Flyway. To achieve this, I compiled databases of LANDSAT satellite images and processed spatial data. Additionally, I helped compile a global database of protected areas using data from the World Database on Protected Areas and additional sources. This work contributed to the publication by Dhanjal-Adams et al. 2016.
My primary role was data preparation and analysis. I assisted with preparing genetic and spatial data for landscape genetics analysis. I generated connectivity models for Sugar Gliders, Squirrel Gliders, and the Yellow Footed Antechinus using landscape and genetic data. Additionally, I developed a decision support tool to help understand the impacts of development on the connectivity of these species in South East Queensland, Australia. This work contributed to the publication by Dudaneic et al. 2016.
I have tutored in the following workshops.
- “Use of Machine Learning in Conservation, Moving beyond just Maxent and SDMs” coordinated by Falk Huettmann at the 28th International Congress of Conservation Biology, Cartagena, Colombia.
- “Geospatial Analysis in R” coordinated by Hawthorne Beyer, Rebbecca Runting and Jutta Beher at the Student Conference of Conservation Science, Australia.
- “Smoothing the Marxan Flow with R” coordinated by Matthew Watts at the Student Conference of Conservation Science, Australia.
- “Introduction to Geospatial Analysis” coordinated by Hawthorne Beyer at The University of Queensland, Australia.
- “Introduction to Spatial Data Analysis in R” workshop coordinated by Hawthorne Beyer at The University of Queensland, Australia.
- “Introducing R” coordinated by Simon Blomberg at The University of Queensland, Australia.
I completed my PhD at the School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland. During this time, I developed new methods for explicitly incorporating evolutionary processes into conservation planning, examined potential surrogates for guiding reserve selection when genetic data are not available, and examined how well the global protected area system may be representing the habitats that promote adaptation in nearly 20 thousand vertebrate species. My supervisors were Richard Fuller and Jonathan Rhodes.
My honors thesis was titled “Using stable isotopes to assess the relationship between body-size, habitat use and diet in estuarine crocodiles (Crocodylus porosus)”. This work contributed to the publication by Hanson et al. (2015).
I completed my Bachelor of Science at The University of Queensland with a major in Ecology.
- Microsoft Access
- Install and manage UNIX servers
- occupancy-detection models
- R base graphics
Spatial Analytical skills
Decision support tools
- Microsoft Word
- Ubuntu (14.04)