Professor Richard Hobbs

Started at UWA: 2009

Internationally recognised ecologist

Professor Richard J Hobbs FAA is a UWA professor, IAS Distinguished Fellow and an internationally renowned ecologist. The Australian Academy of Science Fellow also was awarded an ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship for his research into ‘Intervention ecology: managing ecosystems in the 21st century’.

Professor Hobbs is a highly-cited author who has written extensively on:

  • vegetation dynamics and management
  • ecosystem fragmentation
  • ecosystem rehabilitation and restoration
  • landscape ecology
  • conservation biology.

Currently, his research focuses on managing and restoring ecosystems in a rapidly changing world – and there’s no place more ideal to do that than Western Australia.

Over his career, he has worked with the CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology in Western Australia and worked on the dynamics of fragmented ecosystems in the Wheatbelt, becoming the Officer in Charge of the Western Australian laboratory in 1997. In 2000 Professor Hobbs took up a Chair in Environmental Science at Murdoch University and was awarded an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in 2006.

Western Australia, and the Southwest in particular, is one of five of the most diverse parts of the planet so as an ecologist it's a fascinating place to be. We’re still learning so much about the plants and animals here, still discovering new ones, so it’s a biological frontier.Professor Richard Hobbs


Career highlights
  • First-class honours in Ecological Science, Edinburgh University, 1976
  • Master’s degree with a Fulbright Scholarship at the University of California (Santa Barbara)
  • PhD at University of Aberdeen, 1982
  • First postdoctoral research position at Stanford University
  • CSIRO Division of Wildlife and Ecology in Western Australia, 1984, became Officer in Charge of the WA laboratory in 1997
  • Chair in Environmental Science at Murdoch University
Notable achievements
  • Australian Academy of Science Fellow
  • Institute of Advanced Studies Distinguished Fellow
  • Awarded ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in 2006
  • ISI Highly Cited Researcher in Ecology and Environment
  • Honorary Member, Ecological Society of America 2016
  • 2011 Western Australian Scientist of the Year
  • Australian Laureate Fellowship by the Australian Research Council
  • Distinguished Scholarship Award, 1999, International Association for Landscape Ecology
  • Ecological Society of Australia, 2010 Gold Medal Recipient
  • Author of 20 books, 272 refereed journal papers and 140 edited book chapters
PhD supervision


  • P. Yeeles, PhD, UWA (with R. Didham, L. Lach) “Mechanistic pathways of diversity-function relationships in Australian ants”
  • S. Kilbane, PhD, UWA (with R. Weller) “Green infrastructure: Planning a national green network for Australia”
  • S. Thorn, MSc, UWA (with L. Valentine) “The road to nowhere: assessing the effectiveness of biodiversity offsets in the Roe 8 Highway Extension”
  • K. Ryan, MSc, UWA (with L. Valentine) “Bandicoots as fire-break makers? Does foraging by the southern brown bandicoot reduce surface fuel layers in urban bushland?”


  • K. Raiter, PhD, UWA (with L. Valentine, S. Prober) “Enigmatic impacts of mining and linear infrastructure development in Australia's Great Western Woodlands”
  • B. Johnson, PhD, UWA (with R. Standish, L. Lach) “Plant-pollinator networks in a restoration planting, and the effects of non-native plants and nitrogen fertilisation”
  • J. May, MSc, UWA (with L. Valentine) “What happens after assessment? A review of effectiveness of environmental offsets in Western Australia”
  • M. Wysong PhD, UWA (with L. Valenine, N. Burrows, E. Ritchie) “Predator ecology in the arid rangelands of Western Australia: Spatial interactions and resource competition between an apex predator, the dingo Canis dingo, and an introduced mesopredator, the feral cat Felis catus”
  • J. Garibello, PhD, UWA (with P. Poot, E. Veneklaas) “Interactions of native seedlings with non-native plants for restoration in degraded ecosystems with Mediterranean climate”
  • C. Wainwright, PhD, UQ (with M. Mayfield, J. Dwyer, UQ) “Species interactions and the formation of novel annual plant communities following rapid environmental change”



University of Queensland, ex ARC Discovery Projects

  • 'Global extent of degraded farm lands and their conservation potential'
  • Dr Eve McDonald-Madden, Professor David Pannell, Professor Richard Hobbs, Dr Edward Game
ARC Linkage Projects, Hanson Construction Materials Pty Ltd, Bentonite Products WA Pty Ltd., WA Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority (Kings Park)
  • 'Innovative seed technologies for restoration in a biodiversity hotspot'
  • Professor Richard Hobbs, Dr Todd Erickson, Dr Jason Stevens, Associate Professor Matthew Madsen, Dr Michael Forster, Mr Vernon Newton, Mr Anthony Pekin, Mr Alan Savage
More grants

Contact Professor Richard Hobbs

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Room G33, Botany and Biology Building, Perth campus