Principal Investigator

William F. Laurance

William F. Laurance

William Laurance is a Distinguished Research Professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, and holds an Australian Laureate Fellowship, one of Australia’s highest scientific awards. He also holds the Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation at Utrecht University, Netherlands. 

Laurance received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.  His research focuses on the impacts of intensive land-uses, such as habitat fragmentation, logging, hunting and wildfires, on tropical forests and their biodiversity.  He is also interested in protected areas, climatic change, the impacts of roads and other infrastructure on biodiversity, and conservation policy.  His research over the past 35 years spans the tropical world, including the Amazon, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.  To date he has published eight books and over 400 scientific and popular articles. 

A leading voice for conservation, Laurance believes that scientists must actively engage policy makers and the general public, as well as other scientists.  He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. 


post-doctoral researchers


dr sean sloan

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Sean joined the Laurance Lab in 2011 having completed his Ph.D in Geography from the University of Melbourne and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Australia. His thesis elaborated that poor tropical nations may experience forest regeneration due to socio-agrarian trends suggestive of 'development'. He also developed and validated future deforestation projections due to socio-agrarian change, to inform national implementation of REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). 

dr mason campbell


Mason joined the Laurance Lab as a Post-doc after completing his PhD in 2016. He has worked for an environmental consultancy as a botanist and environmental scientist examining flora in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea, the tropical savannahs of Cape York Peninsula and Far North Qld. He has also worked for the Australian Tropical Herbarium in Cairns, and C.N.R.S. in the French Alps and the C.S.I.R.O. studying the temperate grasslands of NSW, VIC and ACT. 

Dr mohammed alamgir

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Mohammed is a spatial ecological and climate change modeler who uses spatial modeling to assess the impacts of land-use and climatic changes on natural ecosystems and biodiversity.  His prior research includes habitat modeling of endangered wildlife species in Bangladesh; climate change impacts and adaptation in Nepal; the distribution and spatial congruence between biodiversity and ecosystem services in Australia; and how carbon storage could be maximized along with biodiversity conservation in Australian forests. Mohammed has authored more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and many scholarly book chapters and magazine articles.


DR mahmoud ibrahim mahmoud

Mahmoud Ibrahim Mahmoud, a leading Nigerian researcher, holds a PhD degree in Climate Change and Land Use from KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana and is currently a postdoctoral fellow with the Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science at James Cook University in Australia.  He obtained his MSc in Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation from ITC, University of Twente, The Netherlands, and has a background in Geography and Remote Sensing Applications from the Federal University of Technology in Minna, Nigeria.  An environmental scientist and spatial modeler, he also works as an Environmental Scientist with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency in Abuja, Nigeria, to reduce and manage the environmental and social impacts of oil spills.  Mahmoud has used his in-depth knowledge of geospatial information science to create Environmental Sensitivity Index maps, underground storage tank-farm databases, and mapping of oil spill records.  His current research focuses on assessing the impacts of infrastructure expansion on the tropical forests and wildlife of Equatorial Africa.

professional & technical 


jaime huther

Jaime completed a B.Sc in Zoology, Ecology and Conservation at James Cook University in 2015, and has since joined the Laurance Lab as Bill's PA and Research Project Coordinator. She manages the project logistics including travel and field work, coordinates volunteers, and provides administrative and technical support to the Academic team. Previously, Jaime has worked as a Research Assistant on the Daintree Drought Experiment, led by Bill's wife Susan Laurance, and conducted vegetation monitoring in Cape Tribulation for the TERN Australian Supersite Network. She also provides logistic and administrative support to the Centre for Tropical Environmental & Sustainability Science (TESS) as well as maintaining social media and website platforms for TESS, ALERT Conservation, Laurance Lab and Global Roadmap.