Nature Conservancy’s Chief Scientist to Speak at Nicholas School on Oct. 13

September 29, 2017

Contact: Tim Lucas, 919/613-8084,

Hugh Possingham chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy story

DURHAM, N.C. – Hugh Possingham, chief scientist at The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental non-governmental organization, will present a free talk at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13.

His presentation will take place at Field Auditorium in Environment Hall, at 9 Circuit Drive on Duke’s West Campus.

In his talk, Possingham will discuss The Nature Conservancy’s approach to conservation and the central role played by science and technology in informing its priorities, programs and practices. 

He will also offer career advice to Nicholas School students who hope to work in the conservation field after they graduate. 

As The Nature Conservancy’s chief scientist, Possingham leads the work of more than 500 scientists worldwide and regularly advises policymakers, conservation groups, landowners, resource managers and other key stakeholders on environmental and conservation issues. 

His research team developed Marxan, the most widely used conservation planning software in the world, which was used to underpin the rezoning of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef  Marine Park and is also now being used in 183 other countries to develop marine and terrestrial landscape-use plans that protect vital habitats and species while maximizing sustainable development opportunities.

Many governments and NGOs use the group’s research to guide their allocation of funding for threatened species recovery initiatives, and for solving other conservation conundrums.

Possingham has authored or coauthored more than 560 peer-reviewed publications, and serves on the scientific advisory boards of 15 international organizations. He is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.