Professor Saul Cunningham

B.Sc. Hons (Zoology) Monash, Ph.D. (Ecology) University of Connecticut, USA
Director of the Fenner School of Environment & Society
ANU College of Science

Research interests

Saul Cunningham is interested in finding ways that we can manage farming landscapes to preserve biodiversity while supporting production. In pursuing this overarching challenge his work ranges across specific questions regarding the fundamental determinants of diversity, methods of ecological restoration, management to increase farm productivity, and more. He has worked extensively on crop pollination, which is an input to agricultural production that has been poorly understood and which generally depends on wild insects living in the agricultural landscape.

Areas of expertise

  • Applied ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Crop pollination
  • Agricultural landscapes



Saul's first experience of research was as an honours student at Monash University. He then received a Fulbright award to support Ph.D. studies in the USA with field work in Costa Rica. Having been awarded his Ph.D. in 1995 he returned home to Australia and commenced post-doctoral projects at Macquarie University, before joining CSIRO in Canberra as a research scientist. Over a 17 year period with CSIRO Saul developed a research program focusing on the challenge of maintaining biodiversity in landscapes dedicated to agricultural production. He has worked with farming industry groups, local landholder groups, and a wide network of international colleagues with shared interests.

In 2015 the Ecological Society of Australia honoured Saul with the "Australian Ecology Research Award". He was a contributor to the Intergovernmental Platform for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessment report on Pollination and Food production, published in 2016. 

Saul has been director of the Fenner School of Environment and Society since 2017.


Projects and Grants

Grants information is drawn from ARIES. To add or update Projects or Grants information please contact your College Research Office.

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Updated:  14 April 2024 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers