Associate Professor Philip Gibbons

B. App. Sc., M. For., PhD
Associate Professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society
ANU College of Science

Areas of expertise

  • Environment Policy 160507
  • Forestry Fire Management 070503
  • Environmental Impact Assessment 050204
  • Conservation And Biodiversity 050202

Research interests

My research focuses on biodiversity conservation in managed landscapes. I develop decision-support tools used in environmental impact assessment, identify ways to manage landscapes to reduce house-losses during wildfires and identify cost-effective restoration options for biodiversity. I work with Commonwealth and State Governments, non-government agencies such as Greening Australia and private developers with an interest in ecological sustainability.

My research informs two courses that I convene: Biodiversity Conservation (ENVS3039/6024) and Vegetation and Soils (ENVS2023/6023) and I also teach the biodiversity theme in Australia's Environment (ENVS1004). There is an emphasis in each course on field-based learning.


Philip Gibbons has 30 years of experience in land management. He spent the first half of his career working with the state governments in Victoria and New South Wales as a park ranger, fire fighter and forest ecologist. Since completing a PhD in 1999 he has played key roles in: codes of practice for harvesting timber from native forests, native vegetation laws, biodiversity offsets policy, protected area management and links between land management and house loss during bushfires. He is currently an Associate Professor at The Fenner School of Environment and Society at The Australian National University where he teaches courses related to biodiversity conservation. He has published over 100 journal articles and book chapters, including three books.


Researcher's projects

Current and recent projects include:

  • Land management and house loss in wildfires
  • Biodiversity offsets and land clearing policy
  • Environmental Impact Assessment metthodology
  • Habitat restoration in urban green space
  • Environmental integrity monitoring for nature conservation
  • Restoration options as part of biodiversity offsets

Available student projects

Please contact me directly if you are interested in undergraduate, Honours, Masters or PhD research.

Honours or Masters project

Evaluating the effectiveness of different restoration treatments for understorey plants using 3D imaging

Funding partner: ACT Parks and Conservation Service

Location: Barrer Hill, Canberra

PhD (commencing 2019)

Conserving mature trees in urban environments

Please contact me for details.

Honours projects with Greening Australia

Various projects. Please contact me for details.



Current student projects

Megan McNellie (PhD)  - spatially predicting vegetation condition (with NSW Office of Environment and Heritage)

Darren Le Roux (PhD) - maintaining and perpetuating resources associated with mature trees for wildlife in modified landscapes (with Land Development Agency)

Ingrid Stirnemann (PhD) - the importance of heterogeneity for biodiversity

Nelida Villasenor (PhD) - designing urban developments for native fauna

David Johnson (PhD) -restoration of forb diversity in temperate woodlands and native temperate grasslands (with ACT Government)

Shana Nerenberg (PhD) - conserving floristic diversity in agricultural landscapes

Dean Ansell (PhD) - cost-effective ecological restoration

Daniela Carnovale (PhD) - Soil biota under seeded belts: The effect of vegetation type and influence on soil function



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Updated:  24 October 2019 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers