Internationally acclaimed conservation biologist, Professor Hugh Possingham, has been appointed Chair of the Advisory Board for the University of Adelaide’s Environment Institute.
Professor Possingham is currently Chief Scientist of The Nature Conservancy, one of the world’s leading environmental organisations, and is completing his term there in the coming weeks.
Professor Bob Hill, Director of the Environment Institute, says it is a major coup to appoint such a highly distinguished global conservation leader to chair its Advisory Board.
“This is a ‘coming home’ of sorts for Professor Possingham who began his study at the University of Adelaide, completing a Bachelor of Science with Honours in Applied Mathematics in 1984,” Professor Hill said.
“Following a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, he has worked at the Australian National University, the University of Adelaide, and at the University of Queensland, where he currently resides holding a number of leadership roles.”
Last year the University of Adelaide awarded Professor Possingham an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) in acknowledgement of his internationally recognised pioneering research into endangered species, conservation biology and ecological planning. He is also a University of Adelaide Emeritus Professor.
“It is fantastic we can announce this appointment to coincide with World Environment Day, Friday 5 June, which is about encouraging worldwide awareness and action to protect our environment. This is what Hugh lives and breathes every single day,” Professor Hill said.
“Hugh will bring enormous experience and enthusiasm to the Environment Institute and we are thrilled he has accepted our invitation to Chair our Board.”
Professor Hill also thanked Sandy Pitcher, the former Chair of the Environment Institute’s Advisory Board, who resigned her position following her move to Victoria.
“I am enormously grateful to Sandy for the way she guided us through the last few years and I wish her well in her future career,” Professor Hill said.
Professor Possingham currently holds a number of positions including:
Chief Scientist, The Nature Conservancy
Member, Board of Directors, BirdLife Australia
Member, The Wentworth Group
Threatened Species Index Researcher, National Environmental Science Program Hub
Head, The Possingham Lab, University of Queensland (20%)
Part of the University of Adelaide, the Environment Institute’s mission is to deliver relevant, innovative and actionable outcomes to complex global environmental challenges, to ensure sustainable goals benefit the health of the environment, our wellbeing and support the economy.
Its vision is to develop strong local and international collaborations and engagement to address complex future environmental problems whilst exporting innovation around the world.
Image caption: Professor Hugh Possingham to chair Environment Institute Advisory Board (supplied)