Researcher biography

Courtney is a PhD candidate with the Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions at The University of Queensland.

After completing a Bachelor of Science at the University of New South Wales, she began studying a Masters of Philosophy at the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre under the supervision of Dr Terry Ord, Dr Georgina Cooke and Professor Rob Brooks. Her research investigated the influence of natural selection, sexual selection and gene flow in shaping the phenotypic expression of an unusual land-dwelling fish, the Pacific leaping blenny.

During this time, Courtney became involved in the NGO sector. Her roles included research, project implementation and project development with organisations such as Oxfam Australia, Taronga Conservation Society, Reef Check Australia, Global Vision International and Sydney Wildlife. This work gave Courtney first-hand experience with the complexities surrounding conservation planning and implementation and led her to pursue a deeper understanding of how multiple objectives for resource management can be balanced and how methodical evaluation can improve returns from conservation efforts.

Courtney’s current research focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of conservation strategies, using the Bornean Orangutan as a case study. Her research investigates how interactions between multiple stakeholders influence decision-making and program success. In addition, she is interested in understanding the impacts conservation efforts have had on protecting the endangered ape to date, and aims to provide recommendations for improved outcomes.

Courtney is supervised by Associate Professors Kerrie WilsonKelly Fielding and Erik Meijaard. Her research is undertaken in collaboration with the Borneo futures initiative and is supported by an Australian Post-graduate Award and CEED top-up scholarship.