ARC Industry Laureate Fellowships 2023 success


Congratulations to Associate Professor Phill Cassey on receiving an Australian Research Council (ARC) Industry Laureate Fellowship for a project ‘Combatting wildlife crime and preventing environmental harm‘.

Wildlife crime is one of the greatest threats to environmental and human security across the globe. In Australia, the illegal harvesting, killing, and trade of wild animals and plants endangers the country’s unique biodiversity and poses serious biosecurity risks to natural and agricultural systems. This Fellowship will deliver the intelligence tools and technologies, in wildlife forensics and cyber security, that are required for step-change reductions in wildlife crime in Australia, and Asia-Pacific. The project will establish new approaches for raising public awareness of the dangers of wildlife crime and provide much needed stewardship to protect Australia’s environmental assets and natural capital from current and future threats.

Fellowship Project Summary

Wildlife crimes are an escalating problem for Australia. The illegal harvest, killing, and trade of plants and animals seriously threatens Australia’s $100 billion agricultural, forestry and fisheries exports, and tourism industry. This Fellowship will develop new digital and wildlife forensic tools to improve the surveillance and detection of illegal activities. These forensic tools and specialised data analysis will enable enforcement agencies to identify and halt the illegal harvest and trade of plants and animals. This project will raise public awareness about wildlife crimes and help change social attitudes towards these crimes. Project outcomes will be adopted through a community of practice approach with industry partners and environmental compliance agencies to help the uptake of forensic tools and analysis. These outcomes will also enable the development of policies for greater protection of natural resources. This multidisciplinary and highly collaborative project will improve environmental biosecurity and help to safeguard Australia’s biodiversity and natural environments for everyone to benefit.

Industry Partners: Australian Museum Research Institute (AMRI), Department for Environment and Water, Department of Environment and Science, Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, and Queensland Police Service.

Funding: $3,763,434

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