Dr Aleks Terauds - spatial ecologist

Scientists of the Antarctic: Dr Aleks Terauds

Video transcript

I’m a spatial ecologist at the Australian Antarctic Division and I run a small section called biodiversity conservation, where we try and do research into environmental protection and achieving conservation outcomes for Antarctica.

The research looks at things like the vulnerability of biodiversity, what drives biodiversity, what are the linkages between the things that live in Antarctica and the physical environment; and then using that information to try and better understand what threatens the biodiversity of Antarctica and how we can mitigate those threats into the future.

The biggest threats to Antarctica are quite clearly things around climate change. But also human activity is by far and away another major threat in Antarctica.

So what we try and do in our research team is develop ideas around how we can mitigate those threats and actually put them into a format that then the Antarctic Treaty parties can understand and then make decisions to better protect or better manage the biodiversity that are under their remit.

What I really love about my work is the fact that we can make a difference, so myself and my research team have done quite a range of research that feeds directly into the Antarctic Treaty and has actually changed the way people operate and manage life in Antarctica, and I think that’s really important and that makes me really happy.

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Dr Aleks Terauds: BSc (Hons) PhD
Section Head: Biodiversity Conservation

Research interests

My research integrates the strategic priorities of the Australian Government and influences environmental policy and management at national and international levels.

I currently lead research into terrestrial spatial ecology at the Australian Antarctic Division, developing and delivering the scientific foundation for spatial management and area protection in Antarctica.

I develop models to help clarify the relationship between the biotic and abiotic environments, and use these analyses to better understand both the drivers of, and threats to, Antarctic biodiversity.

My research is largely applied, with a strong focus on improving environmental protection and achieving conservation outcomes in Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic.

Current projects

Chief Investigator

Co-Investigator

Partner Investigator

  • How isolated is Antarctica? Assessing past and present plan colonisations (ARC Discovery DP180100113)

Awards

  • 2018 International Polar Mentorship Award
  • 2006 Whitley Book Awards: Winner - Best Natural History Publication in Australia

Key outcome areas

  • Australian Government Antarctic Policy and Strategy
  • The Antarctic Treaty’s Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)
  • Antarctic Treaty Consultative Meeting (ATCM)
  • Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources (CCAMLR)

International representation/collaborations

  • Chief Officer SCAR Standing Committee on the Antarctic Treaty System
  • Chief Officer Program Planning Group – SCAR Scientific Research Programme – Integrated science to support Antarctic and Southern Ocean Conservation (Ant-ICON)
  • Adjunct Associate Professor Fenner School of Environment and Society, ANU
  • Executive Committee Member- SCAR Scientific Research Programme – State of the Antarctic Ecosystem (AntEco)
  • Adjunct Senior Research Fellow Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania
  • Editorial Board Member Antarctic Environments Portal

Related links

Selected Publications

Lee, J.R., Raymond, B., Bracegirdle, T.J., Chades, I., Fuller, R.A, Shaw, J.D. & Terauds, A. (2017) Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat. Nature 54: 49

Terauds, A., and Lee, J. R. (2016) Antarctic biogeography revisited: updating the Antarctic conservation biogeographic regions. Diversity and Distributions 22: 836-840.

Terauds, A., Doube, J., McKinlay, J., and Springer, K. (2014) Using long-term population trends of an invasive herbivore to quantify the impact of management actions in the sub-Antarctic. Polar Biology 37: 833-843.

Fraser, C. I., Terauds, A., Smellie, J., Convey, P., and Chown, S. L. (2014) Geothermal activity helps life survive glacial cycles. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 111: 5634-5639.

Terauds, A., Chown, S. L., Morgan, F., Peat, H. J., Watts, D. J., Keys, H., Convey, P., and Bergstrom, D. M. (2012) Conservation biogeography of the Antarctic. Diversity and Distributions 18: 726-741.

See a full list of publications