CV Summary

Associate Professor
FRBC/West Fraser Growth and Yield and Forest Valuation Chair
Ecosystem Science & Management Program
University of Northern British Columbia
3333 University Way
Prince George, B.C.
V2N 4Z9

Citizenship:      Canada, Australia, South Africa

Contact:          +1-250-960-5424,

Research Profile

I am a quantitative conservation scientist working to understand the trade-offs and synergies among economic production, ecosystem services and conservation in natural ecosystems. I received my PhD in Forest Conservation from the University of Queensland in 2011. I am currently assessing the socio-ecological systems underlying forest conservation. My future research will use ecological economics with coupled spatial and growth-yield models to explore scenarios for timber and fuel production, carbon accrual and ecosystem services in Canadian forests.

Publication summary and three most significant papers

35 published journal articles, 1300 citations, h-index = 18 on Google Scholar.

Venter O, et al. 2014. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperilled biodiversity. PLOS Biology 12: e1001891 (9000 views and 61 citations in 16 months)

Venter O, Laurance WF, Iwamura T, Wilson KA, Fuller R, Possingham HP. 2009. Harnessing carbon payments to protect biodiversity. Science 326: 1368. (181 Citations)

Venter O, Brodeur NN, Nemiroff L, Belland B, Dolinsek IJ & Grant JWA. 2006. Threats to endangered species in Canada. Bioscience 56: 903-910. (158 Citations)

Grants and awards summary                                       Total received: $1.49 million                                                  

2015    Australian Research Council Discovery (lead investigator)      $340 000

2014    Australian Research Council DECRA (sole investigator)         $395 000

2012   UQ Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence (10% of theses)

2011    Australian Research Council Discovery (sole investigator)      $353 000

Professional service summary

I have enjoyed contributing lectures for six different courses and acting as a supervisor to four students, one post-doc fellow and to three research assistants. I am an active participant in the peer-review process through my position on Biotropica’s editorial board and as a reviewer for 20 journals. I value science communication, having given 21 invited and conference talks and having featured in over 100 media reports. I engage in the application of science to real world problems, having lead six consultancies with non-academic partners and through my position on an expert panel advising land purchases by the Quick Response Biodiversity Fund.

CV full


Professional appointments

2016                Associate Professor and Chair in Growth and Yield and Forest Valuation, Ecosystem Science and Management Program, University of Northern BC

2014-2015       Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Fellow, Center of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, University of Queensland.

2011-2014       Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow, Centre for Tropical Environmental and Sustainability Science, James Cook University.


2007-2011       Ph.D., School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland. Supervisor Professor Hugh Possingham,.

2002-2005       B.Sc., Honours with Great Distinction, Environmental Science, Concordia University. Honours supervisor Professor James Grant.

Awards and honours                                                                  

2012   University of Queensland Dean’s Award for Research Higher Degree Excellence (awarded to top 10% of PhD theses)

2009                Winner Best Student Talk at International Congress for Conservation Biology global meeting, Beijing

2005    Winner Mappin Medal for being the student graduating from the BSc program at Concordia University with the highest grade point average in 2005

Grants and fellowships*                                               Total: $ 1.49 million received

*lead investigator on all grants

2015    ARC Discovery grant, integrated forest planning                               $340 000

2014    ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award                              $393 000

2014    CEED collaboration grant                                                                        $7 000

2012    Wildlife Conservation Society research grant                                       $35 000

2011    ARC Discovery grant                                                                           $353 000

2010    UQ Collaboration grant                                                                             $5 000

2010    UQ Conference travel grant                                                                      $5 000

2009    AusAid Research Grant                                                                          $40 000

2009    School of Biological Sciences Student Travel Award                               $1 000

2008    NSERC International Doctoral Scholarship (2008-2010)                        $63 000

2007    IPRS Australian Research Scholarship (2007-2010)                            $138 568

2007    UQILAS Australian Living Allowance Scholarship (2007-2010)              $67 620

2006    NSERC Canadian Graduate Scholarship Masters      -Declined             $34 600

2005    NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award                                    $5 600

2004    NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award                                     $5 600

2003    Concordia University Mature Entrance Scholarship                                   $1 000


Journal Articles: *Denotes senior authorship

 In review

  1. Venter O, Outram N, McGrath A, Di Marco M, Klein C, Watson JEM. In Review. Residual protection continues to undermine the long-term aspirations of biodiversity conventions.
  1. Venter O, Sanderson E, McGrach A, Possingham H, Wood P, Fekete B, Laurance WF, Levy MA, Watson JEM. In review. Changes in the global human footprint with population and economic growth.
  1. *Graham V, Laurance S, Venter O. In revision. Quantifying the costs of reducing forest-based emissions in Southeast Asia.
  1. *Di Marco M, Watson JEM, Possingham H, Venter O. In revision. Go big or go small? Limitations and trade-offs in the use of global species distribution maps.
  1. *Watson JEM, Jones K, Fuller RA, Di Marco M, Segan DB, MacDonald-Madden E, Venter O. In Review Decreasing disparities between recent rates of habitat conversion and protection and implications for future global conservation targets.
  1. Di Marco M, Chapman S, Arthur G, Kearney S, Butt N, Joseph JM, Possingham HP, Venter O, Watson JEM. In Review. The focus of conservation science in the era of global biodiversity conventions.


  1. Watson JEM, Darling ES, Venter O, Maron M, Walston J, Possingham HP, Dudley N, Hockings M, Barnes M, Brooks TM. In Press. Bolder science now needed for protected areas. Conservation Biology


  1. Maxwell S, Venter O, Kendal J, Watson JEM. In Press. Integrating human responses to climate change into conservation vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning.


  1. Brown CJ, Bode M, Venter O, Barnes MD, McGowan J, Runge C, Watson JEM, Possingham HP. 2015. Effective conservation requires clear objectives and prioritising actions, not places or species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA


  1. Venter M, Venter O, Edwards W, Bird M. 2015. Validating community-led forest biomass assessments in tropical forests. Plos One


  1. *Renwick A, Bode M, Venter O. 2015. Reserves in context: planning for leakage from protected areas. PLOS One


  1. Polak T, Watson JEM, Fuller RA, Joseph LN, Martin TG, Possingham HP, Venter O, Carwardine J. 2015. Representing ecosystems in protected areas is unlikely to save threatened species. Royal Society Open Science


  1. Bode M, Tulloch A, Mills M, Venter O, Ando A. 2015. A conservation planning approach to mitigating the impacts of leakage from protected area networks. Conservation Biology 29: 765-774.




  1. Venter O, Fuller RA, Segan DB, Carwardine J, Brooks T, Butchart SHM, Di Marco M, Iwamura T, Joseph L, O’Grady D, Possingham HP, Rondinini C, Smith RJ, Venter M, Watson JEM.. 2014. Targeting global protected area expansion for imperilled biodiversity. PLOS Biology 12(6): e1001891.


  1. Venter O. 2014. REDD+ Policy: Corridors of carbon and biodiversity. Nature Climate Change 4: 91–92


  1. Laurance WF, Clements GR, Sloan S, O’Connell CS, Mueller ND, Goosem M, Venter O, Edwards DP, Phalan B, Balmford A, Van Der Ree R and Arrea RI. 2014. A global strategy for road building. Nature 519: 229-232.


  1. *Nelson PN, Gabriel J, Filer C, Banabas M Sayer JA, Curry GN, Koczberski, Venter O. 2014. Oil palm and deforestation in Papua New Guinea. Conservation Letters 7: 188–195


  1. Wilson H, Meijaard E, Venter O, Ancrenaz M, Possingham HP. 2014. Conservation Strategies for Orangutans: Reintroduction versus Habitat Preservation and the Benefits of Sustainably Logged Forest. PLOS One DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0102174




  1. Venter O, Hovani L, Bode M, Possingham HP. 2013. Acting optimally for biodiversity in a world obsessed with REDD+. Conservation Letters 6: 410-417.


  1. Venter O, Possingham HP, Hovani L, Dewi S, Griscom B, Paoli G, Wells P, Wilson KA. 2013. Using systematic conservation planning to minimize REDD+ conflict with agriculture and logging in the tropics. Conservation Letters 6: 116-124.




  1. *Walsh JC, Venter O, Watson JEM, Fuller RA, Blackburn TM, Possingham HP. 2012. Exotic species richness and native species endemism increase the impact of exotic species on islands. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21:841-850.


  1. Venter O, Koh LP. 2012 Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+): game changer or just another quick fix? Proceedings of the New York Academy of Sciences. 1249: 137-150.




  1. Ruslandi, Venter O, Putz FE. 2011. Overestimating conservation costs in Southeast Asia. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9:542-544.


  1. Evans MC, Watson JEM, Fuller RA, Venter O. Bennett, S.C., Marsack, P.R., Possingham, H.P. 2011. Spatial Distribution of Threats in Australia. BioScience 4:281-289.


  1. *Bode M, Probert W, Turner WR, Wilson KA, Venter O. 2011. Conservation Planning with Multiple Organizations and Objectives. Conservation Biology 25: 295-304.




  1. Iwamura T, Wilson KA, Venter O, Possingham HP. 2010. A Climatic Stability Approach to Prioritizing Global Conservation Investments. PLoS ONE )


  1. Clements GR, Sayer J, Boedhihartono AK, Venter O, Lovejoy T., Koh LP, Laurance WF. 2010. Cautious optimism over Norway –Indonesia REDD pact. Conservation Biology 24: 1437-1438.


  1. Venter O, Laurance WF, Iwamura T, Wilson KA, Fuller RA, Possingham HP. 2010. Planning for Biodiversity in Future Climates Response. Science 327:


  1. Venter O, Watson JEM, Meijaard E, Laurance WF, Possingham HP. 2010. Avoiding unintended outcomes from REDD. Conservation Biology 24: 4-6.


  1. Laurance WF, Venter O. 2010. Measuring forest change. Science 328: 569.


  1. Whiteway SL, Biron MB, Zimmerman A, Venter O, Grant, JWA. 2010. Do in-stream restoration structures enhance salmonid abundance? A meta-analysis. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67: 831-841.


  1. Wilson KA, Meijaard E, Drummond S, Grantham H, Boitani L, Catullo G, Christie L, Dennis R, Dutton I, Falcucci, Maiorano LA, Possingham HP, Rondinini C, Turner W, Venter O, Watts MEJ. 2010. Conserving biodiversity in production landscapes. Ecological Applications 20:1721-1732.


  1. *Ring I, Drechler M, Teeffelen AJA, Irawan S, Venter O. 2010. Biodiversity conservation and climate change mitigation: what role can economic instruments play? Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 2:50-58.




  1. Venter O, Laurance WF, Iwamura T, Wilson KA, Fuller R, Possingham HP. 2009. Harnessing carbon payments to protect biodiversity. Science 326: 1368.


  1. Grainger A, Boucher DH, Frumhoff PC, Laurance WF, Lovejoy T, McNeely J, Niekisch M, Raven P, Sodhi NS, Venter O, Pimm SL. 2009. Biodiversity and REDD at Copenhagen. Current Biology 19: 974-976.


  1. Kingsford RT, Watson JEM, Lundquist CJ, Venter O, Hughes L, Johnston EL, Atherton J, Gawel M, Keith DA, Mackey BG, Morley C, Possingham HP, Raynor B, Recher HF,Wilson KA. 2009. Major Conservation Policy Issues for Biodiversity in Oceania. Conservation Biology 23: 834-840.


  1. Venter O, Meijaard E, Possingham H, Dennis R, Sheil D, Wich S, Hovani L & Wilson K. 2009. Carbon payments as a safeguard for threatened tropical mammals. Conservation Letters 2: 123-129.




  1. Venter O, Grant JWA, Noel MV & Kim JW. 2008. Mechanisms underlying the increase in young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) density with habitat complexity. Canadian Journal Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 65: 1956-1964.


  1. Brodeur NN, Noel MV, Venter O, Bernatchez L, Dayanandan S & Grant JWA. 2008. No evidence of kin bias in dispersion of young-of-the-year Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in a natural stream. Journal Fish Biology 73: 2361-2370.


  1. Venter O, Meijaard E & Wilson K. 2008. Strategies and alliances needed to protect forest from palm-oil industry. Nature 451: 16.




  1. Venter O, Brodeur NN, Nemiroff L, Belland B, Dolinsek IJ & Grant JWA. 2006. Threats to endangered species in Canada. Bioscience 56: 903-910.


Peer-reviewed Book Chapters:


Venter MV, Venter O, Laurance S, Bird M. 2012. Recarbonization of humid tropic regions. In: Lal, R., Lorenz, K., Hüttl, R.F.J., Schneider, B.U., von Braun J. Recarbonization of the Biosphere – Ecosystems and the Global Carbon Cycle. Springer.


Technical Reports:


Venter O 2015. Mapping intact tropical forest globally. Report submitted to Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York.


Venter O. 2014. Analyzing past and projecting future land cover change in Manus and New Ireland provinces, PNG. Report Submitted to the Wildlife Conservation Society, PNG.

Venter O, Wilson KA, Possingham HP. 2011. Using Marxan with Zones to Support Land use planning to maximize sustainable benefits from REDD in Berau, East Kalimantan. Report submitted to The Nature Conservancy, Jakarta.


Venter O, Wilson KA., Iwamura T 2009. Using systematic conservation planning to inform REDD implementation in Indonesia. Report submitted to Greenpeace Indonesia.


Venter O. 2008. Global estimates of forest carbon stores and fluxes: a review of the literature. Report submitted to the Greens Institute.


Venter O. 2006. Threats to Endangered Species in British Columbia, Canada. Report submitted to British Columbia Ministry of Environment for inclusion in the state of the environment report: Environment Trends in British Columbia.




Global Human Footprint maps for 1993 and 2009.


Venter O, Sanderson E, McGrach A, Possingham H, Wood P, Fekete B, Laurance WF, Levy MA, Waston JEM. Currently in review, agreed public distribution through CIESEN Columbia University at (



Invited talks:


2016 University of Victoria, Environmental studies seminar series

2016 University of Northern BC, Ecosystem Science and Management Colloquium

2015 Concordia University, Biology seminar series

2015 University of Northern BC, Ecosystem Science and Management seminar

2015 University of New Brunswick, Faculty of Forestry seminar

2015 Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, advisory board review, Brisbane

2014 World Parks Congress, Sydney

2013 School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington

2013 Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decision, Brisbane, Australia

2013 Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, NY

2013 TESS seminar series, Cairns, Australia

2012 TESS annual meeting, Cairns, Australia

2010 International Congress for Conservation Biology, Edmonton, Canada

2010 TESS seminar series, Cairns, Australia

2010 CERF Conference, Old Parliament house, Canberra.

2009 Brisbane Writers Festival, Brisbane, Australia

2009 Diversitas Open Science Conference, Cape Town, South Africa

2007 Asia Pacific Knowledge Exchange, Balikpapan, Indonesia


Other talks:


2013 International Congress for Conservation Biology, Baltimore, USA

2011 International Congress for Conservation Biology, Auckland, New Zealand

2011 Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Bali, Indonesia

2009 10th International Congress of Ecology, Brisbane, Australia.

2009 International Congress for Conservation Biology, Beijing, China

2008 International Congress for Conservation Biology, Chattanooga, USA

2005 Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research, Windsor, Canada





2015                Guest lecturer, Masters course ‘Applied conservation science’.


2014                Guest lecturer, Masters course ‘Structured decision making in conservation’.


2013                Guest lecturer, undergraduate course ‘The case for sustainability’.


2013                Guest lecturer, graduate course ‘Agroecology’. Received student evaluation of 4.5/5, summary letter from course co-ordinator appended to end of CV.


2013                Guest Lecturer, undergraduate course ‘Conservation Biology’.


2008-2009       Teaching Assistant, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.




2015-2017       Post-doc joint primary supervisor, Dr Moreno Di Marco, University of Queensland.


2013-2015       MPhil primary supervisor, Victoria Graham, James Cook University. Determining the costs and tradeoffs between forest conservation and development in Indonesia.


2015                PhD co-supervisor, James Allen, University of Queensland. Assessing human pressures in World Heritage sites and African protected areas.


2015                Advanced studies primary supervisor, Nick Outram, University of Queensland. Biases and inefficiencies in global protected area expansion.


2008                Advanced studies primary supervisor, Jessica Walsh, University of Queensland. Project published as:


Walsh JC, Venter O, Watson JEM, Fuller RA, Blackburn TM, Possingham HP. 2012. Exotic species richness and native species endemism increase the impact of exotic species on islands. Global Ecology and Biogeography 21:841-850.




2015                Wildlife Conservation Society, Perform spatial analyses to identify remaining intact forest blocks globally


2014                Wildlife Conservation Society, Papua New Guinea Program. Analyze past and project future deforestation in Manus and New Ireland provinces, PNG.


2013                Wildlife Conservation Society, Bronx, New York. Update global human footprint and human influence index maps for year 2010.


2012                The Wilderness Society, Australia. Provide expert review on proposed new reserves in Tasmania, Australia.


2011                The Nature Conservancy, Indonesia. Develop a landscape planning approach to quantify trade-offs between agricultural development and carbon conservation in Berau Regency.


2009                Greenpeace, International. Outline options for using a decision support tool to make objective decisions for REDD in Indonesia.


2008                The Greens Institute, Hobart, Australia. Report on the state of knowledge on global forest carbon stores and fluxes.




Memberships:              Society for Conservation Biology, Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation


Expert Panels:             Member of the Quick Response Biodiversity panel of global biodiversity experts. We provide rapid assessment of proposals aimed at buying land to protected endangered species in developing countries.


Editorial Board:          Biotropica


Reviewer:                    Assessor for the Australian Research Council


Nature, Nature Climate Change, Science, Ecology Letters, Current Biology, Global Environmental Change, Ecology Letters, Biology letters, PLOS Biology, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Current Biology, Diversity and Distributions, Conservation Letters, Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Global Environmental Change, Biotropica, Carbon Balance and Management, Tropical Conservation Science, Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change.




Available online:



Associated Press

Huffington Post          

Discovery News


Jakarta Post       


Science Daily    


Ecos Magazine  

Super Comput. News



Not available online:


New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Times Magazine, Radio Australia, Scientific American and other 100 others