Mark A. Burgman

Mark A. Burgman
University of Melbourne | MSD · School of BioSciences

About

289
Publications
75,377
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17,679
Citations
Additional affiliations
July 2006 - June 2013
University of Melbourne
Position
  • Manager

Publications

Publications (289)
Article
Full-text available
Economic and financial forecasts are important for business planning and government policy but are notoriously challenging. We take advantage of recent advances in individual and group judgement, and a data set of economic and financial forecasts compiled over 25 years, consisting of multiple individual and institutional estimates, to test the clai...
Article
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The estimation of parameters and model structure for informing infectious disease response has become a focal point of the recent pandemic. However, it has also highlighted a plethora of challenges remaining in the fast and robust extraction of information using data and models to help inform policy. In this paper, we identify and discuss four broa...
Article
Biodiversity conservation decisions are difficult, especially when they involve differing values, complex multidimensional objectives, scarce resources, urgency, and considerable uncertainty. Decision science embodies a theory about how to make difficult decisions and an extensive array of frameworks and tools that make that theory practical. We so...
Article
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Scenario analysis has emerged as a key tool to analyze complex and uncertain future socio-ecological developments. However, currently existing global scenarios (narratives of how the world may develop) have neglected biological invasions, a major threat to biodiversity and the economy. Here, we use a novel participatory process to develop a diverse...
Article
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Conservation science deals with crises and supports policy interventions devised to mitigate highly uncertain threats that pose irreversible harm. When conventional policy tools, such as quantitative risk assessments, are insufficient, the precautionary principle provides a practical framework and range of robust heuristics. Yet, precaution is ofte...
Article
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Weighted aggregation of expert judgments based on their performance on calibration questions may improve mathematically aggregated judgments relative to equal weights. However, obtaining validated, relevant calibration questions can be difficult. If so, should analysts settle for equal weights? Or should they use calibration questions that are easi...
Article
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1. The establishment of new botanic gardens in tropical regions highlights a need for weed risk assessment tools suitable for tropical ecosystems. The relevance of plant traits for invasion into tropical rainforests has not been well studied. 2. Working in and around four botanic gardens in Indonesia where 590 alien species have been planted, we es...
Preprint
Full-text available
Scenario analysis has emerged as a key tool to analyze complex and uncertain future socio-ecological developments. However, current global scenarios (narratives of how the world may develop) have neglected biological invasions, a major threat to biodiversity and the economy. We used a novel participatory process to develop a diverse set of global b...
Article
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In pursuit of socioeconomic development, many countries are expanding oil and mineral extraction into tropical forests. These activities seed access to remote, biologically rich areas, thereby endangering global biodiversity. Here we demonstrate that conservation solutions that effectively balance the protection of biodiversity and economic revenue...
Article
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Performance weighted aggregation of expert judgments, using calibration questions, has been advocated to improve pooled quantitative judgments for ecological questions. However, there is little discussion or practical advice in the ecological literature regarding the application, advantages or challenges of performance weighting. In this paper we 1...
Article
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Quantitative expert judgements are used in reliability assessments to inform critically important decisions. Structured elicitation protocols have been advocated to improve expert judgements, yet their application in reliability is challenged by a lack of examples or evidence that they improve judgements. This paper aims to overcome these barriers....
Article
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Governments have committed to global targets to slow biodiversity loss and sustain ecosystem services. Biodiversity state indicators that measure progress toward these targets mostly focus on species, while indicators synthesizing ecosystem change are largely lacking. We fill this gap with three indices quantifying past and projected changes in eco...
Article
Extinctions are difficult to observe and typically are inferred from the timing and reliability of field observations and collections. Recent advances in approaches to estimating extinction probability consider the type, timing and certainty of records, the timing, scope and severity of threats, and the timing, extent and reliability of surveys. He...
Article
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Sustainable development is widely recognized as an existential challenge. To address it, humanity needs to change its ways. However, people seem slow to act, not always understanding and often denying environmental imperatives, creating substantial social and psychological barriers. Social inertia and denial have been allegedly amplified by a publi...
Article
Several new approaches to estimating the probability that a species is extinct have emerged recently. Different foundational assumptions can lead to different interpretations of data and potentially to different conclusions. To explore the implications of alternative formulations, here we develop and illustrate a Bayesian Updating method for inferr...
Article
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Detecting exotic plant species is essential for invasive species management. By accounting for factors likely to affect species’ detection rates (e.g. survey conditions, observer experience), detectability models can help choose search methods and allocate search effort. Integrating information on species’ traits can refine detectability models, an...
Data
Examples of used leaf photos for leaf area and leaf shape calculation of 25 detected exotic species. The photo ordered from smallest to the largest leaf shape (complexity) value. (TIF)
Data
Line transect distance sampling lay out. Black circles represent individuals of exotic species and dashed arrows show their perpendicular distance to the transect. Surveys were conducted from the border of the botanic gardens towards the native rainforest interior. Only detections within 10 m of the transect line were recorded. The number of transe...
Data
List of reference publications used for native species composition information data. (PDF)
Data
Map of sampling locations: Cibodas, Kuningan, Baturraden and Eka Karya Bali. (TIF)
Data
History plot of Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation based on the constructed detectability model. The plots demonstrate the converged chains in the model simulation for all variables (nodes) included (b0, bS, bS2, bH, bA, and bA2) (left part of the graph). The credible interval for all involved variables are not containing zero values except...
Data
R code script for Bayesian analysis of the tested detection model in this study. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
Natural resource management uses expert judgement to estimate facts that inform important decisions. Unfortunately, expert judgement is often derived by informal and largely untested protocols, despite evidence that the quality of judgements can be improved with structured approaches. We attribute the lack of uptake of structured protocols to the d...
Data
Demographic data and analysis. (PDF)
Article
Full-text available
In risky situations characterized by imminent decisions, scarce resources, and insufficient data, policymakers rely on experts to estimate model parameters and their associated uncertainties. Different elicitation and aggregation methods can vary substantially in their efficacy and robustness. While it is generally agreed that biases in expert judg...
Chapter
It is generally agreed that an elicitation protocol for quantifying uncertainty will always benefit from the involvement of more than one domain expert. The two key mechanisms by which judgements may be pooled across experts are through striving for consensus, via behavioural aggregation, where experts share and discuss information, and via mathema...
Article
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1. Expert judgment informs a variety of important applications in conservation and natural resource management, including threatened species management, environmental impact assessment, and structured decision-making. However, expert judgments can be prone to contextual biases. Structured elicitation protocols mitigate these biases and improve the...
Article
Extinctions are difficult to observe. Estimating the probability that a taxon has gone extinct using data from the field aids prioritisation of conservation interventions and environmental monitoring. There have been recent advances in approaches to estimating this probability from records. However, complete assessment requires consideration of the...
Article
Extinctions are important indicators of biodiversity status. When they are detected, they may trigger the redirection of conservation resources to save other species. Yet declaring extinctions is inherently uncertain. Relevant evidence for consideration includes information on threats, the time series of species records and the effort employed to s...
Article
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The eradication of newly detected alien plant species is often prescribed, but rarely successful. Eradication programs fail for many reasons, however, for eradication to remain a cost-efficient management option it is clear that good decisions must be made at the outset. Here we re-frame the project prioritization protocol (PPP), a tool widely used...
Article
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Recent replication projects in other disciplines have uncovered disturbingly low levels of reproducibility, suggesting that those research literatures may contain unverifiable claims. The conditions contributing to irreproducibility in other disciplines are also present in ecology. These include a large discrepancy between the proportion of “positi...
Article
Expert judgement is pervasive in all forms of risk analysis, yet the development of tools to deal with such judgements in a repeatable and transparent fashion is relatively recent. This work outlines new findings related to an approach to expert elicitation termed the IDEA protocol. IDEA combines psychologically robust interactions among experts wi...
Article
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This study presents the results of an approach to the prediction of the outcomes of geopolitical events, which we term the IDEA protocol. The participants investigate the background and causal factors behind a question, predict the outcome, and discuss their thinking with others. They then make a second, private and anonymous judgement of the proba...
Article
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The early detection of newly naturalised alien species is vital to ensuring the greatest chance of their successful eradication. Understanding where species naturalise most frequently is the first stage in allocating surveillance effort. Using Australia’s Virtual Herbarium, we compiled the collection records for all plant species in Australia. We c...
Article
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The koala is a widely distributed Australian marsupial with regional populations that are in rapid decline, are stable or have increased in size. This study examined whether it is possible to use expert elicitation to estimate abundance and trends of populations of this species. Diverse opinions exist about estimates of abundance and, consequently,...
Article
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Expert elicitation is a rigorous method for synthesizing expert knowledge to inform decision making and is reliable and practical when field data are limited. We evaluated the feasibility of applying expert elicitation to estimate population-level effects of disturbance on marine mammals. Diverse experts estimated parameters related to mortality an...
Article
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Policymakers are ignoring evidence on how advisers make judgements and predictions, warn William J. Sutherland and Mark A. Burgman.
Article
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Despite the aligned aspirations of many applied scientists and policy-makers that science should contribute directly to policy decisions, there are significant gaps between what scientists provide and what policy-makers can use. This article outlines the features that encourage effective adoption of scientific advice in public policy. It reviews so...
Article
AimTo identify the temporal patterns of plant naturalization in Australia, particularly the interaction between taxonomy, geographic origin and economic use.LocationAustralia.Methods From Australia's Virtual Herbarium, we compiled a database of information for the entire naturalized flora of Australia. We then examined the database in discrete time...
Article
Changes in natural patterns of animal behaviour and physiology resulting from anthropogenic disturbance may alter the conservation status of a population if they affect the ability of individuals to survive, breed or grow. However, information to forecast population-level consequences of such changes is often lacking.We developed an interim framewo...
Article
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In response to growing demand for ecosystem-level risk assessment in biodiversity conservation, and rapid proliferation of locally tailored protocols, the IUCN recently endorsed new Red List criteria as a global standard for ecosystem risk assessment. Four qualities were sought in the design of the IUCN criteria: generality; precision; realism; and...
Article
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Decision makers and researchers recognize the need to effectively confront the social dimensions and conflicts inherent to invasive species research and management. Yet, despite numerous contentious situations that have arisen, no systematic evaluation of the literature has examined the commonalities in the patterns and types of these emergent soci...
Article
Governments are routinely involved in the biosecurity of agricultural and food imports and exports. This involves controlling the complex ongoing threat of the broad range of zoonoses: endemic, exotic and newly emerging. Policy-related decision-making in these areas requires accurate information and predictions concerning the effects and potential...
Chapter
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The practice of risk analysis in plant quarantine is known as Pest Risk Analysis. The process is closely linked to the international regulatory framework formed by the World Trade Organization Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (the WTO-SPS Agreement) and the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC) with ass...
Article
Advanced warning of potential new opportunities and threats related to biodiversity allows decision-makers to act strategically to maximize benefits or minimize costs. Strategic foresight explores possible futures, their consequences for decisions, and the actions that promote more desirable futures. Foresight tools, such as horizon scanning and sc...
Article
AimTo identify the relative importance of commonly available site and species factors on the probability of extirpating a plant species at the site scale.LocationAustralia.Methods We reviewed the plant eradication literature and listed the factors commonly cited as influencing eradication success. We then analysed a database of 408 site-scale extir...
Article
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A range of mathematical models has been developed to infer whether a species is extinct based on a sighting record. Although observations have variable reliability, current methods for detecting extinction do not differentiate observation qualities. A more suitable approach would consider certain and uncertain sightings throughout the sighting peri...
Article
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Ecologists are often required to estimate the number of species in a region or designated area. A number of diversity indices are available for this purpose and are based on sampling the area using quadrats or other means, and estimating the total number of species from these samples. In this paper, a novel theory and method for estimating the numb...
Article
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Voting systems aggregate preferences efficiently and are often used for deciding conservation priorities. Desirable characteristics of voting systems include transitivity, completeness, and Pareto optimality, among others. Voting systems that are common and potentially useful for environmental decision making include simple majority, approval, and...
Article
This list will help non-scientists to interrogate advisers and to grasp the limitations of evidence, say William J.
Article
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Within the range of the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), the only bird species endemic to Florida, there was a need for a population risk assessment that considered the impacts of declining habitat availability and declining fire frequency associated with rapid human population expansion. We developed a population risk model to examine...
Article
We address criticism that the Transport, Establishment, Abundance, Spread, Impact (TEASI) framework does not facilitate objective mapping of risk assessment methods nor defines best practice. We explain why TEASI is appropriate for mapping, despite inherent challenges, and how TEASI offers considerations for best practices, rather than suggesting o...
Article
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Practicing ecologists who excel at their work (“experts”) hold a wealth of knowledge. This knowledge offers a wide range of opportunities for application in ecological research and natural resource decision-making. While experts are often consulted ad-hoc, their contributions are not widely acknowledged. These informal applications of expert knowle...
Article
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AimMany mangrove communities form bands parallel to the shoreline with each community dominated by a single species. However, the key determinants of mangrove species distribution across the intertidal zone are not well understood. We aimed to quantify the relationship between species' dominance and the hydroperiod (defined as the duration of inund...