Personal profile


A key theme in Vanessa' research is applying economic concepts and social consultation to make on-ground conservation action more effective and equitable between groups of stakeholders. Vanessa was raised in New Mexico (USA) but currently calls Australia home. She has worked in a variety roles ranging from actuarial analyst for global consulting firm Mercer HR to research scientist at universities. She spent a year as a Fulbright scholar conducting research at University of Queensland in 2004 and completed her PhD at James Cook University in 2011. During her PhD she was awarded a Sir Keith Murdoch fellowship through the American Australian Association to support a component of her research conducted in Fiji modelling costs of conservation actions to local fishermen. Her research explores how to plan for development and conservation goals conjointly with a focus on how new market mechanisms, such as carbon offsets, may be leveraged for dual objectives such as livelihood provisioning and biodiversity conservation. Vanessa partners with relevant government agencies and NGOs to ensure that her research is relevant to policy makers and is positioned to influence on-ground conservation.

External positions

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Queensland

Sep 2014Jun 2017

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Charles Darwin University

Sep 2011Sep 2014

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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conservation areas Agriculture & Biology
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conservation planning Earth & Environmental Sciences
stakeholders Agriculture & Biology
opportunity costs Agriculture & Biology
natural resource Earth & Environmental Sciences
cost Earth & Environmental Sciences

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Projects 2018 2018

Research Output 2005 2018

Bigger or better: The relative benefits of protected area network expansion and enforcement for the conservation of an exploited species

Kuempel, C. D., Adams, V. M., Possingham, H. P. & Bode, M. 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Conservation Letters. 8 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Conserving biodiversity and Indigenous bush tucker: Practical application of the strategic foresight framework to invasive alien species management planning

Adams, V. M., Douglas, M. M., Jackson, S. E., Scheepers, K., Kool, J. T. & Setterfield, S. A. 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Conservation Letters.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Information uncertainty influences conservation outcomes when prioritizing multi-action management efforts

Cattarino, L., Hermoso, V., Carwardine, J., Adams, V. M., Kennard, M. J. & Linke, S. 2018 (Accepted/In press) In : Journal of Applied Ecology.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Response - ivory crisis

Biggs, D., Smith, R. J., Adams, V. M., Brink, H., Cook, C. N., Cooney, R., Holden, M. H., Maron, M., Phelps, J., Possingham, H. P., Redford, K. H., Scholes, R. J., Sutherland, W. J., Underwood, F. M. & Milner-Gulland, E. J. 20 Apr 2018 In : Science. 360, 6386, p. 277-278 2 p.

Research output: ResearchLetter

The need for spatially explicit quantification of benefits in invasive-species management

Januchowski-Hartley, S. R., Adams, V. M. & Hermoso, V. Apr 2018 In : Conservation Biology. 32, 2, p. 287-293 7 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

invasive species

Activities 2017 2017

  • 3 Invited talk
  • 2 Membership of board

Conservation from the board room

Adams, V. (Speaker)
Aug 2017

Activity: Invited talk

Society for Conservation Biology Oceania (SCBO) (External organisation)

Adams, V. (Chair)
1 Jul 201730 Jun 2019

Activity: Membership of board

Australian Fulbright Alumni Association (External organisation)

Adams, V. (Member)
1 Jan 20171 Jan 2020

Activity: Membership of board

Where do we need leadership most

Adams, V. (Speaker)
18 Nov 2017

Activity: Invited talk