Lesley Gibson
DBCA (WA Government)

Photo of Lesley Gibson (woman smiling at the camera)

Dr Lesley Gibson

Principal research scientist, WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions

See Dr Gibon’s full research profile here.

E: lesley.gibson@dbca.wa.gov.au

Research outputs linked to policy change and decision-making

  • WA subterranean fauna research program, Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI). While seconded to WABSI, Dr Gibson led the development of a state-wide research program for subterranean fauna, a first for Australia. There was a growing frustration of environmental regulators faced with uncertain predictions of impacts, and development proponents due to associated delays in decisions. Dr Gibson applied a transdisciplinary approach that balanced the diverse needs of stakeholders. Dr Gibson now chairs the steering committee overseeing the implementation of the research program with several end-user funded projects being progressed (including Australian Research Council [ARC] linkage and ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre).
  • Kimberley Island and Pilbara biodiversity surveys. The research that Dr Gibson and her team have undertaken fills significant biodiversity knowledge gaps that provide the necessary baseline information to inform land management decisions. These surveys underpin the selection of areas for the conservation reserve system, provide information to determine conservation status of species, inform environmental impact assessments and fill significant gaps in biodiversity knowledge.
  • Threatened species research. A selection of outcomes resulting from Dr Gibson’s threatened species research include: recommendations regarding the protection and restoration of core habitat; identification of habitat linkages under climate change; an improved understanding of the factors influencing mammal declines nation-wide; survey approaches that account for imperfect detection; prescribed fire mosaics beneficial to savanna mammals; and survey and monitoring guidelines for threatened species.
  • National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub (NAERH) project: Monitoring, mapping and safeguarding Kimberley bilbies.
  • NESP Threatened Species Recovery Hub project: Protecting threatened quolls and other biodiversity on Kimberley islands from cane toads.

Current academic employment and positions

  • 2014–present: principal research scientist, WA Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA)
  • 2014–present: program leader (biogeography, then animal science), DBCA
  • 2018–present: adjunct associate professor, University of Western Australia
  • 2018–present: partner investigator, ARC linkage LP170100061
  • 2019–present: project leader, NESP NAERH research
  • 2020–present: partner investigator, ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centre, Data Analytics for Resources and Environments.

Highest qualification

  • 1999: PhD, University of Sydney

Roles on government or regional organisation committees

  • Uunguu evaluation and monitoring committee, Wunambal Gaambera Aboriginal Corporation
  • implementation advisory committee, Pilbara environmental offset program
  • steering committee, WA subterranean fauna research program
  • feral cat technical committee, DBCA
  • research executive committee, NESP NAERH
  • Western Shield advisory group, DBCA
  • Australasian marsupial and monotreme species specialist group, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
  • multiple threatened fauna recovery teams.


My Projects

Current projectCompleted project
NESP RLH, 2021-2027NESP, 2015-2021NERP, 2012-2015TRaCK, 2005-present