Richard Hobbs

BSc Edin., MA(Biol) Calif., PhD Aberd., FAA

Richard is an ecologist, with experience in Australia, United Kingdom, Europe and the United States. He is Professor of Ecology in the School of Biological Sciences and an IAS Distinguished Fellow at UWA and leads the Ecosystem Restoration and Intervention Ecology research group. Richard studies the patterns and processes of life – species and how they interact, ecosystems and how they work – and how humans intersect with and affect these species and ecosystems.

Richard grew up in Scotland and completed a BSc in Ecological Science at Edinburgh followed by an MA in Biology at the University of California Santa Barbara, on a Fulbright Scholarship. His PhD at the University of Aberdeen, focused on post-fire dynamics of heathland communities, supervised by Prof Charles Gimingham.

After completing his PhD, Richard became a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University 1982-84, working with Prof Hal Mooney on serpentine grassland dynamics. Richard joined CSIRO Division of Wildlife & Ecology in Western Australia in 1984 and worked on the dynamics of fragmented ecosystems in the Western Australian Wheatbelt and became Officer in Charge of the Western Australian laboratory in 1997.

In 2000, Richard took up a Chair in Environmental Science at Murdoch University and was awarded an ARC Australian Professorial Fellowship in 2006.
Richard joined UWA in 2009 where he leads the ERIE Research Group within the School of Biological Sciences.

In 2011 Professor Hobbs was named WA Scientist of the Year at the WA Science Awards. He was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 2004, is an ISI Highly Cited Researcher and was awarded the Ecological Society of Australia Gold Medal in 2010 and was made an Honorary Member of the Ecological Society of America in 2016.

Richard’s specific interests are in vegetation dynamics and management, fragmentation, invasive species, ecosystem restoration, conservation biology and landscape ecology. His current research focuses on “Intervention ecology: managing ecosystems in a rapidly changing world”.


  • WA Botanic Gardens & Parks Authority (Kings Park)
  • Alcoa World Alumina Australia
  • Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions


  • ARC Australian Laureate Fellowships
  • ARC Discovery Project
  • ARC Linkage grant
  • National Environmental Science Program (NESP – TSR)
  • National Environmental Science Program (NESP – CAUL)
  • ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions CEED

Richard’s Links:

Researcher ID
Research Gate
Google Scholar profile
UWA Website

Top Publications

Hallett, L.M., Farrer, E.C., Suding, K.N., Mooney, H.A. & Hobbs, R.J (2018) Tradeoffs in demographic mechanisms underlie differences in species abundance and stability Nature Communications 9: 5047

Hobbs, R.J., Valentine, L.E., Standish, R.J. & Jackson, S.T.  (2018) Movers and stayers: novel assemblages in changing environments. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 33: 116-128

Hobbs, R.J., Higgs, E.S. & Hall, C.M. (2017) Expanding the portfolio: conserving nature’s masterpieces in a changing worldBioScience 67: 568-575

Perring, M.P., Standish, R.J., Price, J.N., Craig, M.D., Erickson, T.E., Ruthrof, K.X., Whiteley, A.S., Valentine, L.E. & Hobbs, R.J. (2015) Advances in restoration ecology: Rising to the challenges of the coming decades. Ecosphere Volume 6 (8): 131

Hobbs, R.J., Higgs, E.S., Hall, C.M., Bridgewater, P., Chapin III, F.S., Ellis, E.C., Ewel, J.J., Hallett, L.M., Harris, J.A., Hulvey, K.B., Jackson, S.T., Kennedy, P.L., Kueffer, C., Lach, L., Lantz, T.C., Lugo, A.E., Mascaro, J., Murphy, S.D., Nelson, C.R. , Perring, M.P., Richardson, D.M., Seastedt, T.R., Standish, R.J., Starzomski, B.M., Suding, K.N., Tognetti, P.M., Yakob, L., & Yung, L. (2014) Managing the whole landscape: historical, hybrid and novel ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12: 557-564.

Hobbs, R.J., Hallett, L.M., Ehrlich, P.R. & Mooney, H.A. (2011) Intervention ecology: applying ecological science in the 21st century. BioScience 61: 442-450

Hobbs, R.J., Higgs, E.S. and Hall, C.M. (eds) 2013 Novel Ecosystems: Intervening in the new ecological world order. Wiley, Oxford.

Hobbs, R.J. & Suding, K.N. (eds.) 2009 New Models for Ecosystem Dynamics and Restoration. Island Press, Washington D.C.

Lindenmayer, D.B., Bennett, A.F. & Hobbs, R.J. (eds) 2010 Temperate woodland conservation and management. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Cramer, V.A. and Hobbs, R.J. (editors) 2007 Old fields: Dynamics and Restoration of Abandoned Farmland. Island Press, Washington D.C.

Lindenmayer, D.B. and Hobbs, R.J. (editors) 2007 Managing and Designing Landscapes for Conservation: moving from Perspectives to Principles. Blackwell, Oxford. 587pp