Megan Evans

Lecturer and ARC DECRA Fellow
Lecturer

I am a Lecturer in Public Sector Management within the School of Business, UNSW Canberra, as part of the Public Service Research Group. I hold an Australian Research Council DECRA Fellowship which is examining the growth of private sector investment in biodiversity and natural capital. I am also affiliated with the University of Queensland's Centre for Policy Futures.

My research aims to understand how governments, businesses and other actors can more effectively protect and manage our natural environment. To do this, I use theories and methods from the natural and social sciences to inform the design, implementation and evaluation of environmental laws, policies and tools. I have a diverse background, including undergraduate degrees in mathematics and ecology, a PhD in public policy, and direct experience with policymaking. I sit on the editorial boards of Conservation Letters

Recent media and comment

  • Taking care of business: the private sector is waking up to nature’s value. The Conversation. February 2021.
  • Navigating Uncertainty - S01E12 - Why Biodiversity Loss Is A Growing Risk For Business. UNSW Canberra Podcasts. Spotify Podcasts. SoundCloud. December 2020.
  • Brisbane 'throws ratepayer money overseas' to be carbon neutral’: Councillor. Brisbane Times. November 2020.
  • Why ignoring biodiversity loss is an increasingly risky business. The Canberra Times. September 2020.
  • 'We are relying on a pinky promise’: The problem with the Government moving its environmental powers to states. ABC News. September 2020.
  • Ask an Expert: What is the EPBC Act? UNSW Ask An Expert. September 2020.
  • The magic of the market won’t help the environment unless government also takes responsibility. The Guardian. July 2020.
  • Morrison government urged to fix flawed environmental offsets leaving threatened species at risk. The Guardian. June 2020.
  • Scientists fear Coalition’s push to deregulate environmental approvals will lead to extinction crisis. The Guardian. June 2020.
  • Overestimating rate of biodiversity loss can have unexpected consequences. UNSW Canberra. May 2020
Book Chapters
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Evans M, 2020, 'Effective engagement of conservation scientists with decision-makers', in Conservation Research, Policy and Practice, Cambridge University Press, pp. 162 - 182, https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/conservation-research-policy-and-practice/effective-engagement-of-conservation-scientists-with-decisionmakers/8E4443F6F45B020DDC017EF8A5478DAE
2020
Journal articles
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Maseyk FJF; Maron M; Gordon A; Bull JW; Evans MC, 2021, 'Improving averted loss estimates for better biodiversity outcomes from offset exchanges', ORYX, vol. 55, pp. 393 - 403, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0030605319000528
2021
Evans MC, 2021, 'Re-conceptualizing the role(s) of science in biodiversity conservation', Environmental Conservation, vol. 48, pp. 151 - 160, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0376892921000114
2021
Wyborn C; Evans MC, 2021, 'Conservation needs to break free from global priority mapping', Nature Ecology and Evolution, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-021-01540-x
2021
Mayfield HJ; Brazill-Boast J; Gorrod E; Evans MC; Auld T; Rhodes JR; Maron M, 2020, 'Estimating species response to management using an integrated process: A case study from New South Wales, Australia', CONSERVATION SCIENCE AND PRACTICE, vol. 2, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/csp2.269
2020
Moon K; Blackman DA; Adams VM; Colvin RM; Davila F; Evans MC; Januchowski-Hartley SR; Bennett NJ; Dickinson H; Sandbrook C; Sherren K; St. John FAV; van Kerkhoff L; Wyborn C, 2019, 'Expanding the role of social science in conservation through an engagement with philosophy, methodology, and methods', Methods in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 10, pp. 294 - 302, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13126
2019
Evans MC, 2018, '` Economics and Environmental Change: The Challenges We Face', AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURAL AND RESOURCE ECONOMICS, vol. 62, pp. 713 - 715, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8489.12281
2018
Evans MC, 2018, 'Effective incentives for reforestation: lessons from Australia's carbon farming policies', Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, vol. 32, pp. 38 - 45, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2018.04.002
2018
Reed SE; Thomas SL; Bednarek AT; DellaSala DA; Evans MC; Lundquist C; Mascia MB; McPherson TY; Watson JEM, 2018, 'Roles for scientific societies to engage with conservation policy', Conservation Biology, vol. 32, pp. 513 - 515, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13092
2018
Maron M; Brownlie S; Bull JW; Evans MC; Von Hase A; Quétier F; Watson JEM; Gordon A, 2018, 'The many meanings of no net loss in environmental policy', Nature Sustainability, vol. 1, pp. 19 - 27, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41893-017-0007-7
2018
Evans MC; Cvitanovic C, 2018, 'An introduction to achieving policy impact for early career researchers', Palgrave Communications, vol. 4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41599-018-0144-2
2018
Reside AE; Beher J; Cosgrove AJ; Evans MC; Seabrook L; Silcock JL; Wenger AS; Maron M, 2017, 'Ecological consequences of land clearing and policy reform in Queensland', Pacific Conservation Biology, vol. 23, pp. 219 - 230, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PC17001
2017
Lindenmayer DB; Crane M; Evans MC; Maron M; Gibbons P; Bekessy S; Blanchard W, 2017, 'The anatomy of a failed offset', Biological Conservation, vol. 210, pp. 286 - 292, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2017.04.022
2017
Evans MC; Davila F; Toomey A; Wyborn C, 2017, 'Embrace complexity to improve conservation decision making', Nature Ecology and Evolution, vol. 1, pp. 1588, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0345-x
2017
Maron M; Ives CD; Kujala H; Bull JW; Maseyk FJF; Bekessy S; Gordon A; Watson JEM; Lentini PE; Gibbons P; Possingham HP; Hobbs RJ; Keith DA; Wintle BA; Evans MC, 2016, 'Taming a Wicked Problem: Resolving Controversies in Biodiversity Offsetting', BioScience, vol. 66, pp. 489 - 498, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biw038
2016
Evans MC; Tulloch AIT; Law EA; Raiter KG; Possingham HP; Wilson KA, 2016, 'Better planning outcomes requires clear consideration of costs, condition and conservation benefits, and access to the best available data: Reply to Gosper et al., 2016', Biological Conservation, vol. 200, pp. 242 - 243, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.06.009
2016
Gibbons P; Evans MC; Maron M; Gordon A; Le Roux D; von Hase A; Lindenmayer DB; Possingham HP, 2016, 'A Loss-Gain Calculator for Biodiversity Offsets and the Circumstances in Which No Net Loss Is Feasible', Conservation Letters, vol. 9, pp. 252 - 259, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/conl.12206
2016
Martin N; Evans M; Rice J; Lodhia S; Gibbons P, 2016, 'Using offsets to mitigate environmental impacts of major projects: A stakeholder analysis', Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 179, pp. 58 - 65, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.04.054
2016
Evans MC, 2016, 'Deforestation in Australia: Drivers, trends and policy responses', Pacific Conservation Biology, vol. 22, pp. 130 - 150, http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/PC15052
2016
Tulloch VJD; Tulloch AIT; Visconti P; Halpern BS; Watson JEM; Evans MC; Auerbach NA; Barnes M; Beger M; Chadès I; Giakoumi S; McDonald-Madden E; Murray NJ; Ringma J; Possingham HP, 2015, 'Why do We map threats? Linking threat mapping with actions to make better conservation decisions', Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 13, pp. 91 - 99, http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/140022
2015
Evans MC; Carwardine J; Fensham RJ; Butler DW; Wilson KA; Possingham HP; Martin TG, 2015, 'Carbon farming via assisted natural regeneration as a cost-effective mechanism for restoring biodiversity in agricultural landscapes', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 50, pp. 114 - 129, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2015.02.003
2015
Evans MC; Tulloch AIT; Law EA; Raiter KG; Possingham HP; Wilson KA, 2015, 'Clear consideration of costs, condition and conservation benefits yields better planning outcomes', Biological Conservation, vol. 191, pp. 716 - 727, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.08.023
2015
Maron M; Bull JW; Evans MC; Gordon A, 2015, 'Locking in loss: Baselines of decline in Australian biodiversity offset policies', Biological Conservation, vol. 192, pp. 504 - 512, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2015.05.017
2015
Tulloch AIT; Tulloch VJD; Evans MC; Mills M, 2014, 'The Value of Using Feasibility Models in Systematic Conservation Planning to Predict Landholder Management Uptake', Conservation Biology, vol. 28, pp. 1462 - 1473, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cobi.12403
2014
Miller KL; Trezise JA; Kraus S; Dripps K; Evans MC; Gibbons P; Possingham HP; Maron M, 2014, 'The development of the Australian environmental offsets policy: From theory to practice', Environmental Conservation, vol. 42, pp. 306 - 314, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S037689291400040X
2014
Evans MC; Possingham HP; Wilson KA, 2011, 'What to do in the face of multiple threats? Incorporating dependencies within a return on investment framework for conservation', Diversity and Distributions, vol. 17, pp. 437 - 450, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-4642.2011.00747.x
2011
Evans M; Possingham H; Wilson K, 2011, 'Extinctions: Conserve not collate', Nature, vol. 474, pp. 284, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/474284a
2011
Taylor MFJ; Sattler PS; Evans M; Fuller RA; Watson JEM; Possingham HP, 2011, 'What works for threatened species recovery? An empirical evaluation for Australia', Biodiversity and Conservation, vol. 20, pp. 767 - 777, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10531-010-9977-8
2011
Evans MC; Watson JEM; Fuller RA; Venter O; Bennett SC; Marsack PR; Possingham HP, 2011, 'The spatial distribution of threats to species in Australia', BioScience, vol. 61, pp. 281 - 289, http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/bio.2011.61.4.8
2011
Wilson KA; Evans MC; di Marco M; Green DC; Boitani L; Possingham HP; Chiozza F; Rondinini C, 2011, 'Prioritizing conservation investments for mammal species globally', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 366, pp. 2670 - 2680, http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2011.0108
2011
Theses / Dissertations
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Evans M, 2017, Public policy for biodiversity conservation: evaluating outcomes, opportunities and risks
2017

Recent submissions

  • Submission to the Senate Environment and Communications Legislation Committee Inquiry into the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Standards and Assurance) Bill 2021 pdf
  • Submission to the Interim Report of the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). pdf
  • Submission to the Independent Review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. pdf

Media and comment

2021

  • Taking care of business: the private sector is waking up to nature’s value. The Conversation. February 2021.
  • It’s not too late to save them: 5 ways to improve the government’s plan to protect threatened wildlife. The Conversation.

2020

  • Navigating Uncertainty - S01E12 - Why Biodiversity Loss Is A Growing Risk For Business. UNSW Canberra Podcasts. Spotify Podcasts. SoundCloud. December 2020.
  • Brisbane 'throws ratepayer money overseas' to be carbon neutral’: Councillor. Brisbane Times. 26th November 2020.
  • Why ignoring biodiversity loss is an increasingly risky business. The Canberra Times. September 2020.
  • 'We are relying on a pinky promise’: The problem with the Government moving its environmental powers to states. ABC News. 13th September 2020.
  • Ask an Expert: What is the EPBC Act? UNSW Ask An Expert. 4th September 2020.
  • New environment law framework could give States too much power. 2SER 107.3. 2nd September 2020
  • Environmental changes should not be rushed to become law: experts. The Wire community radio. 24th July 2020.
  • The magic of the market won’t help the environment unless government also takes responsibility. The Guardian. July 2020.
  • National cabinet just agreed to big changes to environment law. Here’s why the process shouldn’t be rushed. The Conversation. July 2020.
  • Morrison government urged to fix flawed environmental offsets leaving threatened species at risk. The Guardian. 27th June 2020.
  • Scientists fear Coalition’s push to deregulate environmental approvals will lead to extinction crisis. The Guardian. 16th June 2020.
  • Overestimating rate of biodiversity loss can have unexpected consequences. UNSW Canberra. May 2020

2019

2018

  • Help to shape policy with your science. Nature 560: 671. August 2018.
  • Four personality traits ECRs can foster to help impact policy and practice. Research to Action. August 2018.
  • Early Career Researchers: So You Want To Make A Difference? Particle. August 2018.
  • So you want to make an impact? Some practical suggestions for early-career researchers. London School of Economics Impact Blog. July 2018.
  • Land-clearing wipes out $1bn taxpayer-funded emissions gains. The Guardian. 29th May 2018.

2017 

  • Land clearing rates in Queensland on par with Brazil, new study finds. ABC News. June 2017.
  • Australia’s species need an independent champion. The Conversation, October 2017.
  • The plan to protect wildlife displaced by the Hume Highway has failed. The Conversation, May 2017.
  • Land clearing on the rise as legal ‘thinning’ proves far from clear-cut. The Conversation, June 2017.
  • Hume Highway duplication project failed to protect threatened species, ANU study finds. ABC News. May 2017.

2016

  • Queensland farmers protest proposed changes to tree clearing laws. Interview on Radio National. August 2016.
  • Australia needs better policy to end the alarming increase in land clearing. The Conversation, August 2016. 
  • Queensland moves to control land clearing: other states need to follow. The Conversation, May 2016.

2015 and earlier

  • Assisted regeneration could make farmers money. ANU News. 17th March 2015.
  • Can we offset biodiversity losses? Brisbane Times and SBS News Australia. May 2013.
  • Can we offset biodiversity losses? The Conversation, May 2013.
  • Australia’s biodiversity under increasing threat from multiple fronts. UQ News. April 2011.
  • No refuge: When a ‘protected area’ is not really protected. The Conversation, September 2011.
  • Australia set for tidal wave of wildlife extinction: WWF. WWF-Australia. November 2008
  • 2018: Winner of the University of Queensland Faculty of Science Rising Star (Academic) Award (selected from 29 nominations and 349 eligible academics).
  • 2014: Awarded competitive scholarship by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED) to participate in a year-long leadership program for 14 early career researchers, which included media, facilitation and leadership training, and individual and group projects.
  • 2014: Awarded a prestigious Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists Science Program Scholarship.
  • 2020: $41,600. WWF-Australia. Modelling pathways to a carbon neutral Queensland beef sector through policy and investment to drive transition from deforestation to reforestation. 

  • 2020-2022: $379,729. Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) The Effectiveness of Impact Investing for Biodiversity Conservation

  • 2017–2018: $95,786. Project funded by New South Wales Office of Environment and Heritage to develop response to management models for priority species (Investigators: Maron, M, Evans M.C., Rhodes J).

  • 2017: $3,000. Awarded a Visiting Fellowship (RMIT University) by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED).

  • 2015: $7,000. Funding for a workshop on the legal and institutional dimensions of biodiversity offsetting by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED). 

  • 2013 – 2016: $87,500. Won a prestigious Australian National University Australian Postgraduate Award.

  • 2013 – 2016: $49,500. Won a highly competitive CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship Top-up Scholarship.

Evans M, 2021, It’s not too late to save them: 5 ways to improve the government’s plan to protect threatened wildlife, http://theconversation.com/its-not-too-late-to-save-them-5-ways-to-improve-the-governments-plan-to-protect-threatened-wildlife-147669
2021
Evans M, 2021, Taking care of business: the private sector is waking up to nature’s value, http://theconversation.com/taking-care-of-business-the-private-sector-is-waking-up-to-natures-value-153786
2021
Evans M, 2021, National cabinet just agreed to big changes to environment law. Here’s why the process shouldn’t be rushed, http://theconversation.com/national-cabinet-just-agreed-to-big-changes-to-environment-law-heres-why-the-process-shouldnt-be-rushed-143136
2021
Evans M, 2020, The magic of the market won’t help the environment unless government also takes responsibility, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jul/21/the-magic-of-the-market-wont-help-the-environment-unless-government-also-takes-responsibility
2020
Evans M, 2020, Why ignoring biodiversity loss is an increasingly risky business, https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6937770/why-ignoring-biodiversity-loss-is-an-increasingly-risky-business/
2020
Organisational units
lensSchool of Business
lensPublic Service Research Group
Sub Theme
lensPublic Service Management
lensEnvironment & Governance