Dr McAlpine's research is at the interface of landscape ecology, biodiversity conservation and climate change. He is an internationally recognised landscape ecologist with a proven track record in biodiversity conservation in fragmented landscape, environmental management, modelling land cover change, and climate impacts of land cover change. A recent study led by Dr McAlpine found that land clearing made the climate of southeast Australia significantly hotter and dryer, and hence highlighted the need to include native vegetation in climate change mitigation. The geographic focus of his research is eastern Australia, and includes tropical and sub-tropical landscapes such as the nationally-listed Brigalow ecosystems and tropical savannas of northern Australia. His work underpins biodiversity conservation programs being developed by regional natural resource management bodies in Queensland and northern New South Wales and the Australian government to reduce human land use/ land cover change impacts on Australia's regional climate.