Hedley's main research field is biodiversity conservation and spatial planning. He earned his PhD from the University of Queensland where he developed conservation planning approaches accounting for ecosystem dynamics and uncertainty. He has worked in academia and as a consultant before joining Conservation International. He is still a Research Associate at University of Queensland. He has conducted applied research projects in marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems in Australia, South East Asia, China, South Africa and Mediterranean Europe, and has published over 30 peer-reviewed scientific papers and book chapters.