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Rebecca K. Runting

Senior Lecturer in Spatial Sciences and ARC DECRA Fellow, The University of Melbourne

My research interests span spatial planning, ecosystem services, climate change adaptation and ecological economics. My focus is on examining the economic and conservation value of different modelling and planning methods in complex environments, using case studies from Australia’s coastal wetlands and the tropical forests of Indonesian Borneo.

My research on coastal wetlands has determined the value of using process-based models and high-resolution data for spatial planning under climate change. I have also developed approaches for integrating economic methods (ecosystem service markets and Modern Portfolio Theory) with conservation planning in this context.

My research on the island of Borneo analysed the potential of different planning strategies to achieve multiple competing public policy objectives. I am also exploring land-sparing and land-sharing strategies for forest management, while accounting for the spatial heterogeneity of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

I hold a PhD in Environmental Management (2017) from The University of Queensland, which focused on developing and evaluating strategies to manage ecosystem services under global change. Prior to joining the University of Melbourne as a Lecturer in Spatial Sciences, I was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Queensland.


  • 2022–present
    Senior Lecturer in Spatial Sciences, The University of Melbourne
  • 2019–2022
    Lecturer in Spatial Sciences, The University of Melbourne
  • 2016–2018
    Postdoctoral research fellow, University of Queensland
  • 2012–2013
    Research assistant, University of Queensland


  • 2017 
    University of Queensland, PhD Environmental Management
  • 2011 
    University of Queensland, Bachelor of Environmental Management (Sustainable Development) (Hons I)

Research Areas

  • Environment And Resource Economics (140205)
  • Land Use And Environmental Planning (120504)
  • Conservation And Biodiversity (050202)