Dr Iadine Chades

Pronunciation: (Pronunciation: 'Ya-deen Cha-dess')

Team Leader


My research is at the forefront of linking conservation science with quantitative tools from the field of artificial intelligence (AI). I develop AI methods to provide guidance on how to make smart decisions under imperfect knowledge and resource constraints (1). During my PhD, I developed new methods to tackle complex optimisation problems for mobile robots using Markov decision processes (MDP). I discovered that MDP models can be an effective tool for improving decision-making in modern conservation science – teaching a robot to navigate utilizes the same mathematics as choosing the best conservation actions to save threatened species under uncertainty (2). Eager to contribute to conservation science, I changed career and turned towards decisions in ecology (2006). Combining my expertise in AI with ecological and economic models, I solve complex applied conservation problems in the face of uncertainty. The solutions I provide are optimal decisions that save money and allocate resources more efficiently. My work is in demand in applied pest management, health and conservation. For example, I have provided solutions to efficiently eradicate invasive weeds, control mosquito-borne diseases and protect threatened species from extinction (3-4).

I am the team leader of the Conservation Decisions team (CSIRO, Land and Water) a multi-disciplinary group with expertise in ecology, systematic conservation planning, priority threat management, artificial intelligence, and decision theory. Our motivation is to solve pressing global conservation problems. We do this by connecting ecological data with decision science to determine what actions to take, when and where to get the best outcomes for biodiversity conservation, while taking into account the many other competing needs of society.

  1. MacKenzie, D. I. Getting the biggest bang for our conservation buck. Trends Ecol. Evol. 24, 175-177 (2009).
  2. Chadès, I. What’s the connection between mobile robots, endangered cryptic animals and invasive species? Decision Point 29, 5 (2009).
  3. Chadès, I. et al. When to stop managing or surveying cryptic threatened species. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 105, 13936 (2008).
  4. Chadès, I. et al. General rules for managing and surveying networks of pests, diseases, and endangered species. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A. 108, 8323-8328 (2011).
  5. Chadès, I. al., Benefits of integrating complementarity into priority threat management. Cons. Biol., 2014

Science and Professional Areas

  • Conservation biology
  • Computational sustainability
  • Decision theory
  • Ecology
  • Biosecurity

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD in Artificial IntelligenceINRIA, Univ. of Nancy HPC, France2003
  • M.Sc. in Computer scienceENS Lyon, UCBL, France1998

Professional Experiences

  • Assistant lecturerUniv. Metz / Nancy1998 - 2001
  • Research Scientist (indefinite/on leave)INRA2003 - pres
  • Postdoctoral FellowUniv. of Queensland2008 - 2009
  • OCE Postdoctoral FellowCSIRO2009 - 2010
  • Research Scientist (indefinite)CSIRO2010 - Pres.

Achievements and Awards

  • Best paper award computational sustainability AAAI 2012: Chadès, I., Carwardine, J., Martin, T.G., Nicol, S., Sabbadin, R. & Buffet, O. (2012) MOMDPs: a solution for modelling adaptive management problems. The Twenty-Sixth AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence (AAAI-12), pp. 267-273. Toronto, Canada. AAAI is ranked A* by ERAAAAI2012
  • Julius Career AwardCSIRO2013 - 2016
  • Women in Technology award finalist (ICT)WIT2014

Contact information


  • +61 7 3833 5683

Postal address:

GPO BOX 2583