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Dr Cameron Fletcher

Group Leader, Environmental Informatics; Site Leader, CSIRO Atherton


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Current activities

Dr Cameron Fletcher studies the way people interact with the environment in systems where it is this interaction between people and the environment that drives change.

He is an interdisciplinary scientist, using a wide range of techniques from computer modelling, mathematics, and economics, to ecological approaches and the techniques of social science. He leads teams containing specialists from various disciplinary backgrounds, integrating the insights from experts in different fields to build a whole-of-system understanding to inform government policy and management.

Dr Fletcher has applied his techniques across a broad range of projects at CSIRO. He is currently leading the Decision Support & Modelling Program Area of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation's COTS Control Innovation Program, where he is coordinating the collaborative development of a national research strategy across research partners and contributing to a three year national investment plan for COTS control innovation. He also leads the integrated modelling component of the NESP Integrated Pest Management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (COTS) Research Program, where his work draws together knowledge from a range of disciplines and experts from research and management organisations across Australia to inform better decision making at multiple scales in the high profile national COTS Control Program. This work builds off Dr Fletcher’s long legacy of underpinning more effective management decisions in Australia’s Wet Tropics World Heritage Area with detailed understandings of the ecological processes driving pest populations, including weeds (NERP Invasive species risks and responses in the Wet Tropics project) and animals (IACRC Prioritising Adaptation Actions for Managing Invasive Animals Under Climate Change project).

Dr Fletcher is also the Group Leader for Environmental Informatics within the Water Security Program of Land & Water. The EI Group aims to leverage opportunities from the digital revolution to enable improved and sustainable management of natural resources by addressing challenges across the entire information supply chain, including social, technical and informational aspects. It works to achieve this by ensuring: environmental data are shared; environmental data are analysed and transformed by trusted processes; and environmental knowledge is accessed and applied by decision makers. The Group encompasses expertise in: environmental modelling and simulation; information architectures, infrastructures and data integration; social architectures for information infrastructure; data visualisation and analytics; web systems design and architectures; linked data and semantic web technologies; data and information engineering; geospatial data; development of data and information standards; machine learning and artificial intelligence; and knowledge design and delivery.


Dr Fletcher’s early work in CSIRO’s Complex Systems Science initiative focussed on the dynamic relationship between people that harvest renewable resources and the environment, including indigenous communities and modern farmers. He extended the underlying principles of this work to look at the economics of tree-change urbanization in Far North Queensland, and the potential impacts of changing urbanization patterns on water quality on the Great Barrier Reef. More recently, he has worked with colleagues to developed neural network classification techniques to estimate how well Australia’s National Reserve System will protect our ecosystems under future climates.

A large part of his continuing work at CSIRO has involved designing ecologically effective management strategies for invasive weeds and pests. He has worked on the management of Miconia calvescens and other Class 1 weed species, as well as feral pigs (Sus scrofa) in and around the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area in northern Queensland, as well as community rodent control techniques in rice fields in Vietnam and Indonesia.

His work on the economics of urban development now focuses on the economics of climate adaptation to coastal inundation in Australia’s urban coastal areas. With his team at CSIRO and collaborators at University of Queensland, he has measured how much value security against inundation adds to a residential house, and simulated how rising sea levels under climate change may affect property values across South East Queensland in future. This novel insight helps local councils decide how much to spend on adaptation actions now to avoid damages due to inundation events in the future. He also extended this work to look at the distribution of economic costs of climate change to household and road infrastructure and how institutional interactions across various levels of government enable or constrain adaptation options that can help protect our communities from these events.

Current Roles

  • Group Leader
    Environmental Informatics

  • Site Leader
    CSIRO Atherton

  • Program Area Lead, Decision Support & Modelling
    GBRF COTS Control Innovation Program

  • Sub-Project Leader
    NESP Integrated Pest Management of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish

Academic Qualifications

  • 1999

    B.Sc., Hons (1st class), Physics
    University of Western Australia

  • 2005

    Ph.D., Physics
    Australian National University

Professional Experiences

  • 2014-Present

    Site Leader, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2015-Present

    Senior Research Scientist

  • 2017-2019

    Acting Team Leader of Conservation Decisions (as required)

  • 2015-2017

    Acting Team Leader of Tropical Forest Ecology (as required)

  • 2012-2014

    Acting Officer In Charge of CSIRO Atherton (as required)

  • 2012-2013

    Acting Stream Leader (Adaptive Communities and Institutions, Climate Adaptation Flagship)

  • 2007-2015

    Research Scientist

  • 2020-Present

    Group Leader, Environmental Informatics

  • 2019-2020

    Acting Team Leader of Environmental Futures (as required)

  • 2004-2007

    Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 2004-2004

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Australian National University

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-

    CSIRO Recognition Award

  • 2019-

    CSIRO Recognition Award

  • 2017-

    CSIRO Corporate Citizenship Award

  • 2016-

    CSIRO Corporate Citizenship Award

  • 2015-

    CSIRO Recognition Award

  • 2011-

    CSIRO Recognition Award

  • 2007-

    Best Presentation in General Session E
    Complex '07

  • 2001-

    Dean's Prize
    ANU Graduate Student Seminar

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2014-Present

    Chair of the Site Committee, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2014-Present

    Chair of the Emergency Management Committee, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2014-Present

    HSE Committee Member, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2016-Present

    Consultative Committee Representative, CSIRO Atherton and CSIRO Cairns

  • 2018

    Lion's Youth Of The Year Zone Judge

  • 2015-2017

    Chief Fire Warden, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2007-2017

    First Aid Officer, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2012-2014

    Site Committee Representative, CSIRO Atherton

  • 2008-2012

    Consultative Committee Representative, CSIRO Atherton


We have publications by Dr Cameron Fletcher