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Dr Rocio Ponce Reyes


Research Scientist

Contact details:

GPO BOX 2583


I am a conservation scientist who specialises in helping decision makers to identify management strategies. I am also very interested in exploring the environmental benefits of complementing our diet with insects- for more information please check:

Understanding the processes behind the patterns, allows me to then develop cost-effective conservation strategies. I am a highly adaptable scientist working across different ecological systems and using techniques from several disciplines.

I am passionate about studying patterns in biodiversity in order to understand the ecological processes behind them. Patterns such as species distribution and mapping threats allow me to develop cost-effective conservation strategies. For example, in the past I have modelled the potential distribution of Mexican cloud forests and of seven ecosystems in East Africa under different climate change scenarios to identify priority areas for conservation. I have also identified and prioritized the most cost-effective management strategies to protect biodiversity in one of the most transformed regions in Australia, the Brigalow Belt, and currently looking for opportunities to implement those strategies- through the building and implementation of a common vision among regional stakeholders.

In CSIRO I had the opportunity to collaborate with the Strategic Insights Team (Data 61) in a project about the Technology roadmap in Australia, to identify the potential impact of the digital economy in Australia. I was also involved in the Distributed Ledger Technology Strategic Foresight Study Plan. I formed part of the NAWRA Ecology team and the RoWRA Ecology team, looking at the potential impacts of building new dams in Northern Australia. I am part of the team working to develop an integrated species prioritisation tool for threatened species and communities in NSW.

I am also working on several edible insect research projects, from a roadmap report that identifies challenges, opportunities and future pathways to strengthen the edible insect industry, to the identifying the nutritional profile of some native insects.

Fields of Research

Academic Qualifications

  • 2002

    UNAM Mexico

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018-2018

    Theo Murphy Grant
    Australian Academy of Science

  • 2011-2011

    Finalist of Best Student Award
    SCB Auckland, New Zealand