Dr Rocio Ponce Reyes

Research Scientist

Contact details:

  • GPO BOX 2583


I am a conservation scientist with a broad set of interests and skills seeking opportunities to make an effective contribution to biodiversity conservation — influencing policy and decision making— through high quality research.

My newest challenge is developing the 'Australian edible insect industry Roadmap', positioning CSIRO as the go-to provider of innovative edible insect solutions. To do that I am organising a CSIRO Cutting Edge Symposium on "Developing Australia’s edible insect industry to improve environmental, health and cultural outcomes” (28-30th August 2019, Brisbane) among other edible insects research projects.

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, 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.

Currently I am looking at integrating edible insects in the so-called 'Western diet' to improve health and environmental outcomes.

Fields of Research

Academic Qualifications

  • 2002

    UNAM Mexico

Achievements and Awards

  • 2018-2018

    Theo Murphy Grant
    Australian Academy of Science

  • 2016-2016

    Non-cash award

  • 2011-2011

    Finalist of Best Student Award
    SCB Auckland, New Zealand

Other highlights

  • 2012-2012

    My PhD work is having real conservation impact through collaboration with a local Mexican NGO (Pronatura Veracruz).


We have publications by Dr Rocio Ponce Reyes