Dr Bruce Webber

Principal Research Scientist, Team Leader (Ecosystem Change Ecology)

Contact details:


Bruce’s work focuses on the impacts of global environmental change on community ecology and the role of plant-ecosystem interactions in shaping community composition. He leads projects that translate novel research findings into improved management solutions to address the biggest challenges at the nexus of landscape change, species invasions and native species resilience. A common theme underpinning his current research is how plant fitness is influenced by abiotic, biotic and dispersal drivers, and how this fitness, in turn, impacts on population and community dynamics. Bruce’s research spans a variety of ecosystems, with a particular focus on the tropical regions of northern Australia and SE Asia. He complements this field-based research with controlled-condition experiments and modelling.

Research interests: community ecology, plant-animal interactions, invasion science, global change biology, conservation biology and biodiversity, population ecology, plant ecophysiology, photography.


Bruce leads the CSIRO Ecosystem Change Ecology Team based in Perth, Western Australia. This multidisciplinary team generates knowledge on the mechanistic links and synergistic interactions between landscape change, species invasions and native species decline in terrestrial ecosystems. Working in both agricultural and natural ecosystems, the team undertakes research and develop theory to underpin more effective policy and management actions for conservation, invasion and production challenges in the face of rapid global change. The team delivers primarily to Land & Water and Health & Biosecurity in CSIRO, and has strong links with the University of Western Australia via collaborative research and student supervision.

Bruce is also a Program Director at the Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute (WABSI) and an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Western Australia.


For a full list of Bruce's publications, including links to PDF copies, please see his profiles at ResearchGate, Google Scholar or ResearcherID.

Five selected publications:

• Webber, BL, Raghu, S, Edwards, OR (2015). Is CRISPR-based gene drive a biocontrol silver bullet or global conservation threat? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 112: 10565-10567. [View article]

• Webber, BL, van Klinken, RD, Scott, JK (2014). Invasive plants in a rapidly changing climate: an Australian perspective. In: Invasive species and climate change (ed. by L.H. Ziska and J.S. Dukes). CABI International, London. pp 169-197. [View article]

• Webber BL, Scott JK. (2012). Rapid global change: implications for defining natives and aliens. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 21: 305-311. (With cover image). [View article]

• Webber BL, Yates CJ, Le Maitre DC, Scott JK, Kriticos DJ, Ota N, McNeill A, Le Roux JJ, Midgley GF. (2011). Modelling horses for novel climate courses: insights from projecting potential distributions of native and alien Australian acacias with correlative and mechanistic models. Diversity and Distributions, 17: 978-1000. [View article]

• Webber BL, Woodrow IE. (2009). Chemical and physical plant defence across multiple ontogenetic stages in a tropical rain forest understorey tree. Journal of Ecology, 97: 761-771. [View article]

Current Roles

  • Team Leader
    Ecosystem Change Ecology team

  • Program Director
    Western Australian Biodiversity Science Institute

Academic Qualifications

  • 2000

    BSc (Hons I)
    School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Australia

  • 2006

    School of Botany, The University of Melbourne, Australia

Professional Experiences

  • 2009-2011

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship

  • 2006-2008

    Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow
    Centre d'Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive, CNRS, Montpellier, France

  • 2005-2006

    Research Fellow
    School of Biological Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom

Achievements and Awards

  • 2014-2017

    Julius Career Award

  • 2012

    CliMond Team Certificate of Appreciation
    CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

  • 2011

    Western Australian Young Tall Poppy Science Award
    Australian Institute of Policy & Science

  • 2011

    John Phillip Award

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2018-present

    Associate Editor, Neobiota

  • 2010-present

    Australian STEM Professionals in Schools Program

  • 2009-present

    Adjunct Associate Professor, University of Western Australia