Argentina Murray-1-2
Dr Nick Murray
Research Associate
Field of Research: 
Conservation biology, remote sensing, risk assessment
Contact details:
+61 2 9385 8212

Room 508
Biological Sciences Building (D26)
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Research & Current Projects

In my research I focus on delivering the science necessary to inform large (continental) scale conservation decisions. I work at the interface of conservation biology, geography and ecology, and have ongoing research projects focused on monitoring change in ecosystems and wildlife populations. I use a range of tools in my work, with particular focus on remote sensing and spatial analysis. Technical expertise includes spatial analysis (ArcGIS, R), remote sensing (primarily Landsat, MODIS), trend analysis (R, WinBUGS), spatial planning (Marxan) and programming (Python, R). I routinely work in multi-disciplinary teams and have completed collaborative projects that involve authors and advisors from >10 countries. I am a member of the the IUCN Coastal Ecosystems and Red list of Ecosystems Thematic Groups (CEM).


I am currently working on tools and approaches to monitor ecosystem dynamics, enabling assessments of the status, risk of collapse and drivers of ecosystem endangerment. Recently the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has endorsed the new Red List of Ecosystems, which is a new global standard for assessing the risk of collapse of ecosystems under global change. In collaboration with the IUCN and several other research institutions, my work is aimed at testing the Red List of Ecosystems criteria across a range of marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems.

In addition to the Red List of Ecosystems project, I have substantial ongoing projects, including:  (i) developing new remote sensing methods for understanding threatening processes to wetland environments, with a particularly focus on dynamic coastal wetlands; and (ii) investigating the drivers of the declines of migratory shorebirds in the East Asian-Australsian Flyway (the subject of my PhD).



Murray, N.J., Ma, Z. & Fuller, R.A. (2015) Tidal flats of the Yellow Sea: A review of ecosystem status and anthropogenic threats. Austral Ecology. doi:

Rodriguez, J.P., Keith, D.A., Rodriguez-Clark, K., Murray, N.J., Nicholson, E., Regan, T., Miller, R., Bland, L.M. Barrow, E., Boe, K., Brooks, T., Spalding, M. & Wit, P.  (2015) A practical guide to the application of the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems criteria. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.  370: 20140003. doi:

Tulloch, V.J., Possingham, H.P., Visconti, P., Halpern, B., Watson, J., Evans, M., Auerbach, N.A., Barnes, M., Beger, M., Chadès, I., Giakoumi, S., McDonald-Madden, E., Murray, N.J., Ringma, J. & Tulloch, A. (2015) Why do we map threats? Linking threat mapping with actions to make efficient decisions for biodiversity conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. doi:

Murray, N.J., Clemens, R., Phinn, S.R., Possingham, H.P. & Fuller, R.A. (2014) Tracking the rapid loss of tidal wetlands in the Yellow Sea. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. doi: 10.1890/130260

Iwamura, T., Possingham, H. P., Chades, I., Minton, C., Murray, N. J., Rogers, D., Treml, E. & Fuller, R. A. (2013) Migratory connectivity magnifies the consequences of habitat loss from sea-level rise for shorebird populations. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280: 20130325. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0325

MacKinnon, J., Verkuil, Y. I. & Murray, N. J. (2012) IUCN situation analysis on East and Southeast Asian intertidal habitats, with particular reference to the Yellow Sea (including the Bohai Sea). IUCN, Gland, Switzerland and Cambridge, UK. (translated into Korean, Russian and Chinese).

Murray, N.J., Phinn, S. R., Clemens, R. S., Roelfsema, C. M. & Fuller, R. A. (2012) Continental scale mapping of tidal flats across East Asia using the Landsat Archive. Remote Sensing. 4, 3417-3426. doi: 10.3390/rs4113417  

Murray, N.J. & Fuller, R.A. (2012) Coordinated effort to maintain migration network. Oryx 46, 479-48. Doi: 10.1017/S0030605312001135

Murray, N.J. & Shaw, P.P. (2010) Foraging behaviour and success of the Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca at an urban environment. Notornis. 56 (4): 201–205.

Murray, N.J. & Trebilco, R.T. (2008) An influx of Australian Shelduck Tadorna tadornoides on Macquarie Island. Australian Field Ornithology. 25(1): 40 -41.

Murray, N.J. & Shaw, P.P. (2006) Breeding biology of the Australian White Ibis Threskiornis molucca at an urban breeding colony, South-east Queensland. Corella. 32(2): 41-45.