I am a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne under the supervision of Prof. Mark Burgman, Dr. Anca Hanea,  Dr. Terry Walshe, and A/Prof Fiona Fidler. I started in October 2014 and after undertaking a few small projects outside of my PhD I’ll be finishing in December 2018. I also work as a research associate for the Centre for Environmental and Economic Research at the University of Melbourne.

I’m interested in the use of expert opinion within ecological decisions. My PhD research involves exploring the utility of structured expert elicitation protocols to improve the judgements provided by experts, and the accountability of policy makers to those judgements. Of particular interest is the IDEA protocol for structured expert judgement, and the scoring and weighing methods of the Classical Model (Cooke 1991).

Prior to undertaking my PhD, I completed honours on Gabo Island, Victoria, where I developed an adaptive management trial for cattle in relation to a large colony of Little Penguins (Eudyptula minor).   Should we remove the cattle? The trial ran for six years and was completed in November 2014. Watch this space for a paper.

After completing honours, I worked as a consultant botanist and environmental scientist for five years.  In this role, I undertook a large number projects ranging from vegetation surveys, to the development of monitoring and management plans. Clients included a number of Victorian and NSW water authorities and Catchment Management Authorities, Parks Victoria, NSW Natural Resources Commission, the Australian Department of Defence, and the Port of Hastings Authority.  This work provided me with invaluable experience in vegetation survey, monitoring design, data analysis, risk assessment and decision making under uncertainty. It also planted a number of questions in my mind about the selection and use of experts in environmental science.  These questions led to me leaving my job, returning to full-time study and dedicating my PhD research to finding answers.

At the end of my current research I hope to be able to demonstrate how widely we rely on expert opinion, tell you how you should pick an expert, how to elicit them, and how to analyse their judgements to inform your decision.

Have some questions or thoughts? You can contact me

Victoria Hemming

Follow me: Twitter: @v_hemming    /  ResearchGate: here  / vhemming@unimelb.edu.au


CEBRA https://cebra.unimelb.edu.au/home / CEER http://www.ceeresearch.org/