Hello and welcome,
My research interests include expert judgement, decision analysis, risk assessment, conservation, natural capital assessments and open science.
I’m a postdoctoral fellow at the Martin Conservation Decisions Lab at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. I’m working under the supervision of Dr Tara Martin. My project aims to assess the additional benefits that are derived from investments in actions to save species (as part of the Priority Threat Management Framework).
In 2019, I completed a PhD at the University of Melbourne on assessing and improving expert judgements in ecological domains. I was awarded the Chancellor’s Prize for Excellence in the PhD thesis for my work. Of particular interest were the IDEA protocol for structured expert judgement, and the scoring and weighting methods of the Classical Model (Cooke 1991). Expert judgement is pervasive in scientific domains and the consequences of poor judgements can be dire. My research finds the problem is not with experts per se, but rather with us. We often fail to know how to identify experts, to use experts wisely, or to provide basic steps that can help experts to provide their best judgements under considerable uncertainty. A key tip is to remember that expert judgement is used like other forms of empirical data. Therefore, we should apply the same methodological rigor and transparency to the collection of expert judgements as we would expect for the collection of other forms of data. Structured elicitation protocols help to do this.
Prior to undertaking a PhD I worked as an ecological consultant undertaking botanical field surveys and preparing risk assessments for major projects and threatened species. It was actually my experience in this role that led me to undertake my PhD. I found myself constantly requiring data, but finding that the data was unavailable or insufficient to inform the decisions and assessments.
During my PhD studies I worked as a consultant for the Centre for Environmental and Economic Research at the University of Melbourne. In this role I helped to prepare, facilitate and analyse expert elicitations, and structured decision-making workshops.
Following my PhD I had the privilege of working for a short period on the repliCATS project. The project aims to predict if scientific studies will replicate. The findings of this project are crucial to increasing the credibility of scientific research. My role in the project involved preparing and implementing the first elicitation workshop involving 150 participants, and yielding aggregated predictions about the likelihood of replication for 575 projects. The repliCATS project continues, and more elicitation workshops are underway. Find out more here.
Aside from my study and work pursuits, I also actively volunteer. I’m a committee member for the Society for Risk Analysis Young Professionals Committee, I’m the Secretary of the Decision Analysis group for the Society for Risk Analysis. I’m also a member of the University of British Columbia’s Postdoctoral Society, and I’m helping to organise “A Pint of Science” in Vancouver in 2020. Prior to these endeavours, I helped to co-create and chair the Victorian Biodiversity Conference. I believe every province and state should have a low cost and accessible conference like the Victorian Biodiversity Conference. The conference has helped to foster greater collaboration between universities, and between government and industry. It’s also provided a platform for younger scientists and managers to showcase their extraordinary work to each other and to the public.
Outside of these endeavours you’ll find me in nature, usually on a mountain or by the water.
If you have any questions, please contact me:
Dr Victoria Hemming
Martin Conservation group: https://www.taramartin.org/
CEBRA: https://cebra.unimelb.edu.au/home /
repliCATS : https://replicats.research.unimelb.edu.au/