William Laurance is a Distinguished Research Professor at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia, and holds an Australian Laureate Fellowship, one of Australia’s highest scientific awards. He also holds the Prince Bernhard Chair in International Nature Conservation at Utrecht University, Netherlands. 

Laurance received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley in 1989.  His research focuses on the impacts of intensive land-uses, such as habitat fragmentation, logging, hunting and wildfires, on tropical forests and their biodiversity.  He is also interested in protected areas, climatic change, the impacts of roads and other infrastructure on biodiversity, and conservation policy.  His research over the past 35 years spans the tropical world, including the Amazon, Africa and Asia-Pacific regions.  To date he has published eight books and over 400 scientific and popular articles. 

A leading voice for conservation, Laurance believes that scientists must actively engage policy makers and the general public, as well as other scientists.  He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and former president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. 

Laurance has received many scientific honors including the BBVA Frontiers in Ecology and Conservation Biology Award, a Distinguished Service Award from the Society for Conservation Biology, and the Heineken Environment Prize.  He is also founder and director of ALERT—the Alliance of Leading Environmental Researchers & Thinkers, a group that advocates for environmental sustainability.

Research Disciplines

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
  • ForestPlots.net et al. , [Bird M, [Laurance S, [Laurance W and [Ishida F (2021) Taking the pulse of Earth's tropical forests using networks of highly distributed plots. Biological Conservation, 260, Article: 108849, DOI:10.1016/j.biocon.2020.108849.
  • Alamgir M, Campbell M, Sloan S, Engert J, Word J and Laurance W (2020) Emerging challenges for sustainable development and forest conservation in Sarawak, Borneo. PLoS ONE, 15 (3), Article: e0229614, DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0229614.
  • Pardo G, Reis S, Pipoly J, Peñuela-Mora M, Peacock J, Pittman N, Prieto A, Pugh T, Ramírez-Angulo H, Rejou-Machain M, Pallqui Camacho N, Lewis S, Quesada C, De Oliveira E, Núñez Vargas P, Lima A, Neill D, Morandi P, Mendoza C, Meir P, Lovejoy T, Restrepo Correa Z, Ladvocat K, ter Steege H, Levesley A, Laurance W, Laurance S, Lopez-Gonzalez G, Torres-lezama A, Killeen T, Pena-Claros M, Galbraith D, Zuidema P, Zagt R, Vos V, Cayo J, Vieira S, Martinez R, van der Hout P, van der Meer P, Swamy V, Gamarra L, Rodriguez Bayona L, Toledo M, Thomas R, Terborgh J, Talbot J, Stropp J, Stahl C, Singh J, Silva N, Silva Espejo J, Serrano J, Salomão R, Rudas A, van der Heijden G, Malhi Y, Arets E, Araujo-Murakami A, Aragão L, Andrade A, Alvarez Loayza P, Almeida E, del Aguila Pasquel J, Alvarez Davila E, Vilanova Torre E, Silveira M, Poorter L, Monteagudo-Mendoza A, Arroyo L, Marimon B, Sullivan M, Liu H, Lloyd J, Houwing-Duistermaat J, Higuchi N, Gloor E, Feldpausch T, Chao K, Baker T, Fauset S, Phillips O, Jimenez-Rojas E, Pickavance G, Marimon Junior B, Guimaraes Veira I, Huamantupa-Chuquimaco I, Brienen R, Aymard C. G, Honorio Coronado E, Herrera R, Llampazo G, Erwin T, Dourdain A, Di Fiore A, Cardozo N, Lola da Costa A, Valverde F, Comiskey J, Chave J, Blanc L, Baraloto C, Moscoso V, Camargo P, Barroso J, Bonal D, Bongers F, Boot R, Esquivel-Muelbert A, Castro W, Brown F, Burban B, Baisie M and Camargo J (2020) Tree mode of death and mortality risk factors across Amazon forests. Nature Communications, 11, Article: 5515, DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-18996-3.
  • Samper C, Mendez M, Mittermeier R, Murray N, Tizard R, Possingham H, Maxwell S, Radachowsky J, Malhi Y, Saatchi S, Linkie M, Silverman J, Shapiro A, Strassburg B, Stevens T, Stokes E, Tear T, Venter O, Visconti P, Wang S, Watson J, DeGemmis A, Lieberman S, Taylor R, Ray J, Laurance W, Grantham H, Duncan A, Evans T, Jones K, Beyer H, Ervin J, Walston J, Robinson J, Callow M, Clements T, Jupiter S, Langhammer P, Schuster R, Kang A, Costa H, Jantz P, Hofsvang E, Hansen A, Goetz S, Goldman E, Franco P and Elsen P (2020) Anthropogenic modification of forests means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity. Nature Communications, 11, Article: 5978, DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-19493-3.
  • Malhi Y, Radachowsky J, Possingham H, Murray N, Mittermeier R, Mendez M, Maxwell S, Saatchi S, Linkie M, Tizard R, Lieberman S, Samper C, Silverman J, Shapiro A, Strassburg B, Stevens T, Stokes E, Tear T, Venter O, Visconti P, Kang A, Langhammer P, Taylor R, Walston J, Laurance W, Grantham H, Duncan A, Evans T, Jones K, Schuster R, Ray J, Robinson J, Callow M, Clement T, Costa H, Hansen A, Jupiter S, Beyer H, DeGemmis A, Jantz P, Hofsvang E, Goetz S, Goldman E, Franco P, Ervin J and Elsen P (2020) Modification of forests by people means only 40% of remaining forests have high ecosystem integrity. Nature Communications, 11, Article: 5978, DOI:10.1038/s41467-020-19493-3.
  • Mahmoud M, Campbell M, Sloan S, Alamgir M and Laurance W (2020) Land-cover change threatens tropical forests and biodiversity in the Littoral Region, Cameroon. Oryx, 54 (6), pp. 882-891, DOI:10.1017/S0030605318000881.
  • Morandi P, Poedjirahajoe E, Pitman N, Pipoly J, Pickavance G, Pennington R, Paudel E, Parren M, Palacios‐Ramos S, Poorter L, Onrizal O, Razafimahaimodison J, Palacios W, Poulsen J, Rama Chandra Prasad P, Prieto A, Puyravaud J, Qie L, Rodriguez C, Ramírez‐Angulo H, Araújo R, Reitsma J, Requena‐Rojas E, Correa Z, Roopsind A, Rovero F, Quesada C, Millet J, Zo‐Bi I, Rozak A, Lu X, Magnusson W, Mahayani N, Malhi Y, Mansor A, Peña J, Marimon‐Junior B, Marshall A, Melgaco K, Lykke A, Mihindou V, Nurtjahya E, Milliken W, Mohandass D, Mendoza A, Mugerwa B, Nagamasu H, Nagy L, Seuaturien N, Nascimento M, Neill D, Neto L, Nilus R, Vargas M, Bautista C, Wang O, Zang R, Timberlake J, Torres‐Lezama A, Umunay P, Uriarte M, Gamarra L, Bult M, Hout P, Martinez R, Vieira I, Vieira S, Terborgh J, Cayo J, Steege H, Webb C, Webb E, White L, Whitfeld T, Wich S, Willcock S, Wiser S, Young K, Zakaria R, Zartman C, Balslev H, Lovett J, Vilanova E, Sierra R, Rutishauser E, Rutten G, Punchi‐Manage R, Salomão R, Van Sam H, Sarker S, Satdichanh M, Schietti J, Schmitt C, Marimon B, Senbeta F, Theilade I, Sheil D, Lleras A, Silva‐Espejo J, Silveira M, Sonké B, Steininger M, Steinmetz R, Stévart T, Sukumar R, Sultana A, Sunderland T, Suresh H, Tang J, Tanner E, Nath Sharma L, Brewer S, Costa F, Barlow J, Bastin J, Bengone N, Berenguer E, Berry N, Blanc L, Böhning‐Gaese K, Bonal D, Bongers F, Bradford M, Baker T, Brearley F, Corredor G, Camargo J, Campbell D, Castro W, Cerón Martínez C, Chen S, Chhang P, Cho P, Chutipong W, Clark C, Collins M, Comiskey J, Medina M, Brambach F, Almeida E, Lovejoy T, McGeoch M, Muscarella R, Emilio T, Phillips O, Lewis S, Slik F, Baker W, Couvreur T, Eiserhardt W, Svenning J, Camargo P, Aiba S, Catchpole D, Almeida S, Oliveira E, Álvarez‐Dávila E, Alves L, Alvez‐Valles C, Carvalho F, Guarin F, Andrade A, Aragão L, Murakami A, Arroyo L, Ashton P, Affum‐Baffoe K, Kassi J, Harrison R, Hector A, Hemp A, Herault B, Pizango C, Coronado E, Hubau W, Hussain M, Culmsee H, Imai N, Castilho C, Joseph S, Harris D, Kartawinata K, Ibrahim F, Killeen T, Kitayama K, Klitgård B, Kooyman R, Labrière N, Larney E, Laumonier Y, Laurance S, Laurance W, Lawes M, Levesley A, Lisingo J, K A, Di Fiore A, David‐Higuita H, Davidar P, Joly C, Derroire G, Hamer K, Van Do T, Doucet J, Dourdain A, Drake D, Ensslin A, Erwin T, Ewango C, Ewers R, Gonmadje C, Aguila‐Pasquel J, Fauset S, Hall J, Gunatilleke A, Gilpin M, Gillespie T, Fredriksson G, Fischer M, Ferreira L, Ferreira J, Franklin J, Hakeem K and Feldpausch T (2020) The global abundance of tree palms. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 29 (9), pp. 1495-1514, DOI:10.1111/geb.13123.
  • Riggs R, Langston J, Sayer J, Sloan S and Laurance W (2020) Learning from local perceptions for strategic road development in Cambodia's protected forests. Tropical Conservation Science, 13, pp. 1-16, DOI:10.1177/1940082920903183.
  • Ter Steege H, Marshall A, Neill D, Núñez Vargas P, Pitman N, Poorter L, Reitsma J, Silveira M, Vanderwel M, Sonké B, Camargo J, Taedoumg H, Terborgh J, Umetsu R, van DerHeuden G, Vilanova E, Vos V, White L, Willcock S, Zemagho L, Marimon Junior B, Sunderland T, Affum-baffoe K, Marimon B, Djuikouo Kamdem M, Rozendaal D, Lewis S, Alvares-Davila E, Andrade A, Aragão L, Araujo-murakami A, Baker T, Laurance W, Lovejoy T, Phillips O, Banki O, Malhi Y, Laurance S, Killeen T, Feldpausch T, Fauset S, Comiskey J and Brienen R (2020) Competition influences tree growth, but not mortality, across environmental gradients in Amazonia and tropical Africa. Ecology, 101 (7), Article: e3052, DOI:10.1002/ecy.3052.
  • Nagy L, Penuela Mora M, Mossman H, Peacock J, Camacho N, Pendry C, Palacios W, Núñez Vargas P, Nilus R, Nascimento H, Pickavance G, Reitsma J, Neill D, Pipoly J, Pitman N, Playfair M, Poorter L, Poulsen J, Poulsen A, Preziosi R, Prieto A, Morandi P, Ramírez-angulo H, Manzatto A, Rejou-Mechain M, Restrepo Correa Z, Primack R, Magnusson W, Klitgaard B, Koch A, Labriere N, Laurance W, Laurance S, Leal M, Levesley A, Lima A, Lisingo J, Lopes A, López-gonzález G, Lovejoy T, Marshall A, Lowe R, Mitchard E, Malumbres-Olarte J, Silveira M, Marimon B, de Sousa T, Marthews T, de Almeida Reis S, Maycock C, Melgaco K, Mendoza C, Metali F, Mihindou V, Milliken W, Lovett J, Vos V, Torres-Lezama A, Umunay P, Valenzuela Gamarra L, Van Der Heijden G, van der Hout P, Van Der Meer P, van Nieuwstadt M, Verbeeck H, Vernimmen R, Vicentini A, Guimaraes Vieira I, Silva Espejo J, Vleminckx J, Terborgh J, Wang O, White L, Willcock S, Woods J, Wortel V, Young K, Zagt R, Zemagho L, Zuidema P, Zwerts J, Phillips O, Kitayama K, Torre E, Stahl C, Roopsind A, Rudas A, Rutishauser E, Abu Salim K, Salomão R, Schietti J, Sheil D, Silva R, Valeria C, del Aguila Pasquel J, Simo-Droissart M, Simon M, Thomas S, Soto Shareva Y, Thomas R, Stropp J, Sukri R, Sunderland T, Svatek M, Swaine M, Swamy V, Taedoumg H, Talbot J, Taplin J, Taylor D, ter Steege H, Rodriguez Bayona L, Singh J, Begne S, Arets E, Arroyo L, Ashton P, Aymard G, Baccaro F, Banin L, Baraloto C, Camargo P, Barlow J, Barroso J, Bastin J, Burban B, Beeckman H, Vieira S, Bennett A, Berenguer E, Berry N, Blanc L, Boeckx P, Bogaert J, Bonal D, Bongers F, Bradford M, Brearley F, Brncic T, Brown F, Batterman S, Brienen R, Sullivan M, Lewis S, Affum-baffoe K, Castilho C, Costa F, Sanchez A, Ewango C, Hubau W, Marimon B, Monteagudo-Mendoza A, Qie L, Di Fiore A, Araujo-murakami A, Killeen T, Aragão L, Feldpausch T, Galbraith D, Gloor M, Malhi Y, Aiba S, Alexiades M, Almeida E, de Oliveira E, Alvarez Davila E, Loayza P, Andrade A, Baker T, Vasquez Martinez R, Hladik A, Fauset S, Ferreira J, Flores Llampazo G, Foli E, Ford A, Gilpin M, Hall J, Hamer K, Hamilton A, Harris D, Hedl R, Esquivel-Muelbert A, Higuchi N, Hart T, Honorio Coronado E, Huamantupa-chuquimaco I, Huaraca Huasco W, Jeffery K, Jimenez-Rojas E, Kalamandeen M, Djuikouo M, Kearsley E, Umetsu R, Kho L, Camargo J, Sonké B, Herrera R, Chezeaux E, da Costa L, Corrales Medina M, Cornejo Valverde F, Comiskey J, Collins M, Dancak M, Clark C, Moscoso V, Chave J, Erwin T, Ribeiro S, Herault B, Ceron C, Castro W, de Souza F, Fernanda Duque L, Ekoungoulou R, Davies S, Elias F, Davila Cardozo N, de Haulleville T, de Medeiros M, Derroire G, Doucet J, Dourdain A, Droissart V and Dargie G (2020) Long-term thermal sensitivity of Earth's tropical forests. Science, 368 (6493), pp. 869-874, DOI:10.1126/science.aaw7578.
  • Noronha J, de Jesus Rodrigues D, Gómez R, Gonzales G, de Sá Carpanedo R, Phillips J, Prieto A, Rivas-Torres G, Hoffman B, Hilário R, Gonzales T, Zent E, Ruschell A, Vos V, Fonty É, de Andrade Miranda I, Doza H, Zent S, Barbosa E, Malhi Y, de Matos Bonates L, Paredes M, Silva N, Barbosa F, Junqueira A, Dexter K, Ferreira J, Zagt R, Vela C, Villa B, Peñuela Mora M, Jiménez E, Licona J, Cerón C, Thomas R, Maas P, Silveira M, Daly D, Stropp J, Chave J, Baker T, Huamantupa-Chuquimaco I, Milliken W, Pennington T, Tello J, Pena J, Peres C, Klitgaard B, Fuentes A, Silman M, Di Fiore A, Henkel T, Valenzuela Gamarra L, Baider C, Urrego Giraldo L, Ferreira C, Villarroel D, Linares-Palomino R, Farfan W, Farfan-Rios W, Casas L, Cárdenas S, Balslev H, Torres-Lezama A, Mendoza C, Garcia-Cabrera K, Barlow J, Valderrama Sandoval E, Ramirez Arevalo F, Hernandez L, Sampaio A, Pansini S, Palacios Cuenca W, de Oliveira E, Pauletto D, Levesley A, Melgaço K, Pickavance G, Alexiades M, Oliveira A, Rudas A, Albuquerque B, Umaña M, Carrero Márquez Y, van der Heijden G, Young K, Tirado M, Correa D, Sierra R, Costa J, Rocha M, von Hildebrand P, Wang O, Pinto L, Kalamandeen M, Vriesendorp C, Ramírez-angulo H, Holmgren M, Nascimento M, Galbraith D, Flores B, Scudeller V, Cano A, Ahuite Reategui M, Mesones I, Vilanova Torre E, Castaño Arboleda N, Luize B, Núñez Vargas P, Silva T, de Leão Novo E, Reis N, Terborgh J, Manzatto A, Casula K, Honorio Coronado E, Montero J, Baraloto C, Costa F, Piedade M, Schöngart J, Zartman C, Killeen T, Marimon B, Marimon-Junior B, Vásquez R, Mostacedo B, Demarchi L, Feldpausch T, Engel J, Petronelli P, Duque A, Guevara J, van Andel T, Guedes M, ter Steege H, Prado P, Lima R, Pos E, de Souza Coelho L, de Andrade Lima Filho D, Salomão R, Amaral I, de Almeida Matos F, Venticinque E, Phillips O, Ramos J, de Jesus Veiga Carim M, Cárdenas López D, Magnusson W, Wittmann F, Martins M, Sabatier D, Irume M, da Silva Guimarães J, Molino J, Banki O, Monteagudo Mendoza A, Castilho C, Dallmeier F, Lozada J, Comiskey J, de Toledo J, Damasco G, Dávila N, Lopes A, Garcia-Villacorta R, Draper F, Vicentini A, Berenguer E, Lloyd J, Ferreira L, Alonso A, Cornejo Valverde F, de Souza F, Gribel R, Arroyo L, Carvalho F, de Aguiar D, do Amaral D, Pansonato M, Feeley K, Assis R, Pitman N, Fine P, Neill D, de Medeiros M, Castellanos H, Gomes V, Simon M, Quaresma A, Laurance S, Rincón L, Andrade A, Sousa T, Camargo J, Schietti J, Laurance W, de Queiroz H, Nascimento H, Lopes M, Stevenson P, Araujo-Murakami A, Feitosa Y, Mogollón H, Cintra B, Vieira I, Revilla J, Aymard C. G, Brienen R, Magalhães J, de Sousa Farias E and Duivenvoorden J (2020) Biased-corrected richness estimates for the Amazonian tree flora. Scientific Reports, 10, Article: 10130, DOI:10.1038/s41598-020-66686-3.
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 394+ research outputs authored by Prof Bill Laurance from 1997 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Anonymous Donor - Grant

Limiting Environmental Impacts While Optimizing Benefits of Rapid Road Expansion in the Asia-Pacific Region

Indicative Funding
$2,728,362 over 3 years
We will assess the impacts of roads and other infrastructure on terrestrial ecosystems of the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on rapidly developing frontier areas in Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. Key goals will include devising land-use planning models to reduce environmental costs, maximise economic benefits, and predict the impacts of new roads and infrastructure on the environment. We will work actively with local partners and stakeholders, and engage in a variety of outreach and dissemination activities, to promote more sustainable infrastructure development in our environmentally critical study area.
Bill Laurance (College of Science & Engineering)
Infrastructure; Deforestation; Roads; Asia-Pacific Region; Agriculture; Land-use Planning

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Predicting and Limiting Future Land Cover change due to Infrastructure Expansion in the Tropics (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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