Prof Iain Gordon brings a genuine passion and commitment for sustainable regional development and harnessing the tropics’ enormous potential through education and research. He is keen to pursue new and innovative research and development partnerships and broker research institutional capacity to support industry in their future agricultural and food innovation activities in Northern QLD.

Professor Gordon previously was the DVC for Tropical Environments & Societies at James Cook University and before that led the James Hutton Institute (Scotland), focusing on evidence-based solutions for the use of land for agriculture whilst maintaining natural resources and ecosystems. Iain worked with CSIRO from 2003 – 2010, where he led the Davies Laboratory and helped establish the Australian Tropical Science Innovation Precinct (ATSIP) at JCU in Townsville.

Throughout Iain'' career, which spans research, research management and provision of policy advice, he has played an active role in promoting the value of biodiversity and its importance in the provision of ecosystem services and human wellbeing.  Over the past 25 years he has gained an international reputation for scientific leadership and research excellence in interdisciplinary approaches, particularly in the context of managing land use to benefit biodiversity and engaging human communities in the management of natural resources including managing major research portfolios on land management to protect the Great Barrier Reef and conserving Australia's biodiversity. 

Iain is a champion of gender equity in the workplace.

  • The foraging behaviour of ruminant herbivores as it affects animal performance and vegetation dynamics.
  • The use of domestic herbivores as tools for grazing management within areas of nature conservation interest.
  • The management of wildlife to meet the objectives of rural development and environmental restoration.
  • The role of parasites in modifying the foraging behaviour of ungulates.
  • Re-introduction of rare ungulates into the wild.
  • The effect of dietary specialisation on life history and social organization in ungulates.
  • Human community involvement in wildlife management.
  • Restoration of ecosystem engineers
  • 2015 to 2019 - Deputy Vice Chancellor, Division of Tropical Environments and Societies, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2011 to 2015 - Director, Centre of Expertise for Climate Change (Edinburgh)
  • 2010 to 2015 - Chief Executive Officer and Director, James Hutton Institute (Scotland)
  • 2009 to 2010 - Theme Leader – Building Resilient Australian Biodiversity Assets, CSIRO (Townsville)
  • 2004 to 2010 - Officer-in-Charge, Davies Laboratory, CSIRO (Townsville)
  • 2007 to 2009 - Theme Leader – Healthy Terrestrial Ecosystems – CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO (Townsville)
  • 2003 to 2007 - Group Leader, Sustainable Ecosystems, CSIRO (Townsville)
  • 1988 to 2003 - Higher Scientific Officer to Principal Senior Scientist Officer, Macaulay Institute (Aberdeen, Scotland)
Research Disciplines
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Honorary Professor, University of Aberdeen
  • Fellow of the North American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology
  • 2015 - Emeritus Fellow, James Hutton Institute
  • 2010 - Adjunct Professor, Australian National University
  • Mammal Society
  • British Deer Society
  • Institute of Biology (Fellow)
  • Fauna and Flora Preservation Society
  • Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Australian Rangeland Society
  • British Ecological Society
  • 2015 - Editorial board: Sustainability - Sub-section Editor-in-Chief
  • 2012 - Editorial board: The Rangelands Journal
  • 2007 - Editorial board: Biodiversity & Conservation - Editor
  • 2006 - Editorial board: Animal Conservation - Editor
  • 2003 - Editorial board: African Journal of Range and Forage Science
  • 2004 to 2014 - Editorial board: Journal of Land Use Science
  • 2006 to 2012 - Editorial board: African Journal of Ecology
  • 2006 to 2011 - Editorial board: Wildlife Biology

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 228+ research outputs authored by Prof Iain Gordon from 1987 onwards.


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.


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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