I am a quantitative ecologist with 25 years experience studying ecology, biodiversity and conservation in the tropics. My research has been conducted in locations including; Colombia, India, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, as well Australia. This has involved large collaborative projects funded through international organisations (i.e. Conservation International) and smaller, individual student-based studies.

My primary interest is understanding fundamental biological processes. As such, I am not restricted to individual “focal” taxa or ecosystems. My research interests include a range of taxonomic groups and spans from local-scale ecological processes to broad scale patterns in species distributions and diversity. Based on my breadth of experience, I currently lead a team of researchers from Industry, Government and University sectors developing a biodiversity monitoring program as part of the Australian National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) for deployment across Australian. I am also contributing to TERNs development of a standard set of environmental monitoring protocols for the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment. 

  • BS2460: Fundamentals of Ecology (Level 2; CNS & TSV)
  • BZ3220: Population and Community Ecology (Level 3; CNS & TSV)
  • BZ5220: Population and Community Ecology (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5202: Quantitative Methods in Science (Level 5; CNS)
  • Biodiversity monitoring
  • 2020 to present - Honorary Fellow & Regional Ambassador, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (Australia)
  • 2016 to present - College of Science and Engineering Board, James Cook University
  • 2014 to present - Assoc. Prof., James Cook University (Cairns)
  • 2018 to 2020 - Lead, Ecosystem Processes Platform, Terrestrial Ecosystem Research Network (Australia)
  • 2016 to 2018 - Associate Dean Learning and Teaching, James Cook University (Cairns)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives

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 85+ research outputs authored by Prof Will Edwards from 1995 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Skyrail Rainforest Foundation - Research Funding

Distribution, ecology and conservation of the Magnificent Broodfrog (Pseudophryne covacevichae) in the mountains of north Queensland

Indicative Funding
$4,927 over 2 years
This project aims to resolve the knowledge gaps surrounding the ecology and key threatening processes to the Magnificent Broodfrog, Pseudophryne covacevichae (MBF). We will do this by determining appropriate survey methods, investigating aspects of breeding behaviour and the associated climatic conditions; resolving the fine-scale distribution, determining connectivity among the known populations, and determining genetic diversity within populations.
EMILY Rush, Will Edwards and Conrad Hoskin (College of Science & Engineering)
Distribution; Conservation genomics; Monitoring; Threats

Qld Department of Employment, Economic Development & Innovation - TERN EIF scheme

TERN Australia Supersite Network.

Indicative Funding
$15,532,202 over 14 years
The Australian Supersite Network will involve the establishment of a nationally consistent network of multidisciplinary and intensive ecosystem observatories "Supersites" to provide a comprehensive set of ecosystem measurements (vegetation dynamics/stocks, biodiversity, micrometeorology (climate, radiation, C and H2O fluxes), hydrology and biogeochemistry to serve the ecosystem dynamics, earth system science and modelling communities and ultimately provide information on how ecosystems will respond to future environmental change.
Will Edwards and Lucas Cernusak in collaboration with Peter Grace, Suzanne Prober, Tim Wardlaw, Wayne Meyer and Lindsay Hutley (College of Science & Engineering, Queensland University of Technology, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Sustainable Timber Tasmania, University of Adelaide and Charles Darwin University)
carbon fluxes; Environmental Monitoring; terrestrial ecosystem research network; Eddy Covariance; Carbon Flux; Soil moisture; Ecosystem function; Water flux; Micrometeorology

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.

  • Utililising Drone-based Thermal Remote Sensing technology to accurately estimate Spectacled Flying-Fox (Pteropus conspicillatus) abundance and model population trajectories (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Distribution, ecology and conservation of the Magnificent Broodfrog (Pseudophryne Covacevichae) in North Queensland (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Attract and infect the Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni, using entomopathogenic fungi (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM/Adv)
  • Predicting and Limiting Future Land Cover change due to Infrastructure Expansion in the Tropics (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Rainforest plant flammability and recovery post-fire (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Water-use efficiency responses and effect of environmental stresses on plants from different rainfall gradients in Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor/AM)
  • Drought effects on rainforest plant water use. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Using Sound to explore the population dynamic, bioacoustic interaction, patterns and acoustic community in frogs (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Sticky fingers: functional morphology of toepads and associated external attachment structures (Gekkota: diplodactylidae) (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Evaluation of hunting Sustainablility and the Potential Role of Protected Areas in YUS: Implications for Conservation. (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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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  • E1.102J, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
  • E1.110H, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
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