Get access

Australia's place in the global restoration challenge: Interview with Richard Hobbs


  • Richard Hobbs,

  • Tein McDonald

  • Professor Richard J Hobbs is an Australian Professorial Fellow in the School of Environmental Science at Murdoch University (South Street, Murdoch, Perth, WA 6150, Australia; Email: From an initial basis in plant ecology, his interests developed to span multiple scales of organization and several broad fields, including restoration ecology, conservation biology and landscape ecology. He has mostly been involved with the detailed analysis of the dynamics of fragmented systems, and in particular in woodland dynamics and restoration, but this work has also extended more generally into the management and conservation of altered ecosystems and natural resource management. His approach is inter- and trans-disciplinary and his research group is currently involved in a wide array of projects ( He is currently working on a project entitled ‘Setting and achieving realistic restoration goals in human-dominated ecosystems’.


Summary  This interview with Professor Richard Hobbs, a prominent Australian researcher, professor and journal editor, traces his involvement in ecology and the relatively new disciplines of landscape ecology and restoration ecology. Born and educated as a plant ecologist in Scotland, Richard undertook postdoctoral research in the USA before taking up a series of research positions in Australia that steered him towards landscape ecology and restoration ecology. Having maintained an interest and involvement in international organizations, Richard provides comment in this interview on the progress of ecological restoration practice in Australasia compared to North America and comments on the need for ensuring research in these disciplines is strongly linked to management, is as broadly relevant as possible, and, is carried out at appropriate scales.

Get access to the full text of this article