Dr Mark Lonsdale

BSc Hons, PhD
Honorary Professor

2019 - present: Member, Ecosystem Science Council

2018 - present: Honorary professor, Fenner School of Environment and Society

2014-2017: Hon Fellow, Monash University, Melbourne

2013-14: CSIRO Biodiversity Portfolio Director

2010-2013: Chief of Division of CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences

2007-2010: Chief of Division, CSIRO Entomology

1999-2007: Senior management, CSIRO Entomology

1995-1998: Officer in Charge, CSIRO European Laboratory, Montpellier, France

1984-1995: Ecologist, CSIRO Entomology, Darwin

1981-1983: Lecturer, Federal University of Technology, Bauchi, Nigeria

1982: PhD University of East Anglia, UK

1978: BSc Hons Biology, University of Manchester, UK

Research interests

Invasive species

Risk assessment

Refereed scientific publications

(From the most recent; * indicates papers cited 10 or more times in Google Scholar; **papers cited 30 or more times; ***papers cited 100 or more times; ****papers cited 300 or more times; *****papers cited 1000 or more times).

  •  Díaz S , Pascual, U, Stenseke, M, Martín-López, B, Watson, RT, Molnár, Z, et al. (2018) Assessing nature's contributions to people.   Science 359 (6373), 270-272
  • ****Díaz S, Demissew, S, Carabias, J, Joly, C, Lonsdale, M, et al. (2015) The IPBES Conceptual Framework — connecting nature and people. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14, 1–16.
  • Díaz S, Demissew, S, Carabias, J, Joly, C, Lonsdale, M, and Larigauderie, A. (2015): A Rosetta Stone for Nature’s Benefits to People. PLoS Biol. 13(1): e1002040. Published online 2015 Jan 13. doi:  10.1371/journal.pbio.1002040
  • Cook, DC, Sheppard, A. Liu, S., Lonsdale, WM. (2015) Predicting the economic impacts of invasive species: the eradication of the giant sensitive plant from Western Australia.  Pest Risk Modelling and Mapping for Invasive Alien Species 7, 145.
  • Cook, DC; Fraser RW; Paini, DR, Warden AC, Lonsdale WM, De Barro PJ (2011) Biosecurity and yield improvement technologies are strategic complements in the fight against food insecurity. PLOS ONE, 6: 10.1371/journal.pone.0026084
  • Lonsdale WM & FitzGibbon F (2011) The known unknowns – managing the invasion risk from biofuels. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, 3, 31 - 35.
  • Cook, DC; Liu, SG; Murphy, B; Lonsdale, W.M. (2010) Adaptive approaches to biosecurity governance. Risk Analysis, 30, 1303-1314.
  • Cook, D.C. Kristensen, N.P., Liu, S., Paini, D.R., Kerr, P.J., Sheppard, A.W., Lonsdale, W.M., McAllister, R.R.J., De Barro, P.J. Plant biosecurity policy-making modelled on the human immune system: What would it look like?    Environmental Science & Policy, 41, 1-10.
  • Lonsdale, M.  (2010) Pest risk assessment and invasion pathways:  invasive weeds. New Zealand Journal Of Forestry Science, 40 (Supplement): 73-76.
  • Perrings, C.; Burgiel, S.; Lonsdale, M.; Mooney, H.; Williamson, M.  (2010) International cooperation in the solution to trade-related invasive species risks. Annals Of The New York Academy Of Sciences, 1195, 198-212.
  • **Morton, S.R.; Hoegh-Guldberg, O.; Lindenmayer, D.B.; et al. (2009) The big ecological questions inhibiting effective environmental management in Australia.   Austral Ecology, 34, 1-9.
  • Mason, T.J.; French, K.; Lonsdale, W.M. (2009) Do graminoid and woody invaders have different effects on native plant functional groups? Journal Of Applied Ecology, 46, 426-433
  • *Caley, P., Lonsdale, W.M. & Pheloung, P.C. (2006) Quantifying Uncertainty in Predictions of Invasiveness. Biological Invasions, 8, 277-286.
  • *Firbank, L., Lonsdale, M. & Poppy, G. (2005) Reassessing the Environmental Risks of GM Crops. Nature Biotechnology, 23, 1475-1476.
  • *Huwer, R.K., Briese, D.T., Dowling, P.M., Kemp, D.R., Lonsdale, W.M., Michalk, D.L., Neave, M.J., Sheppard, A.W. & Woodburn, T.L. (2005) Can an Integrated Management Approach Provide a Basis for Long-Term Prevention of Weed Dominance in Australian Pasture Systems? Weed Research, 45, 175-192.
  • *Godfree, R.C., Young, A.G., Lonsdale, W.M., Woods, M.J. & Burdon, J.J. (2004) Ecological Risk Assessment of Transgenic Pasture Plants: a Community Gradient Modelling Approach. Ecology Letters, 7, 1077-1089.
  • **Buckley Y.M., Rees, M. Paynter, Q. & Lonsdale, M. (2004) Modelling integrated weed management of an invasive shrub in tropical Australia. Journal of Applied Ecology, 41, 547-560.
  • *Vila, M., Williamson, M. & Lonsdale, W. (2004) Competition experiments on alien weeds with crops: lessons for measuring plant invasion impact? Biological Invasions, 6, 59-69.
  • *Islam, N., Lonsdale, M., Upadhyaya, N. M., Higgins, T. J., Hirano, H., and Akhurst, R. Protein extraction from mature rice leaves for two dimensional gel electrophoresis and its application in proteome analysis. Proteomics 4, 1903-1908. 2004.
  • Hayes, KR, Gregg, PC, Gupta, V. V. S. R., Jessop, R., Lonsdale, W. M., Sindel, B., Stanley, J., and Williams, C. K. (2004). Identifying hazards in complex ecological systems.   Part 3: Hierarchical Holographic Model for herbicide tolerant oilseed rape. Environmental Biosafety Research 3, 109-128.
  • *Paynter Q, Csurhes SM, Heard TA, Ireson J, Julien MH, Lloyd J, Lonsdale WM, Palmer WA, Sheppard AW & van Klinken RD (2003) Worth the risk? Introduction of legumes can cause more harm than good: an Australian perspective. Australian Systematic Botany, 16 (1), 81-88.
  • *Williamson, M., Gaston, K.J. & Lonsdale, W.M. (2002) An asymptote is an asymptote and not found in species-area relationships. Journal of Biogeography, 29, 1713.
  • ****Byers, J.E., Reichard, S., Randall, J.M., Parker, I.M., Smith, C.S., Lonsdale, W.M., Atkinson, I.A.E., Seastedt, T.R., Williamson, M., Chornesky, E. & Hayes, D. (2002) Directing research to reduce the impacts of non-indigenous species. Conservation Biology, 16, 630-640.
  • ***Williamson, M., Gaston, K.J. & Lonsdale, W.M. (2001) The species-area relationship does not have an asymptote! Journal of Biogeography, 28, 827-830.
  • ****Mack, R.N. & Lonsdale, W.M. (2001) Humans as global plant dispersers: getting more than we bargained for. Bioscience, 51, 95-102.
  • Lonsdale, W.M. (2000) Swapping space for time and unfair tests of ecological models: a reply to Tyre et al. Austral Ecology, 25, 332.
  • *****Mack, R.N., Simberloff, D., Lonsdale, W.M., Evans, H., Clout, M. & Bazzaz, F.A. (2000) Biotic invasions: causes, epidemiology, global consequences, and control. Ecological Applications, 10, 689-710.
  • Walker, B. and Lonsdale, W. M. 2000.Genetically modified organisms at the crossroads: Comments on "Genetically Modified Crops: Risks and Promise" by Gordon Conway.  Conservation Ecology Online 4(1), 12.
  • *****Lonsdale, W.M. (1999) Global patterns of plant invasions and the concept of invasibility. Ecology, 80, 1522-1536.
  • ***Smith, C.S., Lonsdale, W.M. & Fortune, J. (1999) When to ignore advice: invasion predictions and decision theory. Biological Invasions, 1, 89-96.
  • *****Parker, I.M., Simberloff, D., Lonsdale, W.M., Goodell, K., Wonham, M., Kareiva, P.M., Williamson, M.H., Von Holle, B., Moyle, P.B., Byers, J.E. & Goldwasser, L. (1999) Impact: toward a framework for understanding the ecological effects of invaders. Biological Invasions, 1, 3-19.
  • *Lonsdale, W.M. & Farrell, G.S. (1998) Testing the effects on Mimosa pigra of a biological control agent Neurostrota gunniella (Lepidoptera: Gracillaridae), plant competition and fungi under field conditions. Biocontrol Science and Technology, 8, 485-500.
  • Lonsdale, W.M., Braithwaite, R.W., Lane, A.M. & Farmer, J. (1998) Modelling the recovery of an annual savanna grass following a fire-induced crash. Australian Journal of Ecology, 23, 509-513.
  • Lane, A.M., Williams, R.J., Muller, W.J. & Lonsdale, W.M. (1997) The effects of the herbicide tebuthiuron on seedlings of Mimosa pigra and native floodplain vegetation in northern australia. Australian Journal of Ecology, 22, 439-447.
  • *Lonsdale, W.M., Farrell, G. & Wilson, C.G. (1995) Biological control of a tropical weed - a population-model and experiment for Sida acuta. Journal of Applied Ecology, 32, 391-399.
  • ****Lonsdale, W.M. (1994) Inviting trouble - introduced pasture species in northern Australia. Australian Journal of Ecology, 19, 345-354.
  • ***Lonsdale, W.M. & Lane, A.M. (1994) Tourist vehicles as vectors of weed seeds in Kakadu National Park, northern Australia. Biological Conservation, 69, 277-283.
  • ***Lonsdale, W.M. (1993) Rates of spread of an invading species – Mimosa pigra in northern Australia. Journal of Ecology, 81, 513-521.
  • *Lonsdale, W. M. and Miller, I. L. 1993. Fire as a management tool for a tropical woody weed: Mimosa pigra in northern Australia. Journal of Environmental Management 39, 77-87.
  • **Lonsdale, W. M. 1993. Losses from the seed-bank of Mimosa pigra: soil micro-organisms vs. temperature fluctuations. Journal of Applied Ecology 30, 654-660.
  • Lonsdale, W.M. & Braithwaite, R.W. (1992) Fiddling while Rome burns - Nero much misunderstood - reply. Australian Journal of Ecology, 17, 106-108.
  • **Lonsdale, W. M. and Braithwaite, R. W. 1991. Assessing the effects of fire on vegetation in tropical savannas. Australian Journal of Ecology 16, 363-374.
  • ***Lonsdale, W. M. 1990. The self-thinning rule: dead or alive? Ecology 71, 1373-1388.
  • **Andersen, A. N. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1990. Herbivory by insects in Australian tropical savannas: A review. Journal of Biogeography 17, 433-444.
  • **Watkinson, A. R., Lonsdale, W. M., and Andrew, M. H. 1989. Modelling the population dynamics of an annual plant: Sorghum intrans in the wet-dry tropics. Journal of Ecology 77, 162-181.
  • *Lonsdale, W. M., Miller, I. L., and Forno, I. W. 1989. The Biology of Australian Weeds 20. Mimosa pigra L. Plant Protection Quarterly 4, 119-131.
  • **Lonsdale, W. M. and Abrecht, D. G. 1989. Seeding mortality in Mimosa pigra, an invasive tropical shrub. Journal of Ecology 77, 371-385.
  • ***Braithwaite, R. W., Lonsdale, W. M., and Estbergs, J. A. 1989. Alien vegetation and native biota in tropical Australia: the impact of Mimosa pigra. Biological Conservation 48, 189-210.
  • **Lonsdale, W. M., Harley, K. L. S., and Gillett, J. D. 1988. Seed bank dynamics in Mimosa pigra, an invasive tropical shrub. Journal of Applied Ecology 25, 963-976.
  • *Lonsdale, W.M. (1988) Predicting the amount of litterfall in forests of the world. Annals of Botany, 61, 319-324.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. 1988. The ordered development of plants: a critical analysis. Annals of Botany 55, 903-908.
  • *Lonsdale, W. M. 1988. Litterfall in an Australian population of Mimosa pigra, an invasive tropical shrub. Journal of Tropical Ecology 4, 381-392.
  • *Lonsdale, W. M. 1988. Interpreting seed survivorship curves. Oikos 52, 361-364.
  • Miller, I. L. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1987. Early records of Mimosa pigra in the Northern Territory. Plant Protection Quarterly 2, 140-142.
  • Braithwaite, R. W. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1987. The rarity of Sminthopsis virginiae in relationship to natural and unnatural habitats. Conservation Biology 1, 341-343.
  • **Watkinson, A. R., Lonsdale, W. M., and Firbank, L. G. 1983. A neighbourhood approach to self-thinning. Oecologia 56, 381-384.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. and Watkinson, A. R. 1983. Tiller dynamics and self-thinning in grassland habitats. Oecologia 60, 390-395.
  • ***Lonsdale, W. M. and Watkinson, A. R. 1983. Plant geometry and self-thinning. Journal of Ecology 71, 285-297.
  • ***Lonsdale, W. M. and Watkinson, A. R. Light and self-thinning. 1982. The New Phytologist 90, 431-445.


  • Morton S.R., Sheppard A., and Lonsdale W.M. (eds.) 2014.   Biodiversity. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

Book Chapters

  • Lonsdale, W.M. and Fuller, R. 2014.  Cities and towns. In: Biodiversity. Morton SR, Sheppard A, and Lonsdale WM (eds.).   CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
  • Lonsdale WM 2011. Risk assessment and prioritization. Pp. 604-608 In: Encyclopaedia of Biological Invasions (Simberloff D and Rejmanek M eds), University of California Press, Berkeley, USA.
  • Lonsdale, W.M. & Smith, C.S. 2001 Evaluating pest screening systems - insights from epidemiology and ecology. Weed Risk Assessment (Groves, R. H., Panetta, F. D., and Virtue, J. G), pp. 52-60. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
  • Lonsdale, W.M., Briese, D.T. & Cullen, J.M. 2001 Risk analysis and weed biocontrol. In: Indirect effects in biological control (Wajnberg, E., Scott, J. K., and Quimby, P. C., eds), pp. 185-210. CABI, London.
  • Lonsdale, W.M. 2001 Biological Invasions. In: Encyclopaedia of Global Change Vol. 2. (Ed. Munn, T), Wiley, Chichester.
  • Farrell, G. S. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1997. Measuring the impact of biological control agents on weeds. Julien, M. C. and White, G. Handbook on Weed Biocontrol.  Canberra, ACIAR.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. 1996. The balance of weed populations. In: Floyd, R. B., Sheppard, A. W., and De Barro, P. A. Frontiers of Population Ecology.  573-588. Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing.
  • Lonsdale, W. M., Miller, I. L., and Forno, I. W. 1995. Mimosa pigra L. Groves, R. H., Shepherd, R. C. H., and Richardson, R. G. The Biology of Australian Weeds.  169-188. Melbourne, R.G. and R.J. Richardson
  • Lonsdale, W. M. and Forno, I. W. 1994. Mimosa pigra L.  Labrada, R., Caseley, J. C., and Parker, C. Weed Management for Developing Countries.  107-111. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. 1992. The biology of Mimosa pigra. Harley, K. L. S. A Guide to the Management of Mimosa pigra.  8-32. Canberra, CSIRO.
  • Miller, I. L. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1992. Ecological management of Mimosa pigra: use of fire and competitive pastures. Harley, K. L. S. A Guide to the Management of Mimosa pigra.  104-106. Canberra, CSIRO.

Edited proceedings

  • Lonsdale WM. A scientific framework for asessing transgenic organisms in the environment. Roseland CR. LMOs and the Environment:  Proceedings of an International Conference.  Pp. 185-194. 2002. Paris, OECD.
  • Lonsdale WM. GMOs: Risk, environment and perception. Biotechnology of Bacillus thuringiensis and its environmental impact: proceedings of the 4th Pacific Rim Conference.  239-243. 2002. Canberra, CSIRO.
  • ***Mack, R. N. and W. M. Lonsdale. 2002. Eradicating invasive plants: hard-won lessons for islands. In: "Turning the Tide: The Eradication of Invasive Species" (D. Veitch and M. Clout, editors) Invasive Species Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union (IUCN): Auckland, New Zealand, pp. 164-172.
  • Lonsdale, W.M. & Milton, S.J. 2002 People and plant invasions of the rangelands. Pp 101-115 In Global Rangelands: Progress and Prospects. Grice A. and Hodgkinson, K.C.), CABI, London.
  • Paynter, Q., Flanagan, G.J., Lonsdale, W.M., Schatz, T. and Steinbauer, M.J.  (2000) Ecological studies to optimise the integrated management of the wetland weed, Mimosa pigra. Pp. 389-395 in Spencer, N. ed.  Proceedings of the X Conference on Biological Control of Weeds.  Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana, USA.
  • Smith, C. S., Lonsdale, W. M., and Fortune, J. 1998.  Predicting weediness in a quarantine context. In Maillet, J. and Navas, M.-L. Proceedings of the 6th EWRS Mediterranean Symposium.  33-40. European Weed Research Society
  • Lonsdale, W. M., Vitou, J., Espiau, C., and Dowling, P. M. 1998. The potential for biological control of Vulpia. In Maillet, J. and Navas, M.-L. Proceedings of the 6th EWRS Mediterranean Symposium.  00-00. European Weed Research Society
  • Böttcher, S. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1998.  Prospects for predictions in biological control of weeds. In:  Maillet, J. and Navas, M.-L. Proceedings of the 6th EWRS Mediterranean Symposium.  105-110. European Weed Research Society.
  • Breton, F., Cheylan, M., Lonsdale, W. M., Maillet, J., Pascal, M., and Vernon, P. 1997. Les invasions biologiques. Courrier de l'environnement de l'INRA 32, 11-28.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. 1996 Plant population processes and weed control. In Moran, V. C. and Hoffmann, J. H. Proceedings of the IX International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds.  33-37. Cape Town, University of Cape Town.
  • Storrs, M. J., Kenyon, A., and Lonsdale, W. M. 1996. Strategic weed management for the Aboriginal lands of the Top End. Richardson, R. G. and Richardson, F. J. Eleventh Australian Weeds Conference Proceedings.  402-407. Frankston, Victoria, Weed Science Society of Victoria, Inc.
  • Storrs, M. J. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1995 Developing a weed management strategy for a conservation area. In: Finlayson, C. M. ed. Wetlands Research in the Wet-dry Tropics of Australia.  182-189. Barton ACT, Supervising Scientist.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. 1992The impact of weeds in national parks. In: Combellack, J. H., Levick, K. J., Parsons, J., and Richardson, R. G. Proceedings of the International Weed Control Congress, Vol. 1.  145-149. Melbourne, Weed Science Society of Victoria.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. 1990. Weeds and conservation in the Australian tropics. Keong, Y. S. and Win, L. S. Proceedings of the International Conference on Tropical Biodiversity: "In Harmony with Nature".  187-192. Kuala Lumpur, Malayan Nature Society.
  • Wilson, C. G. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1987. Recent advances in weed biocontrol in northern Australia. Proceedings of the Eighth Australian Weeds Conference.  89-92. Sydney, Council of Australian Weed Science Societies.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. and Segura, R. (1987) A demographic comparison of native and introduced populations of Mimosa pigra. Lemerle, D. and Leys, A. R. Proceedings of the Eighth Australian Weeds Conference. Sydney, Council of Australian Weed Science Societies.
  • Lonsdale, W. M., Harley, K. L. S., and Miller, I. L. 1985. The biology of Mimosa pigra L. Proceedings of the Tenth Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society Conference.  484-490. Bangkok, Asian-Pacific Weed Science Society, Dept of Agriculture.

Key reports

  • IPBES 2015. Scoping report for an assessment on invasive alien species. Co-chaired and written by W.M. Lonsdale and J-B. Mikissa.  Downloadable as Annex I to decision IPBES-4/1 from the IPBES website (verified 29 October 2017).
  • Groves, R. H., Boden, R., and Lonsdale, W. M. Jumping the Garden Fence: Invasive Garden Plants in Australia and their environmental and agricultural impacts.  2005.  WWF Australia, Sydney.
  • CRC for Australian Weed Management (W.M. Lonsdale et al.). Defeating the Weed Menace R&D Strategy.  2005. Canberra, CRC for Australian Weed Management.
  • Lonsdale, W.M., Floyd, R., Vickers, R., De Barro, P., Chakraborty, S., Groves, R.H. and Clarke G.   (2001).   Implications of incursion ecology for managing Incursions in the Plant Industries.   Plant Health Australia, Canberra, Australia
  • Panetta, D., Pheloung, P., Lonsdale, W. M., Jacobs, S., Mulvaney, M., and Wright, W. 1994. Screening plants for weediness: A procedure for assessing species proposed for importation to Australia. A report commissioned by the Australian Weeds Committee. 

Non-refereed scientific publications

  • Lonsdale, WM. 1999. Weeding out the enemy. Ecos 100, 32-33. Canberra, CSIRO.
  • Braithwaite, R. W. and Lonsdale, W. M. 1994. Just add water - the ecology of Australia's northern wetlands. Issues 27, 31-40.
  • Lonsdale, W. M. and Braithwaite, R. W. 1988. The shrub that conquered the bush. New Scientist 120 (1634)