The D.E.E.P. group is supported by a high level of competitive research funding, infrastructural facilities and a wide collaborative network, nationally and internationally.
Thanks to strong mentoring and infrastructural support, Prof. Brook has been able to build one of the most prolific and well-cited research groups in the field of global ecology and conservation in Australia and internationally. He collaborates and co-publishes with many highly credentialed collaborators from the US, Europe and Asia, and have spent time working with research groups in Chicago (Robert Lacy, CBSG), New York (Resit Akçakaya), Kyoto (Japan, CER), Spain (Miguel Araujo, CSIC) and Singapore (Raffles Museum and NUS). These multidisciplinary relationships are critical for international networking and have taken over almost two decades to develop and foster. This set a strong foundation for future collaboration and exchanges of knowledge between the DEEP lab and other research facilities.
Prof. Brook’s early scientific mentors included leading conservation geneticist Prof Richard Frankham (Macquarie University, Ph.D. supervisor, ISI Highly Cited Researcher), and ecological risk modeller Prof Mark Burgman (University of Melbourne, member of the Australian Academy of Science). He later worked on tropical wildlife management and conservation at Charles Darwin University where he gained a wealth of practical management skills and ecological knowledge from Prof David Bowman (now at the University of Tasmania) and Dr Peter Whitehead (Parks & Wildlife Service Northern Territory), and The University of Adelaide as Chair of Climate Change from 2007 to 2014, where he collaborated closely with Prof. Corey Bradshaw and Dr. Damien Fordham.
In late 2014 he moved to the University of Tasmania to take a key leadership role in one of UTAS’ five designated thematic research areas of strength: “Environment, Resources and Sustainability”. The University has a strategic commitment to be a world leader in this field. Within this theme, UTAS already has established strengths in ecology, evolutionary biology, forestry sciences and agriculture, land management. Each of these areas relates directly to Prof. Brook’s research and all are recognised to perform ‘well above world standard’, achieving ‘5’ ratings in the last Excellence in Research Australian (ERA) assessment.34 Nature/Science/PNAS papers have been published during the last 5 years in the School of Biological Sciences at UTAS. Overall, UTAS ranks in the top 10 in Australia for research income, a testament to the quality of research considering total FTE research staff.
Prof. Brook has been provided with high levels of support by his host universities and by the Australian Research Council (ARC) through the competitive grants scheme. This has included 21 competitive ARC research grants (1 Laureate Fellowship, 1 Future Fellowship, 1 Super Science Fellowship, 10 Discovery and 8 Linkage) as a Chief Investigator, totaling >$14 million (with additional >$7M industry funds). The infrastructural facilities available to support his quantitative modelling and large-scale data collation includes the UTAS ICE 8200 High Performance Computer (HPC) Cluster, which are crucial to the analytical components of his research involving computationally intensive simulation models and associated leveraging of large data sets. UTAS has built up exceptional capacity in this area, via its investment of over $1.9 million over the last three years on the Research Data Storage Infrastructure (RDSI) and Cloud Storage Facilities and the HPC infrastructure hosted by the Tasmanian Partnership for Advanced Computing (TPAC).