About me

bon uni profile

email: bonnie.wintle[at]unimelb.edu.au

I am currently a Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne in the School of Biosciences, although I sit with the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies (SHAPS). I am part of the interdisciplinary MetaMelb Group, and we think a lot about how science is done, and ways to improve it. We are currently all very consumed by the exciting repliCATS project (where the The “CATS” stands for Collaborative Assessment for Trustworthy Science). Over the past 18 months, we’ve estimated the replicability of 3,000 published social scientific research claims, with the help of a brilliant crowd of evaluators, and our project has recently been refunded for a second phase, where we will work closely with the team at the Center for Open Science. I’m similarly interested in issues of replication and generalisability of findings from ecology and conservation science, and I’m currently on the Executive Committee of the Society for Open, Reliable, and Transparent Ecology and Evolutionary biology (SORTEE), and am a former Vice President of the Association for Interdisciplinary Meta-Research and Open Science (AIMOS).

I am also affiliated with the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA) and the Quantitative and Applied Ecology Group (QAEco) at the University of Melbourne, where I have previously worked on the early detection of threats to biodiversity and opportunities for conservation. My most recent postdoc before returning to Melbourne was with the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk (CSER) at the University of Cambridge, where I scanned the horizon for emerging risks and benefits associated with rapidly changing technologies, such as bioengineering. I am still an active Research Affiliate of CSER.

I completed my PhD in 2013 in the environmental science lab at Melbourne Uni, supervised by Prof Mark Burgman (environmental risk analysis) and Dr Fiona Fidler (cognitive psychology). You can read more about this on the PhD Research tab.

Generally, I am interested in improving judgements and decision making in data-poor domains that rely heavily on experts, particularly risk analysis, environmental science and Natural Resource Management. However, my research is informed by cognitive psychology and a little bit of philosophy, and has application across many disciplines that use subjective estimation and expert judgement.

My background is interdisciplinary. Primarily, it lies in plant ecology, but I’ve also studied philosophy of science, geography (including GIS) and some social science. I’m a course coordinator and lecturer in the ‘Environmental Risk Assessment’ Third Year and Masters courses at Melbourne Uni, and I’ve guest lectured and tutored the fascinating subject ‘Critical Thinking with Data’, run through Maths and Stats at Melbourne Uni. I’ve also worked in government for Parks Victoria, and in another life, for Lonely Planet publications, as a cartographer.

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