Steven Chown

Prof. Steven L Chown

Monash University

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Prof. Steven L Chown is Head of the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University, Australia. Much of his work concerns the biological impacts of the major global change drivers, such as climate change and biological invasions. His research is conducted in many areas of the planet, and over the past 25 years has maintained a substantial focus on the sub-Antarctic and Antarctic. He has published >150 scientific papers on the ecology and biology of the region, and edited and co-authored major science and popular books on the Prince Edward Islands. His work has developed general ideas about the structure and functioning of sub-Antarctic systems, and tested major ecological and biological hypotheses. Overall, he has published > 300 research papers and his work is widely cited, as indicated by an h-index of 72.

The outcomes of his sub-Antarctic and Antarctic work have had substantial impacts on conservation and science policy. Much of this has been delivered through interactions with the Antarctic Treaty System and notably its Committee for Environmental Protection. Nonetheless, he was also the inaugural Chair of the Prince Edward Islands Management Committee and responsible for the complete revision of the Islands’ Management Plan. His work has contributed to policy on invasive species, climate change adaptation, and conservation management of the broader Antarctic region, and he has spent much time translating science evidence to practicable guidelines for mitigating impacts. As a consequence of his science and policy contributions, Steven is the inaugural recipient of the Martha T. Muse Prize for science and policy in Antarctica, and among other awards, he has been presented with the SCAR Medal of Excellence for Scientific Research.


Key Publications 


Chown SL, Clarke A, Fraser CI, Cary FSC, Moon KL, and McGeogh M (2015) The changing form of Antarctic biodiversityNature, 522: 431-438. DOI:10.1038/nature14505 

Chown SL, Lee JE, Hughes KA, Barnes J, Barrett PJ, Bergstrom DM, Convey P, Cowan DA, Crosbie K, Dyer G, Frenot Y, Grant SM, Herr D, Kennicutt MC, Lamers M, Murray A, Possingham HP, Reid K, Riddle MJ, Ryan PG, Sanson L, Shaw JD, Sparrow MD, Summerhayes C, Terauds A, and Wall DH (2012) Challenges to the future conservation of the AntarcticScience, 337: 158-159. DOI: 10.1126/science.1222821 

Chown SL, Huiskes AHL, Gremmen NJM, Lee JE, Terauds A, Crosbie K, Frenot Y, Hughes KA, Imura S, Kiefer K, Lebouvier M, Raymond B, Tsujimoto M, Ware C, Van de Vijver B, and Bergstrom DM (2012) Continent-wide risk assessment for the establishment of nonindigenous species in AntarcticaProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, 109: 4938-4943. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1119787109 

Bergstrom D and Chown SL (1999) Life at the front: history, ecology and change on southern ocean islandsTrends in Ecology and Evolution, 14: 472-477. DOI:10.1016/S0169-5347(99)01688-2 

Chown SL, Gremmen NJM, and Gaston KJ (1998) Ecological biogeography of Southern Ocean islands: species-area relationships, human impacts, and conservationAmerican Naturalist, 152: 562-575. DOI: 10.1086/286190