Dr Matthew Colloff

Honorary Senior Lecturer
Fenner School of Environment & Society


Matt started his career with a PhD in medical entomology in 1985 at the University of Glasgow, followed by postdoctoral research on the immunology and epidemiology of allergic diseases. Matt moved to Australia in 1994 to pursue a research career with CSIRO on soil biodiversity and ecosystem function. In 2007 Matt commenced research on the ecology and management of floodplains and wetlands, with an emphasis on the water resources of the Murray-Darling Basin. In 2012 he shifted his focus towards adaptation to research on changing the ways that people think and act on adaptation to climate change, particularly on adaptation pathways and services and the interaction between values, rules and knowledge in adaptation decision making. Matt is an accredited Executive Coach.

Research interests

Dr Matt Colloff is an ecologist and taxonomist by training, a founder member of the Transformative Adaptation Research Alliance (TARA https://research.csiro.au/tara/) and formerly Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO Land and Water. His current research is integration science to underpin conservation, natural resource management, water policy, management and governance and adaptation to climate change. He is an associate member of the Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists.

Areas of expertise

Environmental Science, Management and Policy

Adaptation to climate change

Ecosystem ecology

Functional ecology of floodplains and wetlands

Integration science and decision making

Systematics and biogeography

Conservation science

Coaching and mentoring

  • Grafton, R, Colloff, M, Marshall, V et al. 2020, 'Confronting a 'post-truth water world' in the murray-darling Basin, Australia', Water Alternatives, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 1-28.
  • Lavorel, S, Locatelli, B, Colloff, M et al. 2020, 'Co-producing ecosystem services for adapting to climate change', Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B, vol. 375, no. 1794.
  • Chen, Y., Colloff, M.J., Lukasiewicz, A. and Pittock, J. 2021. A trickle, not a flood: environmental watering in the Murray-Darling Basin, Australia. Marine and Freshwater Research, 72(5), 601-609.
  • Lavorel, S, Colloff, M, Locatelli, R et al. 2019, 'Mustering the power of ecosystems for adaptation to climate change', Environmental Science and Policy, vol. 92, no. 2, pp. 87-97.
  • Pramova, E, Locatelli, B, Djoudi, H et al. 2019, 'Adapting land restoration to a changing climate: Embracing the knowns and unknowns', CIFOR Infobrief, vol. 249, pp. 8pp.
  • Colloff, M & Colloff, M 2019, 'The oribatid mite genus Topalia in Australia (Oribatida: Nosybeidae) and the taxonomic status of related families and genera', Zootaxa, vol. 4647, no. 1, pp. 290-321.
  • Colloff, M & Colloff, M 2019, 'The oribatid mite genus Topalia in Australia (Oribatida: Nosybeidae) and the taxonomic status of related families and genera', Zootaxa, vol. 4647, no. 1, pp. 290-321.
  • Colloff, M, Doody, T, Overton, I et al. 2019, 'Re-framing the decision context over trade-offs among ecosystem services and wellbeing in a major river basin where water resources are highly contested', Sustainability Science, vol. 14, no. 3, pp. 713-731.
  • Colloff, M & Pittock, J 2019, 'Why we disagree about the Murray-Darling Basin Plan: water reform, environmental knowledge and the science-policy decision context', Australasian Journal of Water Resources, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 88-98pp.
  • Zeng, Q, Reid, J, Saintilan, N et al 2019, 'Contrasting diversity patterns of breeding Anatidae in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres', Ecology and Evolution, vol. 9, pp. 9990-10003.
  • Colloff, M, Overton, I, Henderson, B et al 2018, 'The use of historical environmental monitoring data to test predictions on cross-scale ecological responses to alterations in river flows', Aquatic Ecology, vol. 52, no. 1, pp. 133-153.
  • Grigg, N, Foran, T, Darbas, T et al. 2018, 'The water-food-energy nexus in Pakistan: A biophysical and socio-economic challenge', IAHS Scientific Assembly 2017, ed. Croke B. Jewitt G., Copernicus Publications, Online, pp. 9-13.
  • Fedele, G, Locatelli, B, Djoudi, H et al. 2018, 'Reducing risks by transforming landscapes: Cross-scale effects of land-use changes on ecosystem services', PLOS ONE (Public Library of Science), vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 21pp.
  • Prober, S, Colloff, M, Abel, N et al 2017, 'Informing climate adaptation pathways in multi-use woodland landscapes using the values-rules-knowledge framework', Agriculture Ecosystems and Environment, vol. 241, no. -, pp. 39-53pp.
  • Colloff, M, Lavorel, S, Van Kerkhoff, L et al 2017, 'Transforming conservation science and practice for a postnormal world', Conservation Biology, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 1008-1017.
  • Crouzat, E, Arpin, I, Brunet, L et al 2017, 'Researchers must be aware of their roles at the interface of ecosystem services science and policy', AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, vol. 47, no. 1, pp. 97-105pp.
  • Doherty, M, Lavoral, S, Colloff, M et al. 2017, 'Moving from autonomous to planned adaptation in the montane forests of southeastern Australia under changing fire regimes', Austral Ecology, vol. 42, no. 3, pp. 309-316pp.
  • Bark, R, Colloff, M, Hatton MacDonald, D et al. 2016, 'Integrated valuation of ecosystem services obtained from restoring water to the environment in a major regulated river basin', Ecosystem Services, vol. 22, pp. 381-391.
  • McGregor, H, Colloff, M & Lunt, I 2016, 'Did early logging or changes in disturbance regimes promote high tree densities in river red gum forests?', Australian Journal of Botany, vol. 64, no. 6, pp. 530-538pp.
  • Colloff, M, Doherty, M, Lavorel, S et al. 2016, 'Adaptation services and pathways for the management of temperate montane forests under transformational climate change', Climatic Change, vol. 138, no. 1-2, pp. 267-282.
  • Cunningham, S, Pullen, K & Colloff, M 2009, 'Whole-tree sap flow is substantially diminished by leaf herbivory', Oecologia, vol. 158, no. 4, pp. 633-640.