Portrait image of Dr Mark Lonsdale.

Dr Mark Lonsdale: Director of CSIRO's Biodiversity Portfolio.

Dr Mark Lonsdale: Director, CSIRO's Biodiversity Portfolio

Dr Mark Lonsdale has extensive experience in the ecology of invasive species and biodiversity.

  • 15 August 2011 | Updated 30 October 2013

In this article

  1. Resume
  2. Publishing History


Page 1 of 2

Current activities

Dr Mark Lonsdale was appointed as the Director of CSIRO's Biodiversity Portfolio in July 2013.

In this role, Dr Lonsdale is working to ensure that CSIRO’s biodiversity research is providing practical solutions so that Australia’s unique plants, animals and landscapes will be here for future generations to enjoy.

His areas of expertise include:

  • biodiversity
  • biological invasions
  • environmental risk
  • ecology.


Dr Lonsdale is an ecologist.

He was awarded a doctorate in 1982 for his work in plant population ecology.

Following this, he worked as a biology lecturer in Nigeria before coming to Australia to research the ecology of tropical weeds for CSIRO in 1984.

Dr Lonsdale’s areas of expertise include ecology, biodiversity, biological invasions, and environmental risk analysis.

Dr Lonsdale worked for CSIRO in Darwin until 1995, carrying out research into the impact of tropical invasive plants on biodiversity.

Subsequently, he became officer in charge of CSIRO's European laboratory in France, where he worked on the potential for biocontrol of the invasive plant Vulpia and on the concept of ecosystem invasibility.

Dr Lonsdale returned to Australia in 1998 to take up a succession of leadership roles in Canberra, before being appointed Chief of CSIRO Entomology in 2007.

He led the merger of Entomology with CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems to form CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences (CES) in 2010.

He stepped down as Chief of CES in June 2013 to take up a new role leading CSIRO’s Biodiversity Research Portfolio, a $29 million p.a. portfolio of research involving ecologists, social and economic scientists, systematists and informaticians.  

He was recently appointed as the Co-Chair of the interim Multidisciplinary Expert Panel of IPBES [external link].

Academic qualifications

Dr Lonsdale holds the following qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Science with Honours in biology, from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, 1978
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Plant population ecology – Studies on thinning in pure and mixed populations of plants) from the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom, 1982. 


  • 2013: Co-Chair of the multidisciplinary expert panel of IPBES.
  • 2013: Secretary for the Australian membership of IIASA.
  • 2013 - present: Chair of, and CSIRO representative on, the Editorial Board of The Conversation.
  • 2010 - present: Member of CSIRO Publishing Advisory Committee and Co-Chair of CSIRO Journals’ Board of Standards.
  • 2010: Chair of the Local Organizing Committee for the Ecological Society of Australia 50th anniversary conference, Canberra.
  • 2007 - present: Member of the Scientific Committee of Diversitas.
  • 2006 - present: Member, DAFF Eminent Scientists Group.
  • 2005 - 2011: Board Member, Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre.
  • 2004 - present: Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors.
  • 2004 - 2011:  Member, Executive Board, Global Invasive Species Program (GISP).
  • 1998 - 2008:  Member, Editorial Board, Biological Invasions.

Find out about CSIRO's biodiversity research.