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Prof. Chad Hewitt

Chad Hewitt

Director, Biosecurity Research Centre
Murdoch University
ORCID Identifier:
Professor Chad Hewitt has worked in academic, government and research sectors. His academic experience includes Director of a National Centre, Head of School of Science, Dean of Science, and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) for various Universities in Australia and New Zealand.
He worked in the New Zealand public service as the Chief Technical Officer – Marine Biosecurity for the New Zealand Government between 2003 and 2005, and was responsible for the management and implementation of the biosecurity system in the New Zealand Exclusive Economic Zone. He led the successful 2004 Treasury bid to increase the Vote Biosecurity allocation for marine ecosystems and was the NZ Head of Delegation to the International Convention on the Management and Control of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments.
Chad originally moved to Australasia to take up a role at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation as Leader of the Invasion Processes Group at the Centre for Research on Introduced Marine Pests (CRIMP) in 1996. His group undertook the first comprehensive study of modern and historical invasions in the Southern Hemisphere, and established the National Port Baseline Survey Programme to determine the scale and scope of marine invasions in Australia. The protocols developed for this programme have now been adopted by national governments, non-governmental organisations and UN agencies across the globe.
His background is in marine ecology, and he holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley (USA) in both Biology and Fine Arts, and a PhD in Biological Science from the University of Oregon (USA). He held one of the US Department of Energy Global Change Postdoctoral Fellowships which he undertook at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.
He continues to provide advice to governments on biosecurity and quarantine frameworks and has participated in capacity building activities for ocean governance and biosecurity frameworks with small island states and other developing countries throughout the Pacific and Indian Oceans. He is a Lead Author in the Inter-governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) assessments for the Asia-Pacific Regional assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services, and for the upcoming Invasive Alien Species global assessment. Chad was a member of the Eminent Scientists Group for the Australian Government providing oversight of Import Risk Assessments and continues as a long-standing member of the IUCN Invasive Species Specialist Group.
Chad’s research portfolio revolves around the role humans’ play in changing the natural world, particularly in marine systems, and how natural science can influence management and policy. His research has primarily focused on how humans have transferred species around the globe, the consequences of those movements in ecological and evolutionary contexts, and the ways that we can predict, prevent and/or mitigate the impacts of these novel species.
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Asia-Pacific Assessment-Lead author