Dr Matthew Holden


Faculty of Science
+61 7 336 52527


Dr. Matthew Holden is an applied mathematician using dynamic models and decision theory to improve conservation planning when conservation benefits depend on how humans modify their behaviour in response to policy. Some of his projects include saving the African elephant from poaching for ivory and developing novel quantitative methods for invasive and threatened species management. He earned his PhD in Applied mathematics at Cornell University, winning a National Science Foundation Graduate Research fellowship to work on optimization problems in fisheries management, invasive species control, and sustainable agriculture. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, where he won the University Medal, working on the effect of habitat fragmentation on species persistence.


  • PhD in Applied Mathematics, Cornell University


  • Biggs, Duan, Holden, Matthew H., Braczkowski, Alex, Cook, Carly N., Milner-Gulland, E. J., Phelps, Jacob, Scholes, Robert J., Smith, Robert J., Underwood, Fiona M., Adams, Vanessa M., Allan, James, Brink, H., Cooney, R., Gao, Y., Hutton, J., Macdonald-Madden, Eve, Maron, Martine, Redford, Kent H., Sutherland, William J. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2017) Breaking the deadlock on ivory. Science, 358 6369: 1378-1381. doi:10.1126/science.aan5215

  • Holden, Matthew H. and McDonald-Madden, Eve (2017) Conservation from the grave: human burials to fund the conservation of threatened species. Conservation Letters, . doi:10.1111/conl.12421

  • Holden, Matthew H. and McDonald-Madden, Eve (2017) High prices for rare species can drive large populations extinct: the anthropogenic Allee effect revisited. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 429 170-180. doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2017.06.019

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Journal Article