Dr Valerie Hagger

Research Fellow

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science


Valerie is a post-doctoral research fellow in Catherine Lovelock’s lab working on an ARC linkage project, “Unlocking the secrets of mangrove conservation and restoration success”, with partners at CSIRO, The Nature Conservancy, and Healthy Land and Water. The project aims to identify social-economic conditions that enable effective conservation and restoration of mangroves over global and regional spatial scales.

She recently completed her PhD, undertaken at the University of Queensland in collaboration with CSIRO. Her PhD focussed on improving the success and cost-effectiveness of ecological restoration, and delivering multiple benefits for biodiversity conservation, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services. It explored people’s motivations to undertake restoration, and the factors driving restoration outcomes. It investigated how and where to undertake restoration to deliver carbon and biodiversity co-benefits, and assessed the economic feasibility of restoring coastal wetlands for blue carbon, whilst attaining co-benefits for biodiversity, coastal fisheries and water quality.

More broadly, her research interests include applied ecology, and the integration of ecological and socio-economic factors in ecosystem restoration to improve decision making in conservation and restoration actions. Before commencing her PhD, she was a senior ecologist with an environmental consultancy, and has 12 years ecological and environmental project experience in both Australia and England. Valerie is currently the student and early career representative of the Society of Ecological Restoration Australasia (SERA).

Research Impacts

Valerie's research aims to provide solutions to restoration stakeholders on how to prioritse, plan, and design restoration projects to improve successful outcomes, deliver multiple benefits to the environment and society, and provide financial payments to incentivise restoration that combats both climate change and biodiversity loss.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Science, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Applied Science (Honours), The University of Queensland


  • Lovelock, Catherine E., Adame, Maria Fernanda, Bradley, Jennifer, Dittmann, Sabine, Hagger, Valerie, Hickey, Sharyn M., Hutley, Lindsay, Jones, Alice, Kelleway, Jeffrey J., Lavery, Paul, Macreadie, Peter I., Maher, Damien T., McGinley, Soraya, McGlashan, Alice, Perry, Sarah, Mosley, Luke, Rogers, Kerrylee and Sippo, James Z. (2022). An Australian blue carbon method to estimate climate change mitigation benefits of coastal wetland restoration. Restoration Ecology. doi: 10.1111/rec.13739

  • Murray, Nicholas J., Worthington, Thomas A., Bunting, Pete, Duce, Stephanie, Hagger, Valerie, Lovelock, Catherine E., Lucas, Richard, Saunders, Megan I., Sheaves, Marcus, Spalding, Mark, Waltham, Nathan J. and Lyons, Mitchell B. (2022). High-resolution mapping of losses and gains of Earth’s tidal wetlands. Science, 376 (6594), 744-749. doi: 10.1126/science.abm9583

  • Hagger, Valerie, Lovelock, Catherine and Saunders, Megan (2022). Drivers of global mangrove loss and gain. The University of Queensland. (Dataset) doi: 10.48610/233461e

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Journal Article

Other Outputs