- Dr Kate Helmstedt
- Lecturer in Operations Research
Science and Engineering Faculty,
- Discipline *
- Applied Mathematics, Environmental Science and Management, Ecological Applications
- +61 7 3138 7662
- View location details (QUT staff and student access only)
- Identifiers and profiles
PhD (University of Queensland), Bachelor of Science with Honours Class Honours Class 1 (University of Queensland), Bachelor of Science (University of Queensland)
decision theory, operations research, biodiversity conservation, threatened species, invasive species, multi-use landscapes, environmental management, ecological modelling
Dr Helmstedt’s research expertise is in using operations research to guide smart decision making for natural resource and environmental management with the ultimate goal of guiding future management decisions towards cost-efficiency, transparency and defensibility. Ecological systems are incredibly complex, and changing how those systems interact and evolve can have unexpected implications. Dr Helmstedt builds mathematical models of coupled ecological, land-use, and economic systems to understand the mechanisms driving success, failure, and efficiency of management actions. Carefully, transparently, and defensibly planning management and policy interventions while acknowledging those complexities and the associated risks helps achieve better outcomes for the environment and society.
Dr Helmstedt completed her PhD in 2015 at the University of Queensland under the supervision of Professor Hugh Possingham. She then spent two years as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Berkeley before joining QUT as a Lecturer.
Prospective Honours and PhD students who are interested in any combination of biodiversity conservation, natural resource management, and operations research are encouraged to contact Dr Helmstedt — especially those from groups traditionally underrepresented in mathematics. There are opportunities for competitive funding for domestic and international students through university schemes. Postdoctoral researchers pursuing their own funding are also encouraged to contact Dr Helmstedt.
2017 Lecturer and Unit Coordinator of Operations Research for Stochastic Processes (MXB334), Queensland University of Technology
2016 Running graduate student working group UC Berkeley, Modelling and minimizing the ecosystem impacts of food waste
2015 Guest lecture UC Berkeley, Mathematical modelling of ecological systems
2010-2015 Five years’ experience as a teaching assistant at the University of Queensland: Mathematics and statistics undergraduate
- Calculus and Linear Algebra (2010, 2012)
- Advanced Calculus and Linear Algebra (2010-2014)
- Applied Mathematical Analysis (2011)
- Multivariate Calculus & Ordinary Differential Equations (2012)
- Analysis of Scientific Data in R (2010)
- Theory & Practice in Science (2010, 2011, 2012, 2014)
2011 Development of course materials (labs, tutorial materials and assignments) for “Theory & Practice in Science”: a first year undergraduate course for biology and chemistry students, covering an introduction to mathematical modelling, mathematical problem formulation and programming in Python.
Dr Helmstedt collaborates with diverse groups of scientists including mathematicians, statisticians, economists, ecologists, biologists, agricultural and marine scientists. These collaborative networks span Australia and internationally across the US and Europe (and, pending Brexit, the UK).
Through ongoing collaborations with the Australian Antarctic Division and the Tasmanian state government, she helps guide decision-making about how to tackle the huge environmental problem of invasive species on islands.
- Helmstedt KJ, Potts MD, (2018) Valuable habitat and low deforestation can reduce biodiversity gains from development rights markets, Journal of Applied Ecology p1692-1700
- Helmstedt KJ, Shaw JD, Bode M, Terauds A, Springer K, Robinson SA, Possingham HP, (2016) Prioritizing eradication actions on islands: it's not all or nothing, Journal of Applied Ecology p733-741
- Helmstedt KJ, Possingham HP, (2017) Costs are key when reintroducing threatened species to multiple release sites, Animal Conservation p331-340
- Helmstedt KJ, Possingham HP, Brennan KE, Rhodes JR, Bode M, (2014) Cost-efficient fenced reserves for conservation: single large or two small?, Ecological Applications p1780-1792
- McDonald JA, Helmstedt KJ, Bode M, Coutts SR, Mcdonald-Madden E, Possingham HP, (2018) Improving private land conservation with outcome-based biodiversity payments, Journal of Applied Ecology p1476-1485
- Coutts SR, Helmstedt KJ, Bennett JR, (2018) Invasion lags: The stories we tell ourselves and our inability to infer process from pattern, Diversity and Distributions p244-251
- Helmstedt KJ, Stokes-Draut JR, Larsen AE, Potts MD, (2018) Innovating at the food, water, and energy interface, Journal of Environmental Management p17-22
- Runge CA, Plantinga AJ, Larsen AE, Naugle DE, Helmstedt KJ, Polasky S, Donnelly J, Smith JT, Lark TJ, Lawler JJ, Martinuzzi S, Fargione J, (2019) Unintended habitat loss on private land from grazing restrictions on public rangelands, Journal of Applied Ecology p52-62
- Bode M, Brennan KE, Helmstedt KJ, Desmond A, Smia R, Algar D, (2013) Interior fences can reduce cost and uncertainty when eradicating invasive species from large islands, Methods in Ecology and Evolution p819-827
- Peron M, Bartlett PL, Becker KH, Helmstedt KJ, Chades I, (2018) Two approximate dynamic programming algorithms for managing complete SIS networks, Proceedings of the 1st ACM SIGCAS Conference on Computing and Sustainable Societies (COMPASS 2018) p1-10
For more publications by this staff member, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.
- Novel mathematical models and simulation tools for stochastic ecosystems
PhD, Associate Supervisor
Other supervisors: Dr Pamela Burrage