Luis Mata

Lead – Research Scientist

Bachelor of Arts (Economics), Bachelor of Science (Biology), Master of Science (Biodiversity), PhD in Entomology and Insect Ecology

Luis is an ecologist and entomologist with an interest in complex systems, sustainable agriculture, urban environments, citizen science, and science communication. He is fascinated by insects because he believes that, whether as individuals or aggregated into super-organisms, they are interesting, valuable and beautiful life forms.

As Lead – Research Scientist at Cesar, he works alongside our team of ecologists, entomologists, geneticists, mathematicians, and data modellers to lead research activities focusing on sustainable farming practices, invertebrate pest management, and biodiversity conservation in agroecosystems. Luis is also a postdoctoral researcher in the Urban Green Spaces Research Group at the University of Melbourne, where he’s looking at the ecological benefits of urban greening actions and the biodiversity contributions of citizen science projects.

Luis conducted his PhD research – Heteroptera ecology, biodiversity and conservation – at the University of Barcelona and is also an alum of the Santa Fe Institute.

He enjoys discovering and learning from nature through photography and is convinced that capturing aesthetically pleasing images of living beings is one of the best ways to bring art and science together!

Andrew N, Evans M, Svejcar L, Prendegast K, Mata L, Gibb H, Stone M, Barton P. (2022) What’s hot and what’s not – Identifying publication trends in insect ecology. Austral Ecology 47: 5-16.

Bergamo M, Laubmeier A, Mata L, Srivasta N, Zeng F. (2021) Food and social webs. Panoramas 2021. 14-18 June 2021, Universität Politècnica de València.

Hahs A, Palma E, Mata L. (2021) Wildlife habitat connectivity across the City of Whitehorse. Report prepared for Whitehorse City Council.

Mata L. (2021) Indigenous plants bring culture, beauty, and beneficial insects into our parks and gardens. Research Matters – Newsletter of the Australian Flora Foundation 34: July 2021.

Mata L. (2021) Bringing blue-banded bees and other insects back into our gardens and cities. Seeds for Hope Newsletter, Summer 2021. Global Gardens for Peace.

Mata L, Andersen A, Morán-Ordóñez A, Hahs A, Backstrom A, Ives C, Bickel D, Duncan D, Palma E, Thomas F, Cranney K, Walker K, Shears I, Semeraro L, Malipatil M, Moir M, Plein M, Porch N, Vesk P, Smith T, Lynch Y.  (2021) Indigenous plants promote insect biodiversity in urban greenspaces. Ecological Applications 31: e02309.

Mata L, Hahs A, Palma E, Backstrom A, King T, Olson A, Renowden C, Smith T, Vogel B. (2021) Large ecological benefits of small urban greening actions. [bioRxiv]

Mata L, Kurek A, Kurek D, Martoni F, Rogan L, Lagerwey M, Crowcroft P, Marriott P. (2021) The Entomological Society of Victoria iNaturalist Interest Group. The Victorian Entomologist 51: 97-101.

Mata L, Smith A. (2021) Re-enchanting Victorians with Mt Piper’s butterflies. The Victorian Entomologist 51: 78-84.

Mata L, Vogel B, Palma E, Malipatil M. (2021) The arrival and spread of the European firebug Pyrrhocoris apterus in Australia as documented by citizen scientists. [EcoEvoRxiv]

Mumaw L, Mata L. (2021) Wildlife gardening: an urban nexus of social and ecological relationships. [EcoEvoRxiv]

Mata L, Ramalho C, Kennedy J, Parris K, Valentine L, Miller M, Bekessy S, Hurley S, Cumpston Z. (2020) Bringing nature back into cities. People and Nature 2: 350-368.

Mata L, Vogel B, Bolitho J. (2020) Pollinator Observatories – Citizen science to engage people with nature in cities. Report prepared for Westgate Biodiversity: Bili Nursery & Landcare.

Pauli N , Maller C , Mata L , Farahani L , Porter L , Arabena L , Davern M , Higgs C , Ligtermoet E , Verde Selva G , Atkins M , Mouat C , Föllmer J , Kelly D. (2020) Perspectives on understanding and measuring the social, cultural and biodiversity benefits of urban greening. Clean Air and Urban Landscapes Hub.

Valentine L, Ramalho C, Mata L, Craig M, Kennedy P, Hobbs R. (2020) Novel resources: opportunities for and risks to species conservation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 18: 558-566.

Beer T, Hernandez-Santín C, Cumpston Z, Khan R, Mata L, Parris K, Renowden C, Iampolski R, Hes D, Vogel B. (2019) The Living Pavilion Research Report. The University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Mata L, Garrard G, Fidler F, Ives C, Maller M, Wilson J, Thomas F, Bekessy S. (2019) Punching above their weight: The ecological and social benefits of pop-up parks. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 17: 341-347.

Garrard G, Williams N, Mata L, Thomas J, Bekessy S. (2018) Biodiversity sensitive urban design. Conservation Letters 11: e12411.

Hardy M, Bekessy S, Fitzsimons J, Mata L, Cook C, Nankivell A, Smillie K, Gordon A. (2018) Protecting nature on private land using revolving funds: Assessing property suitability. Biological Conservation 220: 84-93.

Kirk H, Threlfall C, Soanes K, Ramalho C, Parris K, Amati M, Bekessy S, Mata L. (2018) Linking nature in the city: A framework for improving ecological connectivity across the City of Melbourne. Report prepared for the City of Melbourne Urban Sustainability Branch.

Cranney K, Bekessy S, Mata L. (2017) The Little Things that Run the City – 30 amazing insect that live in Melbourne! City of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Damiens F, Mumaw L, Backstrom A, Bekessy S, Coffey B, Faulkner R, Garrard G, Hardy M, Kusmanoff A, Mata L, Rickards L, Selinske M, Torabi N, Gordon A. (2017) Why politics and context matter in conservation policy: A response to Kareiva and Fuller. Global Policy 8: 253-256.

Kirk H, Smith T, Backstrom A, Morán-Ordóñez A, Garrard G, Gordon A, Ives C, Bekessy S, Mata L. (2017) Our City’s Little Gems – Butterfly diversity and flower-butterfly interactions in the City of Melbourne. Report prepared for the City of Melbourne.

Mata L, Garrard G, Kutt A, Wintle B, En Chee Y, Backstrom A, Bainbridge B, Urlus J, Brown G, Tolsma A, Yen A, New T, Bekessy S. (2017) Eliciting and integrating expert knowledge to assess the viability of the critically endangered golden sun-moth Synemon plana. Austral Ecology 42: 297-308.

Mata L, Threlfall C, Williams N, Hahs A, Malipatil M, Stork N, Livesley S. (2017) Conserving herbivorous and predatory insects in urban green spaces. Scientific Reports 7: 40970.

Threlfall C, Mata L, Mackie J, Hahs A, Stork N, Williams N, Livesley S. (2017) Increasing biodiversity in urban green spaces through simple vegetation interventions. Journal of Applied Ecology 54: 1874-1883.

Mata L, Ives C, Morán-Ordóñez A, Garrard G, Gordon A, Cranney K, Smith T, Backstrom A, Bickel D, Hahs A, Malipatil M, Moir M, Plein M, Porch N, Semeraro L, Walker K, Vesk P, Parris K, Bekessy S. (2016) The Little Things that Run the City – Insect ecology, biodiversity and conservation in the City of Melbourne. Report prepared for the City of Melbourne.

Torabi N, Mata L, Gordon A, Garrard G, Wescott W, Dettmann P, Bekessy S. (2016) The money or the trees: what drives landholders’ participation in biodiverse carbon plantings? Global Ecology and Conservation 7: 1-11.

Steele W, Mata L, Fünfgeld H. (2015) Urban climate justice: Creating sustainable pathways for humans and other species. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14: 121-126.

Threlfall C, Walker K, Williams N, Hahs A, Mata L, Stork N, Livesley S. (2015) The conservation value of urban green space habitats for Australian native bee communities. Biological Conservation 187: 240-248.

Mata L, Goula M, Hahs A. (2014) Conserving insect assemblages in urban landscapes: accounting for species-specific responses and imperfect detection. Journal of Insect Conservation 18: 885-894.

Mata L, Grosso-Silva J, Goula M. (2013) Pyrrhocoridae from the Iberian Peninsula. Heteropterus Revista de Entomología 13: 175-189.