Maria de la Paz Vilas

Senior Scientist

Queensland Government

Maria de la Paz Vilas is an environmental scientist interested in increasing sustainability in agricultural catchments. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Australia where she studied the impact of invasive submerged plants on water quality. Her current work focuses on improving agricultural practices in sugarcane systems to protect the health of Australia’s natural wonder: the Great Barrier Reef. She has 8+ years of experience in using numerical models to better understand how aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems work and how they can be managed more sustainably. She works across the disciplinary divide with collaborators from engineering, ecology, mathematics, social science and economics. She has programming skills in R, MATLAB, C#. In 2019, she was awarded the “Best Young Research Award” by the International Society for Ecological Modelling.


  • Environmental modelling
  • Water quality
  • Sustainable agriculture


  • PhD in Environmental Science, 2018

    University of Western Australia

  • BSc in Biological Sciences, 2008

    University of Buenos Aires

Recent Posts

CLEAR: a framework for mentoring relationships

There is overwhelming evidence that career mentoring is linked with professional success and job satisfaction. However, mentoring …




A web-based application to help sugarcane farmers protect the Great Barrier Reef.

Will nitrification inhibitors help farmers protect the Great Barrier Reef?

The project will contribute towards the goal of more targeted use of nitrification inhibitors in North Queensland (Australia).