Core team

The concept feasibility phase of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) is led by David Mead  who chairs the steering committee and is accountable to the executive committee for the delivery of the program. As program director, he is leading the submission of the concept feasibility phase outcomes and recommendations to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science by March 2019.

The program manager is Dr Cedric Robillot  whose responsibilities include: 

  • Program development 
  • Progress tracking and reporting
  • Budget management
  • Resources and sub-contracting oversight
  • Day-to-day project management and oversight of delivery

The core team includes a wide range of experts and specialists. This multi-disciplinary team works across several areas including:

  • Identifying and characterising possible ecological and biophysical interventions and modelling potential benefits, costs and risks of such interventions
  • Developing engineering concepts to demonstrate the feasibility and understand the costs and hurdles associated with restoration actions
  • Analysing regulatory, institutional and social factors and drivers in the context of future restoration research and implementation activities 
  • Implementing best-practice decision support strategies to allow the prioritisation of possible interventions, taking into account not only technical but also social and regulatory dimensions
  • Engaging with the international reef conservation and restoration community to leverage efforts in Australia and identify additional sources of funding and expertise
  • Developing a long-term research and development and innovation program to enable future restoration initiatives whose potential benefits have been identified during the design phase.

Meet the core team:

Bruce Taylor

Based at CSIRO Land and Water in Brisbane, Dr Bruce Taylor is a geographer with expertise in environmental policy implementation who works extensively in the Great Barrier Reef catchments and the Murray Darling Basin. His work focuses on how communities and stakeholders engage in contentious planning, policy and governance processes. He works with communities, governments, agricultural and other industry sectors supporting effective engagement and governance practice on issues such as environmental watering, native vegetation management, unconventional gas developments, urban development and diffuse water quality impacts. He leads the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s social, economic and institutional feasibility sub-project.

Cedric Robillot

Dr Cedric Robillot is the Program Manager of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Project Director for eReefs and Managing Director for HeadStart Development Pty Ltd, providing strategic advice and program management services in a range of sectors. Cedric has more than 10 years’ experience in both the private and public sectors with a unique balance of leadership, scientific, commercial and stakeholder engagement skills. His previous roles include: Executive Manager, Seqwater (Queensland Bulk Water Supply Authority) in charge of the Western Corridor Recycled Water Scheme and Gold Coast Desalination Plant; 10 years in biomedicine, co-founding biotechnology company Cleveland Biosensors; and managing international multidisciplinary projects in Europe, the UK and US. He holds a PhD in environmental toxicology from the National Museum of Natural History in Paris and an engineering degree from the Paris School of Physics and Chemistry (ESPCI). 

Daniel Harrison

Dr Daniel Harrison is an oceanographer and engineer with appointments at the University of Sydney, Sydney Institute of Marine Science, and the National Marine Science Centre of Southern Cross University. Daniel’s research focuses on how human activities affect the oceans and the role the ocean can play by providing novel solutions to the global challenges posed by a rapidly changing climate. His research has covered the spectrum of estuarine microbiology and biogeochemistry, through global fisheries and aquaculture, to geoengineering and ocean-based carbon removal techniques. Dr Harrison was awarded a Myer Innovation Fellowship in 2017 to develop his concept of regional marine cloud brightening as a method for mitigating coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef. Daniel leads the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s cloud brightening and solar radiation management sub project. 

Danielle Koopman

Danielle is the communications manager for the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. She is a former journalist and award-winning communications leader, with experience in many industries including tourism, education, commercialising university research and government. She directed media and communications activities for Tourism Queensland’s Best Job in the World Campaign in 2009, which set the global benchmark for viral marketing communications campaigns. In her journalism career, Danielle was environment reporter for The Courier-Mail in the early ’90s and has written and blogged about innovation. She recently studied biology at The University of Queensland.

Emily O’Regan

Emily O’Regan is the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) Project Administrator for the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. Her previous roles include: senior research officer at AIMS and  project manager/officer positions at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, working on projects including: crown-of-thorns starfish, coral bleaching, strategy development, the Dredging Synthesis project, environmental assessment and management, the Eye on the Reef program and coastal ecosystems and water quality. She also worked as a marine biologist in the tourism sector. Emily holds a Bachelor of Science Honours (biology and geosciences) and a Bachelor of Science Honours (marine ecology) from the University of Wollongong, and a Post Graduate Certificate of science (marine biology and ecotourism) from James Cook University.

Hawthorne Beyer

Dr Hawthorne Beyer is a quantitative ecologist working on conservation and environmental management problems at The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute. His research focuses on developing evidence-based approaches to decision support for environmental management problems. Hawthorne co-leads the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s decision support sub-program.

Ian McLeod

Dr Ian McLeod is a senior research scientist at James Cook University’s Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research. His work focusses on coastal habitat restoration (coral, shellfish, seagrass, kelp and saltmarsh), sportsfishing and ecotourism, coral reef ecology, climate change impacts on the marine environment and land-based effects on coastal waters. He was previously the Centre’s Communications Manager, and is recognised for his work as a science communicator. Ian holds a PhD from James Cook University and is leading the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s review of existing technologies and pilots sub-program. For further information: https://research.jcu.edu.au/portfolio/ian.mcleod1/

Karen Hussey

Professor Karen Hussey is Director of The University of Queensland’s Centre for Policy Futures. Trained as a political scientist and economist, she holds a PhD and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Economic Sciences from University College of Dublin. Her unique research and policy experience includes cutting-edge social science research in a range of sectors including climate change mitigation and adaptation, water, energy, waste, urban management, critical infrastructure, international trade, and biotechnology. She has led innovative intellectual and policy approaches to sustainability and risk, combining traditional disciplinary expertise with a close understanding of the policy problems. She is a member of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s regulatory and institutional environment mapping sub-project.

Karen Vella

Associate Professor Karen Vella is an urban, regional and environmental planner with an international profile in research planning for climate adaptation, policy systems evaluation and social science in the Great Barrier Reef.  Based at Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Karen's work is collaborative and multi-disciplinary, involving partnerships and strong use of social science to identify innovative solutions to reef sustainability problems. Her work has influence on state and national policy and is internationally-recognised in fields of science concerned with human and public policy dimensions of environmental decision-making. Karen previously held research and policy positions with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the community-based Terrain NRM, and CSIRO. Karen is a member of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s social, economic and institutional feasibility sub-project. For further information:  http://staff.qut.edu.au/staff/vella3/

Kate Helmstedt

Dr Kate Helmstedt works at the interface of mathematics, ecology, and economics as a mathematician at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). She uses decision science to improve environmental and biodiversity outcomes from natural resource management. Kate builds mathematical models of coupled ecological, management, and economic systems to understand and control the mechanisms driving success, failure, and efficiency of management actions. She has a PhD in Applied Mathematics from the University of Queensland, and previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California Berkeley. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Kate is a member of the following sub-programs: decision science, coral to values translations and CBA. For further information: https://katehelmstedt.com/ 

Ken Anthony

Dr Ken Anthony is a principal research scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS).  He started his career as an engineer and transitioned to marine biology after a coral reef encounter in 1986. Ken uses science to help sustain marine ecosystems in the face of climate change and other pressures from nature and mankind. Using tools from decision science, risk modelling and business strategy, he works with marine conservationists, environmental managers and policy-makers to find and communicate solutions that can work for ecosystems and people. He aims to produce science that can help conservation and restoration programs build resilience and protect biodiversity as well as to help sustain ecosystems that support economies, industries, and livelihoods. Ken hold a PhD from James Cook University, and a Master of Science from the University of Copenhagen. is a member of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program decision support sub-program. For more information: http://data.aims.gov.au/staffcv/jsf/external/view.xhtml?partyId=200002189

Kerrie Wilson

Professor Kerrie Wilson is an ARC Future Fellow at The University of Queensland (UQ), Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, and an affiliated professor in conservation science at The University of Copenhagen. Kerrie holds a degree in environmental science (First Class Honours) from UQ and a PhD from The University of Melbourne. Previous leadership positions include Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy Australia. Kerrie’s research interests include applied conservation resource allocation problems, analysing the socio-political and institutional factors that influence investment success in conservation, and quantifying the conservation benefits of investments. Her national awards include: two Australian Research Council Research Fellowships, an Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Outstanding Young Researcher, the Prime Minister's Prize for Life Scientist of the Year and the Australian Academy of Science Nancy Millis Medal for Women in Science. Kerrie co-leads the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s decision support sub-program.

Line Bay

Dr Line Bay is a senior research scientist and Team Leader, Reef Recovery, Adaptation and Restoration at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Her research integrates physiological, genetic and genomic data to understand how corals interact with their environment. In particular, Line is studying the rates and mechanisms of physiological acclimatisation, and the potential for genetic adaptation in response to ocean change. She holds a PhD in population genetics from James Cook University and is an author of more than 60 scientific and technical publications relating to coral reefs. Line is an adjunct research fellow with James Cook and Oregon State Universities and holds editorial roles with Coral Reefs, BMC Evolutionary Biology and Frontier in Marine Science. Line leads the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s identification of possible interventions for reef restoration and adaptation sub-program.  Learn more...

Mark Baird

Dr Mark Baird is an aquatic scientist who uses observations and numerical models to study estuarine and marine ecosystems. He leads the CSIRO Coastal Biogeochemical Modelling team which developed key components of the eReefs marine modelling system used to estimate the water quality properties of the Great Barrier Reef, and optimise the reduction of loads of sediments and nutrients. Mark is an active member of the Australian marine science community and is a member of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program core team, working on environmental interventions modelling.

Maxine Newlands

Dr Maxine Newlands is a senior lecturer in political science and international relations at James Cook University. Maxine’s research draws on her PhD in environmental politics and communication practice. Before entering academia, Maxine was a broadcast journalist with the BBC and commercial radio. She continues to write for the Ecologist magazine, and is a regular political commentator for Australian and international media. Her role in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program sits in the social, institutional, and economics stream in two areas:  mapping the regulatory and governance landscape for reef restoration, with a focus on international governance; and discourse and sentiment analysis of social and legacy media narratives around reef restoration. Maxine is a research associate at The University of Queensland's Centre for Policy Futures, and a  Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute.

Patrick Silvey

Dr Patrick Silvey, Managing Director, VenturePro Pty Ltd, is a specialist in obtaining funding for new projects in science and technology research and innovation. He was previously a PricewaterhouseCoopers director in corporate finance, and a post-doctoral research scientist at The University of Queensland. He has served as a member of the QUT Research and Innovation Committee and the ilab technology incubator advisory panel. Patrick has a technical background in molecular biology and environmental science. He is a member of the Advance Queensland Business Development Fund Investment Panel. Patrick is leading the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program business case sub-project.

Pedro Fidelman

Dr Pedro Fidelman’s multidisciplinary background includes marine and social sciences. His research broadly focuses on policy, institutions and management within environmental governance. His areas of experience include coastal and marine social-ecological systems, climate change adaptation and natural resource management in Australia, Brazil and Southeast Asia. Pedro is a Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Policy Futures at the University of Queensland. He is also a member of Australia’s Centre for Marine Socioecology; and serves as a lead author (Ocean Policy) for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Global Environment Outlook 6. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Pedro is a member of the regulatory and institutional environment working group. For further information: http://pedrofidelman.com 

Petra Lundgren

Dr Petra has more than 20 years in marine research and program management, focused on coral reefs and the Great Barrier Reef. She is Project Director of Restoration at the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, coordinating and managing the restoration and adaptation science component of the Reef Trust Partnership program. She also oversees the foundation’s science and innovation projects. Petra holds a PhD in molecular ecology from Stockholm University, focusing on species delineation and population genetic patterns of corals from the Western Indian Ocean. She held a post-doctoral position at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, (where she developed one of the first population genomics projects for corals to identify genome-environment correlations, with a view to identifying genetic markers of increased thermal tolerance). Petra has also worked in program management, including managing the Swedish Government’s support to marine research programs in East Africa; was the Swedish Government representative to the Secretariat of the International Coral Reef Initiative, and was heavily involved in the strategic assessment and development of the Reef 2050 plan at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Petra leads the international engagement and fundraising sub-project.

Russ Babcock

Dr Russ Babcock is a marine ecologist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere, leading research exploring both the natural and human forces that shape Australia’s coastal ecosystems and sustain their integrity and value. His broad research interests include coral reef ecology and temperate kelp forests, with a focus on the effects of coastal development, marine conservation and the impact of ecosystem disruptions. Russ has spent more than 35 years researching coral reefs, working closely with agencies and industry, and leading multidisciplinary teams to address management needs. Current areas of active research include: coral restoration and management of crown-of-thorns starfish on the Great Barrier Reef, and the assessment of marine reserve effectiveness, fish tracking, and the distribution and structure of mesophotic reefs at Ningaloo. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Russ is a member of the coral ecology sub-project.

Scott Condie

Scott Condie is a senior principal research scientist and team leader with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. He has extensive experience in agent-based modelling and connectivity within marine biological systems. He is the principal developer of the decision support tool CONNIE (CONNectivity InterfacE) and the CoCoNet (Coral and CoTS Network) model. His research has been applied extensively in fields such as coastal management, aquaculture, and conservation management. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Scott is a member of the ecosystems modelling sub-project.

Stewart Lockie

Professor Stewart Lockie is Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Director of the Cairns Institute at James Cook University. He has over 20 years’ experience researching environmental policy, coastal management, biodiversity conservation, food security, risk management and the social impacts of resource development. Stewart is Foundation Editor of the journal Environmental Sociology and a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia. He is a member of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program’s social, economic and institutional feasibility sub-project.

Yves-Marie Bozec

Dr Yves-Marie Bozec is a quantitative ecologist and modeller investigating coral reef dynamics at The University of Queensland. Yves-Marie combines ecological modelling with empirical studies for a better understanding of the process of coral reef recovery. His research of the past seven years has led to the development of the key components of ReefMod, a spatially-explicit model of coral reef ecosystem, used to simulate the impacts of restoration interventions across the Great Barrier Reef. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Yves-Marie is a member of the ecosystem modelling team. For further information: https://www.marinespatialecologylab.org/people/yves-marie-bozec/

Zoran Ristovski

Professor Zoran Ristovski is an atmospheric scientist based at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with 20 years’ experience in atmospheric aerosols, working extensively in marine aerosols. His main areas of interest are in the characterisation atmospheric aerosols, their physical and chemical properties, transport in the atmosphere, and their effects on climate. Zoran leads a group of more than 10 researchers and postgraduate students, and has led several large field research campaigns studying the interaction between the biosphere and atmosphere. He was the chief scientist on the first voyage of the CSIRO’s research vessel RV Investigator on the Great Barrier Reef, studying the interaction between the coral reefs and the atmosphere. For more information on that project: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-10-14/how-the-great-barrier-reef-coral-impacts-rainfall/7928714