Core team

The core team includes a wide range of experts and specialists:

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 Engagement Sub-Program.

Christopher Doropoulos

Dr Christopher Doropoulos is a reef ecologist and Research Scientist at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere. He combines observational, experimental, and modelling approaches to develop mechanistic understandings of ecological patterns in population and community recovery. His research has specialised on coral recruitment, particularly the biophysical interactions and demographic rates that influence coral recovery along environmental gradients. Most recently, he has been investigating the feasibility and optimisation of large-scale restoration for long-term recovery and sustainability of coral reefs. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Christopher is a co-leader of the EcoRRAP Ecology Sub-Program. Further information 

Daniel Harrison

Dr Daniel Harrison is an oceanographer and engineer at 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 in 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. He 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 Cooling and Shading Sub-Program. He also hold appointments at University of Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. 

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.

Ian McLeod

In his role as Research and External Partnerships Coordinator Dr Ian McLeod works with the Program Director and Principal Systems Engineer to coordinate and manage the program. Ian is a Principal Research Scientist at James Cook University and Assistant Director of the TropWATER Research Centre. In these roles he leads projects focused on marine and coastal habitat conservation and restoration, coral reef ecology and land-based effects on coastal waters. Previously Ian’s professional roles and research have focused on climate change impacts on the marine environment, ecotourism, and environmental management. Ian is Co-Chair of the International Coral Reef Initiative Ad Hoc Reef Restoration Committee, is a member of the Executive Team for the Coral Restoration Consortium and founded the Australian Coastal Restoration Network. Ian has five years’ experience as a Communications Manager and was a Founding Director of the media company Cinematic Science. Ian was awarded an ABC Top 5 Science Prize in 2020 as one of the outstanding early career science leaders in Australia.

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 Engagement Frameworks Sub-Program. Further information  

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 Decision Support Sub-program and was also involved in producing the RRAP cost benefit analysis. Further information  

Katharina Fabricius

Dr Katharina Fabricius is a coral reef ecologist and a Senior Principal Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). She has researched coral reefs for more than 30 years and leads a large multidisciplinary research team - Cumulative Impacts - in the Healthy Great Barrier Reef Program. Her current focus is understanding the effects of ocean acidification and water quality on ecosystem integrity both in the Great Barrier Reef and around volcanic CO2 seeps in Papua New Guinea. Katharina has published more than 150 journal articles and book chapters and advises both government and non-government bodies as a coral reef expert on ocean acidification, water quality and climate change issues. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Katharina is a co-leader of the EcoRRAP Ecology Sub-Program. Further information 


Ken Anthony

Dr Ken Anthony is an associate scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) and director of Environmental Strategies ES5. He started his career as an engineer and transitioned to marine biology after discovering coral reefs 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 holds a PhD from James Cook University, and a Master of Science from the University of Copenhagen. He leads the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program Decision Support Sub-Program. Further information 

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 Enhanced Corals, Treatments and Aquaculture 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.

Mark Gibbs

Dr Mark Gibbs is Principal Systems Engineer, Technology Transformation, at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He was previously Director, Knowledge to Innovation, Queensland University of Technology (QUT), is a coastal engineer and scientist who has worked on major coastal infrastructure projects as a researcher and consultant worldwide. Prior to joining QUT, Mark was Deputy Chief of CSIRO Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research, Deputy Director of the Collaboration for Australian Weather and Climate Research – a CSIRO/Bureau of Meteorology partnership, and a Technical Director at AECOM; the world’s largest infrastructure company. Mark has extensive experience in marine operations, infrastructure planning and delivery, impacts of coastal infrastructure, and research program management.

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. She is a member of both the Engagment and Regulatory Frameworks Sub-Programs of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. Maxine is a research associate at The University of Queensland's Centre for Policy Futures, and a  Research Fellow at the Cairns Institute.

Pedro Fidelman

Dr Pedro Fidelman is a Senior Research Fellow with UQ Centre for Policy Futures, where his work focuses on environmental policy and 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. With extensive experience in marine and coastal governance, he has contributed to several national and international initiatives in this area, serving as cluster co-leader (climate change) for the Ocean Governance Taskforce of the Earth System Governance Project, theme co-leader (marine and coastal governance) for the Centre for Marine Socioecology, member of the Future Earth Australia Oceans and Coasts National Strategy Expert Working Group, and lead author (oceans and coastal policy) for the UN Global Environment Outlook 6. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Pedro co-leads the Regulatory Sub-Program. Further information


Peter Harrison

Professor Peter Harrison is a coral ecologist and Director of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Southern Cross University. He has 40 years’ research experience working on corals and reefs around the world and has led highly successful international and national research projects and research teams, including work for the United Nations. Peter’s research focuses on marine ecology and environmental science and their applications to conservation and management. His current major research focus is coral and reef restoration. He leads large multidisciplinary projects developing the world’s first larger-scale successful coral larval restoration projects using millions of coral larvae to restore damaged reefs in the Philippines and on the Great Barrier Reef. He has been awarded multiple prizes for marine research and university teaching and has been appointed to a wide range of national and international scientific committees focused on conservation management. In the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program, Peter is a key researcher in Moving Corals Sub-Program. Further information 

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 Moving Corals Sub-Program.

Scott Bryan

Associate Professor Scott Bryan is an academic lead in the School of Earth & Atmospheric Sciences at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Queensland graduating with BSc First Class Honours and completed his PhD at Monash University. He was appointed as the Damon Wells Fellow at Yale University in 2003, was Senior Lecturer at Kingston University, 2006-2008, and was appointed as a Vice-Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow at QUT in 2010. He has 30 years’ research experience with a passion for volcanoes and the ways volcanism has impacted our planet’s evolution, atmosphere and environment. He has a specific interest in how life interacts with volcanism, and how floating masses of pumice (pumice rafts) can transport shallow marine communities across deep oceans. Pumice rafts have the potential to help sustain coral reefs like the Great Barrier Reef. Scott is a co-lead on the RRAP Rubble Stabilisation sub-program. More information

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 Community 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 Modelling Sub-Program.

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 Engagement Sub-Program.

Tom Baldock

Professor Tom Baldock obtained a B.Eng (1990) and Ph.D. (1995) from the Department of Civil Engineering, Imperial College, London. He taught at Imperial College for two years before moving to Australia in 2002. He teaches Fluid Mechanics, Hydraulic Engineering and Coastal Engineering. His research is primarily in the field of Coastal and Ocean Engineering, but also encompasses renewable energy and higher education. He is a member of the editorial board of the journal Coastal Engineering and a member of Engineers Australia National Committee Coastal and Ocean (Australia). His research covers surf zones, wave run-up and overtopping, coral reef hydrodynamics and tsunami impacts. He has worked on multi-national projects such as the World Bank/GEF CCRES project and on the feasibility study for the possible relocation of the Taro Island community to the Choiseul mainland in the Solomon Islands. He is the co-lead of the RRAP Rubble Stabilisation Sub-Program.

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 Modelling Sub-Program. Further information 

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. He is a member of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Cooling and Shading Sub-Program. Further information on that project