Steering committee

The steering committee reports to the executive committee  through chairperson David Mead. Its functions include:

  • Overseeing the progress and strategic direction of the program
  • allocating resources, and monitoring and coordinating research activities 
  • identifying and defining project intellectual property
  • approving proposed publications and disclosures of information to ensure they don’t threaten the protection of foreseeably valuable intellectual property
  • assessing progress against milestones and budget
  • ensuring resources are adequate to meet requirements
  • recording and reporting on outcomes to the executive committee.

Steering committee decisions are advisory in nature.

Cedric Robillot (Chair)
Dr Cedric Robillot is Executive Director of the RRAP R&D 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).

Alistair Hobday

Dr Alistair is Research Director at CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Tasmania. He completed an undergraduate degree at Stanford University and a PhD at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. His research focuses on investigating the impacts of climate change on marine biodiversity and fishery resources, and developing, prioritising and testing adaptation options to underpin sustainable use and conservation into the future. His projects involve multi-disciplinary teams that seek to support management and policy uptake of research, via co-production with stakeholders. In addition to more than 250 publications, he has contributed to the IPCC 4th and 5th assessment Australasia chapters, covering fisheries, oceanic and coastal systems, and is an editor for Fisheries Oceanography, Marine Ecology Progress Series, and Global Change Biology.

Britta Schaffelke

Dr Britta Schaffelke is the Research Program Director, A Healthy and Sustainable Great Barrier Reef at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Her expertise is in the research and management of environmental impacts on tropical ecosystems, especially those related to deteriorating marine water quality. The inshore Great Barrier Reef has been the focus of her research for the past 20 years. Prior to joining AIMS in 2005 as a researcher, she held a variety of positions spanning marine ecological research, environmental management and knowledge exchange at institutions including: CSIRO, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the CRC for Reef Research. Britta holds a PhD from the University of Hamburg, migrating to Australia from Germany in 1995 for post-doctoral research at AIMS. She is a member of the Australian Government’s Reef 2050 Plan Independent Expert Panel. 

Damien Burrows

Professor Damien Burrows is Director of the Centre for Tropical Water and Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER) at James Cook University. He has 27 years’ research experience in the tropics, specialising in freshwater, estuarine and coastal aquatic ecosystems and catchment management. His focus is freshwater and estuarine ecosystems, particularly on applied aspects of their management under development pressures. This has involved extensive work with industry, community and government from grassroots to policy level. He has recently focused on developing the coastal ecosystems side of TropWATER, especially mangrove, seagrass and estuarine habitats. Damien also leads the National Environmental Science Programme’s Tropical Water Quality Hub focusing on improving catchment management, reef water quality, responses to coral bleaching and crown-of-thorns starfish control. Learn more 

David Mead 

David Mead is the RRAP R&D Program Director, following his previous role as Director of RRAP’s Concept Feasibility Program. He is also Executive Director of Strategy and Development at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Previously, David spent 12 years as the AIMS Chief Operating Officer leading operations, corporate, business growth and government funding. He also oversaw areas of research and the development of research infrastructure. He developed the concept of the world-class National Sea Simulator overseeing the design and establishment of the facility. He has an honours degree in mechanical engineering, a Master of Business Technology and is a graduate of the Oxford University Advanced Leadership Program. Prior to joining AIMS, David was a senior manager at Snowy Hydro Limited for 14 years, overseeing strategic planning and business development, new business ventures and leading functions responsible for asset management, maintenance and production operations. During this time, he was the inaugural recipient of the Australian Institute of Engineers Steve Maxwell Asset Management Leadership Award. David began his career with New Zealand Electricity, moving to BHP where he spent several years as a research engineer working on mining automation, explosives and blasting.  Learn more


Nick Ashbolt

Professor Nicholas Ashbolt is Dean of the School Environment, Science and Engineering at Southern Cross University. He has more than 30 years’ experience in environmental microbiology, focusing on coastal pollution issues. His earlier wastewater research with the Australian sugar industry led to subsequent positions with ANSTO (Postdoc, acid mine drainage), Sydney Water Corp (Principal Microbiologist, impact of ocean outfall and riverine discharges) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (Senior Research Microbiologist, urban water impacts) and establishment of national and international water quality targets through his pioneering quantitative microbial risk assessment research. Examples of his risk-based water quality targets are seen in guidelines for drinking and recreational waters (Health Canada, NHMRC, WHO, U.S. EPA), water reuse guidelines (Natural Resource Management Ministerial Council, WHO, Alberta Health) and ISO/ANSI water standards. His current novel research focuses on the fate and dispersion of enteric viruses and saprozoic pathogens in free-living amoebae in waters, and systems-based urban water approaches to aid in the remediation of coastal water systems.

Peter Mumby

Professor Peter Mumby began his career helping to design marine reserves in Belize and experienced first-hand the limited scientific basis for decision-making. He began a research pathway to provide science that can inform practical conservation and management action. His research combines field observations, experiments, remote sensing, and ecological modelling to answer questions about ecosystem resilience, impacts of climate change, marine reserve functioning and design, connectivity of ecosystems, coral reef fisheries, and marine spatial planning to capture ecosystem services. Peter collaborates extensively with other fields including economics, engineering, oceanography, and business. He gained a PhD at the University of Sheffield, followed by a NERC Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Newcastle, a Royal Society fellowship at the University of Exeter, and moved to Brisbane to take up a prestigious ARC Laureate Fellowship in 2010. He is a professor at The University of Queensland and Chief Scientist of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Peter is a Pew Fellow in Marine Conservation and winner of the Rosenstiel Award for Contributions to Marine Biology, Marsh Award for Marine Conservation, and the inaugural ISRS Mid-Career Award for contributions to reef science. Learn more

Theresa Fyffe

Theresa is Executive Director of Projects and Partnerships for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, leading the foundation’s projects team, managing the development and implementation of the foundation's research portfolio and working closely with partners to ensure the Reef projects have real impact. Theresa holds a Masters in Science, and her expertise includes new business initiatives, corporate and investor relations, stakeholder engagement and complex program design and management. She has a background in managing complex interdisciplinary projects including a Bill & Melinda Gates Grand Challenges in Global Health project, and a successful $110M Cooperative Research Centre bid. Theresa is a member of the Partnership Management Committee for the $443.3 million Reef Trust Partnership with the Australian Government.