• 1793 Citations
  • 21 h-Index

Research output per year

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Personal profile


Dr Katherine Dafforn is an environmental scientist recognised for her contributions to understanding and managing urban impacts in marine systems. She completed her PhD in 2010 and was formerly the Co-Director of the Applied Marine and Estuarine Ecology Lab at the University of New South Wales. She joined Macquarie University in 2018 and is the current Deputy Director of the Sydney Harbour Research Program at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science.

Katherine has developed sensitive monitoring tools that can be applied over large spatial scales and in a range of systems to measure aquatic health. She has also been engaged in the ecological design of marine foreshores and her experimental work has contributed to several urban renewal projects. The findings have provided policy tools for building foreshore infrastructure more sustainably.

Katherine is also enthusiastic about science communication. She has published in media outlets such as The Conversation and is an avid tweeter. She recently received a Young Tall Poppy Science Award for science excellence and community engagement.

External positions

Adjunct Senior Lecturer, The University of New South Wales

3 Apr 20183 Apr 2021

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A toolbox to underpin and enable tomorrow's marine biosecurity system

Floerl, O., Zaiko, A., Hopkins, G., Cahill, P., Pochon, X., Wood, S., Davidson, I., South, P., Vennell, R., Atalah, J., Newton, M., Smeaton, M., Gemmell, N., Stanton, J., Guen, M. J. L., Welsh, M., Yao, R., Treml, E., Dafforn, K., Badyal, J. P. & Chetham, J.


Project: Other

Environmental Trust NSW: Scaling up green seawall designs

Bishop, M., Strain, E. M. A., Dafforn, K., Lennon, D. P., Goad, A. & Steinberg, P.


Project: Research

Ecological engineering of marine infrastructure

Dafforn, K., Mayer-Pinto, M., Bishop, M., Vozzo, M. & Bugnot, A. B.


Project: Other

Research Outputs

A decision framework for coastal infrastructure to optimize biotic resistance and resilience in a changing climate

Mayer-Pinto, M., Dafforn, K. A. & Johnston, E. L., Oct 2019, In : BioScience. 69, 10, p. 833-843 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • After decades of stressor research in urban estuarine ecosystems the focus is still on single stressors: a systematic literature review and meta-analysis

    O'Brien, A. L., Dafforn, K. A., Chariton, A. A., Johnston, E. L. & Mayer-Pinto, M., 20 Sep 2019, In : Science of the Total Environment. 684, p. 753-764 12 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

  • 9 Citations (Scopus)

    Contrasting distributions of bacteriophages and eukaryotic viruses from contaminated coastal sediments

    Lachnit, T., Dafforn, K. A., Johnston, E. L. & Steinberg, P., Jun 2019, In : Environmental microbiology. 21, 6, p. 1929-1941 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Eco-engineering increases habitat availability and utilisation of seawalls by fish

    Ushiama, S., Mayer-Pinto, M., Bugnot, A. B., Johnston, E. L. & Dafforn, K. A., Nov 2019, In : Ecological Engineering. 138, p. 403-411 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)

    Fine-scale effects of boat moorings on soft sediment communities masked in large-scale comparisons

    Macolino, A. C., Dafforn, K. A., Hedge, L. H., Poore, A. G. B. & Johnston, E. L., 12 Mar 2019, In : Frontiers in Marine Science. 6, p. 1-10 10 p., 101.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)


    Australian Marine Science Association (AMSA) Annual Conference

    Katherine Dafforn (Member of programme committee)
    14 Mar 201910 Jul 2020

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganising a conference, workshop, ...

    Frontiers in Marine Science (Journal)

    Katherine Dafforn (Editor)
    1 Feb 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    Australian Marine Science Association New South Wales (AMSA NSW) (External organisation)

    Katherine Dafforn (Chair)
    20 Nov 2018 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

    PLoS ONE (Journal)

    Katherine Dafforn (Editor)
    3 Sep 2018 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

    Marine Pest Impacts Task Group (External organisation)

    Katherine Dafforn (Member)
    6 Dec 2017 → …

    Activity: MembershipMembership of committee