• Source: Scopus
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Personal profile


I am a coastal ecologist with over 15 years of experience researching temperate ecosystems of Australia and the USA. My team's research addresses how these ecosystems operate and respond to change. Our research has investigated a wide range of environmental problems, including shellfish disease, coastal erosion, nutrient enrichment, invasive species, and marine urban sprawl. Our present research has a particular focus on the development and evaluation of engineering interventions that create habitat and conserve native biodiversity in degraded seascapes. I presently co-lead (with Dr Laura Airoldi, University of Bologna, Italy) the green engineering working group of the World Harbour Project (http://www.worldharbourproject.org/workgroups/green-engineering/) which involves over 14 global partners, from industry and academia, distributed across North and South America, Asia, Oceania, Europe and Africa. The group is addressing sustainable solutions for the design of seawalls and urbanised shorelines, using a combination of materials science, design and ecology. I am working closely with the NSW oyster industry to assess how the industry’s selective breeding programs may be harnessed for the purposes of rehabilitating Australia’s lost shellfish reefs, of which <1% remain. I am also assessing how mesh produced using starch waste from potatoes may be used as a substrate for oyster reef rehabilitation. Oysters are critically important in fisheries production, maintenance of clean water and shoreline stablisation and the successful restoration of Australia’s oyster reefs has the potential to greatly enhance the ecological and economic value of our coasts.

Recent research awards and honours 

  • 2017 Jim Piper Award for Research Leadership
  • 2013 Finalist (1 of 3), Eureka National Science Awards, Emerging Research Leader
  • 2012 Brian Robinson Fellowship from the Banksia Environmental Foundation
  • 2011 NSW Young Tall Poppy Award for contributions to research and public outreach
  • 2010 NSW Scientist of the Year in the category Environment, Water and Climate Change Sciences


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