You don't need a PhD in marine science to get involved in taking action for coral reefs. In my spare time I love to get in the water whenever I can and encourage you to do the same. But you can also help from the comfort of your sofa: make sure you check out Chasing Coral (currently on Netflix) to learn about how coral bleaching is impacting reefs around the world today.
The threats facing coral reefs today are manifold and there's a heap of work to do to understand what's driving global declines in reef habitat quality and what we can do to manage it. Citizen science organisation Reef Check Australia plays an key role in contributing important monitoring data and empowering people to take steps to save our reefs and oceans.
As well as sitting on the Scientific Advisory Board for Reef Check Australia, you'll find me out and about around South East Queensland on monitoring surveys as a Reef Check Volunteer whenever I can escape the lab.
Exploring LOCAL REEFS
Earlier this year we surveyed nearby Flinders Reef as part of the Brisbane diving community FREA project.
Flinders Reef, just north of Moreton Island in South East Queensland, Australia, is the nearest true reef to Brisbane. A popular dive site, it's home to 175 fish species and the highest number of coral species of any subtropical reef system along Australia's east coast.
Click here to take a virtual dive on beautiful Flinders Reef and experience it for yourself!
Contact me if you’d like to download these 360s or other free imagery from our lab and partners for use in your on Virtual Reality headset!
Learning to scuba dive opens your eyes to a whole new world of amazing and beautiful creatures. As well as supervising scientific diving for my day job, I'm an active status PADI OWSI Scuba Instructor with > 700 dives, and spend every second weekend teaching at Brisbane Dive Academy. We run anything from learn-to-dive courses to introduce you to SCUBA for the first time, to more technical courses to support scientific researchers to undertake fieldwork. We also regularly organize trips to beautiful Cook Island and HMAS Brisbane, as well as bigger dive trips abroad! Please come join us to see what beautiful SouthEast Queensland has to offer!
Don't fancy getting wet? You can take a virtual dive as part of my lab's initiative to bring reefs into our homes - click on these links and you can be exploring the Great Barrier Reef or diving in the Philippines in a matter of minutes!
Communicating ideas is a key part of science, and I was lucky to get a lot of teaching experience during my appointments at Griffith and Exeter Universities, even pausing my PhD to undertake a 6-month lectureship at Exeter where I coordinated the Marine Biology and Coral Reef Field Ecology courses. As well as honours student supervision, I’ve regularly taught on second and third year modules Environmental Systems and Climate Change, Ecology & conservation of populations and Ecology at Griffith University, and Marine Biology. I receive positive feedback (and higher than average SET and SEC scores) for engaging undergraduate lecture delivery at Griffith University, was nominated for a teaching award by my lecture class at Exeter University.
I also helped develop and deliver a Coral Reef Ecology course for undergraduate students for Operation Wallacea, a scientific expeditions company. The intensive field course, consisted of six sets of nine lectures and in-water dive practical classes. I was also responsible for supervising student dissertation projects, designing and implementing survey protocols and establishing long term monitoring projects at the sites at which I worked.
As well as coordinating scientific field work on the Great Barrier Reef (leading small field teams to the Keppel Islands (5 expeditions), Orpheus Island (5 expeditions), Heron Island (7 expeditions) and Lizard Island Research Stations (5 expeditions)), I have spent additional time in leadership roles in the field, conducting summer reef ecology field courses (in Mexico, Cuba and Honduras for Operation Wallacea) and running a Bahamas Field course (annually 2010-2014) for 30 second year undergraduates as part of my teaching responsibilities at University of Exeter.
Recently I led a scientific expedition assess the coral bleaching damage in the Far Northern Great Barrier Reef!
CHASING CORAL - THE MOVIE
This beautiful award-winning documentary exploring the effects of climate change on coral reefs was produced under the guidance of my lab here at the Global Change Institute, and features many of my collaborators from the 50reefs project.
It's available to watch on Netflix right now, and you can also organise your own screening if you’re interested.
Find out more about Chasing Coral here.