Researcher biography

I am broadly interested in marine ecology, fisheries and conservation science, with a primary focus on fish population dynamics and spatial fisheries management. I have been using a range of methods, including field surveys, laboratory experiments, population genetics and modelling, to address research questions in these fields.

My current work concentrates on the development of mathematical models used to support decisions on the overall coverage, size and best location of marine reserves in the south-east Asian Coral Triangle region. Many fishing grounds in this region are heavily overfished, with little or no enforcement of fishery regulations. Marine reserves restrict access of fishers to parts of their fishing grounds, thereby helping to confront the ongoing demise of exceptionally diverse marine ecosystems in the Coral Triangle. Whether access restrictions through marine reserves can also help improve fisheries productivity and the livelihoods of local communities is more uncertain. Based on the latest ecological findings, including data on fish movements between reserves and fished areas, my work aims to help establish marine reserves that are likely to benefit both biodiversity conservation and fisheries productivity.

Here are several projects that I am involved in:

"Reconciling competing objectives for the design of marine reserve networks: biodiversity, food security, and local equity in benefits" (2013-2016). This is an ongoing Australian Research Council Linkage project, partnering scientists at the University of Queensland, University of Melbourne and James Cook University with collaborators at WWF to advance the theory behind marine spatial planning.

"Capturing Coral Reef & Related Ecosystem Services (CCRES)" (2014-2018) is a joint World Bank, Global Environment Facility and University of Queensland project that involves researchers in the ecological, social and economic sciences around the globe to help unlock the natural wealth of coastlines in the East Asia-Pacific region, in order to enhance livelihoods and food security, improve community wellbeing, and sustain coastal ecosystems (

"Operationalizing marine reserve design for rebuilding tropical fisheries" (2017-2020) is an upcoming Australian Research Council Linkage project that partners an international team of scientists with conservation and fisheries management practitioners in Indonesia to learn from the first marine reserve impact monitoring data and help guide plans to rebuild fisheries in other areas.