The future of ocean and coastal biodiversity is uncertain. This uncertainty threatens humanity's place on the blue planet. We urgently need to adapt human uses of the ocean to conserve its ecosystems and ensure it continues to provide us with food, energy, recreation, clean water and clean air.
We are marine scientists who use quantitative tools to inform environmental decisions in the oceans. We do this by bringing ecological complexity to the planning tools used to inform decision making. We work with decision makers to provide quantitative advice on ocean and coastal conservation and fishery management. Our tools of choice are computer programming, mathematical models and statistical analysis. These tools allow us to work with complex datasets to find solutions for ocean management.
We are currently funded by the Australian Research Council (2018-2020) on a project Predicting interactive effects of multiple stressors on marine ecosystems. We aim to develop new models that can make predictions reliable enough to inform management of ecosystems, and that are effective when data are limited.
Team: Dr Chris Brown (lead), Professor Rod Connolly (Simon Fraser University), Professor Isabelle Cote, Dr Mischa Turschwell, Ms Olivia King, Ms Laura Griffiths
The Global Wetlands Project is a global research program looking at mapping the health of seagrass, mangroves and saltmarsh to inform on conservation actions.
Team: Professor Rod Connolly, Dr Chris Brown and many others, see the GLOW project page
We are helping The Nature Conservancy improve management of Pacific tuna fisheries, through the use of electronic monitoring systems. Our team is analysing trial monitoring data and demonstrating how it can be used to inform tuna management and mitigate bycatch.
Team: Dr Chris Brown and The Nature Conservancy
We are working with the Blue Economy CRC to identify tools that can assess opportunities and risks for cross sector interactions in the blue economy. These include biodiversity, fisheries, aquaculture and offshore renewable energy.
Team: Dr Mischa Turschwell (lead), Dr Chris Brown, Dr Beth Fulton (CSIRO) and many others
We are working with the National Environmental Science Program Northern Hub to develop Economic-Environmental accounts for Northern Australia and Coastal ecosystems
Team: Dr Jim Smart (economics), Professor Sue Jackson (social science), Dr Chris Brown and Ms Chantal Saint Ange
Dr Chris Brown's Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award fellowship
As part of Dr Chris Brown's Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Award fellowship we created a global database of fish-habitat associations
The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis funded us to work on ridge to reef fisheries management. We helped inform management of catchments on Pacific Islands to improve coastal water quality, marine habitats and fisheries.
We were able to link deforestation to pollution and its impacts on coastal ecosystems. Using modelling tools, we could then conduct assessments of how land-use change and forest protection could benefit coastal fish stocks.
Dr Chris Brown's University of Queensland post-doctoral research fellowship. We showed how marine reserves and fisheries management can be optimized to balance trade-offs between biodiversity and fisheries objectives.