08 January 2014

A study using satellite data from tagged leatherback turtles has identified possible "by-catch hotspots" in the Pacific Ocean.

By tracking 135 turtles, researchers highlighted areas where the critically endangered animals were likely to come into contact with fishing vessels. Read more




Catterall, C., Kanowski, J. and Grimbacher, P. 2011. The capacity of different plantation designs to restore stocks of carbon versus biodiversity. Pp 125-130 in Majid, N.M, Ahmed, O.H., Sajap, A.S and Islam, M.M. (eds.) Proceedings of International Symposium on Rehabilitation of Tropical Rainforest Ecosystems. Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang. Online at:

Supported through MTSRF funding.


05 October 2012

Australia's Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef and stretches over 3000 kilometers along the Queensland coast. Now, scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science found that over half of its coral has disappeared over the past 27 years.

The study showed that if this loss of coral is not stopped, the future of the ecosystem could be under more serious threat. If this continues at the current rate, it is thought that the coral will halve again in 10 years. Read more




The Conversation

25 July 2013

Australian researchers are developing a new tool to help track and manage the vast numbers of disease-carrying insects blown from Asia into northern Australia every year by cyclones and monsoon winds.

The new software and modelling tool is among the projects to be developed as part of the CSIRO's new Biosecurity Flagship launched in Canberra today, a dedicated vehicle bringing together CSIRO experts around the range of Biosecurity issues that challenge Australia. Read more




Brisbane Times

23 August 2013

Australia is a global centre of gecko diversity, with a remarkable 140 species at last count. Australia’s geckos fall into three families: Diplodactylidae, Gekkonidae and Carphodactylidae. The last of these, Carphodactylidae, is a uniquely Australian group; in fact it’s the only lizard family endemic to Australia.

It is also, arguably, the most impressive family of geckos in Australia, including the leaf-tailed geckos, knob-tailed geckos, thick-tailed geckos and chameleon gecko. Read more




Cairns Post

20 November 2013

NEW detailed 3D maps covering the entire Great Barrier Reef are set to revolutionise how scientists view the world-famous attraction.

James Cook University researchers were among the Queensland scientists who worked with German company EOMAP for the ambitious project of mapping out 19,000sq km of coral reefs. Read more




Cairns Post

18 November 2013

A REGULAR event off Cairns has been dubbed "sex on the reef", a time when coral gets down and dirty.

And this week it's expected to go off, as coral spawning season gets going from Friday. Read more




ABC News

23 September 2013

A leading water quality scientist is predicting the amount of dredge spoil dumped off the Queensland coast could be as high as nearly 200 million tonnes over the next ten years if all likely port expansions go ahead.

Senior Researcher at James Cook University Doctor Jon Brodie says while there's too much conflicting information regarding tonnage and spread of dredging and is urging the government to set up an independent review. Read more




Five TE Hub researchers, Reef Rescue R&D staff and Science Leader, Dr Peter Doherty, recently travelled to Canberra to discuss their water quality, pesticides and seagrass research and its impact on government policy.

Workshops were held over two days (21st to the 22nd of May 2013), hosted by the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPaC). The audience included representatives from GBRMPA, DAFF, and many sections within SEWPaC, including NERP, GBR Strategic Assessment, Water Quality Policy, Chemical Assessment and Wetlands.

Recent findings were outlined, with discussion between managers and researchers exploring the implications of the results and how these might affect broader guidelines, standards and State of Environment processes.

Key water quality issues were summarised in an overview presentation given by Michelle Devlin (RRRC Ltd) and in Reef Plan Scientific Consensus statement and crown of thorns starfish (COTS) updates presented by Jon Brodie (TropWATER). All presentations discussed current water quality threats, including changing pollutant loads, increased sedimentation and links between degraded water quality and crown of thorn outbreaks. Relationships were also examined between changing inshore reefs, seagrass ecosystems and extreme weather, where increasing intensity of weather events are an additional stress on GBR ecosystems.

The need for synthesis of findings across research projects was also discussed, as was engagement in a range of targeted communication approaches for transferring and applying new knowledge.


Links to each of the e-Newsletter workshop highlights articles can be found below:

Update on Scientific Consensus Statement and GBR Risk Assessment - Jon Brodie, Jane Waterhouse

Herbicides in the GBR: Research Overview - Andrew Negri, Stephen Lewis

Seagrass Overview - Catherine Collier, Michelle Waycott, Len McKenzie, Michelle Devlin

Freshwater and mangrove habitats: issues in GBR catchments and the Torres Strait - Damien Burrows

The Conversation

29 January 2014

By the end of this week we will know whether the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority will allow dredge spoil from the Abbot Point port redevelopment to be dumped within the park’s boundaries.

The port expansion, which was approved by federal environment minister Greg Hunt in December, will generate three million cubic metres of spoil – weighing some five million tonnes. Read more