Dr Adam Barnett is a marine biologist at James Cook University and a Director of Oceans IQ. Presently, Adam is involved in a number of projects in the Great Barrier Reef region (see links below). His work on tiger shark movements will be linked to Kite the Reef. Tiger sharks will be satellite tagged and their movements tracked to address a number of questions, including: investigating migration strategies to determine the effectiveness of the GBR Marine Park in protecting highly mobile predators such as tiger sharks; delineate connectivity of tiger sharks in Australia, which is crucial for defining stock structure e.g. is there one stock or multiple stocks; and map the movements and residency times of tiger sharks at beaches to provide information on the risk tiger sharks face from drumlines deployed to cull sharks and long-term monitoring data that can be used in planning public safety. He also uses educational websites and social media platforms (e.g. Oceans IQ; Ocearch.org) to engage the public in following the movements and fate of tagged sharks. Engaging and educating the public cultivates public support when presenting findings to policy makers, and emphasises the need to cancel the culling program. By monitoring shark movements, a better understanding of the threat of shark interactions can be gained, and increases the chance of more appropriate non-lethal methods of shark avoidance being developed.
John is the pioneer of Research/Eco Tourism on the Great Barrier Reef. Throughout John’s 38 years on the Reef he has initiated many adventure tourism, research and conservation projects and is particularly proud of mentoring and creating opportunity for the next generation. As the “Old Man” of the reef he has been consultant and guide to many documentaries and has been instrumental in improving the health and awareness of the GBR through innovative projects and community action. He is “ a man with a big vision… unlike some dreamers whose existence is totally whimsical, John has welded his practical nautical and diving skills towards the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. He has cast a net and drawn in other like-minded individuals to create a rich network of undersea adventurers who are engaged to understand and protect the reef” (Karl Jesienowski).
Integrative Biology and Evolution of Marine and Freshwater Invertebrates
Professor Byrne is expert in the biology and ecology of marine invertebrates especially echinoderms and molluscs. Australia’s tropical regions support a vast diversity of species and Professor Byrne’s research on the biodiversity of tropical echinoderms is documenting new species and records for the Great Barrier Reef. Her research on commercial sea cucumbers is crucial for conservation of these vulnerable species and her work on the Crown of Thorns Starfish is providing important insights into the biology of this important species. In current research Professor Byrne investigates the impacts of climate change to understand how animals and their offspring response to ocean warming and acidification and the potential for phenotypic adjustment and evolutionary adaptation to future ocean conditions.
Katie is a marine scientist who has worked on the Great Barrier Reef since 2003 and is part of the TropWATER group at James Cook University, a leader in multidisciplinary marine research on the north tropical east coast of Australia. Her expertise on the photobiology of plants and corals has advanced the group’s capacity to assess and monitor marine habitats at risk, namely those in ports and along the major shipping lanes of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. She has led the first light-based approach successfully implemented to monitor seagrass during a major dredging program to ensure environmental success in the wake of large scale threats. Her and her TropWATER team have also performed aerial surveys of sensitive intertidal habitat along the GBR shipping lanes and developed critical oil-spill risk assessment maps for ship groundings or spills in remote areas where ships come into close proximity with the Reef. Katie’s advice to managers and regulators provides a critical link that integrates science outcomes with management strategies in habitats at risk along the Great Barrier Reef.
Dean specialises in travelling the world to research and film animals in the most remote, inhospitable and interesting corners of our planet to excite and inspire
After studying Marine Science at University. His work has taken him from the tropics to the poles, reefs to rainforest, ocean depths to mountaintops and everything in-between. He has walked with polar bears, dived with tiger sharks, lived with seals, come eye to eye with whales, marched with penguins and flown with eagles.
Founder of Project Seagrass http://www.projectseagrass.org/
Richard leads the Seagrass Ecosystem Research Group at Swansea University. Richard has more than fourteen years’ experience of research in marine systems and conducts collaborative interdisciplinary research in Europe, Australia, Indonesia and the Caribbean. He is particularly interested in the consequences of environmental changes on seagrass ecosystem functioning and the implications of this for society. Specific focus is on the implications of seagrass management for global food security.