24 July 2018

Internationally-respected University of Queensland marine expert Professor Peter Mumby has been appointed to the key role of Chief Scientist with the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.

Professor Mumby will join the Foundation’s International Scientific Advisory Committee and provide strategic advice to help shape the Foundation’s portfolio of projects.

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said the appointment builds on the University’s unwavering commitment to research into protecting the Great Barrier Reef.

“From research into regenerating the reef after coral bleaching through to the development of new biocomposite fertilisers that reduce the amount of runoff into our oceans, UQ researchers are working to protect and preserve the natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef,” Professor Høj said.

“Only through partnerships and collaboration will scientists be able to deliver the practical solutions required for the array of challenges faced by our marine environments.

“I congratulate Professor Mumby on his appointment, and I look forward to seeing further research collaborations between UQ and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation.”

Professor Mumby said there had never been a more important or exciting time to contribute to managing the Great Barrier Reef.

“Australia has world-leading science and a ready appetite to include science in the decision-making process,” he said.

“I very much look forward to working with the Foundation and its partners.”

Great Barrier Reef Foundation Managing Director Anna Marsden said the appointment strengthened the Foundation’s long-standing approach to protecting the Reef through activities grounded in science.

“Professor Mumby’s extensive experience working at the interface of science, management and policy will be invaluable in providing guidance on selecting and designing the projects that will have the highest impact for the Reef,” Ms Marsden said.

“This will include projects to be funded through the recently announced $443.3 million Reef Trust Partnership with the Australian Government.”

Professor Mumby has published more than 250 articles in scientific journals and is one of the world’s only 3400 “highly cited researchers”.

He recently co-authored a paper in ScienceAdvances, describing the Reef’s decreasing ability to recover from the cumulative effects of threats and disturbances over the past 30 years.

He was awarded a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation in 2010, and is also winner of the Rosenstiel Award for excellence in marine biology and fisheries, and the Marsh Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Media: UQ Communications, communications@uq.edu.au, +61 7 3365 1120.