People and ecosystems

Understanding of the links between coral reef ecosystems, the goods and services they provide to people, and the wellbeing of human societies.


Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

Examining the multi-scale dynamics of reefs, from population dynamics to macroevolution


Responding to a changing world

Advancing the fundamental understanding of the key processes underpinning reef resilience.

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au

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Alana Grech

Alana Grech

Assistant Director

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia (2013 - 2016); Postdoctoral Research Fellow, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia (2010 - 2013).

Bachelor of Environmental Science (1st Class Honours), University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia (2003); PhD, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia (2010)

James Cook University

+61 (0)7 4781 4107

I joined the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies as Assistant Director in November 2016. Prior to my current position, I worked as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney and Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville.

My research interests are interdisciplinary and broadly focus on informing the management of Australia’s natural and cultural environment through spatial information science and conservation planning. Most of my research is conducted in remote coastal and marine areas of northern Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef, Torres Strait, and Gulf of Carpentaria. My research covers three themes: (1) Spatial predictions of coastal and marine features; (2) Cumulative impact and risk assessments in geographic information systems (GIS); and (3) Conservation planning and Indigenous Australia.

The transfer of research to management action and policy is my highest priority, and I actively generate partnerships to deliver my research outputs directly to government and non-government agencies and Indigenous communities. I communicate my knowledge via research papers, reports and presentations, workshops with stakeholders, and briefings to agencies, such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, NSW Parks and Wildlife Service, Queensland Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Australian Department of Environment, and the Torres Strait Regional Authority.

My research has received funding from the Australian Research Council, Ian Potter Foundation, James Cook University, Macquarie University, NSW Adaptation Research Hub – Biodiversity Node, Winston Churchill Memorial Trust, National Environmental Research Program Tropical Ecosystems Hub, Australian Marine Mammal Centre, Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, and others.

10 recent journal articles

Tol, S., Jarvis, J., York, P., Grech, A., Congdon. B.C. and Coles. R.2017. Long distance biotic dispersal of tropical seagrass seeds by marine mega-herbivores. Scientific Reports. 7: 4458

Graham, V., Laurance, S.G., Grech, A., and Venter, O. 2017. Spatially explicit estimates of forest carbon emissions, mitigation costs and REDD+ opportunities in Indonesia. Environmental Research Letters. 12: 044017

Grech, A., Wolter, J., Coles, R., McKenzie, L., Rasheed, M., Thomas, C., Waycott, M. and Hanert, E. 2016. Spatial patterns of seagrass dispersal and settlementDiversity and Distributions.22: 1150-1162.

Sheaves, M., Coles, R., Dales, P., Grech, A., Pressey, R. and Waltham, N. 2016. Enhancing the value and validity of EIA: Serious science to protect Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Conservation Letters. 9(5): 377-383.

Ainsworth, T., Heron, S., Ortiz, J., Mumby, P., Grech, A., Ogawa, D., Eakin, M., and Leggat, W. 2016. Climate change disables coral bleaching protection on the Great Barrier Reef.  Science. 352(6283): 338-342.

McLean, J., Maalsen, S. and Grech, A. 2016. Learning about feminism in digital and paradoxical spaces: Online methodologies and participatory mapping. Australian Geographer. 47(2): 157-177.

Grech, A., Pressey, R. and Day, J. 2016. Coal, cumulative impacts and the Great Barrier Reef. Conservation Letters. 9(3): 200-207.

Bridge, T., Grech, A. and Pressey, R.  2016. Factors influencing incidental representation of previously unknown conservation features in Marine Protected Areas. Conservation Biology.  30: 154-165.

Critchell, K., Grech, A., Andutta, F., Lambrechts, J., Wolanski, E., Hamann, H. 2015. Modelling the fate of marine debris along a complex shoreline: lessons from the Great Barrier ReefEstuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. 167(B): 414-426.

Marsh, H., Grayson, J., Grech, A., Hagihara, R. and Sobtzick, S. 2015. Re-evaluation of the sustainability of an indigenous marine mammal harvest using several lines of evidenceBiological Conservation. 192: 324-330.

Research profiles and metrics

Alanagrech.net  James Cook University Research Portfolio  Google Scholar Scopus  Research Gate  ORCID  The Conversation




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Coral Reef Studies

ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies
James Cook University Townsville
Queensland 4811 Australia

Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Email: info@coralcoe.org.au