1

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.

2

Ecosystem dynamics: past, present and future

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

3

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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Laurence McCook

Laurence McCook


Adjunct Principal Research Fellow; President's International Visiting Professorial Fellow


1984: B.Sc., Australian National University, Canberra; 1992: Ph.D., Dalhousie University


ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies; Chinese Academy of Sciences



+61 408 804765 (Australia)


Laurence McCook, Ph.D., works in science-based management of marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs. He is currently a President’s International Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, and an Adjunct Principal Research Fellow, James Cook University. He has more than 30 years’ experience, including coral reefs in Australia, Indonesia and the “Coral Triangle”, the Pacific and the Caribbean, as well as in temperate ecosystems, and has worked with government, academic, non-government and industry sectors.

In 2005, Laurence was awarded an international Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. His project focused on management and policy initiatives to protect the resilience of coral reefs under climate change. This included developing and delivering a series of workshops on coral reef management across Indonesia and in Malaysia, and a range of major accomplishments incorporating existing scientific understanding into the practical, real‐world management of coral reefs to enhance their resilience.

Laurence worked at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority from 2003 to 2014, where he had a range of responsibilities for the strategic coordination of the scientific information needed to protect the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system. Prior to that, he spent 12 years at the Australian Institute of Marine Science, researching the ecology of coral reef resilience and degradation, the effects of water pollution, climate change and over-use. He has a Ph.D. in marine ecology and resilience from Dalhousie University, Canada, where he researched ecological recovery after large-scale disturbance to rocky seashores.

McCook has experience in providing high-level advice to government and parliament and as an advocate for science-based marine management with community and interest groups. His scientific publications include numerous reviews applying scientific research to coral reef management. He developed and ran a series of workshops on coral reef management for reef managers and communities across Indonesia. In 2014-15, Laurence led a large, trans-disciplinary multi-authored project to synthesize the effects of dredging and spoil disposal on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. More recently, he has worked as an invited advisor and speaker in Indonesia and China, and delivering capacity-building workshops in marine management.

Laurence’s work in China is focused on developing stronger scientific connections for adaptive management of China’s threatened coral reefs. In particular, he is working with Chinese managers, scientists and legal experts to improve management of marine reserves such as Sanya Bay, in Hainan province.

McCook’s expertise centres on the application of science to environmental management, including:

He is committed to the explicit and specific application of research outcomes to management issues including marine protected area planning, recommendations for management actions and the coordination and synthesis of scientific information as the basis for better public information and stewardship.

KEY POSITIONS HELD

2016-: President’s International Visiting Professorial Fellow, Chinese Academy of Sciences: South China Sea Institute of Oceanology

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
 2012-2014: Director, Climate Change and Science

GBRMPA
 2003-2014: Manager, Research & Monitoring Coordination (Natural Sciences) and Manager, Ecosystem Health and Resilience, Australia

GBRMPA
 2005-2007: Acting roles as Director, Parliamentary and Ministerial Liaison, Director, Science Coordination, and Director, Climate Change Program

GBRMPA
 2002-2003: Manager / Project Manager, Water Quality Science Liaison, and Water Quality Policy and Extension.

Australian Institute of Marine Science and CRC Reef Research Centre
 1994-2003: Research Scientist- Coral Reef Ecology, Australia

KEY AWARDS & HONORS

2006: Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation

1985-1989: I. W. Killam Memorial Doctoral Fellowship

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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