RRRC and the Great Barrier Reef

RRRC has managed numerous programs undertaken by world-class research teams focused on improving our understanding, conservation and sustainable use of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR).

RRRC plays a key role in ensuring scientific information is presented in a manner which is end-user ready to organizations including: Department of the Environment and Energy (DoEE), Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Queensland Department of Envrionment and Science - Parks and Forests, Australian Marine Park Tourism Operators (AMPTO) and the Queensland Seafood Industry Association (QSIA).

RRRC engages professionals with the skills, knowledge and experience to synthesize the results and implications from wide ranging projects. The interpretation of this vital science ensures the best possible outcomes for the sustainable use of the GBR resources.


RRRC manages projects in the GBR that seek to advance understanding of:

  • Status and trends of species of the GBR, including turtle, dugong, dolphins, herbivorous fish and reef predators
  • Status and trends of ecosystems of the GBR, including seagrass meadows and inshore and offshore coral reefs
  • Local stressors that threaten species and ecosystems of the GBR, including declining water quality, coastal development and overfishing
  • Global stressors that threaten species and ecosystems of the GBR, including those linked to a changing climate
  • Cause and frequency of outbreaks of coral predators, including crown-of-thorns starfish (COTS)
  • Impacts of climate variability on the distribution and mobility of species, including apex marine predators and seabirds
  • Effectiveness of existing management of the GBR, including spatial zoning and its compatibility with reef-based industry
  • The critical elements of decision making and the development of sophisticated decision making tools
  • Social drivers of land use and development trends in the coastal zone, including the implications for planning and key industries
  • The social dynamics and values of communities adjacent the GBR