Science in the Torres Strait

Torres Strait Research


The Torres Strait region is known for its ecological complexity, biodiversity and relatively pristine marine and island environments. The region provides a multitude of habitats for the highly diverse Indo-Pacific marine flora and fauna, including dugongs (listed as vulnerable) and marine turtles (listed as endangered). It has the largest continuous area of seagrass meadows in the world, significant areas of coral reefs with high biodiversity, extensive areas of mangroves, particularly on the northern islands, and productive fisheries.

The strategic location of the Torres Strait places it at risk from the downstream impacts of shipping, mining, resource over-exploitation, increasing tropical diseases and future climate change.

Further information about current and past projects RRRC manages within the Torres Strait are linked below:


NESP 3.5 Assessment of key dugong and turtle seagrass resources in the northern Torres Strait Michael Rasheed, JCU
NESP 2.2.1 Identifying the water quality and ecosystem health threats to the high diversity Torres Strait and far northern GBR from runoff from the Fly River Jane Waterhouse, JCU
NESP 2.2.2 Impacts of mine derived pollution on Torres Strait environments and communities Simon Apte, CSIRO
NESP 3.13 eAtlas 2015 – NESP data management, Torres Strait NRM plan delivery platform and Torres Strait reef mapping Eric Lawrey, AIMS
NESP 5.14 Identifying the water quality and ecosystem health threats to the Torres Strait from the Fly River runoff Jane Waterhouse & Simon Apte, JCU


NERP 2.1 Marine turtle and dugongs of Torres Strait Helene Marsh and Mark Hamann, JCU
NERP 2.2 Mangrove and freshwater habitat status of Torres Strait islands Norm Duke and Damian Burrows, JCU
NERP 2.3 Monitoring the health of Torres Strait coral reefs Ray Berkelmans, AIMS
NERP 4.4 Hazard assessment for water quality threats to Torres Strait marine waters, ecosystems and public health Jon Brodie, JCU
NERP 11.1 Building resilient communities for Torres Strait futures James Butler, CSIRO
NERP 11.2 Improved approaches for the detection and prevention of wildlife diseases in the Torres Strait Susan Laurence, JCU


MTSRF 1.3.1 Traditional knowledge systems and climate change in the Torres Strait Kevin Parnell and Karen McNamara, JCU
MTSRF 1.3.2 Ecological role and potential economic value of sponges to the Torres Strait Steve Whalan, AIMS
MTSRF 1.3.3 Economic analysis of alternative uses, trade-offs James Butler, CSIRO
MTSRF 1.3.4 Communication, community engagement and enhanced delivery Vic McGrath, TSRA
MTSRF 1.3.5 Data integration and synthesis for development of reports on ecosystem health in the Torres Strait region James Butler, CSIRO