Web Access Research Portal

Researcher: Stuart-Smith, RD (Dr Rick Stuart-Smith)

Fields of Research

Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology)
Conservation and biodiversity
Ecological impacts of climate change and ecological adaptation
Freshwater ecology
Population ecology
Pollution and contamination
Community ecology (excl. invasive species ecology)
Fisheries sciences
Behavioural ecology
Ecosystem function
Environmental management
Aquaculture and fisheries stock assessment
Wildlife and habitat management
Environmental assessment and monitoring
Fisheries management
Biogeography and phylogeography
Natural resource management
Biological oceanography
Climate change processes
Ecological physiology
Global change biology
Animal systematics and taxonomy
Landscape ecology
Biosecurity science and invasive species ecology

Research Objectives

Marine biodiversity
Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems
Coastal or estuarine biodiversity
Assessment and management of coastal and estuarine ecosystems
Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
Ecosystem adaptation to climate change
Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments
Terrestrial biodiversity
Global effects of climate change (excl. Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and the South Pacific) (excl. social impacts)
Effects of climate change on Australia (excl. social impacts)
Assessment and management of Antarctic and Southern Ocean ecosystems
Assessment and management of benthic marine ecosystems
Climate change adaptation measures (excl. ecosystem)
Fisheries - wild caught
Understanding climate change
Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
Wild caught fin fish (excl. tuna)
Biodiversity in Antarctic and Southern Ocean environments
Coastal and estuarine systems and management
Marine systems and management
Evaluation, allocation, and impacts of land use
Other environmental management
Animal adaptation to climate change
Social impacts of climate change and variability
Natural hazards
Assessment and management of pelagic marine ecosystems
Fisheries - recreational freshwater
Environmental education and awareness
Environmental policy, legislation and standards
Wild caught prawns

Career Best Publications

Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs; Nature
Ecosystem restructuring along the Great Barrier Reef following mass coral bleaching; Nature
Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features; Nature
Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity; Nature
Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities; Nature Climate Change
Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna; Nature

Research Publications

2010 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Outstanding Community Engagement
2016 Biodiversity Surveys of the Cod Grounds and Pimpernel Rocks Commonwealth Marine Reserves
A community and functional comparison of coral and reef fish assemblages between four decades of coastal urbanisation and thermal stress; Ecology and Evolution
A global assessment of the direct and indirect benefits of marine protected areas for coral reef conservation; Diversity and Distributions
A new wave of marine evidence-based management: emerging challenges and solutions to transform monitoring, evaluating and reporting; ICES Journal of Marine Science
A quantitative review of abundance-based species distribution models; Ecography
A shift in the habitat use pattern of a lentic galaxiid fish: an acute behavioural response to an introduced predator; Environmental Biology of Fishes
A standardised national assessment of the state of coral and rocky reef biodiversity
A standardised vocabulary for identifying benthic biota and substrata from underwater imagery: the CATAMI classification scheme; PLoS ONE
Abundance and local-scale processes contribute to multi-phyla gradients in global marine diversity; Science Advances
Adaptive management of temperate reefs to minimise effects of climate change: developing new effective approaches for ecological monitoring and predictive modelling
An experimental assessment of impacts of pollution sources on sessile biota in a temperate urbanised estuary; Marine Pollution Bulletin
Anthropogenic disruptions to longstanding patterns of trophic-size structure in vertebrates; Nature Ecology and Evolution
Assessing multidecadal climate-driven shifts for Tasmanian marine species, 1992-2019
Assessing national biodiversity trends for rocky and coral reefs through the integration of citizen science and scientific monitoring programs; Bioscience
Assessment of coral reef biodiversity in the Coral Sea
Baseline biodiversity survey of the Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Baseline Biodiversity Survey of the Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve
Biodiversity change across the coral sea marine park over the past decade including impacts of severe heatwaves
Biodiversity enhances reef fish biomass and resistance to climate change; National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America. Proceedings
Biodiversity survey of Ashmore Reef (Coral Sea) and comparison with surrounding reefs
Biodiversity Survey of the Temperate East Coast Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network: Elizabeth & Middleton Reefs, Lord Howe Island & Norfolk Island
Biodiversity surveys of the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Park Reserve 2013 and 2018
Biological interactions both facilitate and resist climate-related functional change in temperate reef communities; Proceedings of the Royal Society of London: Biological Sciences
Biological trade-offs underpin coral reef ecosystem functioning; Nature Ecology and Evolution
BioTIME: a database of biodiversity time series for the Anthropocene; Global Ecology and Biogeography
Body size, reef area and temperature predict global reef-fish species richness across spatial scales; Global Ecology and Biogeography
Bright spots among the world’s coral reefs; Nature
Broad-scale impacts of salmon farms on temperate macroalgal assemblages on rocky reefs; Marine Pollution Bulletin
Citizen science as a research tool for monitoring ecological change in the marine environment; Climate Change Effects on Fish and Fisheries
Climate resilience in marine protected areas and the 'Protection Paradox'; Biological Conservation
Coastal Climate Change Range Extension Database and Mapping Project (Redmap)
Community assisted scientific assessment and management of Western Australian Marine Protected Areas. Ningaloo Marine Park report for Coastwest and Caring for our Country
Community size structure varies with predator-prey size relationships and temperature across Australian reefs; Ecology and Evolution
Community-assisted scientific assessment and management of Western Australian Marine Protected Areas. Rottnest Island Marine Reserve report for Coastwest and Caring for our Country
Comparative assessment of seafloor sampling platforms. Report to the National Environmental Science Programme
Condition of rocky reef communities: A key marine habitat around Tasmania
Conservation challenges for the most threatened family of marine bony fishes (handfishes: Brachionichthyidae); Biological Conservation
Conservation of handfishes and their habitats - Final Report 2020
Conservation of handfishes and their habitats - Final Report 2020
Consistent multi-level trophic effects of marine reserve protection across northern New Zealand; PLoS One
Continental-scale assessment of Australia's rocky and coral reef biodiversity
Contributions of body size, habitat and taxonomy to predictions of temperate Australian fish diets; Marine Ecology Progress Series
Coral Sea Marine Biodiversity
Coral sea marine biodiversity
Cross-ocean patterns and processes in fish biodiversity on coral reefs through the lens of eDNA metabarcoding; Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Delineating reef fish trophic guilds with global gut content data synthesis and phylogeny; PLOS Biology
Direct and indirect effects of heatwaves on a coral reef fishery; Global Change Biology
Disentangling the response of fishes to recreational fishing over 30 years within a fringing coral reef reserve network; Biological Conservation
Distinguishing geographical range shifts from artefacts of detectability and sampling effort; Diversity and Distributions
Ecological effects of marine protected areas on rocky reef communities - a continental-scale analysis; Marine Ecology Progress Series
Ecosystem restructuring along the Great Barrier Reef following mass coral bleaching; Nature
Effects of pollution from anthropogenic point sources on the recruitment of sessile estuarine reef biota; Frontiers in Marine Science
Effects of urbanisation on macroalgae and sessile invertebrates in southeast Australian estuaries; Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science
Establishing the foundation for the global observing system for marine life; Frontiers in Marine Science
Eureka Prize for Environmental Research 2014
Exploited reefs protected from fishing transform over decades into convservation features otherwise absent from seascapes; Ecological Applications
Fish body sizes change with temperature but not all species shrink with warming; Nature Ecology and Evolution
Fish heating tolerance scales similarly across individual physiology and populations; Communications Biology
Fishing-gear restrictions and biomass gains for coral reef fishes in marine protected areas; Conservation Biology
Functional traits reveal early responses in marine reserves following protection from fishing; Diversity and Distributions
Gathering information on marine climate impacts
Global baselines and benchmarks for fish biomass: comparing remote reefs and fisheries closures; Marine Ecology - Progress Series
Global change, phase-shifts and recovery potential of Tasmania’s rapidly warming reef ecosystems; The 2023 International Temperate Reefs Symposium
Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features; Nature
Global COVID-19 lockdown highlights humans as both threats and custodians of the environment; Biological Conservation
Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes; PLOS Biology
Globally consistent reef size spectra integrating fishes and invertebrates; Ecology Letters
Gravity of human impacts mediates coral reef conservation gains; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Habitat loss and range shifts contribute to ecological generalization among reef fishes; Nature Ecology and Evolution
High biomass and productivity of epifaunal invertebrates living amongst dead coral; Marine Biology
Humans and seasonal climate variability threaten large-bodied coral reef fish with small ranges; Nature Communications
Increasing turbidity significantly alters the diet of brown trout: a multi-year longitudinal study; Journal of Fish Biology
Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity; Nature
Interactive responses of primary producers and grazers to pollution on temperate rocky reefs; Environmental Pollution
Is fecundity the ultimate cause of female-biased size dimorphism in a dragon lizard?*; Journal of Zoology
Living offshore reefs of Australian Marine Parks; Reed New Holland Publishers
Lord Howe Island Ecological Assessment Report 2019
Loss of native rocky reef biodiversity in Australian metropolitan embayments; Marine Pollution Bulletin
Macro-algal communities in three major Australian estuaries: Broad-scale patterns in response to anthropogenic impacts; New Waves in Marine Science
Marine Biodiversity
Maximizing regional biodiversity requires a mosaic of protection levels; PLoS Biology
Meeting fisheries, ecosystem function, and biodiversity goals in a human-dominated world; Science
Moving beyond trophic groups: evaluating fishing-induced changes to temperate reef food webs; Marine Ecology - Progress Series
National-scale marine bioregions for the Southwest Pacific; Marine Pollution Bulletin
New approaches to marine conservation through the scaling up of ecological data; Annual Review of Marine Science
New opportunities for conservation of handfishes (Family Brachionichthyidae) and other inconspicuous and threatened marine species through citizen science; Biological Conservation
Nocturnal and diurnal feeding by Galaxias auratus, a lentic galaxiid fish; Ecology of Freshwater Fish
Ocean community warming responses explained by thermal affinities and temperature gradients; Nature Climate Change
Out of sight, out of mind: threats to the marine biodiversity of the Canary Islands (NE Atlantic Ocean); Marine Pollution Bulletin
Persistent thermally driven shift in the functional trait structure of herbivorous fishes: evidence of top-down control on the rebound potential of temperate seaweed forests?; Global Change Biology
Pollution signature for temperate reef biodiversity is short and simple; Marine Pollution Bulletin
Predicting the diet of coastal fishes at a continental scale based on taxonomy and body size; Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Prioritising conservation actions for extremely data-poor species: a risk assessment for one of the world's rarest marine fishes; Biological Conservation
Production of mobile invertebrate communities on shallow reefs from temperate to tropical seas; Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Quantifying wave exposure in shallow temperate reef systems: applicability of fetch models for predicting algal biodiversity; Marine Ecology - Progress Series
Rapid declines across Australian fishery stocks indicate global sustainability targets will not be achieved without an expanded network of ‘no-fishing’ reserves; Aquatic Conservation
Redmap: Citizen science as an engagement and communication tool in a warming world; Australia - New Zealand Climate Forum 2010
Reef biodiversity monitoring at Lord Howe Island 2015
Reef biodiversity surveys of Australia’s Commonwealth Marine Reserve Network: An overview
Reef communities show predictable undulations in linear abundance size spectra from copepods to sharks; Ecology Letters
Reef fish carbonate production assessments highlight regional variation in sedimentary significance; Geology
Reef fishes at all trophic levels respond positively to effective marine protected areas; PloS One
Reef Life Survey assessment of biodiversity in northern New Zealand marine reserves and associated coastlines
Reef Life Survey Assessment of Coral Reef Biodiversity in the North West Commonwealth Marine Reserves Network
Reef Life Survey Assessment of Marine Biodiversity in Geographe Bay
Reef Life Survey Assessment of Marine Biodiversity in the Norfolk Marine Park
Reef Life Survey Assessment of Rocky Reef Biodiversity in the South-West Marine Region (Geographe CMR)
Reef Life Survey: establishing the ecological basis for conservation of shallow marine life; Biological Conservation
Research challenges to improve the management and conservation of subtropical reefs to tackle climate change threats (Findings of a workshop conducted in Coffs Harbour, Australia on 13 September 2010); Ecological Management and Restoration
Resilience and signatures of tropicalization in protected reef fish communities; Nature Climate Change
Sea temperature and habitat effects on juvenile reef fishes along a tropicalizing coastline; Diversity and Distributions
Size dimorphism in Rankinia (Tympanocryptis) diemensis (Family Agamidae): sex-specific patterns and geographic variation; Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
Small invertebrate consumers produce consistent size spectra across reef habitats and climatic zones; Oikos
Spatial compositional turnover varies with trophic level and body size in marine assemblages of micro-and macroorganisms; Global Ecology and Biogeography
Spatial patterns in impacts of fishing on temperate rocky reefs: Are fish abundance and mean size related to proximity to fisher access points?; Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology
Species richness and identity both determine the biomass of global reef fish communities; Nature Communications
Species traits and climate velocity explain geographic range shifts in an ocean-warming hotspot; Ecology Letters
Species’ thermal ranges predict changes in reef fish community structure during 8 years of extreme temperature variation; Diversity and Distributions
Spotted handfish monitoring and recovery actions - 2011–2012
Stability in temperate reef communities over a decadal time scale despite concurrent ocean warming; Global Change Biology
Standardised Survey Procedures for Monitoring Handfish Populations in the Derwent Estuary
Statistical solutions for error and bias in global citizen science datasets; Biological Conservation
Systematic global assessment of reef fish communities by the Reef Life Survey program; Scientific Data
Systemic Surveying of Two Threatened Handfish Species
Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy of the Year 2012: Dr Rick Stuart-Smith
Taxonomic composition of mobile epifaunal invertebrate assemblages on diverse benthic microhabitats from temperate to tropical reefs; Marine Ecology - Progress Series
The aesthetic value of reef fishes is globally mismatched to their conservation priorities; PLoS Biology
The awakening of invertebrates: the daily dynamics of fishes and mobile invertebrates at Rapa Nui's multiple use marine protected area; Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems
The effects of turbidity and complex habitats on the feeding of a galaxiid fish are clear and simple; Marine and Freshwater Research
The impact of an introduced predator on a threatened galaxiid fish is reduced by the availability of complex habitats; Freshwater Biology
The Importance of Complex Habitats for the Predator-Prey Interaction Between the Threatened Galaxiid Fish and an Introduced Salmonid
The importance of sponges and mangroves in supporting fish communities on degraded coral reefs in Caribbean Panama; PeerJ
The potential of trait-based approaches to contribute to marine conservation; Marine Policy
The shape of abundance distributions across temperature gradients in reef fishes; Ecology Letters
Thermal biases and vulnerability to warming in the world’s marine fauna; Nature
Thermal limits to the geographic distributions of shallow-water marine species; Nature Ecology and Evolution
Toward a coordinated global observing system for seagrasses and marine macroalgae; Frontiers in Marine Science
Tracking widespread climate-driven change on temperate and tropical reefs; Current Biology
Trait similarity in reef fish faunas across the world’s oceans; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of The United States of America
Translating local benthic community structure to national biogenic reef habitat types; Global Ecology and Biogeography
Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia; Reed New Holland Publishers Pty Ltd
Tropicalization of temperate reef fish communities facilitated by urchin grazing and diversity of thermal affinities; Global Ecology and Biogeography
Weaknesses in stock assessment modelling and management practices affect fisheries sustainability; Aquatic Conservation

Research Projects

: Reef community responses to protection & a decade of warming in Port Phillip Bay & Port Phillip Heads; Parks Victoria (PV)
Assessing multidecadal climate-driven shifts for Tasmanian marine species; Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPAC)
Biotic connectivity within the temperate Australian marine protected area network at three levels of biodiversity - communities, populations and genes; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Coastal Climate Change Range Extension Database & Mapping Project (CCC REDMAP); Tasmanian Community Fund (TasCF)
Coral Sea Marine Biodiversity - Globally Significant, Largely Unprotected; Winifred Violet Scott Charitable Trust (WVS)
Direct & Indirect Effects of MPA protection and habitat condition on Australian reef recovery; Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE)
Ecology and Conservation Biology of Red Handfish; Sea World Research and Rescue Foundation Inc (SWRRFI)
Extending the Success of Redmap with New Website Sections and Communication Materials; Tasmanian Community Fund (TasCF)
Raising the bar for ecological effectiveness of the worlds Marine Protected Areas; The Pew Charitable Trusts (PCT)
Rewiring marine food webs: predicting consequences of species range shifts; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Safeguarding Threatened Reef Species; Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE)
Spotted Handfish recovery; Department of Agriculture (DoA (Cwth))
Tackling marine conservation issues at national and global scales; Australian Research Council (ARC)
Understanding the role of temperature on reef biodiversity change; Holsworth Wildlife Research Endowment (HWRE)
Volunteer Monitoring of the State of Australian Rocky Reef Communities; Department of Environment and Energy (Cwth) (DoEE)
Donation - Handfish (general) Conservation Research
Red Handfish Conservation
Rocky Reef Health
The Baseline Biodiversity Survey of the Cod Grounds Commonwealth Marine Reserve

Research Candidate Supervision

Comparing and Developing Methods of Longitudinal Analysis for Different Types of Biological Data Sets
Ecological Difference Between Subtropical Reef Communities and Biodiversity and Response to Warming of the East Australian Current
Influence of Environmental Covariates on Reed Food Webs