Virtual Public Lecture - Looking at the Great Barrier Reef from organisms to ecosystems: how maths can help translate observed patterns into management-ready information


Tuesday 14 July, 12.30pm-1.30pm


The presentation will be delivered online via zoom webinar. Please register your attendance to receive the webinar link.

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The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is an inherently complex system with myriad of physical, biological and anthropogenic interactions. This complexity presents a challenge for understanding observed patterns and predicting their consequences. While the management of the GBR has consistently being underpinned by scientific research, often the process of translating empirical evidence into ecologically sound recommendations involves the amalgamation of multiple lines of evidence through a detective-like process. 

About the speaker

Dr Juan Ortiz is an ecologist and ecosystem modeller at the Australian Institute of Marine Science. For more than 20 years he has researched the relationship between coral physiology, coral symbiosis, and population, community and ecosystem ecology. Dr Ortiz did his PhD at The University of Queensland as part of the Global Environmental Facility Coral Bleaching Targeted Research Group focusing on the effect of multiple disturbances on the ecosystem functioning of coral reefs. As an early career researcher, he received an inaugural Advance Queensland Research Fellowship during which Dr Ortiz explored the effect of different chronic and acute disturbances on reef recovery. Dr Ortiz was recently appointed to the Scientific Advisory Committee for the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers. His research is motivated by the pressing need for applied and ecologically sound research that provides the necessary information to understand and design strategies to mitigate the effect of anthropogenic disturbances on tropical marine ecosystems. In recent years he has focussed on developing products that can make science readily available for management. As part of this process, Dr Ortiz has worked with the Office of the Great Barrier Reef, and The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, to evaluate the effect of improvements of water quality on the health of coral reef ecosystems. These collaborations have generated new insights into the role that different coral types play on overall reef recovery and how this role can inform management.