Ian Michael McLeod

Ian Michael McLeod
Australian Institute of Marine Science · Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program

PhD, MSc, PG Dip Enviromental Management, BSc

About

77
Publications
53,108
Reads
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1,563
Citations
Citations since 2017
47 Research Items
1310 Citations
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Introduction
I am the Program Director for the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program at the Australian Institute of Marine Science in Townsville, Australia and a Professorial Research Fellow at James Cook University. My research focuses on coastal habitat restoration and adaptation, ecotourism, coral reef ecology, climate change impacts on the marine environment and land-based effects on coastal waters.
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - present
James Cook University
Position
  • Group Leader
June 2015 - December 2015
James Cook University
Position
  • Principal Investigator
Description
  • Leading a country-wide project investing the opportunities and benefits for shellfish and saltmarsh repair and restoration.
April 2014 - December 2015
James Cook University
Position
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow and Communications Manager
Education
March 2010 - March 2014
James Cook University
Field of study
  • Coral Reef Ecology
December 2007 - April 2009
University of Auckland
Field of study
  • Marine Biology
July 2000 - January 2002
University of Auckland
Field of study
  • Environmental Management

Publications

Publications (77)
Article
Oyster gardening is a community‐driven activity where oysters are grown in cages hanging off docks or other coastal infrastructure. Besides the provision of adult oysters for restoration programmes, oyster gardening may also support other ecosystem services such as providing habitat for fishes and invertebrates as well as encouraging community invo...
Article
Remnant oyster reefs support diverse communities of invertebrates and fish, and there is growing interest in restoring this important habitat. Whether the construction of new oyster reefs will enhance or simply redistribute existing fisheries’ productivity depends on their trophic role–which, to date, is unknown for Australian estuaries. In this st...
Article
Full-text available
While coral reefs in Australia have historically been a showcase of conventional management informed by research, recent declines in coral cover have triggered efforts to innovate and integrate intervention and restoration actions into management frameworks. Here we outline the multi-faceted intervention approaches that have developed in Australia...
Technical Report
Full-text available
1) Large scale and coordinated restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems will benefit our natural assets and improve our capability to mitigate and adapt to climate change, while also generating jobs and providing communities with economic and social benefits. 2) Scaling up restoration requires a national scale science-based plan adopted at stat...
Article
Interest in oyster reef conservation and restoration is growing globally, but particularly in Australia, it is unclear the extent to which oyster reefs complement (versus replicate) habitat provisioning by other structured habitats in the seascape. Remote underwater video surveys of two east Australian estuaries revealed that at high tide, oyster r...
Article
Full-text available
Achieving a sustainable socio-ecological future now requires large-scale environmental repair actioned across legislative borders. Yet, enabling large-scale conservation is complicated by policy-making processes that grapple with a disconnect between socio-economic interests and political priorities, multiple sources of knowledge, and differing app...
Article
Full-text available
Aquaculture industries have the capacity to produce positive ecosystem service benefits, such as the provision of habitat to wild animals. Oyster cultivation is the oldest and largest aquaculture industry in south-eastern Australia. Oyster spat are grown to marketable size in rack-and-rail (‘racks’) or longline-and-basket (‘baskets’) configurations...
Article
Full-text available
Recent warm temperatures driven by climate change have caused mass coral bleaching and mortality across the world, prompting managers, policymakers, and conservation practitioners to embrace restoration as a strategy to sustain coral reefs. Despite a proliferation of new coral reef restoration efforts globally and increasing scientific recognition...
Article
Declining coral cover on tropical coral reefs often results in a concomitant increase in macroalgae. When proliferation of macroalgae persists outside of regular seasonal growth, it can shift the ecosystem dominance away from corals into a permanently altered system. Such an altered system is unlikely to recover naturally, despite ample supply of c...
Article
Scientific, tourism and non-government organisations collaborated to design and undertake a small-scale coral outplanting intervention at Fitzroy Island, the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Cairns, Australia. Activities were implemented to assist recovery of a reef showing signs of reduced coral cover after recent coral bleaching and to trial potential f...
Article
Full-text available
The Darwin Agreement is a collective response from Australian national restoration organisations to the United Nation’s declaration of 2021–2030 as the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. The agreement functions as terms of reference for a new alliance, the Restoration Decade Alliance, to optimise on-ground actions and advocacy to retain native eco...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef restoration is a rapidly growing movement galvanized by the accelerating degradation of the world's tropical coral reefs. The need for concerted and collaborative action focused on the recovery of coral reef ecosystems coalesced in the creation of the Coral Restoration Consortium (CRC) in 2017. In March 2020, the CRC leadership team met...
Article
Full-text available
In 2019, the United Nations Environment Assembly requested that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) define best practices for coral restoration. Guidelines led by the UNEP were prepared by a team of 20 experts in coral reef management, science, and policy to catalog the best-available k...
Article
Full-text available
Three case studies involving two temperate Australian seagrass species – Pondweed (Ruppia tuberosa) and Ribbon Weed (Posidonia australis) – highlight different approaches to their restoration. Seeds and rhizomes were used in three collaborative programmes to promote new approaches to scale up restoration outcomes.
Technical Report
Full-text available
With accelerating declines of coral reefs globally and the start of the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the need for better understanding the effectiveness of coral reef restoration efforts, particularly in supporting the maintenance of ecosystem services, is accelerating. This document presents an overview of the best-available knowledge in th...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Policy brief associated with the UNEP and ICRI report" Coral Reef Restoration as a strategy to improve ecosystem services: A guide to coral restoration methods"
Technical Report
Full-text available
As coral cover in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) continues to degrade, pressure is growing for direct interventions to assist the recovery of corals. A range of coral restoration and assisted recovery techniques have been trialed overseas and in Australia, however there has not to date been an evaluation of what will work best in GBR conditions. This...
Article
Full-text available
• Bivalve habitat restoration is growing in geographic extent and scale globally. While addressing the wide‐scale loss of these biogenic habitats is still a key motivation behind restoration efforts, stakeholders and funders are increasingly drawn to shellfish restoration for the many ecosystem services these habitats provide. • There is clear evid...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems are under increasing pressure from local and regional stressors and a changing climate. Current management focuses on reducing stressors to allow for natural recovery, but in many areas where coral reefs are damaged, natural recovery can be restricted, delayed or interrupted because of unstable, unconsolidated coral fragments,...
Technical Report
Full-text available
A Manager’s Guide to Coral Reef Restoration Planning and Design supports the needs of reef managers seeking to begin restoration or assess their current restoration program. Based on global best practices—and tested with managers from Hawaii, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands—the Guide was developed for reef...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is impacting coral reefs now. Recent pan-tropical bleaching events driven by unprecedented global heat waves have shifted the playing field for coral reef management and policy. While best-practice conventional management remains essential, it may no longer be enough to sustain coral reefs under continued climate change. Nor will cli...
Article
Full-text available
Seagrasses are important marine ecosystems situated throughout the world’s coastlines. They are facing declines around the world due to global and local threats such as rising ocean temperatures, coastal development and pollution from sewage outfalls and agriculture. Efforts have been made to reduce seagrass loss through reducing local and regional...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Active coral restoration is a new endeavour on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) with the first projects starting in 2017. Methods used in these early projects include coral gardening, direct transplantation, larval enhancement, substrate addition and substrate enhancement. Although many of these projects are led by or involve the tourism industry, ther...
Article
Full-text available
Widespread global declines in shellfish reefs (ecosystem-forming bivalves such as oysters and mussels) have led to growing interest in their restoration and protection. With restoration projects now occurring on four continents and in at least seven countries, global restoration guidelines for these ecosystems have been developed based on experienc...
Article
Full-text available
Oyster reef ecosystems used to form significant components of many temperate and subtropical inshore coastal systems but have suffered declines globally, with a concurrent loss of services. The early timing of many of these changes makes it difficult to determine restoration targets which consider interdecadal timeframes, community values and shift...
Article
Full-text available
Best known as a ‘love them or hate them’ luxury food, or for their pearls, oysters are also ecosystem engineers, forming vast oyster reefs. Oyster reefs provide habitat for a myriad of species, and support fisheries, improve water quality and provide coastal protection. These services are estimated to be worth US$5500‐$99,000 per hectare per year (...
Article
Full-text available
Reef ecosystems all over the world are in decline and managers urgently need information that can assess management interventions and set national conservation targets. We assess the conservation status and risk of ecosystem collapse for the Oyster Reef Ecosystem of Southern and Eastern Australia, which comprises two community sub-types established...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems have suffered an unprecedented loss of habitat-forming hard corals in recent decades. While marine conservation has historically focused on passive habitat protection, demand for and interest in active restoration has been growing in recent decades. However, a disconnect between coral restoration practitioners, coral reef mana...
Article
Recognising the historical loss of habitats and the value and opportunities for their recovery is essential for mobilising habitat restoration as a solution for managing ecosystem function. Just two hundred years ago, Sydney rock oysters (Saccostrea glomerata) formed extensive reef ecosystems along Australia's temperate east coast, but a century of...
Article
Full-text available
Estimates of the ecological and economic value of ecosystems can provide important information for the prioritisation of conservation and restoration actions. Oyster reefs that were once common in temperate coastal waters have now been largely degraded or lost. Oyster reefs provide a suite of ecological services, including habitat and a food supply...
Chapter
Full-text available
Effective communication with a variety of stakeholders is essential for the success of shellfish reef restoration projects. It is most often a permitting and funding requirement and, when done well, helps people feel connected to and excited about the project.
Article
Full-text available
Three case studies spanning tropical, subtropical and temperate environments highlight the minimum potential benefits of investing in repair of coastal seascapes. Fisheries, a market benefit indicator readily understood by a range of stakeholders from policymakers to community advocates, were used as a surrogate for ecosystem services generated thr...
Article
Full-text available
For over 40 years, management of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (GBRMP) in Australia has focused on limiting human‐use impacts to facilitate natural resilience and recovery. Compounding acute disturbances and chronic stressors have resulted in degradation of coral reef habitats in many areas of the Marine Park. Given current trends and predicti...
Chapter
Full-text available
Bivalve habitats have, until recent times, been generally overlooked as an important estuary habitat type. Historically, complex, three-dimensional habitats made up of dense aggregations of bivalves, their shells, associated species, and accumulated sediments were a dominant habitat type in temperate and subtropical estuaries around the world (Sten...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In Australia, the states and territories have the primary responsibility for coastal waters. However, the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 describes when the Australian Federal Government needs can assist. The EPBC focusses on nine matters of national environmental significance (MNES). These include World Herit...
Technical Report
Full-text available
In December 2017, the Reef Restoration Foundation in collaboration with a team of volunteers, local businesses, organisations and researchers established the first coral nursery on the Great Barrier Reef. The project was implemented in the shallow fringing reef around Fitzroy Island, 25km east of Cairns. Six coral nursery trees were successfully de...
Article
Full-text available
Coral reef ecosystems are under increasing pressure by multiple stressors that degrade reef condition and function. Although improved management systems have yielded benefits in many regions, broad‐scale declines continue and additional practical and effective solutions for reef conservation and management are urgently needed. Ecological interventi...
Article
Full-text available
Advice from Traditional Owners to improve engagement of local Indigenous people in shellfish ecosystem restoration.
Article
Full-text available
We review the status of marine shellfish ecosystems formed primarily by bivalves in Australia, including: identifying ecosystem-forming species, assessing their historical and current extent, causes for decline and past and present management. Fourteen species of bivalves were identified as developing complex, three-dimensional reef or bed ecosyste...
Data
Published research articles and reports on Australian shellfish ecosystem-forming species. See Table 2 for category codes. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Globally, coastal habitat restoration is growing in recognition as a viable management tool to repair and reinstate valuable coastal habitats and species, such as mangrove and macroalgae forests, salt marshes, seagrass meadows, shellfish and coral reefs (Aronson & Alexander (2013), Restoration Ecology, 293; Anthony et al. (2017) Nature Ecology and...
Article
Full-text available
The utility of marine protected areas (MPAs) as a means of protecting exploited species and conserving biodiversity within MPA boundaries is supported by strong empirical evidence. However, the potential contribution of MPAs to fished populations beyond their boundaries is still highly controversial; empirical measures are scarce and modelling stud...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Australia's coastal marine biodiversity and accompanying benefits such as fisheries have been markedly reduced due to loss of essential inshore habitats. These coastal habitats provide a nursery ground for a multitude of animals, including fish, prawns and birds. Many species depend on inshore habitat during critical early life-stages characterised...
Article
Full-text available
Australia’s developed coasts are a heavily competed space, subject to urban, industrial and agricultural development. A diversity of habitats, such as mangroves, saltmarshes and seagrasses, comprise Australia’s coastal seascape and provide numerous benefits including fish productivity, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, coastal protection and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Universities produce vastly more graduates than they could ever employ. Postgraduate candidates should consider if the reality of an academic career suits them and, if so, how to make it happen. Candidates should also be aware of the whole range of research-related career options available, and understand the skills needed to gain entry into these...
Article
Full-text available
The prevalence of extreme, short-term temperature spikes in coastal regions during summer months is predicted to increase with ongoing climate change. In tropical systems, these changes are predicted to increase the metabolic demand of coral reef fish larvae while also altering the plankton communities upon which the larvae feed during their pelagi...
Article
The Niugini black bass, Lutjanus goldiei, is an estuarine and freshwater fish species endemic to New Guinea and the surrounding islands. It is the focus of a growing sportfishing industry that has the potential to provide long-standing benefits to local people. Plantation agriculture, mining and logging are expanding in many catchments where L. gol...
Research
Full-text available
Describes salt marsh habitats in Queensland and describes opportunities for and benefits of repair
Data
An increasing number of studies have examined the effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and ocean acidification on marine fish, yet little is known about the effects on large pelagic fish. We tested the effects of elevated CO2 on the early life history development and behaviour of yellowtail kingfish, Seriola lalandi. Eggs and larvae were reared...
Article
Ecotourism ventures in developing countries are often among the few alternatives for enhancing sustainable livelihoods without altering traditional ways of life. The best way forward is to continually develop and implement best practice guidelines and, in particular, to flexibly develop them to suit individual cases. We conduct a multidisciplinary...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change is predicted to increase ocean temperatures and influence weather patterns. Here, we examine the influence of temperature and other environmental variables on key early life traits of the coral reef damselfish, Pomacentrus moluccensis, based on ten cohorts of newly settled fish collected over 13 years from around Lizard Island (Great...
Article
Full-text available
An increasing number of studies have examined the effects of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) and ocean acidification on marine fish, yet little is known about the effects on large pelagic fish. We tested the effects of elevated CO2 on the early life history development and behaviour of yellowtail kingfish, Seriola lalandi. Eggs and larvae were reared...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Historical and archaeological evidence suggests the existence of abundant populations of reef forming shellfish along the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) coasts and estuaries prior to European settlement. The major reef forming species included the milky or coral rock oyster (Saccostrea cucullata; formally known as Crassostrea cucullata or C. amasa), the...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Saltmarshes in this report refers to the mosaic of coastal wetland ecosystems that occupy areas of low energy, intermittent tidal inundation, typically in bays, inlets and estuaries, on sheltered soft substrate foreshores, often at the foreshore in southern Australia and occurring behind mangroves in tropical Australia. Functional role of saltmar...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes the historic extent and current knowledge of Australian shellfish reefs and identifies knowledge gaps and future research priorities with the aim of supporting restoration efforts. Shellfish reefs are complex, three-dimensional living structures, which provide food, shelter and protection for a range of other invertebrate and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report describes the historic extent and current knowledge of Australian shellfish reefs and identifies knowledge gaps and future research priorities with the aim of supporting restoration efforts. Shellfish reefs are complex, three-dimensional living structures, which provide food, shelter and protection for a range of other invertebrate and...