With ever increasing worldwide demands for energy, minerals resources and desalinated water, understanding how to manage and mitigate impacts from coastal energy and resources developments is becoming an important global challenge. Our research seeks to understand environmental and social impacts from these and other human activities on the marine environment, so that we can manage and mitigate impacts more effectively. Our work has taken us all over the world, although we now focus mostly on southern Australia for our field work.  We often work closely with industry, regulators and with community groups. Broadly, there are three main things we do:

Develop tools for environmental monitoring & restoration – with a focus on robust experimental design and statistical analyses for field experiments, baseline surveys, impact assessments and restoration programmes. Our research has included

  • Environmental impact monitoring – including survey design and statistical power calculations and cost-benefit analyses for baseline/impact monitoring programmes for a range of receptors, including invertebrates, fish, seagrasses, algae and corals, through to whales, dolphins and dugong  
  • Developing cost-effective methods for pollution monitoring and assessment, such as ecotoxicology tests and ROV survey methods.

We use those tools to Assess and monitor impacts on marine systems, having worked on a range of impacts, including

  • Port construction and dredging activities
  • Desalination and wastewater disposal
  • Mining and minerals processing/smelting, including deep sea mining
  • Oil and gas development, including spills, production releases and impacts of infrastructure
  • Introduced marine species.

Like many other environmental researchers, we have realised that the social dimensions of environmental impacts are also critically important and central to making any lasting changes in the way we manage the environment. Consequently, Environmental decision making & governance is now an also increasing research focus for us, particularly with respect to issues related to ‘Social Licence to Operate’  – also an area which Craig has developed a MSc level course which has run at University College London for the past seven years (and now also at UniSA)

See also our Group Publications page for published examples of some of our work.