Alex is employed as a senior research officer with TropWATER. Her research interests are the ecology and conservation of coastal environments, in particular tropical seagrass meadows and coral reefs, and fisheries management.

Alex's current research focuses on understanding and assessing habitat variation at large scales in space and time. Recent projects include:

1. Developing and implementing seagrass condition report cards for the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, Torres Strait, regional NRM groups, and Queensland ports. 

2. Working with Torres Strait Rangers to expand seagrass monitoring throughout Torres Strait.

3. Large-scale GIS mapping projects for the GBR World Heritage Area and Torres Strait.

4. Defining seagrass desired state for the GBR.

5. Boosting coral abundance on the GBR through coral restoration using innovative Symbiodinium co-culture and mass larval supply on reefs

Alex completed her PhD on spatial variation in reproductive biology for common coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus), and the role of marine reserves as a potential fisheries management tool for this species on the Great Barrier Reef. 

  • Statistical approaches to deal with messy biological data
  • Spatial analysis and mapping
  • Fisheries management and no-take marine reserves
  • Fish reproductive biology
  • Habitat condition assessments
  • Coral reef restoration
Research Disciplines
  • 2009 - GBRMPA Science for Management Award
  • 2009 - PADI Project Aware Grant
  • 2008 - GBRMPA Science for Management Award

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 63+ research outputs authored by Dr Alexandra Carter from 2007 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Marine Parks

Mapping Marra Sea Country with a focus on benthic habitats of the Limmen Marine Park

Indicative Funding
$283,720 over 2 years
Understanding the distribution and composition of benthic habitats in the Limmen Marine Park is necessary to manage the park in accordance with the North Marine Parks Network Management Plan and support the aspirations of the Marra People. Our team will survey the marine benthic habitats within and adjacent to the marine park. Recommendations for the marine park?s co-management will be developed. Project outputs will be relevant to multiple users and made accessible by optimizing media streams, including a short film about the Limmen marine park from the perspective of the Marra people and sea rangers.
Catherine Collier, Alexandra Carter, Rachel Groom, Robert Coles and Michael Rasheed in collaboration with Lloyd Shepherd and Paul Leeson (TropWATER and Australian Institute of Marine Science)
Marine Parks; Co-management; Traditional Owners; Benthic habitats; Seagrass; Monitoring

Reef Catchments Limited - Contract Research

Seagrass monitoring for Inshore Marine South Zone for the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Healthy Rivers to Reef Partnership

Indicative Funding
$76,015 over 3 years
Continuation of annual seagrass monitoring program and development and implementation of seagrass condition report card in the south zone of the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac region.
Alexandra Carter and Michael Rasheed (TropWATER)
Seagrass; Coastal habitat; Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac; Report Card

Torres Strait Regional Authority - Contract Research

Quantifying the value of Blue Carbon: Case Study Torres Strait

Indicative Funding
$16,909 over 1 year
Torres Strait seagrass mapping synthesis and blue carbon presentation.
Alexandra Carter in collaboration with Michael Rasheed, Skye McKenna and Paul York (TropWATER)
Seagrass; Torres Strait; Marine Habitats; Blue Carbon

Torres Strait Regional Authority - Contract Research

Seagrass Monitoring of Dugong Sanctuary in Torres Strait and Baseline survey/mapping of Torres Strait Eastern Cluster.

Indicative Funding
$278,698 over 1 year
Seagrass Monitoring of the Dugong Sanctuary and Torres Strait?s western cluster subtidal seagrass, and baseline survey and mapping of Torres Strait?s Eastern Cluster intertidal seagrass.
Alexandra Carter and Michael Rasheed in collaboration with Lloyd Shepherd (TropWATER)
Seagrass; Marine habitat; Torres Strait; Dugong; Turtle; Reef

Reef Restoration Foundation Limited - Reef Restoration Foundation Limited - Contract Research

Scientific oversight and planning advice for Reef Restoration Foundation activities

Indicative Funding
$52,099 over 2 years
Advice regarding future design and scope for coral restoration techniques and program growth, including setting out strategic planning for key program objectives through joint RRF/JCU meetings through April 2020. Advice on consolidation of existing data and statistical design to answer key research questions.
Katie Chartrand, Alexandra Carter and Michael Rasheed in collaboration with Hannah Kish (TropWATER)
Acropora spp.; Restoration; Research; Coral; Coral nurseries; Tourism

Torres Strait Regional Authority - Contract Research

Torres Strait Seagrass Research

Indicative Funding
$554,055 over 5 years
This seagrass research program continues collaborations with TSRA LSLMU Rangers in the Dugong Sanctuary, and will conduct seagrass baseline surveys at Dungeness Reef. The baseline assessment will form the foundation for ongoing monitoring, and provide essential information to the TSRA, Australian and Queensland Governments for dugong and turtle management plans, complimenting dugong and turtle research studies in the region and building skills and capacity of Traditional Owners and Rangers.
Alexandra Carter and Michael Rasheed (TropWATER)
Seagrass; Turtle; Mapping; Dugong; Torres Strait

Fitzroy Basin Association - Contract Research

Gladstone Healthy Harbours Seagrass Condition Report Card

Indicative Funding
$126,103 over 5 years
Gladstone Healthy Harbours Partnership (GHHP) produces an annual report card on the condition of Gladstone Harbour. JCU TropWATER have been contracted to produce the seagrass component of the report card.
Alexandra Carter, Michael Rasheed and Catherine Bryant (TropWATER)
Seagrass; Gladstone Harbour; Port Curtis; Report Card

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Program (NESP) - Tropical Water Quality Hub (TWQ Hub)

Deriving ecologically relevant targets to meet desired ecosystem condition for the Great Barrier Reef: a case study for seagrass meadows in the Burdekin region

Indicative Funding
$172,691 over 2 years
This project will derive ecologically relevant targets (ERTs) for water quality and sediment loads for the Burdekin basin and provide the ecological targets required to revise ERTs across the GBR by: 1) defining seagrass desired state targets for the GBR: 2) calculating water quality guidelines (light); and 3) calculating ERTs for te3rrestrially sourced sediment loads, using Cleveland Bay as a case study. Historical and new data collections will be compiled and used to derive ERTs via statistical models and eReefs (RECOM), and the seagrass sub-model in eReefs will be used to test ERTs.
Catherine Collier and Alexandra Carter in collaboration with Megan Saunders, Matthew Adams, Kate O'Brien, Vikki Lambert, Mark Baird, Graham Brodie, Michael Rasheed, Len McKenzie, Robert Coles, Katherine Martin and Alana Grech (TropWATER, The University of Queensland, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, College of Science & Engineering, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies)
Seagrass; ecological targets; Sediment; Turbidity

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation - Contract Research

NQBP & JCU Research & Monitoring Partnership - Seagrass and Coral Studies

Indicative Funding
$1,335,011 over 3 years
This project conducts long term assessments of seagrass and coral in the Ports of Mackay, Hay Point, Weipa and Abbot Point. The work forms part of a research and monitoring partnership between JCU and NQBP to monitor and assess marine environmental health within ports as well as support related research and education opportunities.
Michael Rasheed, Skye McKenna, Tony Ayling and Alexandra Carter (TropWATER and Sea Research)
Seagrass; Monitoring; Risk Assessment; Coral; Research

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research

Boosting coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef - Scaling up coral restoration using innovative Symbiodinium co-culture and mass larval supply on reefs

Indicative Funding
$71,000 over 1 year (administered by Southern Cross University)
This project will supply millions of coral larvae and significantly increase the settlement and recruitment success of juvenile corals. This will rapidly replenish damaged GBR coral sites, restoring ecological functions and resilience of coral communities. Our concept will significantly increase the supply of high quality larvae of foundation corals and provide the world?s first mass production of larvae containing Symbiodinium microalgae, which will increase larval energy and settlement success and survival of newly settled corals. Innovations include coral larval restoration at larger scales (hundreds of square metres) than previous studies and pioneering front-line diagnostics to confer thermal tolerance in coral recruits. Our team includes world-leading researchers with decades of relevant experience collaborating directly with tourism and other Queensland businesses to provide cost-effective outcomes that can be commercially scaled to restore large reef areas in future.
Katie Chartrand, Robert Coles and Alexandra Carter (TropWATER)
Symbiodinium spp.; Coral larvae; Coral spawning; restoration; Coral reef; Great Barrier Reef

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Secondary Advisor.

These Higher Degree Research projects are either current or by students who have completed their studies within the past 5 years at JCU. Linked titles show theses available within ResearchOnline@JCU.

  • Factors driving Chelonia mydas (green sea turtle) interactions with seagrass meadows within coastal foraging habitats (Masters , Secondary Advisor)

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • E1.016A, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
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