About

My research is motivated by the need for robust information to support conservation planning of estuarine and marine resources – recognising that management and conservation strategies must be adaptive and accommodate the changing climate. My speciality is the use of experimental techniques to address targeted questions about seagrass health and resilience. This has focused on both the risk and impacts to seagrass habitat from local scale stressors such as water quality and on the prospective changes to seagrass ecosystems from rising temperature and ocean acidification. Above all I enjoy collaborating with diverse teams of scientists and managers and believe that such collaboration is imperative to enhance the value of experimental science for achieving practical management goals. I also contribute to long-term monitoring of seagrass habitat in the Great Barrier Reef through the Paddock to Reef Marine Monitoring Programme, which is used to track progress towards meeting the targets and objectives of the Reef 2050 Plan. My other funding sources include the National Environmental Sciences Programme (NESP), the Great Barrier Reef Foundation (GBRF), National Environmental Research Program (NERP) and Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF).

 

Experience
  • 2007 to present - Principal Research Officer, James Cook University (Townsville and Cairns)
  • 2006 to 2007 - Project Officer, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Townsville)
  • 2002 to 2006 - Doctoral candidate, Edith Cowan University (Perth)
  • 1999 to 2002 - Project Officer, Healthy Waterways (Brisbane)
Publications

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
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 53+ research outputs authored by Dr Catherine Collier 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 - National Environment Science Program (NESP) - Total Water Quality (TWQ)

Improving coral condition through better-informed resilience-based management

Indicative Funding
$8,150 (administered by Reef & Rainforest Research Centre)
Summary
Resilience-based management and integrated monitoring and reporting through the Reef Integrated Monitoring and Reporting (RIMRep) program are key initiatives for managing the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) ecosystem. A wide range of NESP TWQ Hub projects have focused on resilience-based management and decision making for maintaining and improving coral reef condition in the GBR. These projects directly contribute to the goals outlined in the Great Barrier Reef Blueprint for Resilience (2017) and support the development of RIMRep. Many of these research investments are in direct response to the 2016-17 mass thermal bleaching events. This synthesis will bring together the learnings of many research projects and initiatives driven by the same goals into a succinct coherent story.
Investigators
Johanna Johnson, Sven Uthicke, Renata Ferrari, Katharina Fabricius, Andrew Negri, Catherine Collier, Peter Mumby, Kenny Wolfe and Amy Desbiens in collaboration with Clive Wilkinson, Rachael Smith, Damien Burrows, Ian McLeod, Morgan Pratchett, Scott Heron, Ross Jones, Russ C Babcock, David Westcott, Craig Steinberg, Line Bay and Frederieke Kroon (Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, Australian Institute of Marine Science, TropWATER, The University of Queensland, International Tropical Health and Environment Management, Department of Environment and Science (Qld), College of Science & Engineering, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environment Science Program (NESP) - Total Water Quality (TWQ)

Reducing End-of-Catchment Fine Sediment Loads and Ecosystem Impacts

Indicative Funding
$23,910
Summary
A wide range of NESP TWQ Hub projects have focused on the source, transport, fate and impact of sediments on estuarine, coastal and reef ecosystems. These projects have responded to the Reef 2050 Plan water quality targets and Water Quality Improvement Plan aiming to reduce the loss of sediments from catchments to the marine environment. To better manage sediment losses and prioritise remedial actions, it is important to be able to understand and contextualise all of the issues that are involved in this sediment story, from managing catchment sources to defining which types of sediment cause the most harm in the marine environment. The synthesis report will include a list of gully prioritisation tools and sampling methods for detecting sediment and bioavailable nutrients. This project will provide a narrative and synthesis to bring all these threads together. Synthesis of this new knowledge will provide advice on practical on-ground actions for land and sea managers, policy implications and identify remaining gaps for future research and management investments.
Investigators
Johanna Johnson, Stephen Lewis, Zoe Bainbridge, Catherine Collier, Rebecca Bartley, Andrew Brooks, Barbara Robson and Katharina Fabricius in collaboration with Rachael Smith, Alexandra Garzon-Garcia, Joanne Burton and Jane Waterhouse (Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, TropWATER, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Griffith University, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Department of Environment and Science (Qld) and C2O Consulting)

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - National Environment Science Program (NESP) - Total Water Quality (TWQ)

Restoring ecosystems from catchment to reef

Indicative Funding
$23,115 (administered by Reef & Rainforest Research Centre)
Summary
A range of NESP TWQ Hub funded projects have delivered insights into improved ways of restoring and evaluating ecosystem restoration efforts, from catchments through to the reef and other marine environments. This work has mostly focused on sediments, nutrients and freshwater, estuarine and marine wetland restoration in a wide range of projects. The diversity of approaches and contexts in which restoration has occurred, make it very difficult for anyone not intimately associated with the work to appreciate the overall outcomes and learnings. This synthesis will provide the ability to see across this range of projects and outcomes. Synthesis of the outcomes across these projects will provide easy to access practical recommendations for land and sea managers.
Investigators
Suzanne Long, Nathan Waltham, Ian McLeod, Catherine Collier, Rebecca Bartley, Bruce Taylor and Andrew Brooks in collaboration with Damien Burrows, Rachael Smith, Jessica Sabatino and Mike Ronan (Reef and Rainforest Research Centre, TropWATER, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, Griffith University, College of Science & Engineering, Department of Environment and Science (Qld) and Reef Catchments NRM)

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
Summary
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.
Investigators
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)
Keywords
Seagrass; ecological targets; Sediment; Turbidity

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

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

Indicative Funding
$345,364 over 4 years
Summary
This project will derive ecologically relevant targets (ERTs) for water quality and sediment loads by: 1) defining seagrass desired state targets; 2) calculating water quality guidelines (light); and 3) calculating ERTs for terrestrially sourced sediment loads. Historical and new data collections will be used to derive ERTs via statistical models and eReefs (RECOM), and the seagrass sub-model in eReefs will be used to test ERTs. A framework for setting seagrass desired state will be developed for the entire GBR and water quality guidelines and sediment load ERTs will be quantitatively defined for the Burdekin basin where suspended sediments affect seagrass condition.
Investigators
Catherine Collier in collaboration with Matthew Adams, Megan Saunders, Mark Baird, Jon Brodie, Alexandra Carter, Michael Rasheed, Len McKenzie, Kate O'Brien, Carissa Klein, Robert Coles and Katherine Martin (TropWATER, The University of Queensland, Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority)
Keywords
Seagrass; Sediment Loads; Indicators; eReefs; Water Quality; benthic light

Gold Coast Waterways Authority - Contract Research

Light Threshold Requirements for Seagrasses in the Gold Coast Waterways

Indicative Funding
$25,000 (administered by Griffith University)
Summary
Expert advice on the design, analysis and interpretation of surveys and experiments determining seagrass light thresholds; contribution to report and paper writing; provision and transport of loan field equipment
Investigators
Michael Rasheed and Catherine Collier (TropWATER)
Keywords
Seagrass; Thresholds; light requirements; Gold Coast

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

Benthic light as ecologically-validated GBR-wide indicator for water quality: drivers, thresholds and cumulative risks

Indicative Funding
$18,000 over 3 years (administered by AIMS)
Summary
The project will develop a water quality indicator based on benthic irradiance (the amount of light penetrating to the seafloor). Using experiments and field data we will develop irradiance thresholds for measures of ecosystem health, and develop prototype guideline values. We will develop a new remote sensing algorithm of benthic irradiance, validated against open-water irradiance data. We will quantify benthic irradiance through the GBR, near-daily over 14 years, and assess region-specific drivers of trends including river discharges. Ur indicator can directly feed into Reef Plan report cards, irradiance as a limiting factor, and about cumulative risks in the context of coral bleaching.
Investigators
Katharina Fabricius and Catherine Collier in collaboration with Scarla Weeks, Murray Logan, Line Bay, Christian Lonborg, Marites Canto, Sam Noonan and Veronique Mocellin (Australian Institute of Marine Science, The University of Queensland and TropWATER)
Keywords
Water Quality Guidelines; Remote Sensing; benthic irradiance; Ecosystem Health; light thresholds
Supervision

Advisory Accreditation: I can be on your Advisory Panel as a Primary or 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.

Completed
Collaboration

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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Email
Phone
Location
  • E2.203B, Sir Robert Norman Building (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
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