I lead a range of projects focused on marine habitat conservation and restoration. My projects are applied and multidisciplinary including ecology, physiology, modelling, aquaculture, engineering, social science and economics. They also include a wide range of collaborators from government, industry, Traditional Owner, citizen scientist, and conservation and community groups. 

  • Marine biology
  • Marine restoration
  • Sportfishing research
  • Coral reef ecology
  • Science communication
  • Shellfish ecology
  • Science funding and the future of careers in science
  • Ecology
  • Integrating new technology into research
  • 2021 to present - Principal Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2020 to present - Assistant Program Director, Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (Townsville)
  • 2019 to present - Assistant Director, TropWATER, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2019 to present - Co-Chair - reef restoration committee, International Coral Reef Initative (Townsville)
  • 2019 to 2020 - Principal Research Scientist, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2016 to 2018 - Senior Research Scientist, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2013 to 2017 - Communications Manager, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2015 - Postdoctoral Researcher, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2010 to 2014 - PhD Candidate, James Cook University (Townsville)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2020 - Eureka Award for Applied Environmental Research
  • 2020 - ABC Top 5 Science Prize
  • 2019 - NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub Best Paper
  • 2018 - JCU Visualise My Research - Overall Winner
  • 2017 - Queensland Tall Poppy
  • 2016 - James Cook University Rising Star
  • 2016 - Advance Queensland Digital Champion

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

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 57+ research outputs authored by Dr Ian McLeod from 2007 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Institute of Marine Science - Research Project Grant

Science Partnerships in RRAP

Indicative Funding
$1,130,000 over 4 years
The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) is a >$100M multi-institution 10-year research program designed to accelerate the resilience and recovery of corals reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. This project will provide coordination and leadership for the many science programs in the RRAP, support management, deliver milestones and assist research coordination and future planning.
Ian McLeod (TropWater)
Great Barrier Reef; Marine ecosystems; Coral Reef; Restoration

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research - Research Grant

Baseline monitoring and evaluation of long-term impacts on fish stocks from coral restoration

Indicative Funding
$23,840 over 3 years (administered by SCU)
Most coral reefs in the Philippines and elsewhere in SE Asia are degraded or highly threatened by human activities, which jeopardises food security. Previous ACIAR funded projects have successfully re-established multiple breeding coral populations on highly degraded reefs. This project will assess the impact of these and scaled-up coral restoration projects on local fish populations.
Ian McLeod in collaboration with Peter Harrison and Patrick Cabaitan (TropWater, Southern Cross University and University of the Philippines)
coral restoration; livelihoods; coral death; Food Security; Coral Reef Fish; Restoration

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 over 1 year (administered by Reef and Rainforest Research Centre)
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.
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, QLD Department of Environment and Science and Reef Catchments NRM)
Ecosystem; Restoration; Catchment; coral; Wetlands

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Research Program - Marine Biodiversity Hub

The role of restoration in conserving matters of national environmental significance (MNES)

Indicative Funding
$165,500 over 3 years (administered by University of Tasmania)
This project will review and assess the capacity of active restoration to secure conservation outcomes for Matters of National Environmental Significance across four habitats: giant kelp forests, seagrass communities, saltmarsh communities, and shellfish communities.
Ian McLeod (TropWater)
shellfish reefs; Environmental Management; coastal restoration; bull kelp; Seagrass; Salt Marsh

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

Best practice coral restoration for the Great Barrier Reef

Indicative Funding
$607,000 over 3 years
Great Barrier Reef (GBR) continues to degrade, pressure is growing for direct interventions to assist the recovery of corals at important sites. This project will (1) summarise and evaluate the success of coral restoration and assisted recovery techniques worldwide (2) identify the techniques most likely to help the GBR and experimentally test the most promising techniques, (3) come up with best practices for post-impact coral reattachment and reorientation and (4) explore options for training courses, offset models and Indigenous employment.
Ian McLeod in collaboration with Adam Smith, David Bourne, Peter Harrison, Boze Hancock, Geoff Jones, Lisa Bostrom Einarsson, Nathan Cook and Margaux Hein (TropWater, College of Science & Engineering, Southern Cross University, The Nature Conservancy, Reef Ecologic and Research Division)
coral restoration; envornmental management; coastal restoration; coral ecology; Larval Ecology; Citizen Science

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.

  • Mobilising Communities for Reef Restoration and Stewardship (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

These are the most recent metadata records associated with this researcher. To see a detailed description of all dataset records, visit Research Data Australia.


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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