I work in science-based management and conservataion of marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs. I am currently Director of Oceans Conservation for WWF Hong Kong. I was recently a President's International Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, and Senior Advisor to the Marine Program of Conservation International in Indonesia. Previously I worked with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Australian Institute of Marine Science. I am Visiting Professor at Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.

I have more than 35 years’ experience in management, research and capacity-building in Australia, China, the Coral Triangle, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, as well as in temperate ecosystems. I have worked with Government management agencies, research organisations,  NGOs and international bodies, including high-level policy advisory roles.

My recent interests include:

-The use of environmental economics and ocean accounting to redress the flawed assumptions that environmental stewardship is in conflict with human wellbeing.

- Strategies for engaging business, corporate and finance sectors to take responsibility for preventing and reversing environmental degradation.

- Integration between Chinese and global on ocean science, management and conservation, and the concept of 'eco-civilisation' in policy.

I was awarded an international Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, focused on management and policy initiatives to protect the resilience of coral reefs under climate change. This included developing and delivering a series of workshops on coral reef management across Indonesia and in Malaysia, and a range of policy work incorporating existing scientific understanding into the practical, real‐world management of coral reefs to enhance their resilience. My Fellowship also addressed critical gaps in scientific knowledge about the ecology of reef algae and their impacts on coral reef systems under climate change.

  • Ecosystem goods & services and ocean accounting; environmental economics
  • Ocean science and conservation in China.
  • Scaling up conservation through stronger engagement of corporate, business and investment sectors
  • 2019 to present - Director, Oceans Conservation, WWF-Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China)
  • 2016 to 2019 - President's International Visiting Professorial Fellow, Chinese Academy of Science, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (Guangzhou, China)
  • 2018 - Senior Advisor, Marine,, Conservation International Indonesia (Indonesia)
  • 2014 to 2015 - Advisor to Aust & Indonesian Governments, independent (various)
  • 2002 to 2014 - Director & Manager, Science Coordination & Climate Change, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (Townsville, Australia)
  • 1992 to 2002 - Senior Research Scientist, Australian Institute of Marine Science (Townsville, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2005 to 2009 - Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation

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 44+ research outputs authored by Dr Laurence McCook from 2001 onwards.


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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