I work in science-based management of marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs. I am currently Head 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.

I have more than 30 years’ experience in management, research and capacity-building including coral reefs in Australia, 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. I have a particular interest in the use of environmental economics and ocean accounting to redress the flawed assumptions that environmental stewardship is in conflict with human wellbeing.

In 2005, I was awarded an international Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. My project 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 activities and policy documents 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
  • 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
  • 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 42+ 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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