I have been on the JCU academic staff team since.  My work involves research on coral reef ecosystems and fisheries, which is also integrated with my teaching and student supervision work.  I also serve as the College's Manager of Postgraduate Studies for Coursework degrees. Within that I am also the course coordinator for the  programs in Marine Biology and Fisheries Science & Management. You can review these exciting and career changing courses here.

Research Interests:

My current and emerging research explores the drivers of coral reef and coastal ecosystem function so as to improve livelihood and food security outcomes in the Asia-Pacific. I am particularly focused on coastal and island based fishery dynamics in Indonesia and the wider Coral Triangle region.

I have substantive background in coral reef fish ecology and behaviour. I maintain my research interests in this field through several research student projects. The central theme of this research is the relationship between fish and their reefal habitats.  These relationships drive fish community responses to continued habitat degradation but also to reef restoration efforts. I am interested in exploring the patterns and processes that direct community and individual responses, and how fish assemblages in degraded ecosystems can be restored, at least in part. This has direct implications for the livelihoods of people on island and coastal communities in the Coral Triangle region.

Making a difference:

I am directly involved with leading capacity building programs for managers and researchers in Indonesia and the Coral Triangle. This focuses on a science for management approach whereby I assist researchers target their work towards the applications and outcomes necessary for attaining sustainable resource management, food security and improved livelihoods. Simultaneously I assist managers and policy makers connect to the scientific community so that policy development and its implementation can take an evidence based approach. 


To date, I have been successful in attracting $300k in external funding for capacity building and research programs. The most recent of these is the 2017/18 Australian Government sponsored Australia Awards Fellowship for Indonesian marine science academics. 

I am also part of the JCU-Griffith-CDU consortium that led the 2017 Australia Professional Development Program for Indonesia's Australia Award Alumni. This program was valued at over $400k.  


I am seeking Masters and PhD research students in fields of fisheries biology, coral reef ecology, ecosystem restoration and fisheries management. These projects would specifically focus on using biological and /or ecological methods to investigate and improve reef and coastal fisheries in Indonesia. Field, Lab and desktop projects are available. You will need to be adaptable, resilient and have excellent self-management skills.

  • MB5300: Sampling and Experimental Design (Level 5; TSV)
  • MB5610: Fishing Gear and Technologies (Level 5; TSV)
  • SC5009: Professional Project (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5900: Special Topic (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5901: Special Topic 1 (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5902: Special Topic 2 (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5903: Literature Review (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5909: Minor Project and Seminar (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5912: Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (1 of 2) (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • SC5913: Minor Project, Seminar and Literature Review (2 of 2) (Level 5; CNS & TSV)
  • TM5600: Introduction to One Health (Level 5; TSV)
  • Environmental management
  • Teaching and Capacity Building
  • Science for Management approaches
  • CTI-CFF Coral Triangle Intiative for Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security
  • Indonesia - Society, Environment, History, Education, Science and Management, Language
  • Coral Reef Fish
  • Habitat specialization
  • Social behavior of animals
  • Animal movement ecology
  • habitat loss
  • coral reef
  • Fisheries
  • Indonesia
  • Marine Biology
  • Science communication
  • Experimental ecology
  • Animal behaviour
  • Coral Reef Ecology
  • Marine Biology
  • Fisheries
  • 2016 to present - Manager of Postgraduate Studies, College of Science & Engineering, JCU
  • 2009 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 2006 to 2011 - PhD, James Cook University (Townsville)
  • 1996 to 2000 - Bachelor of Science, Biology, The University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)
  • 1996 to 2000 - Bachelor of Arts, Indonesian Studies, The University of Melbourne (Melbourne, Australia)
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2005 - Australian Coral Reef Society Current Member
  • 2011 to 2014 - Treasurer and Council member, Australian Coral Reef Society

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 18+ research outputs authored by Dr Naomi Gardiner from 2005 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority - Reef Guardian Grants

Great Barrier Reef swim-with-minke-whales dive tourism industry and Reef manager stakeholder extension and training workshops

Indicative Funding
This project will contribute to Suzanne Hillcoat?s PhD thesis as well as the wider research goals of the Minke Whale Project (MWP), including basic monitoring of interactions with the swim-with tourism industry in the GBR. We propose to conduct several pre-season swim-with-whales tourism industry workshops in Cairns and Port Douglas in May/June 2018 to strengthen the collaborative management relationship between these stakeholders and increase the quality and quantity of data collected by the industry for use by both GBRMPA and the MWP. This important stakeholder relationship has been largely cultivated through these workshops in the past, and has resulted in world-leading management outcomes and successful research projects.
Suzanne Hillcoat, Naomi Gardiner, Alastair Birtles, Matthew Curnock, Genevieve Williams and Martha Brians (College of Science & Engineering and Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research Organisation)
Dwarf minke whale; Balaenoptera acutorostrata subsp.); Wildlife tourism; Swim-with whales; Behaviour; Disturbance; Life-history

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.

  • Dwarf Minke Whale Morphometrics, Growth Rates and Long-term Behaviour Responses to Human Interactions in the Great Barrier Reef. (PhD , Primary Advisor/AM)
  • Characterizing the Effectiveness of Coral Restoration to Build Reef Resilience- A Socio-Ecological Perspective (PhD , Advisor Mentor)
  • Potential Importance of phenotypic Plasticity at the Gills of Coral reef Fishes in response to Increased temeratures During a Coral Bleaching Event (Masters , Secondary Advisor/AM)

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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