I focus on delivering the science necessary to inform large scale environmental management and conservation. My key themes are measuring environmental change with satellite remote sensing, estimating risks to biodiversity, and the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems.

I have a broad expertise in the fields of ecology, conservation biology and geospatial science. In particular, I use ecological modelling, remote sensing and empirical studies to answer applied and theoretical questions across these fields. I have extensive experience in the fields of terrestrial ecology, ornithology, ecosystem dynamics, risk assessment and spatial planning.

My recent work has been on the dynamics of coastal ecosystems at the global scale, and developing and testing methods to assess risks of ecosystem collapse and species extinction. I also contribute to global environmental policy, such as the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems.

For more on my current research and other information, please visit my personal website:


  • 2019 to present - ARC DECRA Fellow, James Cook University
  • 2016 to 2019 - Senior Research Fellow, University of New South Wales
  • 2016 to 2017 - Senior Research Fellow, University of Queensland
  • 2014 to 2016 - Research Fellow, University of New South Wales
  • 2014 - Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge
  • 2013 to 2014 - Visiting Fellow, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institue
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2019 - Shortlisted (top six) Robert May Prize, best paper by an early career researcher in 2018 in Methods in Ecology and Evolution (https://doi.org/10.1111/2041-210X.13043)
  • 2019 - Australia’s nominee for the APEC Science Prize for Innovation, Research and Education (ASPIRE Prize)
  • 2016 - IUCN Commission on Ecosystem Management Young Professional Award
  • 2015 - Australian Museum Eureka Prize for Environmental Research. The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Team, UNSW, led by Professor David Keith.
  • 2015 - Future Leader: World Forum on Ecosystem Governance, Beijing China
  • 2014 - Finalist at the Australian Museum Eureka Prizes (Eureka Prize for Environmental Research). The IUCN Red List of Ecosystems Team, UNSW, led by Professor David Keith
  • 2019 to 2022 - Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA), Assessing risks to coastal ecosystems with new earth observation models, $417,000
  • 2012 to 2013 - Queensland - Smithsonian Fellowship
  • 2019 to 2024 - Chief Investigator, ARC Linkage, A global standard for the status of Wetlands of International Importance, $779,000
  • 2019 to 2023 - Chief Investigator, ARC Linkage, Ecosystem risk assessment, $416,000
  • 2019 to 2022 - Chief Investigator, Australian Antarctic Science grant, Risks to Antarctic terrestrial ecosystems, $165,000

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 25+ research outputs authored by Dr Nicholas Murray from 2014 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Research Council - Discovery Early Career Researcher Award

Assessing risks to coastal ecosystems with new earth observation models

Indicative Funding
$419,718 over 3 years
This project aims to quantify and diagnose the causes of declines in the world's coastal wetland ecosystems. Unprecedented rates of loss have been reported in many coastal ecosystems, but there is a lack of knowledge regarding their distribution, status and trajectory at the global scale. The projuect will integrate earth observation, machine-learning and ecosystem risk assessment methods to deliver new high-resolution time-series data, quantitative knowledge on the influence of social, economic and environmental factors on ecosystem loss, and predictions of different future states of coastal ecosystems. Key benefits include an improved ability to monitor and manage coastal ecosystems in Australia and globally.
Nicholas Murray (College of Science & Engineering)
Remote Sensing; saltmarsh; coastal ecosystems; Mangroves; ecosystem risk assessment; Ridal mudflats

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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  • 142.211, The Science Place (Townsville campus)
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