Dr Norman Duke (MSc, PhD) is a mangrove ecologist of more than 40 years standing, a specialist in global mangrove floristics, biogeography, climate change adaptation, vegetation mapping, pollution and coastal habitat condition assessment.  Before coming to JCU, he gained experience at the University of Queensland, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

Norm currently leads an active research group on marine tidal wetlands at JCU's TropWATER Centre. He conducts research projects and advises on effective management and mitigation of disturbed and damaged tidal wetland ecosystems. He has published more than 200 articles and technical reports, including his authoritative book, ‘Australia’s Mangroves’ published in 2006 and apps from 2013 onwards.

Norm heads the JCU Mangrove Hub, and MangroveWatch Ltd, a not-for-profit company with a community science partnership program, delivering exciting outreach initiatives for effective monitoring and assessment of healthy mangroves and saltmarsh tidal wetlands.    

PHONE NUMBER (late 2017): 04 3919 1952

  • mangrove floristics
  • biogeography
  • climate change adaptation
  • vegetation mapping
  • wetland pollution
  • coastal habitats
Research Disciplines

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
Book Chapters

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 112+ research outputs authored by Dr Norman Duke from 1978 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Gladstone Ports Corporation Ltd - Contract Research

Monitoring Survival and Recovery of Shorelines

Indicative Funding
$450,000 over 8 years
This project is to assess and monitor the health of tidal wetlands (mangroves, salt marsh and saltpans) in the Port Curtis and Port Alma areas. These Port locations have been subject to dredging and other activities associated with intensive port infrastructure development. The project will provide a baseline against which future changes can be referenced. It will include high resolution and NDVI mapping of tidal wetlands, shoreline condition assessment using oblique aerial image acquisition and boast-based horizontal image acq1uisition as well the establishment of public entry data and image access portals to display the results of this mapping. The use of community and in particular indigenous Australian rangers will also be incorporated into the field components of this project.
Norman Duke in collaboration with Damien Burrows and Jock McKenzie (TropWATER)
Mangroves; Port Curtis; Port Alma; Shoreline Mapping; Gladstone Port; Salt Pans

Gladstone Ports Corporation Ltd - Consultancy

Marine Eco-Systems Research & Monitoring Program (ERMP)

Indicative Funding
$44,700 over 10 years
As a member of the Expert Panel to advise on the research, monitoring and health of marine ecosystems, notably tidal wetlands, in Port Curtis and Port Alma.
Norman Duke (TropWATER)
Marine; Coastal Research; Community engagement

Department of the Environment and Energy - National Environmental Science Programme (NESP) - Northern Australia Environmental Resources Hub

Mangrove Dieback in the Gulf of Carpentaria

Indicative Funding
$200,000 over 3 years
Landsat and on-ground analysis showed that 7,400 hectares of mangrove forest along a 1,000km long front of the southern Gulf of Carpentaria coastline (from Karumba in the east to Limmen River in the west) suffered dieback over a relatively short and synchronous time period around November 2015. This is the largest event of natural dieback of mangroves ever recorded in the world. This project will provide a survey, description and analysis of the extent and patterns of the dieback across its range. The assessment will include mangrove assessment and monitoring methods, as well as providing recommendations for recovery, potential intervention, future monitoring and further studies.
Norman Duke, Damien Burrows and Jock Mackenzie (TropWATER)
Mangrove; Climate Change; Dieback; Sea Level; Gulf of Carpentaria; El Nino

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

Assessing the Gulf of Carpentaria mangrove dieback

Indicative Funding
$200,000 over 2 years
In early 2016, extensive dieback of mangrove forests was recorded along the southern and western Gulf of Carpentaria coastline. Landsatasnalysis suggests that 7,400 hectares of mangrove forest suffered dieback over a relatively short and synchronous time period around November, 2015, along a >1,000km wide front from Karumba in the east to Limmen River in the west. Recent field visits to a limited range of affected sites suggest that a relatively low percentage of trees have recovered and most are dying/dead. This is the largest event of natural dieback of mangroves ever recorded in the world. This project will provide a survey, description and analysis of the extent of the dieback across its range, as well as examining patterns of dieback. The assessment will include training and participation of local Indigenous ranger groups in lmangrove assessment and monitoring lmethods, as well as providing recommendations for recovery, potential intervention, future monitoring and further studies. A synthesis workshop will also be held to present the findings of the assessment to a wide audience.
Norman Duke in collaboration with Jock Mackenzie (TropWATER)
mangroves; Monitoring; Dieback; Northern Territory; Gulf of Carpentaria; remote shorelines

QLD Department of Science, Information, Technology and Innovation - Advance Queensland Engaging Science Grants

Carbon sequestration value of mangroves

Indicative Funding
$3,600 (administered by Mackay Christian College)
This project involves a field and laboratory investigation by Mackay Christian College Grade 11 students of the carbon storage potential of mangrove environments in the Pioneer River and Mackay region. Based on field sites established by Dr Duke around 15 years ago associated with an incident of severe mangrove dieback, the Senior Biology class students will collect and assess data from water sampling, field quadrates and laboratory samples. The sampling design will focus on carbon acquisition and changes over time. Some focus will also include a review of the current status of previously damaged mangrove strands. During the project, community stakeholders from local and state government plus educational and environmental conservation groups will be involved and informed as the project develops.
Norman Duke (TropWATER)
Mangrove habitat; carbon; ecology; Community science; education; biomass

Territory Natural Resource Management - Contract Research

Mangrove Watch NT Pilot Project

Indicative Funding
$31,600 over 2 years
The li-Anthawirriyarra, Numbulwar and Yugul Mangi Rangers will participate in the pilot MangroveWatch project in the Northern Territory (Gulf of Carpentaria), in Collaboration with James Cook University and the Territory Natural Resource Management group (TNRM). The Rangers will undertake 2 days of training in the MangroveWatch monitoring methodology and another 2 days of supervised shoreline monitoring assessment in the Gulf of Carpentaria region in early Sept 2017. After this, the Rangers will conduct independent surveys using this training until June 2018. Data collected by the Rangers with be assessed and reported on by the TropWATER scientist partners who will give appropriate feedback to the TNRM and the Ranger groups on the health and condition of shoreline ecosystems in the south-western Gulf region. It is of note that this region was heavily impacted with extensive mangrove dieback in late 2015 as a result of extreme climatic conditions.
Norman Duke and Jock Mackenzie in collaboration with Tida Nou (TropWATER and Territory Natural Resource Management)
Mangroves; Estuaries; Shorelines; Health monitoring surveys; Traditional owner rangers; Gulf of Carpentaria

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

Working with traditional owners and local citizens to better manage GBR estuarine wetlands

Indicative Funding
$450,000 over 3 years
Traditional Owner rangers and local citizens of the Port Curtis Coral Coast (PCCC) TUMRA will be engaged in developing a Mangrove Management Plan (MMP) that provides a strategic basis for estuarine repair activity and maximises water quality outcomes in the southern GBR. Development of this MMP will build capacity within the Gidarjil Development Corporation (GCD) and local community to undertake scientifically-rigorous, ecological monitoring and assessment. These management and rehabilitation strategies will protect sea country resources through partnerships between community, scientists and NRM agencies. The MMP will enable rangers and citizen scientists to conduct scientifically valid surveys of estuarine monitoring, management and rehabilitation within the PCCC TUMRA area.
Norman Duke and John MacKenzie in collaboration with John Kovacs, Jock Brockhurst, Sue Sargent and Shannon Van Nunen (TropWATER, Nipissing University, Gidarjil Development Corporation, Burnett Mary Regional Group for Natural Resource Management Ltd and Fitzroy Basin Association)
Indigenous Ranger training; ecosystems reponding to climate change; estuarine environment monitoring; rehabilitation implementation; mangrove management guidelines; natural resource cultural values

Department of the Environment and Energy - Contract Research

2017 Eastern Cape York Shoreline Environmental Surveys

Indicative Funding
The aim of this project is to conduct shoreline surveys along Australia's east coast from Cairns to Cape York during 2017. These works will involve a number of activities focused on monitoring the character and condition of shoreline habitats and estuaries, as well as partnering with local indigenous custodians, filming in aerial surveys plus field investigations and mapping. This work compliments extent mapping undertaken by the Qld Herbarium in that both extent and condition are required to assess the status of mangrove ecosystems. This project will evaluate and combine spatial and condition monitoring coupled with identification of drivers of change for all key instances of change.
Norman Duke and John MacKenzie in collaboration with Damien Burrows (TropWATER)
Shorelines; Estuaries; Titdal Wetlands; Mangroves; Coastline; Evaluation

Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Corporation - Contract Research

Maroochy MangroveWatch - Mangrove and Saltmarsh dreaming Project

Indicative Funding
$20,000 over 2 years
The intention of this research will be to undertake land and sea assessments of mangrove areas around the Sunshine Coast. Assistance will be provided to the Bunya Bunya Country Aboriginal Traditional Owner group to implement a MangroveWatch shoreline habitat monitoring program in the Maroochy River. This aim of this program will be to implement actions that will improve mangrove and saltmarsh management in the Maroochy River estury through increased traditional owner engagtement and capacity building in tidal wetland management, protection and restoration.
Norman Duke and Jock Mackenzie (TropWATER)
Mangroves; Saltmarsh; Traditional Ecological Knowledge; Monitoring; Restoration; Maroochy River

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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.

  • Long Term Monitoring of Mangrove Forests in Darwin, NT using the Landsat Image Archive (PhD , Secondary Advisor)

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


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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