Paul is a marine and estuarine ecologist who has worked extensively in benthic communities and particularly seagrass ecosystems. His research includes the study of seagrass food webs, invasive species, seagrasses genetics, resilience, reproductive and population biology. He has also worked on soft sediment faunal communities and rocky shore ecology in both Australia and South America.

  • Plant-Herbivore Interactions
  • Seagrass
  • Population biology
  • Molecular Ecology
  • Plant Physiology
  • Marine biogeography
  • Restoration
  • 2012 to 2013 - Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Integrative Ecology, Deakin University (Waurn Ponds, VIC, Australia)
  • 2012 to 2013 - Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Department of Zoology, University of Melbourne (Parkville, VIC Australia)
  • 2010 to 2013 - Research assistant, University of Technology Sydney (Broadway, NSW, Australia)
  • 2010 to 2013 - : Casual academic, Australian Catholic University (North Sydney, NSW, Australia)
  • 2009 - Marine Park Ranger, Batemans Marine Park NSW (Narooma, NSWAustralia)
  • 2004 to 2007 - Research assistant, University of Technology Sydney (Broadway, NSW, Australia)
Research Disciplines
  • 2016 to 2017 - James Cook University Early Career Researcher Rising Star Award
  • 2016 - Ian Potter Foundation Travel Award
  • 2014 to 2015 - The Isobel Bennett Marine Biology Fellowship at Lizard Island
  • 2014 to 2021 - IUCN Species Survival Commission - Seagrass Specialist Group
  • 2014 to 2021 - World Seagrass Association
  • 2005 to 2021 - Australian Marine Sciences Association
  • 2013 to 2017 - Royal zoological Society of New South Wales

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 94+ research outputs authored by Dr Paul York from 2006 onwards.

Current Funding

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

BHP Billiton Group Operation Pty Ltd - Community Project

Restoring Seagrasses and their Blue Carbon in the Wet Tropics region of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area

Indicative Funding
$1,628,081 over 4 years
Our project team will restore tropical seagrass meadows in far north Queensland and monitor their recovery as well as the response of important ecosystem services they provide. The foundation seagrass species at Mourilyan Harbour disappeared in 2010 following consecutive storm and flood events and has not returned naturally due to isolation from other populations. Recent pilot studies have successfully trialled methods demonstrating seagrass survival and growth more than 12 months after planting. Our Team comprises marine scientists, Indigenous rangers and recreational fishing volunteers. The restoration of these habitats should restore ecosystem functions and services such as the capture and storage of blue carbon, increased biodiversity including economically-important fish, prawn and crab species, improved water quality by trapping sediments and nutrients and enhanced cultural links for Indigenous communities by returning feeding grounds for dugong and turtles.
Michael Rasheed, Paul York, Tim Smith, Geoffrey Collins, James Epong, Gavin Singleton, Peter Macreadie, Gudju Gudju, Anthony Edwards, Emma Jackson and Emily Pidgeon (TropWater, OzFish Unlimited, Mandubarra Land and Sea Inc., Dawul Wuru Aboriginal Corporation, Deakin University, Gimuy Walubara Yindinji Elders Aboriginal Corporation, Goondoi Land & Sea Rangers, Central Queensland University and Conservation International)
Seagrass; Restoration; Blue Carbon; Ecosystem Services

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Contract Research

Operation Lumut (seagrass) Rescue: taking action to restore and monitor seagrass in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Marine Park

Indicative Funding
$81,920 over 2 years (administered by Sea Country Solutions Pty Ltd)
This project brings together local knowledge and ecological expertise to develop a robust, restoration program for seagrass habitats at the Cocos Keeling Island?s southern atoll. Specifically, this project will work to improve our understanding of the natural dynamics and resilience of local seagrass habitats and the pressures acting on them to limit natural recovery, and use this information to identify, trial and evaluate restoration activities to drive seagrass recovery.
Michael Rasheed and Paul York (TropWater)
Seagrass; Cocos Keeling Islands; Restoration

Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment - Marine Parks

Reef lagoon benthic habitat mapping in the Coral Sea Marine Park

Indicative Funding
$498,093 over 3 years
This project will undertake reef lagoon benthic habitat mapping within the Coral Sea Marine Park. Sites to be surveyed are the western lagoon of Holmes Reef, all of Herald Cays, the lagoon between the Diamond Islets in Tregrosse Reef, and the eastern corner of the lagoon in Lihou Reef. This project will produce the first extensive reef lagoon benthic maps of the selected regions in the Coral Sea Marine Park and will be the first seagrass survey in the Coral Sea.
Samantha Tol, Paul York, Michael Rasheed, Robert Coles, Alana Grech and Andrew Hoey (TropWater and Research Division)
Reef lagoon; Coral Sea Marine Park; Macroalgae; Benthic Habitat Mapping; Seagrass; Coral

Great Barrier Reef Foundation - Reef Trust Partnership

Mandubarra Healing Country Seagrass Program

Indicative Funding
$60,406 over 1 year (administered by Mandubarra Land and Sea Inc.)
JCU will co-design and implement a habitat mapping program with Mandubarra Land and Sea Rangers on their sea country at Kurrimine Beach/King Reef. JCU will provide training for Mandubarra Rangers on benthic habitat mapping techniques and seagrass identification at a series of workshops and will work with a Mandubarra Project officer to produce maps and a report, present findings and liaise with Mandubarra Rangers, Traditional Owners and the community on recommendations for future collaborations through a series of workshops.
Paul York and Michael Rasheed (TropWater)
Seagrass; Traditional Owner; Network; Ranger; Capacity Owner

Queensland Department of Environment and Science - Contract Research

Mapping of Hervey Bay and Great Sandy Straits seagrass meadows post floods in 2022

Indicative Funding
$415,232 over 1 year
This project will map seagrass meadows across Hervey Bay and collect data on intertidal seagrass habitats in Great Sandy Straits to provide post flood update on the state of seagrass meadows in the region.
Michael Rasheed and Paul York in collaboration with Catherine Bryant, Paul Leeson and Lloyd Shepherd (TropWater)
Seagrass; Mapping; Floods

North Queensland Bulk Ports Corporation - Contract Research

Marine plant survey of the Half Tide Tug Harbour Hay Point

Indicative Funding
North Queensland Bulk Ports (NQBP) have engaged the TropWATER to undertake a survey to determine the presence/absence of marine plants within the Half Tide Tug Harbour, located at the Port of Hay Point. Specifically, the survey requires assessment of marine plant distribution in the area proposed for expanded maintenance dredging, as well as a contemporary survey of marine plants in the area currently approved for dredging.
Paul York, Skye McKenna and Michael Rasheed in collaboration with Luke Hoffmann, Lloyd Shepherd and Paul Leeson (TropWater)
Seagrass; Monitoring; Algae; Port

Advisian Pty Ltd - Advisian Pty Ltd

Hay Point Shiploader Upgrade: Benthic Habitat Assessments

Indicative Funding
Develop and implement a benthic habitat assessment program for Advisian to report on the benthic habitats in a specific area of the port to assist with berth upgrades.
Skye McKenna, Michael Rasheed and Paul York (TropWater)
Seagrass; Coastal Habitats; Benthic Habitats; Ports; Dredging; Hay Point

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.

  • Future proofing Australia's Tropical Seagrasses: A Recovery and Restoration Framework for key Tropical Species (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Exploring the return of nursery function in recovering tropical seagrass meadows using capture methods and eDNA Metabarcoding. (PhD , Primary Advisor)

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


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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  • E1.016H, Health & Sciences (Cairns campus)
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