Rob has a long history translating scientific research into effective management advice and policy. He has a BSc in Zoology, an Honours degree (1st Class) in Entomology and a PhD in Fisheries from the University of Queensland.

He has worked as an entomologist, a fisheries scientist, a fisheries manager in the Torres Strait, as environment and regional manager for the Queensland government and as a seagrass scientist and research administrator.

Rob was the founding secretary of the World Seagrass Association and has a long history of promoting seagrass and coastal management research in the Indo-Pacific region.

Research Disciplines
  • 1996 - Churchill Fellow

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
Conference Papers

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 38+ research outputs authored by Dr Robert Coles from 2007 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Royal Zoological Society of New South Wales - Research Grant

The role of seagrass dispersal by marine mega-herbivores, dugong (Dugong dugon) and green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas).

Indicative Funding
$7,000 over 3 years
This project will investigate the dispersal mechanisms of tropical seagrasses and determine which mechanisms are most effective for long distance dispersal. It will examine whether marine mega-herbivores (dugongs and green sea turtles) disperse seagrass seeds through their fecal matter and whether those seeds are viable. It will determine how long seagrass fragments, created by abiotic and biotic mechanisms, remain viable and establish new meadows. This information will be used to model which seagrass meadows are at greater risk of slow recovery after a large scale loss. This recovery model will have the potential to highlight which seagrass meadows rely solely on dispersal by marine mega-herbivores for recovery.
Samantha Tol, Brad Congdon and Robert Coles (College of Science & Engineering and TropWATER)
tropical seagrass; Dugong (Dugong dugon); Chelonia mydas; Seagrass Dispersal; Seagrass Seed; Seagrass Fruit

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

Seagrass mapping synthesis - A resource for marine park and coastal management

Indicative Funding
$36,000 (administered by Reef and Rainforest Research Centre)
Key to understanding the desired state of Queensland seagrasses is reliable data on seagrass distribution, abundance and species composition, and how this changes through time. Also valuable is the ability to reliably 'drill' down from large-scale (World Heritage Area) to small-scale estuaries and meadows. TropWATER provides a composite map of seagrass for the GBRWHA available through E-Atlas, GBRMPA and Pangaea. However this layer has not been updated since 2010 and is missing changes from important areas and extensive new data, and provides no meadow-specific information. This project will recompile existing GIS layers, update with 2010-2015 data, and provide meadow-specific information.
Robert Coles, Michael Rasheed and Alexandra Carter in collaboration with Skye McKenna and Leath Muller (TropWATER and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority)
Seagrass; Queensland; Management; Zoning; map; Great Barrier Reef

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.

  • Relative Importance of Different Seagrass Re-Establishment Strategies in Tropical Queensland (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)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

Advisory Accreditation
Primary Advisor
Find me on…
Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for Scopus Author page Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for ORCID profile

Similar to me

  1. Dr Brad Congdon
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. Ms Skye McKenna
  3. Dr Michael Rasheed