About

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
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Fellowships
  • 1996 - Churchill Fellow
Publications

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
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 42+ 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.

Department of Innovation, Tourism Industry Development and the Commonwealth Games - Advance Queensland Small Business Innovation Research

Boosting coral abundance on the Great Barrier Reef - Scaling up coral restoration using innovative Symbiodinium co-culture and mass larval supply on reefs

Indicative Funding
$71,000 over 2 years (administered by Southern Cross University)
Summary
This project will supply millions of coral larvae and significantly increase the settlement and recruitment success of juvenile corals. This will rapidly replenish damaged GBR coral sites, restoring ecological functions and resilience of coral communities. Our concept will significantly increase the supply of high quality larvae of foundation corals and provide the world?s first mass production of larvae containing Symbiodinium microalgae, which will increase larval energy and settlement success and survival of newly settled corals. Innovations include coral larval restoration at larger scales (hundreds of square metres) than previous studies and pioneering front-line diagnostics to confer thermal tolerance in coral recruits. Our team includes world-leading researchers with decades of relevant experience collaborating directly with tourism and other Queensland businesses to provide cost-effective outcomes that can be commercially scaled to restore large reef areas in future.
Investigators
Katie Chartrand, Robert Coles and Alexandra Carter (TropWATER)
Keywords
Symbiodinium spp.; Coral larvae; Coral spawning; restoration; Coral reef; Great Barrier Reef

QLD Department of Agriculture and Fisheries - Contract Research

Green Mussel Monitoring Proposal 2017 - Weipa Plankton Sampling and Sample Processing

Indicative Funding
$64,445 over 2 years
Summary
This project will sample plankton for the presence of AGM larval DNA at two locations; Weipa Harbour, and the Amrun project site to the south of Weipa. It will meet the initial requirements of the Weipa Asian Green Mussel Surveillance Strategy. The collection will follow protocols previously used in Cairns Harbour and will rely on expertise developed by TropWATER scientists to collect, process and transport DNA material for analysis and to report the results.
Investigators
Robert Coles, Michael Rasheed and Alysha Sozou in collaboration with Carissa Reason, Lloyd Shepherd and T Sankey (TropWATER)
Keywords
Asia Green Mussel; Plankton; Survey; Biosecurity; DNA

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
Summary
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.
Investigators
Samantha Tol, Brad Congdon and Robert Coles (College of Science & Engineering and TropWATER)
Keywords
tropical seagrass; Dugong (Dugong dugon); Chelonia mydas; Seagrass Dispersal; Seagrass Seed; Seagrass Fruit

Department of the Environment and Energy - 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)
Summary
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.
Investigators
Robert Coles, Michael Rasheed and Alexandra Carter in collaboration with Skye McKenna and Leath Muller (TropWATER and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority)
Keywords
Seagrass; Queensland; Management; Zoning; map; Great Barrier Reef

SeaWorld Research and Rescue Foundation Inc - Research Grant

Seagrass seed dispersal by marine mega-herbivores: Dugong dugon and Chelonia mydas

Indicative Funding
$18,500
Summary
This project will investigate whether marine mega-herbivores (dugongs and sea turtles) disperse seagrass seeds through their faecal matter after feeding and whether those seeds are viable, and whether those seeds have an increased, decreased or equal germination success rate. In addition, dugong feeding creates plant fragments and we intend to study if these are viable and can successfully settle and establish. The knowledge gained from this project will be used to investigate strategies for seagrass meadow reestablishment and the role marine mega-herbivores play in that process. We intend to model strategies for seagrass recovery and create a model which will determine which seagrass meadows are at risk, allowing for targeted management on vulnerable meadows.
Investigators
Robert Coles in collaboration with Samantha Tol and Brad Congdon (TropWATER and College of Science & Engineering)
Keywords
Tropical Seagrass; Dugong (Dugong dugon); Chelonia mydas; Seagrass Dispersal; Seagrass Seed; Seagrass Fruit
Supervision

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.

Current
  • Relative Importance of Different Seagrass Re-Establishment Strategies in Tropical Queensland (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
Data

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.

Collaboration

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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Similar to me

  1. A/Prof Mark Hamann
    College of Science & Engineering
  2. Dr Brad Congdon
    College of Science & Engineering
  3. Ms Skye McKenna
    TropWATER
  4. Prof Helene Marsh
    Division of Tropical Environments & Societies
  5. Dr Alana Grech
    ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies