My research focus is on coastal and near-shore environmental physics, involving the synthesis of physical information with the biological and/or chemical characteristics of the environment.  Current work investigates impacts on coral reefs, including coral bleaching and disease, reef resilience and conservation management, within the context of climate change.  This work continues from my time with the US government's NOAA Coral Reef Watch program, with whom I remain affiliated.   I am currently co-leading the development and applications of a tool that rapidly assesses climate vulnerability of World Heritage properties (cvi-heritage.org), working with UNESCO World Heritage Centre and its advisory bodies. I previously held faculty positions at Penn State and Georgetown Universities.

  • MB1110: Introductory Marine Science (Level 1; TSV)
  • PH1005: Advanced Stream Physics 1 (Level 1; TSV)
  • PH2006: Marine Physics (Level 2; TSV)
  • PH3006: Oceanography and Meteorology (Level 3; TSV)
  • SC1102: Modelling Natural Systems (Level 1; TSV)
  • SC1109: Modelling Natural Systems-Advanced (Level 1; TSV)
  • Creatively communicating science
  • Coastal and near-shore environment
  • Ecological/biological connections
  • Ocean processes
  • Climate vulnerability of World Heritage properties
  • 2005 to 2019 - Adjunct Principal Research Fellow, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2003 to 2019 - Senior Physical Scientist, NOAA Coral Reef Watch (Washington DC/Townsville)
  • 2002 to 2003 - Assistant Professor, Georgetown University (Washington DC, USA)
  • 2001 to 2002 - Assistant Professor, Penn State University (Altoona PA, USA)
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 82+ research outputs authored by Dr Scott Heron from 1998 onwards.

Current Funding

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

Australian Research Council - Discovery - Projects

Developing a mechanistic basis for coral reef conservation

Indicative Funding
$60,000 over 2 years (administered by UNSW)
The health and reef-building capacity of coral reefs worldwide is challenged by a range of anthropogenic impacts, including global warming, sedimentation, eutrophication and ocean acidification. If coral reef ecosystems are to overcome these environmental challenges and persist into the future, corals must acclimate and/or adapt. This project will provide an evidence base for coral reef conservation to be targeted towards conserving regions that are found to be at greatest risk, and those that have the greatest capacity for resilience, to the projected near future climate change.
Tracy Ainsworth, Bill Leggat, Andrew Baird and Scott Heron (The University of New South Wales, The University of Newcastle, ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and PortMap Remote Ocean Sensing Pty Ltd)
Coral; Coral Reefs; Climate Change

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.

  • The Identification of Potential Links Between Fibropapilloma Prevalence in Green Sea Turtles (Chelonia Mydas) and Heavy metal Contamination Along the Great Barrier Reef, Australia (PhD , Secondary Advisor)
  • Seasonal water transports in Ambon Bay of eastern Indonesia and their influences on marine pollution (PhD , External Advisor)
  • Temporal and Spatial Variation in the Growth of Branching Corals (2016, PhD , External 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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  • 14.112, Engineering & Physical Sciences 2 (Townsville campus)
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