Major research projects and partners
Major research projects and work by our research partners are constantly revealing new information about the Great Barrier Reef which is ensuring management decisions are based on the best available science.
Scientific research is essential in understanding the functioning, health and resilience of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem and improving its protection and management.
There are many research and information programs conducted in the Marine Park. These range from small independent student projects to large, multi-agency collaborative programs with teams of world-leading scientists.
Topics can include the effects of line fishing and monitoring coral health to seagrass surveys and monitoring water quality.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) works closely with a number of external scientists and research providers to deliver information that helps with the management of the Marine Park.
Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) research programs support management of tropical marine environments around the world, with a primary focus on the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, the Ningaloo Marine Park in Western Australia and north-west Australia. AIMS research programs include:
- Responding to Climate Change
- Ecosystem Health
- Marine Microbes
- Sustainable Use of Marine Resources
- Water Quality
James Cook University conducts research in areas such as marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology and environments, global warming, tourism and climate change.
The Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies is funded through the Australian Government and is a partnership between James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the University of Western Australia, the Australian National University, GBRMPA and the University of Queensland. The centre carries out a wide range of research on the sustainable use and management of coral reefs.
The National Environmental Research Program (NERP) is an Australian Government grants program that provides around $20 million per annum for applied environmental research. The knowledge generated through the NERP will help improve our capacity to understand, manage and conserve Australia's unique biodiversity and ecosystems through the generation of world-class research and its delivery to environmental decision makers and stakeholders.
The NERP Tropical Ecosystems Hub has a major focus on the Great Barrier Reef. Their work will help us to understand and manage the cumulative impacts of global, regional and local stressors on the biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.
Research will also be conducted on the effects of existing management strategies, as well as developing catchment and near shore management and adaptation strategies to improve resilience, and ecosystem-based management of Great Barrier Reef fisheries.
The Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF), was administered in north Queensland by the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Ltd. The MTSRF was part of the Australian Government's Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities program, Status and Trends of Species and Ecosystems in the Great Barrier Reef. Projects included:
- Species and communities of conservation concern
- Climate change: Great Barrier Reef
- Understanding threats and impacts of invasive pests in ecosystems
- Halting and reversing decline in water quality
- Sustainable use and management of marine resources of the Great Barrier Reef
The Centre for Marine Studies at the University of Queensland maintains a research program that spans many fields of marine and coastal science.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.