In Progress


In Progress

Citizen Science

Great Barrier Reef Citizen Science Alliance

People powered science

Citizen science groups across the Great Barrier Reef are a powerful force, collecting important information on everything from mangroves to manta rays, and coral to coastal habitats. The Great Barrier Reef Citizen Science Alliance brings many of these groups from across Queensland together with a vision for a coordinated approach. Citizen science gives everyone the opportunity to work together to help protect the Reef.

Incubations for photosynthetic measures

James Cook University

Seagrass cuts carbon

Could CO2-loving seagrasses help save reefs from the adverse effects of ocean acidification? Could seagrasses be used to reduce carbon levels and acidity in the waters surrounding vulnerable reefs? Scientists are exploring the relationship between seagrass abundance, amounts of carbon dioxide in the water and levels of acidity as a significant step towards answering these questions.

Settlement at 7 months

Southern Cross University

Novel surfaces to restore reefs

Finding the ideal surface for coral larvae to settle on and grow is an important step towards being able to restore and regenerate damaged coral reefs. Unlike mature corals which are immobile, coral larvae swim freely before they ‘settle down’, using environmental cues to seek out suitable places to live. The Novel Surfaces project is using artificial surfaces embedded with microcrevices of differing sizes to determine which physical characteristics are most appealing to coral larvae.

Acropora tenuis Coral spawning


Predicting coral larvae travel connections

Coral larvae travel along on currents before settling to grow. This helps sustain the flow of new life and genetic diversity across Reef. Coral larvae are far too small to accurately track. The only effective way to predict their travel habits is through scientific modelling. This research is improving the accuracy of coral larvae modelling.


Australian Institute of Marine Science

Mapping ocean chemistry

Ocean acidification is a major concern for the future of the Great Barrier Reef. Having an accurate picture of the changing ocean chemistry on the Reef is vitally important. The Ocean Acidification Visualisation project will take all the data collected from the Foundation-funded carbon chemistry monitoring programs, and use innovative tools and technology to create maps of carbon chemistry and vulnerability for the whole of the Great Barrier Reef.

Sea grapes, Caulerpa racemosa

University of Queensland

Cumulative impact

Predicting the future impact of reef management decisions is the challenge set for this pilot study. With an initial focus on the Capricorn Bunker group, researchers are working to develop the first spatially-realistic model of reef dynamics for the Great Barrier Reef.


James Cook University

Seagrass responds to climate change

Seagrass meadows are critical to the Reef, providing a nursery for reef fish and feeding grounds for turtles and dugongs. Understanding how climate change affects seagrasses is essential. Research to date has revealed both positive and negative impacts.