About us

our researchers, partners, students & support staff

Research Capacity

GLOW was established at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia in March 2018. Professor Rod Connolly directs GLOW, with Professor Brendan Mackey and Associate Professor Chris Brown providing leadership support to newly recruited research and support personnel.

The international, interdisciplinary team advances research under three themes:

Measuring Health
What is a ‘healthy’ wetland? How can we measure it efficiently? We’re answering these questions, with new analyses and tools.

Improving Action
We’re mapping current action and guiding potential future actions to protect and restore coastal wetland habitats globally.

Engaging Authentically
We’re working with communities and managers to help them care for coastal wetlands in ways that support biodiversity and human livelihoods.

GLOW is truly global in scope. Key partner investigators are working closely with researchers based at Griffith University, Australia to produce and trial the science behind better wetland care. This includes direct collaborations with key researchers at each site, and their host institutions.

Our diverse team includes scientists with field, lab and management expertise in coastal wetlands all over the world. This includes broad experience across different methods, cultures and ecosystems.

The group has previously worked on resilience, connectivity, multiple stressors, planning and biodiversity. Our researchers have:

  • Prioritised actions for wetland conservation.
  • Predicted impacts of multiple stressors to coastal ecosystems.
  • Developed adaptive management frameworks for ecological assets.
  • Contributed to global ecosystem assessments for conserving blue forests.
  • Developed new tools for efficient monitoring of ecosystems.
  • Led and communicated large research programs.

Researchers

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Professor Rod Connolly

Director | Griffith University, Australia

Marine scientist using automated monitoring to help improve conservation outcomes for coastal ecosystems.

Director of the Coastal and Marine Research Centre, Griffith University, one of the most comprehensive coastal advisory services in Australia

r.connolly@griffith.edu.au

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Professor Brendan Mackey

Research Leader | Griffith University, Australia

Director of the Climate Action Beacon, interested in science-based policy formation. Leads GLOW work in Vanuatu.

b.mackey@griffith.edu.au

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Dr Christina Beulow

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Quantitative ecologist interested in establishing confidence in coastal ecosystem conservation.

c.buelow@griffith.edu.au

 

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Dr Jaramar Villarreal Rosas

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Conservation scientist that integrates spatial analysis, decision science, and social theories that explain people’s values and perceptions of nature to explore pathways to achieve on-the-ground positive outcomes for biodiversity and local communities.

j.villarrealrosas@griffith.edu.au

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Associate Professor Chris Brown

Research Leader | Griffith University, Australia

Marine ecosystem modeller (including multiple stressors). Interested in numbers that shake up the politics of saving nature.

Awarded an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship for the project Predicting coastal ecological futures in an era of unprecedented change.

chris.brown@griffith.edu.au

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Dr Fernanda Adame

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Studies ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands, including carbon sequestration and coastal protection, with active projects in Mexico.

f.adame@griffith.edu.au

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César Herrera

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Studies biodiversity and ecosystem functioning relationship using novel technologies. Developing hardware and software that increase reliability of ecological predictions.

c.herrera@griffith.edu.au

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Sebastian Lopez-Marcano

Research Fellow (Data Science) | Griffith University, Australia

Project Manager of the Australian Research Data Commons FishID platform. Developing and applying AI solutions to AgTech, conservation and education.

s.lopez-marcano@griffith.edu.au

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Dr Michael Sievers

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Experimental and field biologist with a focus on vertebrate ecology, interested in ecosystem assessment frameworks.

Awarded an Australian Research Council Discovery Early Career Researcher Award for the project Redefining success in marine ecosystem restoration.

m.sievers@griffith.edu.au

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Dr Mischa Turschwell

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Statistical ecologist in spatial modelling. Background in freshwater systems, thermal regimes and Bayesian models.

m.turschwell@griffith.edu.au

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Dr Ryan Pearson

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Community and population ecologist. Background in sea turtles, isotopes, and broad ecological concepts for management.

r.pearson@griffith.edu.au

Global Partner Sites

PEARL RIVER, CHINA

The Pearl River system is China’s 3rd-longest. The river meets the South China Sea at Hong Kong, in one of the most densely-urbanised regions of the world. This presents some real challenges for conserving the system’s coastal wetlands.

RESEARCH PARTNER: Shing-Yip (Joe) Lee
INSTITUTION: Chinese University of Hong Kong

MORETON BAY, AUSTRALIA

Covering more than 80 km of Queensland’s South East coast, from the Gold Coast north beyond Brisbane, Moreton Bay supports significant seagrass, mangrove and saltmarsh habitats. Increasing urbanisation and other threats are currently being managed under an integrated plan.

 

RESEARCH PARTNER: Paul Maxwell
INSTITUTION: Alluvium

MARISMAS NACIONALES, MEXICO

Marismas Nacionales is located in the north-western Pacific coast of Mexico and contains a large complex of brine coastal lagoons, mangroves, muddy bogs or swamps, and ravines. We are working with WWF-US and WWF Mexico to help select sites for mangrove restoration that are resilient to sea level rise.

 

RESEARCH PARTNERS: Fernanda Adame and Jaramar Villareal-Rosas
INSTITUTION: Griffith University

 

Photo credit: Davazquezq, CC BY-SA 3.0 ES, via Wikimedia Commons

EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA

The coast of South Africa features hundreds of estuaries, covering a wide range of climates and bioregions. Sub-tropical mangroves transition to salt marsh from Mozambique to Cape Town and beyond. There are a range of communities and threats in these systems.

 

RESEARCH PARTNER: Anusha Rajkaran
INSTITUTION: University of the Western Cape

SUNDARBANS, INDIA

The Sundarbans mangrove forest spans 10,000 square km along the Bay of Bengal, on the southern coasts of India and Bangladesh. The massive area is considered one of the wonders of the natural world.

 

RESEARCH PARTNER: Mahua Roy Chowdhury
INSTITUTION: University of Calcutta

RIA DE AVEIRO, PORTUGALRia de Aveiro, Portugal

Located on the north-west coast of Portugal, Ria de Aveiro is a social-ecological complex coastal lagoon, whose natural capital is an important factor for the development of the municipalities surrounding the lagoon.  Extensive saltmarshes and seagrass meadows contribute to the high biodiversity of this shallow coastal lagoon.

 

RESEARCH PARTNER: Ana Sousa
INSTITUTION: University of Aveiro

TANNA ISLAND, VANUATU

GLOW is working with Griffith University’s EcoAdapt project on Tanna Island. Previous research in micro-economics, conservation policy and climate change is informing our research on coastal wetlands.

 

RESEARCH PARTNER: Brendan Mackey
INSTITUTION: Griffith University

PARTNER RESEARCHERS

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Dr Mahua Roy Chowdhury

Research Scholar | University of Calcutta, India

Expert in mangrove growth and ecosystem health, including phytoremediation.

mahuarishra@gmail.com

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Dr Paul Maxwell

Principal Scientist | Alluvium, Australia

Marine ecologist working on the stability and health of coastal ecosystems.

paul.maxwell@alluvium.com.au 

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Dr Anusha Rajkaran

Senior Lecturer | Western Cape, South Africa

Estuarine ecologist studying macrophyte dynamics and coastal management.

arajkaran@uwc.ac.za

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Professor Shing-Yip (Joe) Lee

Professor | Chinese University of Hong Kong

Director of the Simon F S Li Marine Science Laboratory and Chair of the IUCN Mangrove Specialist Group.

joesylee@cuhk.edu.hk

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Dr Ana Sousa

Researcher | University of Aveiro, Portugal

Marine ecologist focused on wetlands dynamics, vulnerability, biodiversity and ecosystem services.

anaisousa@ua.pt

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Dr Dominic Andradi-Brown

Marine Scientist | WWF-US Oceans Conservation Program

Expert in coastal conservation, observation and governance.

Dominic.Andradi-Brown@wwfus.org

Students

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Alyssa Giffin

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Coral-seagrass connections for fisheries and their role in Ecosystem Based Adaptation.

a.giffin@griffith.edu.au

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Sebastian Lopez-Marcano

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Machine learning for wetland conservation: tracking fish abundance and movement.

s.lopez-marcano@griffith.edu.au

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Andria Ostrowski

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Stressors in the real world: evaluating impacts of multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems.

andria.ostrowski@griffith.edu.au

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Laura Griffiths

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Managing vulnerable coastal environments for interactions among multiple threats.

laura.griffiths2@griffithuni.edu.au

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Ellen Ditria

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Automated data analysis using machine and deep learning for ecosystem services and marine conservation.

ellen.ditria@griffithuni.edu.au

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Kristin Jinks

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Valuing seagrass ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area – their role in food webs.

kristin.jinks@griffithuni.edu.au

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Olivia King

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Assessing the interactive effects of multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems.

olivia.king@griffithuni.edu.au

Students

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Alyssa Giffin

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Coral-seagrass connections for fisheries and their role in Ecosystem Based Adaptation.

a.giffin@griffith.edu.au

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Sebastian Lopez-Marcano

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Machine learning for wetland conservation: tracking fish abundance and movement.

s.lopez-marcano@griffith.edu.au

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Andria Ostrowski

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Stressors in the real world: evaluating impacts of multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems.

andria.ostrowski@griffith.edu.au

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Laura Griffiths

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Managing vulnerable coastal environments for interactions among multiple threats.

laura.griffiths2@griffithuni.edu.au

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Ellen Ditria

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Automated data analysis using machine and deep learning for ecosystem services and marine conservation.

ellen.ditria@griffithuni.edu.au

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Kristin Jinks

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Valuing seagrass ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area – their role in food webs.

kristin.jinks@griffithuni.edu.au

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Olivia King

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Assessing the interactive effects of multiple stressors in coastal ecosystems.

olivia.king@griffithuni.edu.au

Support staff

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Briana Holgate

GIS Analyst | Griffith University, Australia

Spatial ecologist with previous research in ecoacoustics and soundscape modelling.

b.holgate@griffith.edu.au

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Michaela Kitchingman

Research Assistant | Griffith University, Australia

Field, laboratory and administration support for the GLOW program.

m.kitchingman@griffith.edu.au

Alumni

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Dr Tom Rayner

Science Communicator | Griffith University, Australia

Stakeholder engagement, facilitation, comms strategy and digital content. Now at NSW DPI Fisheries.

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Yota Harada

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Food-web consequences of the world’s largest mangrove forest die-off.

 

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Zoë Carnahan

Undergraduate | Griffith University, Australia

Work Integrated Learning placement with GLOW. Now at University of Tasmania.

 

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Marina Richardson

Science Communicator | Griffith University, Australia

Science Communicator. Now a PhD Candidate at Griffith University researching shellfish reef restoration and the diversity of reef building bivalves.

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Adam Shand

Research Assistant | Griffith University, Australia

Provided field and laboratory support for the GLOW program.

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Tyler Hoffman

Research Assistant | Griffith University, Australia

Field, lab and admin support for the GLOW program. Now at University of the Sunshine Coast.

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Dale Bryan-Brown

PhD Candidate | Griffith University, Australia

Marine connectivity and dispersal in habitat-forming species. Now teaching in Northern Territory.

 

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Dr Eva McClure

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Marine ecologist interested in informing conservation by understanding species responses to environmental drivers.

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Eric Jinks

Senior Software Engineer | Griffith University, Australia

Developed digital tools for conservation management, including machine learning and web-based apps.

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Dr Jodie Haig

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Marine ecologist interested in linking conservation science to policy outcomes. Now at QLD Government.

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Zoë Carey

Research Assistant | Griffith University, Australia

Provided field, laboratory and administration support for the GLOW program.

 

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Dr Viv Tulloch

Research Fellow | Griffith University, Australia

Conservation decision-maker and modeller interested in how natural and human disturbances affect biodiversity and natural resources. Now at University of British Columbia.

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Natasha Watson

Science Communicator | Griffith University, Australia

Delivered communication, engagement and digital content for the GLOW project.