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Professor Peter Harrison

Professor Peter Harrison

Dr Peter Harrison is currently Professor in Marine Ecology and Director of Marine Studies at Southern Cross University, Director of the SCU Marine Ecology Research Centre, Director of the SCU Coral Reef Research and Whale Research teams, and serves as a member on a range of scientific committees including the Australian Government's National Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

Peter is an internationally recognised research leader in coral reproduction studies and has more than 30 years marine research, teaching and consultancy experience. Much of Peter’s research has focussed on coral reef ecology, and he was a founding member of the coral research team at James Cook University that discovered the mass coral spawning phenomenon on the Great Barrier Reef in the early 1980s. This pioneering work led to the joint award of the Eureka Prize for Environmental Research in 1992.

Since then he has published more than 100 scientific research papers, books, invited major review chapters and major reports, which have been cited more than 2,300 times. He has been awarded multiple prizes for research and University teaching and has had a new coral species named after him, Porites harrisoni (Veron 2000). Peter has been awarded more than $5 million in research grants and consultancies, and has successfully supervised 35 PhD, Masters and Honours students, and currently supervises another 12 PhD and Masters students on marine science topics.

His major current research interests include global patterns of coral reproduction, impacts of pollution and stress on corals and reefs, coral reef ecology and reef rehabilitation, long-term monitoring of marine communities, telomere ageing of humpback whales and supervising whale and dolphin ecology and conservation projects. Peter's research has focused on the Great Barrier Reef and subtropical reefs in eastern Australia, with additional research in Japan, Micronesia, French Polynesia, the Arabian Gulf, Florida, the Bahamas, Maldives, Papua New Guinea and New Caledonia.

Peter is passionate about marine science and has featured in more than 20 television documentaries and many hundreds of other media interviews on television, radio, newspapers and magazines to highlight marine research and promote conservation.

Professor Peter Harrison has advised, contributed and collaborated on David Hannan's projects since the 1980s when David first filmed coral spawning. More recently David captured groundbreaking images of coral polyps predating on plankton with Peter's direct involvement and he regularly consults on all matters to do with coral and marine biology and ecology for David’s projects.

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg #

Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg is currently Professor and Director at the Centre for Marine Studies and also Director of the Global Change Institute both at The University of Queensland. Ove also heads the Coral Reef Ecosystems Lab with over 30 researchers & students who focus on how global warming and ocean acidification are affecting coral reefs now and into the future.

He completed his BSc Hons at the University of Sydney and PhD at UCLA in 1989, and has spent the past 20 years working on climate change issues within marine ecosystems. Ove has held academic positions at UCLA, Stanford University, The University of Sydney and The University of Queensland and is currently a member of the Australian Climate Group; the Royal Society (London) Marine Advisory Network; and the Board of Editing Reviewers at Science Magazine.

Ove was recognised with the Eureka Prize in 1999 for “ground-breaking research into the physiological basis of coral bleaching”. His published works include over 180 refereed publications and book chapters. Three of his publications are now the 1st, 4th and 6th most cited works over the past 10 years in the area of “climate change”.

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg became the Queensland Smart State Premier's Fellow in 2009, a position he will hold for 5 years. Recently Ove was selected as the Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 30, “Open Oceans”, to the Working Group II (WGII) contribution of the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

He is a great communicator, regular media advisor and frequent contributor to David Hannan's projects and recently featured in the 28min educational video "Climate Change: Coral Reefs on the Edge" produced for Education Services Australia, as part of the national online education initiative.

Check out the new website of the Global Change Institute here:

Dr J.E.N. ('Charlie') Veron #

Dr J.E.N. ('Charlie') Veron

Charlie has five university degrees including MSc, PhD and DSc in different fields.

He was the first full-time researcher on the Great Barrier Reef back in 1972 and the first scientist employed by the Australian Institute of Marine Science. He became Chief Scientist of that organisation in 1997, a position he held for 7 years.

Charlie has authored over 100 scientific publications on almost everything to do with corals from palaeontology, taxonomy and biogeography to physiology and molecular science. He has also published widely on other subjects notably evolution, mass extinctions and, more recently, climate change. His best-known publications are:

  1. The five volume monograph Scleractinia of Eastern Australia which created the basis of a new, now universally used, coral taxonomy.
  2. The three volume Corals of the World, commonly nicknamed ‘The Coral Bible’.
  3. A Reef in Time: The Great Barrier Reef from Beginning to End published by Harvard in 2008.
A Reef in Time: The Great  Barrier Reef from Beginning to End

Charlie was awarded the Darwin Medal for his work on evolution, the AMSA Jubilee Pin for his coral taxonomy and a series of other awards for various publications. His most recent international journal award was ‘paper of the year’ which linked ocean acidification to mass extinctions.

Charlie has discovered nearly ¼ of the world’s coral species, and mapped and re-described them all. This work has underpinned most major reef conservation initiatives over the past two decades including the Coral Triangle, which he discovered. 

Many of the leading coral scientists today have been directly influenced and inspired by his pioneering research. 

He has been diving continually since he was 18, chalking-up over 7000 hours underwater since taking up diving in the mid 1960's. He has participated in 67 expeditions to all the major reef regions of the world.

Over the past decade, Charlie has been working on the big picture of climate change science, especially future impacts on coral reefs. He now devotes most of his time to developing two major online-web publications which will provide all users with detailed global information about corals at all levels and which will track future changes in their abundance and diversity. 

Most importantly, Charlie is taking a lead role in raising public awareness of the future plight of coral reefs. To this end, he recently gave a major speech to an emergency meeting of the Royal Society supported by David Attenborough and has had wide exposure to the full spectrum of national and international media, all strongly endorsed by the scientific community.

Prophetically, he has been nicknamed ‘Charlie’ after Charles Darwin since childhood. 

For more details about his work visit also:

Roger Steene
Oceanic Wilderness

Latest book by Roger Steene


Roger Steene

Explorer, author and master underwater photographer, Roger is expert onboard marine consultant on Davids filming expeditions to Papua New Guinea.

Widely acknowledged as one of the worlds great underwater naturalist photographers, Roger Steene has explored coral reefs for over 40 years with expert marine scientists, contributed to a dozen field guide books (many with Dr Gerald Allen) and most recently published highlights of his vast record of marine life in massive large-format volumes entitled "Coral Reefs -  Natures Richest Realm" and "Oceanic Wilderness".

Like visions of another world, Roger's photographs have a magical quality that delight anyone with an interest in animals, the sea or photography in general. His meticulous attention to detail conveys vivid impressions of marine life and extensive knowledge gained by determination and sheer dive hours spent on coral reefs.

Concentrating on close-up photography, including microscopic work, some of his subjects are animals that have neither been recorded or named. Affiliated as an Associate of the Australian Museum in Sydney and the Western Australian Museum in Perth, he has had several new species named after him including a recently discovered Lionfish.

Now a resident of Cairns, north-east Australia, he has always lived close to the Great Barrier Reef. Roger is a fun-loving, no-nonsense, down-to-earth Aussie who loves the oceans and its creatures, shuns publicity and just aims at perfection.

His contribution to David Hannans work and that of many others has been invaluable.

Check out Rogers latest publication here:

Colours of the Reef

Roger Steene Photos

Photos by Roger Steene


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