Dr Amelia Wenger

Senior Research Fellow

School of the Environment
Faculty of Science


I hold a joint position with the Wildlife Conservation Society as the Lead of the One Water Program and with UQ as a Senior Research Fellow. My research identifies and critically assesses management gaps and conservation solutions to benefit both nature and people. Paramount to all of my research is an interdisciplinary approach that emphasises the ecological and social connectivity of systems and the need for cross-sector collaboration. This approach ensures that I am producing the knowledge and tools that communities, conservation organizations, and governments need to balance conservation and development goals. A major research theme of mine is to improve wastewater management practices to achieve human health and ecosystem health goals. This research ties in and builds upon the research themes described below. I am the Lead Principal Investigator for a Science for Nature and People Partnership working group on improving coastal health through better wastewater management https://snappartnership.net/teams/improving-coastal-health/. Through my role at WCS, I support our programs in Melanesia, Indonesia, Kenya, and the Philippines with managing water pollution.

Research Impacts

A central tenet of my research program is to collaborate effectively to produce the knowledge and tools that communities, conservation organizations, and governments need to balance conservation and development goals. I have a proven track-record nationally and internationally of achieving this aim since arriving at UQ. As an NGO scientist, I work closely with country programs to support their conservation activities on the ground. My research on the effects of dredging on marine fisheries led to the world’s first evidence-based management guidelines for protecting coastal fisheries from dredging activities and were developed in close partnership with the Western Australian government. My research on understanding the impacts of logging on downstream resources in the Solomon Islands was used by local managers and stakeholders as a way to garner support for the creation of the largest protected area in the history of the country.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, James Cook University


  • Kuempel, Caitlin D., Thomas, Jacqueline, Wenger, Amelia, Jupiter, Stacy D., Suárez-Castro, Andrés F., Nasim, Nabeela, Klein, Carissa and Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove (2024). A spatial framework for improved sanitation to support coral reef conservation. Environmental Pollution, 342 123003, 123003. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2023.123003

  • McClanahan, T. R., Darling, E. S., Beger, M., Fox, H.E., Grantham, H. S., Jupiter, S. D., Logan, Cheryl A., Mcleod, E., McManus, L. C., Oddenyo, R. M., Surya, G. S., Wenger, A. S., Zinke, J. and Maina, J. M. (2023). Diversification of refugia types needed to secure the future of coral reefs subject to climate change. Conservation Biology, 38 (1) e14108, 1-19. doi: 10.1111/cobi.14108

  • Wakwella, Ama, Wenger, Amelia, Jenkins, Aaron, Lamb, Joleah, Kuempel, Caitlin D., Claar, Danielle, Corbin, Chris, Falinski, Kim, Rivera, Antonella, Grantham, Hedley S. and Jupiter, Stacy D. (2023). Integrated watershed management solutions for healthy coastal ecosystems and people. Cambridge Prisms: Coastal Futures, 1 e27, 1-41. doi: 10.1017/cft.2023.15

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  • Doctor Philosophy

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Book Chapter

  • Wear, Stephanie, Cunningham, Samantha, Feller, Ilka C., Fiorenza, Evan A., Frielaender, Ari, Halpern, Benjamin S., Hirashiki, Claire, Lamb, Joleah, Lovelock, Catherine E., McLean, Josette, Nichols, Ross C., Rogers, Ryan, Silliman, Brian, Silva, Denise da Piedade, Tuholske, Cascade, Thurber, Rebecca V. and Wenger, Amelia (2023). Wastewater Pollution Impacts on Estuarine and Marine Environments. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-323-90798-9.00084-6

  • Brodie, J., Grech, A., Pressey, B., Day, J., Dale, A.P., Morrison, T. and Wenger, A. (2019). The future of the Great Barrier Reef: the water quality imperative. Coasts and estuaries: the future. (pp. 477-499) edited by Eric Wolanski, John W. Day, Michael Elliott and Ramesh Ramachandran. Amsterdam, the Netherlands: Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/b978-0-12-814003-1.00028-9

  • Wenger, Amelia S., Fabricius, Katharina, Jones, Geoffrey and Brodie, Jon (2015). Effects of sedimentation, eutrophication, and chemical pollution on coral reef fishes. Ecology of fishes on coral reefs. (pp. 145-153) edited by Camilo Mora. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9781316105412.017

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision