Professor Peter Mumby

VC Research and Teaching Fellowship

School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Science
p.j.mumby@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 51686

Overview

Peter began his career helping to design MPAs in Belize, Central America. On realising how little science was available to guide this he moved to the University of Sheffield to undertake a PhD on the use of remote sensing for mapping coral reefs, seagrass beds and mangroves. After his PhD, Peter won a NERC Post-doctoral Fellowship to study ecological processes on coral reefs and moved to the University of Newcastle to join the Centre for Tropical Coastal Management Studies. He was then awarded a Royal Society Fellowship to integrate empirical ecological data into models of coral reefs with a view to studying how changes in human activity can affect the health of reefs. At this point he moved to the University of Exeter where he was made Professor at the age of 34. In 2010, Peter moved closer to coral reefs when he moved to the University of Queensland to take up an ARC Laureate Fellowship. He loves living in Australia! Peter was awarded a Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation in 2010, and is also winner of the Rosenstiel Award for excellence in marine biology and fisheries, and the Marsh Award for contributions to marine conservation.

Research Interests

  • Overview
    Our research focuses on delivering science to improve the management of coral reefs. We carry out empirical ecological studies at scales ranging from millimetres (algal patch dynamics) to thousands of kilometres (gene flow in Caribbean corals) in an effort to plug gaps in our understanding of reef processes. Empirical data are then used to develop ecosystem models from which we can investigate the effectiveness of conservation measures in mitigating disturbance on reefs including climate change. Lastly, we combine the ecological models with remotely-sensed data to allow spatial conservation planning such as marine reserve design.
  • Where we work
    Caribbean: Bahamas, Belize, Bonaire; Pacific: Palau, Great Barrier Reef, French Polynesia; Indian Ocean: Philippines, Indonesia

Research Impacts

We study how changes in management policy, such as implementing no-take marine reserves, reducing pollution, and keeping healthy mangrove systems, can influence the health and future of coral reefs. This involves extensive collaborations with decision-makers and colleagues in many areas. Our research has influenced policy in the following areas:

- Helped foster a change in the Belize government's policy over the fishing of parrotfishes, which led to a ban of this practice as requested by fishermen

- Influenced decisions in Bonaire to protect herbivores and ban the use of fish traps

- Continues to assist the Bahamas National Trust with their conservation planning, including the designation of MPAs for a resilient future

- Provide advisory briefs on the impacts of fishing on coral reef ecosystems and practical ways of reducing impacts without necessitating a ban

- Provide compelling evidence that mangroves are an important nursery ground for reef fish and fisheries productivity benefits from their preservation

- Provide tools to operationalise the mapping of reef resilience to climate change and other stressors

- Provide practical information on the cost-effectiveness and realistic setting of expectations for habitat mapping in the tropical coastal zone

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (honours) in Marine Biology, University of Liverpool
  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sheffield

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Samper-Villarreal, Jimena, Mumby, Peter, Lovelock, Catherine E. and Saunders, Megan (2013). Carbon storage in seagrass meadows across gradients in water quality. In: Program and Abstract Handbook: AMSA2013 Golden Jubilee Conference. AMSA 2013: Australian Marine Science Golden Jubilee Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, (197-197). 7-11 July 2013.

  • Saunders, Megan I., Baldock, Tom, Brown, Christopher J., Callaghan, David P., Golshani, Aliastair, Hamylton, Sarah, Leon, Javier, Lovelock, Catherine E., Lyons, Mitchell B., O'Brien, Katherine R., Mumby, Peter J., Phinn, Stuart R. and Roelfsema, Christiaan M. (2013). Direct and indirect impacts of predicted sea level rise on seagrass. In: Program and Abstract Handbook: AMSA2013 Golden Jubilee Conference. AMSA 2013: Australian Marine Science Golden Jubilee Conference, Gold Coast, Australia, (198-198). 7-11 July 2013.

  • Golshani, Aliasghar, Baldock, Tom E., Mumby, Peter J., Callaghan, David, Nielsen, Peter and Phinn, Stuart (2012). Climate impacts on hydrodynamics and sediment dynamics at reef islands. In: D. Yellowlees and T. P. Hughes, Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium. 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, Cairns, Australia, (). 9-3 July 2012.

  • Aliasghar, G., Baldock, T. E., Mumby, P. and Callaghan, D. P. (2012). Study of climate change impact on reef island shores using the swan model. In: Coast to Coast 2012, Brisbane, Australia, (). 17-21 September 2012.

  • Renken, Henk and Mumby, Peter J. (2009). Modelling the dynamics of coral reef macroalgae using a Bayesian belief network approach. In: Ecological Modelling. Euopean Conference on Ecological Modelling, Trieste, Italy, (1305-1314). 27-30 November 2007. doi:10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.02.022

  • Mumby, Peter J. (2001). A synopsis of mangrove remote sensing. In: Bhat, N.R., Taha, F.K. and Al-Nasser, A.Y., Mangrove ecosystems: Natural distribution, biology and management. International Symposium on Mangrove Ecology and Biology, Kuwait, (3-6). 25-27 April 1998.

  • Mumby, PJ, Baker, MA, Raines, PS, Ridley, JM and Phillips, AT (1994). The Potential of Spot Panchromatic Imagery as a Tool for Mapping Coral-Reefs. In: Proceedings of the Second Thematic Conference On Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments: Needs, Solutions, and Applications, Vols I and II. 2nd Thematic Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments: Needs, Solutions, and Applications, New Orleans La, (A259-A267). Jan 31-Feb 02, 1994.

  • Mumby, P. J., Baker, M. A., Raines, P. S., Ridley, J. M. and Philips, A. T. (1994). The potential of spot panchromatic imagery as a tool for mapping coral reefs. In: Proceedings of the Second Thematic Conference On Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments - Needs, Solutions, and Applications, Vol I. 2nd Thematic Conference on Remote Sensing for Marine and Coastal Environments - Needs, Solutions, and Applications, New Orleans, LA, United States, (259-267). 31 January - 2 February 1994.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

Completed Supervision