James Cook University
Research Field: Coral reef ecology and conservation

Coral reef ecosystems host the greatest number of species of any marine habitat. However, the condition of coral reefs is deteriorating in many locations around the world through a combination of climate change, overfishing, and pollution. Dr Graham’s research seeks to find solutions to these problems, by assessing how coral reefs respond to impacts and how effective different forms of management are. He uses a combination of underwater surveys of corals and fish and questionnaires of how people interact with reefs and has found that many solutions to reef degradation
lie with how humans use reefs.

Nicholas has given advice to management agencies, such as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the PNG National Fishing Authority. In 2011 he participated in the Australian Academy of Science Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank: ‘Stressed ecosystems: better decisions for Australia’s future’. Recent interviews about his work have been published in The Australian, New Scientist and National Geographic Explorer magazine. Nicholas regularly gives talks in local schools and rotary clubs, and often public lectures when conducting fieldwork overseas.