Dr Ian McLeod
Coastal restoration, specialising in shellfish restoration
James Cook University
Vast shellfish reefs were once common in Australia. These reefs were made up of oysters and mussels growing on top of one another until they reached meters above the sea floor. Harvesting these reefs for food and to burn their shells for lime production was once Australia’s largest marine industry. However, because of overfishing using destructive fishing practices, coastal development, pollution and disease, less than 1% of Australia’s shellfish reefs are left today. Along with providing food and jobs these reefs likely provided food and homes for fish, improved water quality, and protected shores from storms. Dr McLeod’s research is focused on finding and describing the last shellfish reefs in Australia to provide goals for restoration projects, improving techniques to scale-up restoration efforts and estimating the benefits of restoration to build a business case for restoration.
Ian is a Co-founder of Cinematic Science, a production company that uses professional cinematic techniques and socially innovative campaigns to tell unique science-based stories. Clients have included Yahoo!, Discovery Channel, DFAT and the CSIRO. He has over 5000 followers on Twitter and built up the @enviro_sci account to have the highest levels of engagement of any Australian university account on Instagram. Ian was also named an Advance Queensland Digital Champion in 2016.