Reef forum connects research and government

15 Nov 2019

FishThe School of Earth and Environmental Sciences recently hosted a seminar on the Great Barrier Reef Research, Development and Innovation Strategy.

The event, held on 30 October 2019 and attended by over 60 UQ researchers and staff, explored the research needed to maintain and improve the water quality of the Great Barrier Reef.

Dr Rachael Smith and Dr Tracy Schultz from the Queensland Office of the Great Barrier Reef discussed the current situation regarding water quality entering and in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and how the Strategy was developed.

Dr Michael Warne, who coordinated the event, said that the event revealed how the Strategy focuses on both physical sciences and human behaviour.

“The strategy reflects the growing awareness that science and ‘hard facts’ are not enough to change people's behaviour,” Dr Warne said.

“It was great to have so much enthusiasm in the room to bridge the gap between research and action.

“This is just one seminar in a series, where scientists from UQ and the Queensland Department of Environment and Science (DES) give presentations to staff, aiming to increase knowledge of each other’s research activities and interests, enhancing links between the two organisations.

“And it was quite a success – there was so much interest, many attendees stayed on for another 30 minutes to discuss various issues with the speakers.”

This seminar was followed later that week by Professor Neena Ritter from UQ’s School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, who gave a presentation to DES on her research to develop the next generation of pesticides.

The next event in the series will be Professor Gregory Webb, talking about his research with Dr Narottam Saha, that has developed a new geochemical tracer in corals that appears to be a marker of land clearing.