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Prof. Rob Harcourt
Fabrice holds a PhD in Animal Ecology and undergraduate degrees in Marine Biology and Environmental Science from the University of Queensland. An avid ocean enthusiast, diver and photographer, Fabrice has spent much of the last decade educating the general public about the marine realm and engaging in research and conservation efforts in various parts of the world. He has contributed to several high-profile documentaries and key scientific outputs on threatened ocean giants such as manta rays, and currently acts as Scientific Adviser for the Manta Trust (www.mantatrust.org), a UK charity that coordinates global research and conservation efforts for mobulid rays.
Research at SIMS
Fabrice’s research interests broadly revolve around the ecology and sustainable management of marine ecosystems and large vertebrate species as well as conservation issues associated with human impacts (e.g. climate change, anthropogenic disturbance, fisheries). His work often takes a multi-disciplinary approach to answer questions about the status of marine species and populations, combining his expertise in coral reef and pelagic marine ecosystems, animal telemetry, biophysical oceanography, citizen science, wildlife tourism and big data.As part of his role at SIMS, Fabrice coordinates the Animal Tracking Facility of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS, www.imos.org.au). The IMOS Animal Tracking Facility aims to collate long-term data on movements of marine species within coastal and oceanic waters to inform the management of Australia’s marine resources. One of Fabrice’s core responsibilities is to oversee the development and maintenance of a national network of underwater hydrophones that detect movements of tagged animals and a central database for the Australian research community, thereby facilitating regional-scale collaborative animal tracking research.In addition, Fabrice collaborates on various research initiatives aimed at furthering knowledge of undocumented animal populations, identifying drivers of distributions and habitat use of elusive or threatened marine species and producing novel rapid assessment tools to describe the biodiversity of Marine Protected Areas and Pacific Island ecosystems. In recent years, Fabrice has developed SIMS-based research projects aimed at informing the management of the World Heritage Lord Howe Island Marine Park, which hosts the world’s southernmost tropical coral reef as well as a variety of endemic and charismatic species.