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Robert Mason

I am a coral reef biologist working on resilience-based management of the Great Barrier Reef. This approach emphasises management decision making that is guided by an understanding of the combined social and ecological values of an ecosystem (see the text: Chapin F. S. III, Kofinas G. P., Folke C., Chapin M. C. “Principles of ecosystem stewardship: resilience-based natural resource management in a changing world”, 2009). To inform this process, I am collating layers of social and ecological data in a geographical information system, and performing modelling of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem to try to fill gaps in ecological data, such as some aspects of ecological function.

My previous work has examined coral physiological responses to light and temperature, under conditions that induce bleaching, to gather information that can improve bleaching prediction methods. This work contributed to a new remote sensing method for the prediction of coral bleaching that uses satellite-detected sea temperature and light levels as predictors. I have also worked on a mathematical model of dispersal that can be applied to some ecosystem processes.

Selected Publications:

Skirving W., Enríquez S., Hedley J. D., Dove S., Eakin C. M., Mason, R. A. B., De La Cour J. L., Liu G., Hoegh-Guldberg O., Strong A. E., Mumby P. J., Iglesias-Prieto R. (2018) Remote Sensing of Coral Bleaching Using Temperature and Light: Progress towards an Operational Algorithm. Remote Sensing 10(1): 18, 19 pages.

Wall C. B., Mason, R. A. B., Ellis W. R., Cunning R., Gates R. D. (2017) Elevated pCO2 affects tissue biomass composition, but not calcification, in a reef coral under two light regimes. Royal Society open science 4: 170683, 13 pages.

Fang, J. K. H., Mason, R. A. B., Schönberg, C. H. L., Hoegh-Guldberg, O., Dove, S. (2017) Studying interactions between excavating sponges and massive corals by the use of hybrid cores. Marine Ecology 38: e12393, 8 pages.