About the project


To better characterise the southwest Australian marine coastal and shelf ecosystem structure and function. and enhance the shared capacity to understand, predict and assess ecosystem response to anthropogenic and natural pressures.


  • An assessment of the importance of physical forcing and ecological interactions among key functional groups in determining patterns of spatial mosaics in benthic habitats.
  • An assessment of ecosystem processes with particular relevance to contrasting fished and non- fished areas.
  • An assessment of likely dispersal patterns for marine organisms based on hydrodynamic and population genetic models.
  • Electronic delivery of data and models to management agencies, building on the development of the Data Interrogation and Visualisation Environment (DIVE) in Strategic Research Fund for the Marine Environment (SRFME).

Research Articles

Babcock, R.C., N.T. Shears, A.C. Alcala, N.S. Barrett, G.J. Edgar, K.D. Lafferty, T.R. McClanahan and G.R. Russ (2010). Decadal Trends in Marine Reserves: differential rates of change for direct and indirect effects. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (USA). 107(43): 18256–

Beger, M., R. Babcock, D. J. Booth, D. Bucher, S.A. Condie, B. Creese, C. Cvitanovic, S.J. Dalton, P. Harrison, A. Hoey, A. Jordan, J. Loder, H. Malcolm, S.W. Purcell, C.M. Roelfsema, P. Sachs, S.D.A. Smith, B. Sommer, R. Stuart-Smith, D. Thomson, C.C. Wallace, M. Zann and J.M. Pandolfi (2011). Research challenges to improve the management and conservation of subtropical reefs to tackle climate change threats. Ecological Management and Restoration Vol. 12: 7-10.

Cook, K. and M.A. Vanderklift (2011). Depletion of predatory fish by fishing in a temperate reef ecosystem leads to indirect effects on prey, but not to lower trophic levels. Marine Ecology Progress Series 432: 195-205. 

Craig, P.D. (2010). Imposed and inherent scales in cellular automata models of habitat. Ecological Modelling 221: 2425-2434.

Denuelle, Aymeric & Dunbabin, Matthew. (2010). Kelp Detection in Highly Dynamic Environments Using Texture Recognition. Proceedings of the 2010 Australasian Conference on Robotics and Automation, ACRA 2010.

England, P.R., J. Phillips, J.R. Waring, G. Symonds and R. Babcock (2008). Modelling wave-induced disturbance in highly biodiverse marine macroalgal communities: support for the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis. Marine and Freshwater Research 59: 515–520.

Kleczkowski, M., R.C. Babcock and G. Clapin (2008). Density and size of reef fishes in and around a temperate marine reserve. Marine and Freshwater Research.

Thomson, D. (2010). Range extension of the hard coral Goniopora norfolkensis (Veron & Pichon 1982) to the south-east Indian Ocean. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 93:115-117.

Thomson, D.P. and A.J. Frisch (2010). Extraordinarily high coral cover on a nearshore, high-latitude reef in south-west Australia. Coral Reefs 29:923-927.



Program: WAMSI 2006-2011

Completed: June 2011

Location: Jurien Bay, Perth, Albany, Esperance, Rottnest Island, Marmion Lagoon.

Project Leader: Dr John Keesing (CSIRO)



Final Report