Symposium Rationale

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) has suffered greatly from major disturbances and these are predicted to become more frequent in the near future, reducing time available for recovery. There is widespread agreement that management and thus also research, needs to provide more focus on direct intervention activities and restoration for coral reefs to complement traditional management and reducing global climate change.

However, apart from some exceptions, we have very little experience in such activities and many potential activities are conceptual and have not yet been explored, or indeed, many may yet to have even been thought of. We need to learn, as quickly as possible, from those who have already started on this journey, but we also need to develop out-of-the-box thinking about new ideas and approaches – something that will necessitate encouraging new expertise from outside the reef space.

This Symposium aims to bring together existing restoration practitioners, people with new concepts to present, and people with expertise in the array of other associated actions required to build and coordinate restoration programs. It is an event targeting all aspects (biological, social, political, financial, etc) of applied restoration, in a collegial manner and with open, welcoming minds.

For the purposes of this event, restoration also includes active intervention activities that may not strictly be restorative – such as the crown of thorns starfish control program operating in the GBR.


Topics to be Covered

Broadly speaking, we seek a mix of three broad types of presentations:

  • Presentations on actual restoration/intervention projects. Within such presentations, we would encourage people to focus as much on the process they went through to get the program in place, as on the results/outcomes.
  • Presentations on developing political and social support for restoration, accessing philanthropy, developing citizen science and indigenous involvement, bringing together multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary teams, how to communicate such programs etc.
  • Presentation of concepts for new restoration ideas. These include from the fields of engineers, oceanography, IT experts etc.  We encourage the open sharing of new ideas.

In-scope: Coral restoration; mass production of corals and outplanting; algal control; prioritization; substrate enhancement; enhancing larval settlement; genetic interventions, assisted gene flow and stress hardening; management for resilience; biological enhancement (urchins, herbivorous fish etc); crown of thorns starfish control; edu-tourism and citizen science; Indigenous involvement and aspirations; social licence to intervene; developing business cases for restoration; innovative economic levers for restoration; water quality interceptors; reef island restoration; environmental manipulations; chemical and engineering interventions; artificial habitats; shoreline protection; localised restoration in response to discrete events (e.g. ship strike); dealing with the scale of the challenge.

Out of scope: General resilience research; climate change research; problem definition research; general bleaching process research.


Presentation Formats

  • Oral Presentations (10 min oral presentations + 5 min question time): Standard format oral presentations given during plenary sessions. Emphasis on disseminating results from restoration projects, new research, industry collaborations, etc.
  • Speed Talks (5 min speed talk + 2 min question time): Shorter format oral presentations during plenary sessions with emphasis on project and/or research updates, upcoming projects, new ideas, etc.
  • Technical Talks (10 min ‘how to’ technical talks + 5 min question time): This format is designed to be more interactive and will allow the speaker an opportunity to present a method or process that supports coral restoration (e.g. shoot a video in the field on your mobile phone, run a social media campaign, propagating and micro-fragmenting corals
  • Poster Presentations (max size 112cm x 112cm): Standard posters will be displayed throughout the duration of the conference and presented during a designated poster session
  • Videos (5 mins max, to be played during break times): If you would like to show a video of your work or project, monitors showing these videos will be displayed at meal times and if time allows, these may also be shown during the plenary sessions
  • Workshops: These would be interactive and after scene-setting presentations, involve significant time for group discussion. Please contact the organisers at damien.burrows@jcu.edu.au with ideas for workshop topics and formats.