Project leader and researcher

Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods, Charles Darwin University, Darwin NT 0909 Australia

+61 477 306 344
+61 8 8946 7616

Person details


Current activities

Peter is currently leading or involved in several NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub projects, including the Euryhaline Shark and Ray project, the Northern Seascapes project, and the Shark Action Plan. He is based at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, Northern Territory.

The NESP Marine Biodiversity Hub's Euryhaline Shark and Ray project (‘Northern Australian Hotspots for the Recovery of Threatened Euryhaline Species’) is a collaboration between Charles Darwin University, Northern Territory Fisheries, CSIRO, Murdoch University, the North Australian Indigenous Land and Sea Management Alliance, and the Malak Malak Ranger Group.

Euryhaline elasmobranchs represent over half of the EPBC-listed threatened sharks and rays, with northern Australia of national importance for this threatened species community. Critical information gaps remain, limiting the implementation of Recovery Plan objectives. This project will fill many data gaps through the application of acoustic telemetry, traditional and advanced molecular research (population genetics and close-kin mark-recapture), life history studies, and Indigenous knowledge and education. End-users will be provided with information necessary to improve management and facilitate recovery of these threatened species, focusing on three themes: (1) Monitoring and understanding euryhaline species; (2) Indigenous partnerships for management of euryhaline species, and; (3) Knowledge for the reassessment of river shark status.

For more information see:

The Northern Seascape project will map the distributions of several EPBC-listed threatened and migratory marine species at a broad-scale, and develop and trial a cost-effective rapid assessment approach (‘SeaBlitzes’) to gather finer-scale spatial data on priority marine species of the northern seascape, including the critical habitats they depend on. The data and knowledge generated by the rapid assessments will establish baselines, and grow the information base for decision-making on proposed activities under Commonwealth and Territory environmental regulations. This approach will deliver on actions in threatened species Recovery Plans, Sea Country Plans, and management plans for protected areas (e.g. Indigenous Protected Areas and Marine Reserves), and will develop capacity for continued data collection through a community-based participatory approach.

The Shark Action Plan project will produce a plan for the conservation and management of Australia's sharks, rays and chimaeras (chondrichthyan fishes), including a summary of current status across the taxa, guidelines for reducing impacts and improving management, and exploration and identification of key knowledge gaps impeding conservation and management. 


Peter is a conservation biologist with interests in marine and freshwater systems. He has a background in fish biology, fisheries bycatch, and fish conservation, particularly in relation to the chondrichthyan fishes (sharks, batoids and chimaeras).

His PhD examined the composition and mitigation of chondrichthyan bycatch in the Queensland East Coast Trawl Fishery.

Peter is Regional Vice-Chair for Australia and Oceania, and the Red List Authority Coordinator of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Shark Specialist Group, working on the global and regional assessment of extinction risk for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

He has published on the biology of a diversity of species (including shovelnose rays, skates, catsharks, carpet sharks, whaler sharks, and sawfishes) from riverine and inshore estuarine waters to the deepsea. His research interests focus on the collection of life history and ecological information to guide the management and conservation of biodiversity, and assess population status and extinction risk.

Academic qualifications

Bachelor of Science (Geography and Environmental Studies) from the University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Science Honours (First class) from the University of Queensland

Doctor of Philosophy (marine science) from the University of Queensland

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