Theme and Project Leader

GPO Box 378 Canberra ACT 2601

02 6249 9101

Person details


Current NESP activities

Rachel is currently leading the development, promotion, and revision of the Field Manuals for Marine Sampling, as part of the NESP D2 project. Using a highly collaborative approach, she formed several working groups each led by an expert in a particular marine sampling gear type. These working groups then developed flexible but practical protocols to ensure standardisation of methods during data collection and processing. This means that data from individual surveys can contribute to national datasets, as they will be comparable in time and space with other data. These SOPs will be used in upcoming surveys to marine parks undertaken as part of the NESP D3 project.


Rachel is currently employed at Geoscience Australia as the senior benthic ecologist. She is broadly interested in the relationships between marine invertebrates and environmental stressors, particularly those associated with early life stages. Recently, she has undertaken research on the potential effects of seismic impacts on marine invertebrates, as well as characterising invertebrate biodiveristy in northern Australian marine parks.

Rachel in a national councillor and Branch President for the Australian Marine Science Association. She also sits on the council of the Malacological Society of Australasia.

Academic qualifications

Rachel obtained her Bachelors in biology and English from Alma College (Michigan, US) and went on to complete her PhD at the University of Wollongong. She also held a postdoctoral position at Stony Brook University (New York, US) in the Department of Ecology and Evolution.


Over 40 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals, as well as numerous reports and popular science articles. The following is a representative list of publications:   

Carroll A, Przeslawski R, Bruce B, Gunning M-E, Duncan A. 2017. A critical review of the potential impacts of marine seismic surveys on fish and invertebrates. Marine Pollution Bulletin 114:9-24.

Przeslawski R, Byrne M, Mellin C. 2015. A review and meta-analysis of the effects of multiple abiotic stressors on marine embryos and larvae. Global Change Biology. 21:2122-40.

Przeslawski R, Alvarez B, Kool J, Bridge T, Caley MJ, Nichol S. 2015. Implications of sponge biodiversity patterns for the management of a marine reserve in Northern Australia. PLoS ONE 10(11): e0141813

Przeslawski R, Williams A, Ward T, Sorokin S, Currie D, Althaus F. 2011. Utility of a spatial habitat classification system as a surrogate of marine benthic community structure for the Australian margin. ICES Journal of Marine Science. 68: 1954-1962.

Przeslawski R, Ahyong S, Byrne M, Worheide G, Hutchings P. 2008. Beyond coral and fish: the effects of climate change on non-coral benthic invertebrates of tropical reefs. Global Change Biology 14: 2773-2795.

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