University of Tasmania, Australia

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Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

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Rick Stuart-Smith

Dr Rick Stuart-Smith

Research Fellow

"BSc MFAB Hons (Utas), PhD (Utas)"


Contact Details

Contact Campus Off-Campus
Building IMAS Taroona
Room Reference
Telephone +61 3 6227 7214
Fax +61 3 6227 8035


Mora, C., Aburto-Oropeza, O., Ayala Bocos, A., Ayotte, P.M., Banks, S., et al. 2011. Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes. PLoS Biology. 9: e1000606

Beger, M., Babcock, R., Booth, D.J., Bucher, D., Condie, S.A., Creese, B., Cvitanovic, C., Dalton, S.J. et al. 2011. Research challenges to improve the management and conservation of subtropical reefs to tackle climate change threats. Ecological Management and Restoration. 12: e7-e10

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Barrett, N.S., Stevenson, D.G. & Edgar, G.J. 2010. Stability in temperate reef communities over a decadal time scale despite concurrent ocean warming. Global Change Biology.  16: 122–134

Hill, N.A., Pepper, A.R., Puotinen, M.L., Hughes, M.G., Edgar, G.J., Barrett, N.S., Stuart-Smith, R.D. &Leaper, R. 2010. Quantifying wave exposure in shallow temperate reef systems: applicability of fetch models for predicting algal biodiversity. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 417: 83–95

Edgar, G.J., Barrett, N.S. & Stuart-Smith, R.D. 2009. Exploited reefs protected from fishing transform over decades into conservation features otherwise absent from seascapes. Ecological Applications. 19: 1967-1974

Edgar, G.J. & Stuart-Smith, R.D. 2009. A continental-scale analysis of ecological effects of marine protected areas based on underwater visual surveys. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 388:51-62

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Barrett, N.S., Crawford, C.M., Frusher, S.D., Stevenson, D.G. & Edgar, G.J. 2008. Spatial patterns in impacts of fishing on temperate rocky reefs: are fish abundance and mean size related to proximity to fisher access points? Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 365:116-125

Stuart-Smith, R.D., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2008. A shift in the habitat use pattern of a lentic galaxiid fish: an acute behavioural response to an introduced predator. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 82: 92-100

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Stuart-Smith, J.F., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2007. The impact of an introduced predator on a threatened galaxiid is reduced by the availability of complex habitats. Freshwater Biology. 52: 1555-1563

Stuart-Smith, R.D., Stuart-Smith, J.F., White, R.W.G. & Barmuta, L.A. 2007. The effects of turbidity and complex habitats on the feeding of a galaxiid fish are clear and simple. Marine and Freshwater Research. 58: 429-435

Full Publication List


Additional Information


I am an ecologist who studies broad-scale patterns in reef biodiversity. My primary interests are in understanding human impacts on reef communities and incorporation of high resolution biodiversity data into universal metrics of reef condition. I am also a co-founder of Reef Life Survey, an international marine science and conservation program, and have undertaken reef biodiversity surveys on rocky and coral reefs around the world and trained over 150 volunteer divers in Australia and Spain in reef biodiversity survey methods.


Research and projects

Current research interests revolve around analysis of broad-scale reef biodiversity datasets collected though the Reef Life Survey program, IMAS long-term marine protected area monitoring program and the condition of Tasmanian rocky reefs project. Foci are biodiversity patterns associated with the distribution of anthropogenic activities, including over-fishing and pollution, and understanding global trends in rocky and coral reef ecology.


Main projects

  • Biotic connectivity within the temperate Australian marine protected area network at three levels of biodiversity — communities, populations and genes. ARC Linkage project (Postdoc)
  • NERP Marine Biodiversity Hub, National monitoring, evaluation and reporting team (postdoc).
  • Coral Sea marine biodiversity – globally significant, largely unprotected (CI)