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 (Hons), PhD


Contact Details

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


Selected Publications:

Stuart-Smith, R.D., A. E. Bates, J. S. Lefcheck, J. E. Duffy, S. C. Baker, R. J. Thomson, J. F. Stuart-Smith, N. A. Hill, S. J. Kininmonth, L. Airoldi, M. A. Becerro, S. J. Campbell, T. P. Dawson, S. A. Navarrete, G. A. Soler, E. M. A. Strain, T. J. Willis, and G. J. Edgar (2013). Integrating abundance and functional traits reveals new global hotspots of fish diversity. Nature 501: 539-542

Edgar GJ, R. D. Stuart-Smith, T. J. Willis, S. J. Kininmonth, S. C. Baker, S. Banks, N. S. Barrett, M. A. Becerro, A. T. F. Bernard, J. Berkhout, C. D. Buxton, S. J. Campbell, A. T. Cooper, M. L. Davey, S. C. Edgar, G. Försterra, D. E. Galván, A. J. Irigoyen, D. J. Kushner, R. Moura, P. E. Parnell, N. T. Shears, G. Soler, E. M.A. Strain, R. J. Thomson. 2014. Global conservation outcomes depend on marine protected areas with five key features. Nature 506: 216–220

Edgar, GJ, RD Stuart-Smith. 2014. Systematic global assessment of reef fish communities by the Reef Life Survey program. Scientific Data 1: 140007

Stuart-Smith RD, Barrett NS, Stevenson DG, Edgar GJ (2010). Stability in temperate reef communities over a decadal time scale despite concurrent ocean warming. Global Change Biology 16: 122–134

Mora, C., O. Aburto-Oropeza, P. M. Ayotte, S. Banks, A. G. Bauman, M. Beger, S. Bessudo, A. A. Bocos, H. R. Bonilla, D. J. Booth, E. Brokovich, A. Brooks, P. Chabanet, J. Cinner, J. Cortés, J. J. Cruz-Motta, E. DeMartini, G. J. Edgar, D. A. Feary, S. C. Ferse, A. Friedlander, K. J. Gaston, C. Gough, N. A. Graham, A. Green, H. Guzman, M. Hardt, M. Kulbicki, Y. Letourneur, M. Loreau, Y. Loya, A. C. Magaña, C. Martinez, I. Mascareñas-Osorio, T. Morove, M.-O. Nadon-, Y. Nakamura, G. Paredes, A. L. Pérez, N. Polunin, M. S. Pratchett, F. Rivera, E. Sala, S. Sandin, G. Soler, R. Stuart-Smith, E. Tessier, D. P. Tittensor, M. Tupper, P. Usseglio, L. Vigliola, L. Wantiez, I. Williams, S. K. Wilson, and F. A. Zapata (2011). Global human footprint on the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in reef fishes. PLoS Biology 9: e1000606

Full list of publications:


  • 2012 Tasmanian Tall Poppy Young Scientist of the Year
  • 2011/2012 Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow
  • 2010 Vice-Chancellors Award for Outstanding Community Engagement (UTAS)
  • 2008 finalist in the Tasmanian Young Achiever Awards in the Hydro Tasmanian Environment category

Additional Information


Rick studies broad-scale patterns in reef biodiversity. His primary interests are in understanding human impacts on reef communities and incorporation of high-resolution biodiversity data into universal metrics of reef condition. He is a co-founder of Reef Life Survey, a marine science and conservation program with global reach, and has undertaken reef biodiversity surveys on rocky and coral reefs around the world and trained over 150 volunteer divers 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).


PhD students:

German Soler

Amelia Fowles

Daniel Gledhill