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Dr Mark Baird

Research Director


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GPO BOX 1538


Mark Baird is the Research Director of the Coastal and Oceanic Systems (COS) Research Program. COS research is founded on leading developments in remote sensing, bio-optics, genomics, and sensor technologies that observe and model the physical and biological properties of the marine environment. Our science is used by decision-makers in environmental management, blue carbon assessment, ecological restoration and operational situational awareness.

Mark's background is as a aquatic scientist who uses observations and numerical models to study estuarine and marine ecosystems. He has published ~90 papers in the peer-review literature on topics including coral-symbiont dynamics, estuarine ecology, plankton population dynamics, salp blooms, ocean acidification, physical oceanography, bio-optics and ecosystem modelling. He has developed parameterisations for ecological processes that have been coupled to community hydrodynamic models such as CSIRO Environmental Modelling Suite (EMS) and the Regional Ocean Modelling System (ROMS).

Mark has led the developed key components of the eReefs marine modelling system that is being used to estimate the water quality properties of the Great Barrier Reef, optimise the reduction of loads of sediments and nutrients for the purposes of water quality improvements, make predictions of the physiological response of corals to marine heat waves, and optimise the design of ecological interventions.

Current Roles

  • Panel Member
    Panel member of the IOCCG (International Ocean Color Co-ordinating Group) working group on Ocean Colour Applications for Biogeochemical, Ecosystem and Climate Modelling.

  • Member
    Queensland Water Modelling Network Advisory board

  • CSIRO Environment representative
    AquaWatch Mission Steering Committee

  • CSIRO representative
    Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program Steering Committee

Academic Qualifications

  • 2000

    Ph. D. (University of Warwick, UK)

  • 1996

    M. Sc. (University of Hawaii)

  • 1993

    B. E. Hons (University of Sydney)

Professional Experiences

  • 2017

    Principal Research Scientist
    CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

  • 2012

    Senior Research Scientist
    CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

  • 2010-2012

    Senior Research Fellow

  • 2005-2009

    ARC Australian Research Fellow

  • 2001-2004

    ARC Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 1999-2001

    Research Scientist
    CSIRO Land and Water

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-

    Australian Coral Reef Society

  • 2005-2009

    Australian Research Fellowship
    Australian Research Council

  • 2001-2004

    Australian Postdoctoral Award
    Australian Research Council

Other highlights

  • 2017-2018

    Application of eReefs to optimise river pollutant reductions to prioritise $2b State and Federal government spending allocated to catchment repair


  • 2021-2024

    Antoine, D., Baird, M. E. and Behrenfeld. Why ocean deserts matter. Phytoplankton production in the oligotrophic ocean (ARC Discovery Project. DP210101959 $387,000).

  • 2018-2021

    Kalmus, P. et al. Identifying coral refugia from observationally weighted climate model ensembles. NASA Proposal Number 18-SLSCVC18-0049.

  • 2017-2012

    Line, B., N. Cantin, M. Baird and M. Mongin (2017-2021). NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub, Project 3.3.1 – Quantifying the linkages between water quality and the thermal tolerance of GBR coral reefs ($1,181,000).

  • 2017-2018

    Baird, M. E. and S. Condie (2017-18) Great Barrier Reef resilience mapping. Great Barrier Reef Foundation ($386,773).

  • 2017-2019

    Collier, C. Baird, M.E (CSIRO lead) et al. (2017-2019) NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub Project 3.2.1 – Deriving ecologically relevant load targets to meet desired ecosystem condition for the Great Barrier Reef: a case study for seagrass meadows in the Burdekin region ($1,311,000).

  • 2017-2019

    Baird, M. Schaffelke, B. (2017-2019). Scoping study to address poor water quality in the Whitsunday Region. Department of Energy and Environment. ($498,000).

  • 2015-2016

    Baird, M. E. and M. Mongin (2015-16). Ocean Acidification Buffering Workshop. Great Barrier Reef Foundation ($60,000).

  • 2015-2017

    Suthers, I. M., A. J. Richardson, E. Pakhomov and M.E. Baird (2015-2017). The missing link in our oceans: how zooplankton size spectra couple phytoplankton with fisheries (DP150102656) ($349,000)

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2012-2017

    President, Tasmanian Branch Australian Marine Science Association

  • 2015-2018

    Node Leader, Southeast Australia Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) node

  • 2017-2021

    Science career shows at Tasmanian High Schools.

We have publications by Dr Mark Baird