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Dr Christopher Doropoulos

Senior Research Scientist


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I am a marine ecologist working as a Research Scientist in CSIRO's Environment Business Unit, as part of the Sustainable Marine Futures program. My research focuses on patterns of benthic colonisation and role of species interactions and environmental drivers in modulating system recovery following disturbances. Coral recruitment ecology is my specialisation, focusing on the interactions and demographic rates that influence coral recovery following acute disturbances along environmental gradients. A large portion of my most recent work is developing strategies to provide scalable solutions for effective coral reef restoration.

I combine observational, experimental, and modelling approaches to develop mechanistic understandings of ecological patterns in population and community recovery. Utilising this knowledge, my research aims to:
1. Assess the role of environmental gradients within and across stage-specific coral recruitment processes;
2. Understand how biophysical interactions influence early recovery trajectories; and,
3. Evaluate the feasibility and optimisation of upscaling restoration for the recovery of coral reefs and other coastal marine systems.

To achieve these aims, my work is often multidisciplinary to involve ecologists, biological and physical oceanographers, and marine engineers.

Achievements and Awards

  • 2020-2024

    Julius Career Award

  • 2020-2020

    Coral Reef Hero
    Environment Coastal & Offshore Magazine Special Edition with ICRS 2021

  • 2017-2017

    Queensland Young Tall Poppy Award
    Australian Institute of Policy and Science

  • 2013-2013

    Australian Endeavour Award. Postdoctoral Fellowship to conduct research in Palau.
    Australian Government

  • 2013-2013

    Virginia Chadwick Award. Best student paper.
    ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies

  • 2010 -2010

    Danielle Simmons Award. PhD field work related costs.
    Australian Coral Reef Society

  • 2009-2012

    PhD Top-up Scholarship
    QLD State Government Smart Futures

Academic Qualifications

  • 2009-12

    PhD (Marine Ecology)
    The University of Queensland

  • 2004-07

    BSc (Biology) Honours (1st Class)
    Edith Cowan University

Professional Experiences

  • 2022-2023

    Committee Member
    O&A EMCR Committee

  • 2018-2020

    Research Scientist
    CSIRO Oceans & Atmosphere

  • 2015-2018

    OCE Postdoctoral Fellow
    CSIRO Oceans and Atmoshpere

  • 2018-2018

    CSIRO National Postdoctoral Fellow Committee

  • 2013-2015

    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Marine Spatial Ecology Lab, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland

  • 2009-2012

    Teaching Assistant and Student Project Supervisor
    School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland

  • 2008-2008

    Research Assistant
    Edith Cowan University

Other highlights

  • 2020-

    Saunders MI, Doropoulos C, Bayraktarov E, Babcock RC, Gorman D, Eger A, Vozzo M, Gillies CL, Vanderklift MA, Steven ADL, Bustamante RH, and Silliman BR. 2020. Bright spots in the emerging field of coastal marine ecosystem restoration. Current Biology

  • 2019-

    Gouezo M, Golbuu Y, Olsudong D, Mereb G, Nestor V, Fabricius KE, Harrison PL, Doropoulos C (2019) Drivers of recovery and reassembly of coral reef communities. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 286: 20182908

  • 2019-

    Doropoulos C, Vons F, Elzinga J, ter Hofstede R, Salee K, van Koningsveld M, Babcock RC (2019) Testing industrial-scale coral restoration techniques: harvesting and culturing wild coral-spawn slicks. Frontiers in Marine Science 6: 658

  • 2018-

    Mazor T^, Doropoulos C^, Schwarzmueller F, Gladish DW, Kumaran N, Merkel K, Di Marco M, Gagic V (2018). Global mismatch of policy and research on drivers of biodiversity loss. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2: 1071-1074

  • 2016-

    Doropoulos C, Roff G, Bozec YM, Zupan M, Werminghausen J, Mumby PJ. (2016). Characterising the ecological trade-offs throughout the early ontogeny of coral recruitment. Ecological Monographs 86: 20-44

  • 2012-

    Doropoulos C, Ward S, Marshell A, Diaz-Pulido G, Mumby PJ (2012). Interactions among chronic and acute impacts on coral recruits: the importance of size-escape thresholds. Ecology 93: 2131-2138

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2019-present

    Advising Maldives Marine Research Institute for 5-year Coral Restoration Program

  • 2018-2019

    Contributing Author. IPBES Global Assessment on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Chapter 2.1 Status and trends-Drivers of Change

  • 2013-2015

    Mentoring researchers and conducting workshops in data analysis at the Palau International Coral Reef Center