Blog icon


Dr Natalie Dowling joined CSIRO in 2000, when she was involved with management strategy evaluation (MSE) work for Australia's tropical tuna and billfish fisheries. Currently, her main area of interest is in developing harvest strategies in data-limited contexts, which remains a global scientific and management challenge.

Dr. Dowling was responsible for developing harvest strategies for AFMA's small-scale and data-poor fisheries, and has subsequently consulted across a large range of other Australian and international fisheries, focusing on data-limited harvest strategies, assessments, and MSE. She has led projects to develop data-poor fishery harvest strategy guidelines for the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

From 2014-2016 Dr, Dowling was a member of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis' Science for Nature and People Project (SNAPP) Working Group, “Managing Data Limited Fisheries for Economic and Biological Objectives”. Within this Working Group, she initiated and helped to develop the FishPath decisión support system. FishPath uses a questionnaire to provide customised guidance to users as to viable data-limited harvest strategy options, given a fishery’s specific circumstances. FishPath provides a standardised, comprehensive and efficient means to identify posible data collection, assessment, and management decisión rule options, together with relevant caveats associated with each.

Dr. Dowling works closely with The Nature Conservancy (USA) and NOAA as a core member of the FishPath team. Together, this team continues to develop, expand, refine, and apply the FishPath tool to fisheries within Australia, the United States, Peru, Kenya, Chile, Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Indonesia and Spain. Dr. Dowling leads the Australian effort applying FishPath and developing harvest strategies for small-scale coastal fisheries in New South Wales, the Commonwealth Southern and Eastern Scalefish and Shark Fishery (SESSF), Seychelles and Kenya.

Dr. Dowling has also lead an FRDC project on triple bottom line harvest strategies (that address environmental, economic and social objectives) in Queensland. She has a long-term ongoing collaboration with Prof. Marc Mangel, a world-leading theoretical ecologist at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2003

    Flinders University

  • 1997

    B.Sc. (Hons)
    Flinders University

Achievements and Awards

  • 2015-2017

    Payne-Scott Award

  • 2014-2015

    Career Development Fund (mid)

  • 2011-2011

    Career Development Fund (mid)

  • 2009-2009

    Frohlich Fellowship

  • 2009-2009

    Staff Recognition Award

Other highlights

  • 2020-2021

    Panellist (2 sessions) and co-chair (4 sessions), World Fisheries Congress

  • 2019-2019

    Invited teacher at a 5-day AMARE-MED advanced stock assessment “school” in Venice, Italy, led by Andre Punt and Simone Libralato

  • 2017-2017

    Invited speaker and panellist, Seafood Directions Conference, Sydney

  • 2014-2017

    Member, NCEAS "Science for Nature and People" Working Group

  • 2016-2016

    Invited speaker, Monster Jam Seminar Series, University of Washington

  • 2016-2016

    Expert consultant, California Red Abalone fishery

  • 2016-2016

    Expert consulant, British Columbia, Canada groundfish fishery

  • 2015-2015

    Invited speaker and panellist, 30th Lowell Wakefield Symposium on Data-Limited Fisheries

  • 2014-2014

    Center for Independent Experts (CIE) Independent Peer Review: SEDAR 35 stock assessment report: U.S. Caribbean red hind August 2014