Dr Denise Hardesty

Principal Research Scientist

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Dr. Hardesty is a principal research scientist and team leader with CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere. Her current reserach projects focus on plastic pollution and illegal fishing. For the past several years she has been leading a portfolio of marine debris projects which has resulted in global recognition of Australia’s role in cutting-edge plastics pollution work of high value and impact. She provides expert opinion on marine debris related matters to the federal government, to non-government organizations, to industry stakeholders and NGOs within Australia and internationally, and to other audiences focused on marine debris impacts at a multitude of spatiotemporal scales. She has also been a key player engaging in national and international workshops with government, industry, fisheries and other stakeholders aiming to reduce the trans-boundary ghostnet issue. https://research.csiro.au/marinedebris/

Her other major body of work focuses on monitoring, control and surveillance analytics for illegal, unreported and unlicensed (IUU) fishing, particularly in International waters. This portfolio of projects works with international partners to improve our understanding of activities of fishing vessels and to improve the use of fisheries monitoring data.

Also during her years at CSIRO, Denise has been internationally recognized as a leader in movement ecology, participating in international fora and sharing innovations on applying biogeochemical and genetic markers to understand movement in complex systems, which developed from an extension of her molecular ecology research. She has a diverse background in ecology and has worked around the world from the tropics of Africa, Asia and South America to Midway Atoll, the deserts of Mexico and the chilly wilds of the Antarctic.

Academic Qualifications

  • 2005


  • 1999


  • 1999

    MS Biology