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Dr Brett Molony

Pronouns: he,him,his

Science Director


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Dr Brett Molony is the Science Director, Environment Business Unit, at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), Perth, Western Australia. Brett has more than 30 years of experience as a marine, estuarine and freshwater researcher within Australia and Internationally and has published more than 50 articles and two books. Brett’s research interests include cumulative risk and impact assessments, including social impacts and risks, integrated aquaculture and mitigating the impacts of coastal development. Brett also has an interest in the science-management interface and worked extensively on communications to ensure impact to a range of partners. He has also written briefs and speeches for Ministers and understands communication needs at this level.

Brett completed a PhD at James Cook University in 1994, with a focus on growth and physiology of tropical estuarine fish, tropical estuarine systems and their connectivity with coastal marine systems and coral reefs. While an academic, Brett completed a Tertiary Education qualification and co-developed several courses, including a course on Tropical Estuarine Ecology, designed for third year and MSc Students.

Brett has previously worked with the Department of Fisheries WA as a Senior Fisheries Scientist and Supervising Research Scientist leading the Finfish Branch in delivering monitoring and assessment for the States finfish resources, using a risk-based ecosystem approach. He has also worked internationally as a Senior Fisheries Scientist and Country Specialist within the Oceanic Fisheries Programme of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, delivering country-specific assessments and reports to support fishery development in small island developing states. He liaises with a range of stakeholders – commercial and recreational fishers, eNGOs, other research providers, funding bodies, MSC, National Agencies and Traditional Owners within Australia and Internationally.

Brett lives in Perth and enjoys running, riding and playing guitar and watching and reading science fiction.

Academic Qualifications

  • 1994

    James Cook University

  • 2019

    Leading Australia's Innovation Catalyst
    CSIRO & Australian Graduate School and Management (UNSW)

  • 2016

    Leadership Essentials
    Public Sector Commission of WA

  • 2014

    Executive Leadership
    Murdoch University

  • 1994

    Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Education
    James Cook University

  • 1988

    BSc (Hons)
    James Cook University

  • 1987

    James Cook University

Achievements and Awards

  • 2010-2010

    Leadership - Reward and Recognition
    Department of Fisheries (Western Australia)

  • 2010-2010

    Respect- Reward and Recognition
    Department of Fisheries (Western Australia)

  • 2003-2003

    Nominated- Communication- Reward and Recognition
    Department of Fisheries (Western Australia)

  • 2002-2002

    Best Management Poster - sponsored by Murray Wetlands Working Group; Beatty, S. and Molony, B. 2002. Mitigation of the negative impacts on fish and fisheries values during remedial works at Waroona Dam
    Australian Society of Limnology Conference

  • 1991-1991

    Australian Coral Reef Society Student Prize (conjointly with M. McCormick)
    Australian Coral Reef Society


  • 2012-2015

    WA Natural Resource Management - $850,000. South Coast Demersal Finfish Status and Connectivity

  • 2010-2012

    Natural Resource Management - $337,000. Identifying the key habitats for juvenile dhufish

  • 2009-2013

    Natural Resource Management - $910,250. Status and connectivity of key indicator inshore fish species for sustainable management an exploitation

  • 2003-2008

    Fisheries Research and Development Corporation - $ 315,000 Total project budget - $668,000. Evaluating the recreational marron fishery against environmental change and human interactions, (with Steve Beatty, Murdoch University).

  • 2002-2002

    Water Corporation of Western Australia $160,000. Mitigation of the impacts on aquatic fauna of draining a large impoundment, (with Steve Beatty, Murdoch University)

  • 2000-2002

    National Heritage Trust - $20,870. Artificial Habitats for Marron Enhancement and Biodiversity Protection in South Western Australia. (NHT Project #: 003035).

  • 2000-2000

    Pilbara Development Commission - $50,000. Biota of the Cargill Salt Fields

  • 1998-1998

    Australian Research Council (ARC minor)- $12,500. Trophic relationships of animals in tropical mangrove ecosystems to sources of primary productivity, (with M. Sheaves)

  • 1997-1997

    Merit Research Grant (MRG), James Cook University - $10,000. Sperm and Egg Viability of Tropical Estuarine Fishes

  • 1995-1996

    2 x Australian Research Council (ARC minor)- $29,000. Recruitment of larval fish to a tropical estuarine system, (with M. Sheaves)

  • 1995-1995

    Merit Research Grant (MRG), James Cook University - $4,700. Sex change in tropical sparids, (with A. Tobin)

  • 1993-1993

    Queensland Cement Limited (QCL) - $1,000. Examination of community structure in an enclosed breakwater system

  • 1993-1993

    Townsville Port Authority (TPA) - $1,000. Examination of community structure in an enclosed breakwater system

  • 1992-1992

    Australian Research Council (ARC) - $6,500. Growth and development of reef fish through settlement, (with M. McCormick and J. Shand)

Professional Experiences

  • June 2008-November 2018

    Supervising Research Scientist - Finfish - Fisheries Science & Resource Assessment
    Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) WA

  • May 2004-May 2008

    Senior Fisheries Scientist, Oceanic Fisheries Programme
    Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Noumea, New Caledonia

  • January 1999-May 2004

    Senior Research Scientist
    Department of Fisheries WA

  • 1993-December 1998

    Lecturer (tenured), School of Marine Biology
    James Cook University, Townsville

Community and Corporate Citizenship

  • 2019-Present

    Adjunct Associate Professor, UWA Oceans Institute

  • 2019-October 2022

    CSIRO SIte Leader - IOMRC Crawley UWA

  • 2013-2018

    Member of the Course Consultative Committee, School of Sciences, Edith Cowan University

  • 2000-Present

    Member of the Australian Society for Fish Biology

  • 1996-Present

    Life member of the James Cook University Student Union

  • 2019-Present

    Member of the Australian Marine Sciences Association

  • 2012-2015

    Adjunct Associate Professor, Murdoch University School of Biological Sciences

We have publications by Dr Brett Molony