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Peter Harrison

BSc(Hons)(JCU), PhD(JCU)

Distinguished Professor

Faculty of Science and Engineering

02 6620 3774
Peter Harrison


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Professor Peter Harrison is the founding Director of the Marine Ecology Research Centre at Southern Cross University. Peter is a recognised leader in coral reproduction ecology and coral larval restoration and has been actively researching and teaching a wide range of marine science and ecology programs for more than 35 years.


Professor Peter Harrison's major research interests include global patterns of coral reproduction, impacts of pollution and stress on coral reefs and other marine ecosystems, coral reef rehabilitation, whale and dolphin ecology and conservation, long-term monitoring of subtropical and tropical marine reef communities, dispersal and biogeography of corals and implications for global networks of marine protected areas. Much of Peter's research has focused on the Great Barrier Reef and subtropical marine habitats in eastern Australia, with additional research in Japan, Micronesia, French Polynesia, the Arabian Gulf, Florida, Bahamas, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia, the Philippines and Antarctica. He has been awarded more than $11 million in research grants and Antarctic field support, and awarded multiple prizes for excellence in science research and University teaching. Peter has published more than 200 scientific research papers, books, invited major review chapters and reports, which have been cited more than 10,000 times. He also enjoys communicating science research to the broader community and has featured in many hundreds of media interviews both nationally and internationally highlighting science research and promoting conservation and management.


Peter has successfully supervised to completion more than 50 postgraduate and Honours students, with 11 current postgraduate students and Postdoctoral research fellows. Peter also led the development of the SCU Whale and Dolphin Research Centre as its Director since 2002, which has supported numerous postgraduate and postdoctoral researchers on whales and dolphins in Australia and overseas.


Peter is the unit assessor for the Coral Reefs on the Edge teaching unit, which is the capstone unit for the Marine Science and Management degree. This unit is an intensive delivery teaching unit based at Heron Island on the southern Great Barrier Reef each year, with lectures and hands-on training directly on the reef.

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