SCU Staff Directory

Steven Purcell
Associate Professor Steven Purcell
BSc(Hons)(JCU), PhD(JCU)
Current Appointment: Associate Professor
Organisational Unit: National Marine Science Centre

Telephone: int +61 2 6659 8124
Mobile: int+ 61 418 856 090
Location: Coffs Harbour
Personal Website

Steve is an Associate Professor within the School of Environment, Science and Engineering through SCU’s National Marine Science Centre at Coffs Harbour. He is a member of the Marine Ecology Research Centre (MERC) at SCU.


Steve's research specialises on the ecology, fisheries management and trade of tropical reef invertebrates in the Indo-Pacific, in partnership with agencies including ACIAR, FAO, and the SPC. He is responsible for developing and leading research projects in fisheries ecology. His recent fisheries projects, funded through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, include documenting the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of a new marine gastropod fishery (trochus) in Samoa, and research on the socioeconomic impacts of improving postharvest processing techniques of sea cucumber fisheries in the Pacific Islands. His responsibilities include the supervision of post-graduate students.

Steve’s research spans a range of ecological and biological fields, published in several books, book chapters and over 80 scientific research articles.

Recent books:
Processing sea cucumbers into beche-de-mer: a manual for Pacific Island fishers
Commercially important sea cucumbers of the world
Managing sea cucumber fisheries with an ecosystem approach

Latest journal articles are:
Understanding gender and factors affecting fishing in an artisanal shellfish fishery
Fishery management and spatial variation of giant clam stocks: lessons from New Caledonia

Discriminating catch composition and fishing modes in an artisanal multispecies fishery
Small-scale fishing income and fuel consumption: Fiji’s artisanal sea cucumber fishery
Analysis of optimal habitat for captive-release of the sea cucumber Holothuria scabra
Distribution of economic returns in small-scale fisheries for international markets: a value-chain analysis
Multiple factors affect socioeconomics and wellbeing of artisanal sea cucumber fishers
Trends in small-scale artisanal fishing of sea cucumbers in Oceania

Steve is an Associate Editor for the journal Frontiers in Marine Science

Steve's areas of expertise are:
> Stock enhancement, restocking and sea ranching
> Population surveys of exploited tropical invertebrates
> Sea cucumber ecology, aquaculture and fisheries management
> Small-scale and artisanal fisheries
> Ecology and restocking of tropical topshell (Trochus)
> Tagging methods for marine invertebrates
> Sampling and experimental design
> Reef fish ecology