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Conservation groups pay tribute to Reef water quality scientist Dr Jon Brodie

June 19, 2020

Dr Jon Brodie

The Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS), and our partners, WWF-Australia would like to pay tribute to Dr Jon Brodie, who sadly passed away last week.

Dr Brodie was one of Australia’s leading scientists on the impacts of poor water quality from land-based sources on the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

For 11 years he managed the Water Quality Research and Management Program of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and subsequently worked in environmental research and management for many years at the Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. He also had a great deal of experience and expertise on marine and freshwater pollution through extended periods working in the South Pacific

Dr Brodie was not only a leading researcher but a bold and influential advocate for policy, regulation and investment to tackle water quality issues for the Reef. He was a fearless force for change when it was clear that the scale of the problem of pollution in the Reef’s waters far outweighed solutions in place to tackle it.

Despite often facing considerable resistance, Jon always put the health of the Reef first and was uncompromising in his pursuit of the best outcomes for the Reef.

Dr Brodie’s career produced hundreds of peer reviewed articles, technical reports and other documents. While it is difficult to single out individual publications, Dr Brodie’s leading of the Scientific Consensus Statements on land use impacts on Great Barrier Reef water quality and ecosystems which were published in 2008, 2013 and 2016/17 were hugely influential. By bringing together leading researchers and their data, these Statements drove the acknowledgement of the seriousness of the problem of poor water quality on Reef health and continue to influence the policy response to this day.

Many of the team in WWF and AMCS worked directly with Jon over the years. He was a powerful and inspirational voice for the Reef, and we will continue to strive to uphold his great legacy.