The UWA Oceans Institute brings together the University’s multidisciplinary research strengths across areas including oceanography, ecology, engineering, resource management and governance to address key ocean challenges.
We work with local, state and federal governments, industry and business, research institutions and the community to help generate solutions towards the sustainable use of ocean resources.
Christophe is an offshore geotechnical engineer and scientist with a focus on supporting and developing marine renewable energy using multidisciplinary approaches. Christophe has held several leadership roles, including Head of the Oceans Graduate School, Director of the National Geotechnical Centrifuge Facilities, Director of the Centre for Offshore Foundation Systems, and Director of Marine Energy Research Australia, which he founded to support industry, scientists and government in developing innovative offshore renewable energy technology and in defining the future energy landscape in Australia and worldwide.
Christophe is passionate about all things associated with the marine environment, and notably in bringing together all stakeholders to address the scientific and social challenges currently faced by our oceans.
A/Professor Nicki Mitchell
Nicki is an interdisciplinary researcher with a background studying the physiological ecology of reptiles and amphibians. She works across marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments to explore the capacity of threatened species to survive rapid environmental change, and to offer management solutions. Nicki has a long-term research program on the impact of climate change on sea turtles, and has a scientific advisory role in biodiversity conservation and policy with the Commonwealth government.
Business Support Manager
Emily’s background is in strategic communications and multi-stakeholder engagement. She works alongside the team to design and implement projects and initiatives that advance the goals of the Institute and drive successful business outcomes.
Cora is a professional EA with a diverse career at executive and senior management levels in corporate, government and higher education sectors for over 21 years, having worked across Australia.
Viv has a background in environmental biology and science communication, with a passion for sharing science in interesting ways to wide ranging audiences. She promotes engagement within the WA community and beyond to raise science awareness.
Communications Support Officer
Josh is a multi-disciplinary Coral Reef Scientist who uses coral reef ecology, sedimentology and geomorphology to study the resilience and sensitivity of coral reefs and their islands to global climate change. He has extensive technical, field and laboratory experience, and is particularly interested in applying his research to the development and implementation of conservation management outcomes within marginal ecosystems.
External Advisory Board
Made up of senior representatives from major research institutions, industry and government, the Oceans Institute External Advisory Board provides independent, high-level advice on industry and policy needs, as well as trends in the Indian Ocean region, to guide our strategic planning.
Mr Jock Clough
Chair, UWA Oceans Institute Advisory Board
Jock has an extensive background in the engineering, finance and aquaculture industries. He is also an advisory board member at The Nature Conservancy (Australia), is on the advisory committee of the WA Maritime Museum and is a co-trustee of The Jock Clough Marine Foundation.
Dr Erica Smyth AC
Non Executive Director MinEX CRC and Lions Eye Institute
Erica has 45 years of experience in the minerals and petroleum industries in Australia. For 3.5 years, until mid-2020, she was Chair of NOPSEMA and held a number of NED roles in both ASX-listed and research focused companies. She has, over the past 10 years, been a member of a number of Federal Government working parties and task forces.
An American marine biologist, Larry began researching plankton in the 1970s and was a pioneer of in situ methods, including open ocean SCUBA diving and the use of submersibles and remote vehicles. Larry has served on over 70 ocean expeditions across the globe. He was VP for research for 13 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
Professor Carmen Lawrence
Professor Emerita, School of Psychology, UWA
After training as a research psychologist, Carmen entered politics in 1986, serving at both state and federal levels for 21 years. After shifting to federal politics in 1994 she became Minister for Health and Human Services and Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Status of Women. Carmen retired from politics in 2007.
Professor John Chandler
Co-Director, Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law, UWA
John has specialised in mining and petroleum development law for more than 30 years, as a partner in leading law firms such as Freehills, and as a company director. Now a professor in the Law School at UWA, John specialises in oil and gas law and is the co-author of Australia's leading textbook in the area as well as numerous articles on oil and gas regulation. His current focus is how Australia can improve the sustainability of offshore oil and gas operations and minimise their impact on oceans.
Adjunct Professor Luke Smith
Chief Environmental Scientist, Woodside Energy
Luke has worked on several major oil and gas developments both in Australia and internationally. He has over 20 years of experience in managing large marine research programs focused on understanding oil and gas-based environmental science and management and has authored two books.
Bright minds helping us solve
Experts working to solve the biggest ocean issues of our time