Sheil to chair Great Barrier Reef expert panel

Great Barrier Reef. | Newsreel
Preserving the Great Barrier Reef is the focus of an expert advisory panel. | iStock

QUT Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil is the new chair of the Reef 2050 Independent Expert Panel.

The panel provides independent advice to Government on a range of issues including emerging scientific matters for the Great Barrier Reef, its health and long-term sustainability.

It also advises on the Reef 2050 Plan, an overarching framework for protecting and managing the Great Barrier Reef to 2050, which is jointly delivered by the Federal and Queensland governments in collaboration with local governments, Traditional Owners, researchers, industries and communities.

Professor Sheil said she looked forward to providing expert scientific advice to government as part of the long-term sustainability plan for one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders.

“Already this year we have seen back-to-back cyclones compound the many challenges facing our Great Barrier Reef,” Professor Sheil said.

“I am honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Independent Expert Panel as part of the Reef 2050 Plan to put our best scientific minds together to guide governments in the restoration and preservation of the Reef into the future.”

In 2023, Professor Sheil led a comprehensive review into the Australian Research Council to help grow knowledge and innovation in Australia and strengthen research excellence.

“The strength of this research excellence can be seen in the Australian scientific community’s commitment to the care and protection of the 2900 reefs that make up the Great Barrier Reef,” Professor Sheil said.

“Australian researchers lead the world in innovative reef research with current advances in coral rubble stabilisation, coral adhesion and reef shading all helping to reverse coral damage and to protect this precious marine environment.”

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