Researcher biography

Amelia was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She completed her B.A. in Biology at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. Seeking warmer weather, she moved to Townsville to complete her Graduate Diploma and PhD at The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. Amelia’s PhD research focused on the effects of suspended sediment on early life history stages of coral reef fish.  During this time, Amelia also worked as a water quality scientist for the Marine Monitoring Program at TropWater.

Amelia’s broader research focuses on connecting ecological and spatial data to assess responses of coastal and marine systems to threats, in order to determine ecological ramifications of ecosystem degradation. She uses this ecological information to aid in decision making about management interventions. In 2013, Amelia joined Prof. Bob Pressey’s lab group as a postdoctoral researcher. Her research focused on the prioritization of management actions on islands in Western Australia and Queensland. This project was in collaboration with the Department of Parks and Wildlife in Western Australia and the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Currently, Amelia is a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. She is quantifying the effects of land-based runoff on fisheries in Melanesia, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Society.  She is also involved in several other collaborative research projects. These include: 1) understanding how dredging affects fisheries in Western Australia, in collaboration with Curtin University, WA Department of Parks and Wildlife, and WA Fisheries, as part of the WAMSI Dredging Science node and 2) Understanding drivers of coral reef health in Myanmar, in collaboration with Cornell University, the Environmental Defense Fund, and Fauna & Flora International.