Researcher biography

Devin Rowell is a Master of Conservation Science candidate at The University of Queensland under the supervision of Professor Richard Fuller and Nur Arafeh-Dalmau. Although she grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA surrounded by oyster reefs and seagrasses, her true passion lies with coral reef ecosystems. Spending her summers fishing and snorkelling in the Florida Keys, Devin quickly fell in love with these vibrant underwater cities and their need for protection has driven her aspirations ever since.

Devin’s interest in bridging ecosystem management and community engagement began with a B.A. in Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, where she worked on various interdisciplinary conservation projects focused on applying science to solve real world problems. After obtaining her bachelor’s, Devin worked as an environmental scientist for a consulting company where she was involved in a variety of monitoring, compliance, and sustainability projects. This included a major national project focused on preventing pollution and promoting environmental best practices in industrial manufacturing centres around the United States. She also has experience in marine conservation and coral restoration, working for MOTE’s Tropical Research Laboratory on their reef restoration program in the Florida Keys, and is interested in the development of community-based conservation protocols to develop sustainable reef restoration programs worldwide.

Since moving to Brisbane, Devin has become a volunteer scuba surveyor for Reef Check Australia. She has been inspired through her involvement with such a motivated, hopeful group that we as citizens of this planet have the ability to make a difference and create positive change.

Her current research investigates the influence of socioeconomic input data resolution on the effectiveness of marine protected area design. Her experience working with a variety of stakeholders on previous projects has ignited her interest in collaborative problem solving and how the best-available science can be used to inform decision-making.


Richter, Brian D., Brown, James D., DiBenedetto, Rachel, Gorsky, Adrianna, Keenan, Emily, Madray, Chantal, Morris, Martha, Rowell, Devin, and Ryu, Susan. (2017) Opportunities for saving and reallocating agricultural water to alleviate water scarcity. Water Policy, 19 886-907. doi:10.2166/wp.2017.143