Water Quality Scientist
Phone: 07 4781 6435
Jon Brodie is a Senior Principal Research Officer with the Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research, James Cook University, Townsville.
In his early career, Jon spent some years as a lecturer in chemistry at Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane) and at the University of the South Pacific (Suva, Fiji), and as an analytical chemist with the CRA Metallurgical Research Section (Newcastle). For the last 30 years his interests have been in environmental research and consultancy and the management of marine and freshwater pollution. He spent ten years as an environmental researcher/consultant with the University of the South Pacific (Fiji and other Pacific island states). For 11 years he managed the Water Quality Research and Management Program of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. He has worked in environmental research and management for the last eight years while at ACTFR at James Cook University. His primary area of interest is research and management with respect to water quality issues for the Great Barrier Reef, but he has also worked extensively overseas, recently in the Middle East (Yemen), the Pacific islands (Fiji, American Samoa, Samoa, Kiribati and PNG) and South East Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand).
Jon’s research interests are in the sources of pollutants in catchments, transport of pollutants to the marine environment, the dispersal of land-based pollutants in coastal and marine environments and the effects of terrestrial pollutants on marine ecosystems. He is particularly interested in the following research areas: water quality in tropical coastal marine environments; the effects of sediments and nutrients on coral reef and seagrass bed ecosystems; catchment sources of sediment and nutrient discharge to coastal environments; land use practices which lead to enhanced rates of sediment and nutrient discharge to coastal environments; river plume dynamics and biological, physical and chemical processes occurring in river plumes; temporal and spatial dynamics of water quality on the Great Barrier Reef; water quality management systems in coral reef environments. He has published over 60 peer reviewed articles in this field as well as more than 80 technical reports.
Jon is also heavily involved in policy advice to governments regarding management of water quality issues for the Great Barrier Reef. He was the lead author of the Scientific Consensus Statement (2008) documenting the status of knowledge and management for water quality issues affecting the Great Barrier Reef for the Queensland Government. He also sits on a number of panels providing scientific and policy advice for this issue. Jon works closely with CSIRO and is directly involved in the Water for a Healthy Country flagship. He is a project leader in MTSRF project 3.7.2.
Current research projects include:
Target setting for suspended sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticide loads from the Great Barrier Reef Catchment Area to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
Estimating loads of pollutants from GBR catchment rivers to the GBR
Identifying source areas of sediments, nutrients and pesticides on the Great Barrier Reef Catchment using catchment monitoring and modelling
Understanding the dynamics and distribution of river plume waters in the Great Barrier Reef lagoon and assessing the exposure of GBR ecosystems to terrestrial pollutants
Understanding the composition of water discharging from different land uses on the Great Barrier Reef Catchment
Tracing pollutants from the catchment to the GBR to help prioritise targeted areas for catchment management initiatives
Investigating best management practices in rangeland grazing and sugarcane cultivation for optimal water quality management
Assessing best management practices in palm oil plantation development to protect off farm aquatic ecosystems (in PNG).