Dr Dianne McLean

Dr Dianne McLean

Team Leader and Fish Ecologist

08 6369 4043
(+61) 08 6369 4043


Dr McLean leads decommissioning marine research for AIMS, working closely with collaborators across the globe to investigate the influence of oil and gas infrastructure in marine ecosystems. Dr McLean is a fish ecologist with extensive experience in the development, use and analysis of underwater video imagery for ecological research. She has extensive experience in using industry ROV and AUV imagery for science and in working with the oil and gas industry to enhance surveys around infrastructure to inform scientific understanding.


Tertiary Education

PhD in Marine Science (The University of Western Australia)


Employment History

2018-present Fish Ecologist, Australian Institute of Marine Science.

2012-2018 Research Assistant Professor, Oceans Institute and Oceans Graduate School, The University of Western Australia

2011-2012 Principal Marine Scientist, Mindabbie Marine Consulting

2008-2010 Research Assistant Professor, Centre for Marine Futures, The University of Western Australia

2006-2008 Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Plant Biology, The University of Western Australia & Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (fisheries)

2003-2006 PhD Marine Science, The University of Western Australia

2000-2003 Assistant to the Chief Executive Office, Aquaculture Council of Western Australia

2001 Technical Officer, Great Southern Marine Hatcheries, Albany WA



Fay Gale Fellowship, UWA (2015)

Best Postgraduate Publication in 2005 Prize, School of Plant Biology

Coastal CRC Student Oral Presentation Award (2004)

Australian Postgraduate Award with Coastal CRC top-up scholarship (2003)

Ernest Hodgkin Memorial Prize in Marine Science (2002)

Australian Marine Science Association Honours Prize (2002)


The Australian Institute of Marine Science delivers the environmental knowledge and innovation required to drive sound decision-making for sustainable decommissioning of offshore oil and gas infrastructure.

AIMS delivers rigorous marine research as it relates to the decommissioning challenge, with demonstrated expertise in assessments of the impacts of subsea oil and gas infrastructure on:

  • Marine biodiversity and ecosystems
  • Commercial and recreational fisheries
  • Protected, vulnerable and endangered species
  • Invasive species colonisation and movement
  • Contaminants in marine ecosystems

Decommissioning of offshore infrastructure poses environmental challenges for the global offshore energy industry. AIMS’ research is helping industry, their stakeholders, and regulators manage the unique environmental challenges that Australia’s remoteness provides.


Other Activities

Student supervision

Higher Degree by Research

  • A multidisciplinary approach to determine the best environmental outcomes for decommissioning offshore infrastructure (Sarah Watson commenced PhD 2020)
  • Examination of the value of subsea infrastructure to fish and fisheries (Todd Bond completed PhD May 2020)
  • Shark depredation in the Ningaloo Marine Park (Jon Mitchell completed PhD March 2019)



  • Shark depredation of commercial longline fisheries (Harrison Carmody)
  • Effectiveness of artificial reefs for targeted fishes (Sam Bock)
  • Shark depredation in Shark Bay recreational fisheries (Charlotte Mara-Petersen)


  • Marine Ecology of the Port Coogee Artificial Reef (Matthew Hammond)
  • Methods for modelling fish-habitat relationships (Anna Feng)


  • Influence of suspended sediments on fish (Molly Moustaka)
  • Distribution of fish throughout the Exmouth Gulf (Ross Gillis)
  • Shark populations inside and outside no-take sanctuary zones at Ningaloo (Isabella Lingren)
  • Onshore-offshore ontogenetic shifts in commercial fish species distribution (Mike Taylor)
  • Optimal stereo-BRUV survey time for sampling juvenile target fish species (Leah Candland)
  • Effect of sanctuary zone protection on lagoonal reef fish assemblages at Ningaloo (Julian Haberstroh)
  • Effects of fishing within the Ningaloo Marine Park, Western Australia (Brigitte Vaughan)


  • Effects of habitat and recreational fishing on marine fish in the Pilbara (Danielle Collins)
  • Using stereo-DOVs to collect meaningful data on benthic communities (Katherine Bennett)
  • Fisher deployed baited video throughout the west coast bioregion (Michael Brooker)
  • Are depredation rates by reef sharks influenced by fisher behaviour? (Magen Schifiliti)


  • An examination of bias in measures obtained from baited video surveys (Amy Coghlan)
  • Response of six targeted fish species to protection from fishing at the Abrolhos Islands (Katrina Bornt)
  • The effect of artificial illumination on a tropical reef fish assemblage (Conor Fitzpatrick)
  • Effects of fishing at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (George Shedrawi)

Referred Journal Articles

ORCHID ID: 0000-0002-0306-8348; ResearcherID: H-2449-2012

1.          McLean DL, Bond T, Partridge JC, Rouse S, Love M (2020) The impact of oil and gas infrastructure in marine ecosystems; a global vision for informing decommissioning decisions. The APPEA Journal. 60(2) 476-479 https://doi.org/10.1071/AJ19153

2.          Langlois T, Goetze J, Bond T., …. McLean DL, et al. (2020) A field and video annotation guide for baited remote underwater stereo-video surveys of demersal fish assemblages. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.13470.

3.          MacNeil MA, Chapman D, …. McLean DL, et al. (2020) Global status and conservation potential of reef sharks. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2519-y 

4.          McLean, DL, Parsons MJG, Gates AR, et al.  (2020). Enhancing the Scientific Value of Industry Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) in Our Oceans. Frontiers in Marine Science doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00220

5.          Todd VLG, Lazar L, Williamson LD, Peters IT, Hoover AL, Cox SE, Todd IB, Macreadie PI,  McLean DL (2020) Underwater Visual Records of Marine Megafauna Around Offshore Anthropogenic Structures. Frontiers in Marine Science 7(230). doi: 10.3389/fmars.2020.00220

6.          Brooker MA, de Lestang S, Fairclough DV, McLean D, Slawinski D, Pember MB, Langlois TJ (2020) Environmental and anthropogenic factors affect fish abundance: relationships revealed by automated cameras deployed by fishers. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi:10.3389/fmars.2020.00279

7.          Hammond M, Bond T, Prince J, Hovey RK, McLean DL (2020) An assessment of change to fish and benthic communities following installation of an artificial reef. Regional studies in Marine Science. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2020.101408

8.          McLean DL, Vaughan BI, Malseed BE, Taylor MD (2020) Fish-habitat associations on a subsea pipeline within an Australian Marine Park. Marine Environmental Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2019.104813

9.          Bond T, Mueller RJ, Birt MJ, Prince J, Miller K, Partridge JC, McLean DL (2020) Mystery pufferfish create elaborate circular nests at mesophotic depths in Australia. Journal of Fish Biology. 97:1401-1407. DOI: 10.1111/jfb.14506

10.       Bond T, Prince J, McLean DL, Partridge J (2020) Comparing the utility of industry ROV and hybrid-AUV imagery for surveys of fish along a subsea pipeline. Marine Technology Society Journal. 54(3):33-42.

11.       Mitchell JD, Schifiliti M, Birt MJ, Bond T, McLean DL, Barnes PB, Langlois TJ (2020) A novel experimental approach to investigate the potential for behavioural change in sharks in the context of depredation. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jembe.2020.151440

12.       Cresswell AK, Langlois TJ, et al… McLean DL, et al. (2019) Disentangling the response of fishes to recreational fishing over 30 years within a fringing coral reef reserve network. Biological Conservation 237:514-524.

13.       Goetze JS, Bond T, McLean DL, Saunders BJ, Langlois TJ, Lindfield S, Fullwood LAF, Driessen D, Shedrawi G, Harvey ES (2019). A field and video analysis guide for diver operated stereo-video. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.13189

14.          McLean DL, Taylor MD, Giraldo A, Partridge JC (2019) An assessment of fish and marine growth associated with an oil and gas platform jacket using an augmented remotely operated vehicle. Continental Shelf Research. 179:66-84

Levin LA, et al… McLean D, et al.. (2019). Global observing needs in the deep ocean. Frontiers in Marine Science. doi: 10.3389/fmars.2019.0024

16.       Birt MJ, Bond T, Taylor M, McLean DL, Langlois TJ (2019) Chasing tail: putative pre-copulatory behaviour in free-living zebra sharks (Stegastoma fasciatum). Matters. DOI10.19185/matters.201903000016

17.       Mitchell J, McLean D, Collin S, Langlois T (2019) Shark depredation and behavioural interactions with fishing gear in a recreational fishery in Western Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 616:107-122

18.       Bond T, Partridge J, Taylor MD, Cooper T, McLean DL (2018) The influence of depth and a subsea pipeline on fish assemblages and commercially fished species in north-west Australia. PLOS One. 13(11):e0207703 https://doi.org/10.1371/journal. pone.0207703 

19.       Bond T, Partridge JC, Taylor MD, Langlois TJ, Malseed BE, Smith LD, McLean DL (2018) Fish associated with a subsea pipeline and adjacent seafloor of the North West Shelf of Western Australia. Marine Environmental Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marenvres.2018.08.003

20.       McLean DL, Taylor MD, Partridge JC, Gibbons B, Langlois TJ, Malseed BE, Smith L, Bond T (2018) Fish and habitats on wellhead on the north west shelf of Western Australia. Continental Shelf Research. 164:10-27 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.csr.2018.05.007 

21.       Moustaka M, Langlois TJ, McLean D, Bond T, Fisher R, Fearns P, Dorji P, Evans R (2018) The effects of suspended sediment on coral reef fish assemblages and feeding guilds of north-west Australia. Coral Reefs. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-018-1690-1

22.       Bond T, Langlois TJ, Partridge JC, Birt MJ, Malseed BE, Smith L, McLean D (2018) Diel shifts and habitat associations of fish assemblages on a subsea pipeline. Fisheries Research 206:220-234. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.fishres.2018.05.011

23.       Wenger AS, Rawson C, Wilson S, Newman SJ, Travers MJ, Atkinson S, Browne N, Clarke D, Depczynski M, Erftemeijer PLA, Evans RD, Hobbs J-PA, McIlwain JL, McLean D, Saunders B, Harvey E (2018) Management strategies to minimize the dredging impacts of coastal development on fish and fisheries. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12572           

24.       Mitchell JD, McLean DL, Collin SP, Langlois TJ (2018) Shark depredation in commercial and recreational fisheries Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11160-018-9528-z

25.       Macreadie P, McLean D, Thomson P, Partridge J, Jones DOB, Gates AR, Benfield MC, Collin SP, Booth DJ, Smith LL, Techera E, Skropeta D, Horton T, Pattiaratchi C, Bodd T, Fowler A (2018). Eyes in the sea: Unlocking the mysteries of the ocean using industrial, remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). Science of the Total Environment 634:1077-1091.

26.       Mitchell JD, McLean DL, Collin SP, Taylor S, Jackson G, Fisher R, Langlois TJ (2018) Quantifying shark depredation in a recreational fishery in the Ningaloo Marine Park and Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 587:141-157

27.       Coghlan AR, Langlois TJ, McLean D, Harvey ES (2017) Does fish behaviour bias abundance and length information collected by baited underwater video? Journal Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology. 497:143-151

28.       McLean D, Partridge JC, Bond T, Birt MJ, Bornt KR, Langlois TJ (2017) Using industry ROV videos to assess fish associations with subsea pipelines. Continental Shelf Research 141:76-97.

29.       Fraser MW, Short J, Kendrick GA, McLean D, Byrne M, Caley J, Clarke D, Davis AR, Erftemeijer PLA, Field S, Gustin-Craig S, Huisman J, Keesing J, Keogh M, Lavery P, Masini R, McMahon K, Mengerson K, Rasheed M, Statton J, Stoddart J, Wu P (2017) Effects of dredging on critical ecological processes for marine invertebrates, seagrasses and macroalgae, and the potential for management with environmental windows using Western Australia as a case study. Ecological Indicators 78 229-242.

30.       Wenger AS, Harvey E, Rawson C, Wilson S, Newman SJ, Clarke D, Saunders B, Browne N, Travers MJ, Erftemeijer PLA, McIlwain JL, Hobbs JA, McLean D, Depczynski M, Evans RD (2017) A critical analysis of the direct effects of dredging on fish. Fish and Fisheries 1-19.

31.       Collins DL, Langlois TJ, McLean D, Bond T, Holmes TH, Harvey ES, Fisher R (2016). A novel stereo-video method to investigate fish-habitat relationships. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1111/2041-210X.12650

32.       Bennett K, Wilson S, Shedrawi G, McLean D, Langlois T (2016) Can diver operated stereo-video surveys for fish be used to collect meaningful data on benthic coral reef communities? Limnology and Oceanography: Methods. DOI:10.1002/lom3.10141

33.       Leckie SHF, Mohr Henning, Draper S, McLean D, White DJ, Cheng L (2016). Sedimentation-induced burial of subsea pipelines: observations from field data and laboratory experiments. Coastal Engineering, 114: 137-158.

34.       McLean D, Langlois TJ, Bond T, Birt MJ, Bornt KR, Collins DL, Travers M, Evans S, Newman S, Wakefield C, Holmes T, Babcock R, Fisher R (2016). Distribution, abundance, diversity and habitat associations of fishes across a dynamic bioregion experiencing rapid coastal development. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 178:36-47

35.       Bornt KR, McLean D, Langlois TJ, Harvey ES, Bellchambers LM, Evans S, Newman SJ. (2015) Targeted demersal fish species exhibit variable responses to long-term protection from fishing at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. Coral Reefs, DOI 10.1007/s00338-015-1336-5.

36.       McLean D, Green M, Harvey ES, Williams A, Daley R, Graham KJ (2015) Comparison of baited longlines and baited underwater cameras for assessing the composition of continental slope deepwater fish assemblages off southeast Australia. Deep-Sea Research Part 1: Oceanographic Research Papers, 98: 10-20.

37.       Shedrawi G, Harvey ES, McLean D, Prince J, Bellchambers L, Newman SJ (2014) Evaluation of the effect of closed areas on a unique and shallow water coral reef fish assemblage reveals complex responses. Coral Reefs. DOI 10.1007/s00338-014-1160-3

38.       Harvey ES, Cappo M, Kendrick GA, McLean D (2013) Coastal fish assemblages reflect geological oceanographic gradients within an Australian zootone. PLOS ONE. 8(11): e80955. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080955

39.       Fitzpatrick C, McLean D, Harvey E (2013) Using artificial illumination to survey nocturnal tropical reef fish. Fisheries Research, 146:41-50.

40.       Harvey E, Butler J, McLean D, Shand J (2012) Contrasting habitat use of diurnal and nocturnal fish assemblages in temperate Western Australia. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 426-427:78-85.

41.       Harvey ES, Newman SJ, McLean D, Cappo M, Meeuwig JJ, Skepper CL (2012) Comparison of the relative efficiencies of stereo BRUVS and traps for sampling tropical continental shelf demersal fishes. Fisheries Research 125-126:108-120.

42.       Harvey ES, Dorman SR, Fitzpatrick C, Newman SJ, McLean D (2012) Response of diurnal and nocturnal coral reef fish to protection from fishing: an assessment using baited remote underwater video. Coral Reefs 31(4): 939-950.

43.       Langlois TJ, Fitzpatrick BR, Fairclough D, Wakefield C, Hesp A, McLean D, Harvey ES, Meeuwig JJ (2012) Similarities between line fishing and baited stereo-video estimates of length-frequency: Novel application of kernel density estimates. PLOS ONE 7(11):1-9.

44.       McLean D, Harvey ES, Meeuwig JJ (2011) Declines in the abundance of coral trout (Plectropomus leopardus) in areas closed to fishing at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 406:71-78.

45.       McLean D, Harvey ES, Fairclough DV, Newman SJ (2010) Large decline in the abundance of a targeted tropical lethrinids at the southern limit of its range. Marine Ecology Progress Series 418:189-199.

46.       Watson D, Harvey ES, Fitzpatrick BM, Langlois TJ, Shedrawi G (2010) Assessing reef fish assemblage structure: how do different stereo-video techniques compare? Marine Biology 157:1237-1250.

47.       Langlois TJ, Harvey ES, Fitzpatrick B, Meeuwig JJ, Shedrawi G, Watson D (2010) Cost-efficient sampling of fish assemblages: comparison of baited video stations and diver video transects. Aquatic Biology 9:155-168.

48.       Watson D, Harvey ES, Kendrick GA, Anderson MJ, Nardi K (2009) Effects of protection from fishing on the lengths of targeted and non-targeted fish species at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. Marine Ecology Progress Series 384: 241-249.

49.       Watson D, Harvey ES (2009) Influence of the Leeuwin Current on fish assemblages of the Houtman Abrolhos. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 92:147-154.

50.       Watson D, Harvey ES (2007) Behaviour of temperate and sub-tropical reef fishes towards a stationary SCUBA diver. Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology 40(2): 85-103.

51.       Watson D, Harvey ES, Kendrick GA, Anderson MJ, Nardi K (2007) Protection from fishing alters the species composition of fish assemblages in a temperate-tropical transition zone. Marine Biology 152: 1197-1206.

52.       Watson D, Harvey ES, Anderson MJ, Kendrick GA (2005) A comparison of temperate reef fish assemblages recorded by three underwater stereo-video techniques. Marine Biology 148: 415-425.

             Award: Best Postgraduate Publication in 2005 Prize, School of Plant Biology, UWA.

53.       Watson D, Daume S, Prince J, Beazley L, Knott B (2005) The influence of culture conditions on the growth and biochemical composition of an algal feed for juvenile greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata). Molluscan Research 25(1): 1-8.

54.       Watson D, Daume S, Prince J, Beazley L, Knott B (2004) The influence of light intensity on different diatoms as feed for juvenile greenlip abalone (Haliotis laevigata). Aquaculture 235: 345-359.

55.       Bailey WJ, Ager EI, O’Brien EK, Watson D (2003) Searching by visual and acoustic cues among bushcrickets (Orthoptera: Tettigoniidae): will females remain faithful to a male who stops calling? Physiological Entomology 28: 209-214.


Refereed Conference Papers

1.         McLean DL, Partridge JC, Thomson PG, Collin S, Techera E, Pattiaratchi C, Bond T, Macreadie P, Fowler A, White D, Jones D, Gates A, Horton T, Benfield M, Booth D, Smith L, Skropeta D. (2018) Understanding the Global Scientific Value of Industry ROV Data, to Quantify Marine Ecology and Guide Offshore Decommissioning Strategies. OTC-28312-MS. Offshore Technology Conference Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

2.         Bond T, Prince J, Partridge JC, White D, McLean DL (2018) The Value of Subsea Pipelines to Marine Biodiversity. OTC-28240-MS. Offshore Technology Conference Asia. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

3.         Watson DL, Harvey ES (2009) Influence of the Leeuwin Current on fish assemblages of the Houtman Abrolhos. In: K Meney and M Brocx (eds) (2009) The Leeuwin Current 2007 Symposium. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia. 92(2):147-154. 

4.         Watson DL, Harvey ES (2005) Using baited stereo-video to monitor the effects of Marine Protected Areas on reef fish assemblages at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. Proceedings of the First International Marine Protected Areas Congress, Geelong, Australia.



McLean D, Taylor M (2018) Perth Fish: Explore, Identify, Enjoy! Published by the Oceans Institute, The University of Western Australia & the Western Australian Marine Science Institution. 84 pp