Anthony, Ken

Dr Ken Anthony

Associate Principal Research Scientist
Modelling and decision support
Contact number
(07) 4753 4444
+61-7-4753 4444
Contact email

I am a marine scientist with a passion for marine conservation. I started my career as an engineer, but transitioned to marine biology after my first coral reef encounter in the Seychelles in 1986. I now call the Great Barrier Reef home. 

My call in life is to use science to help sustain marine ecosystems in the face of climate change and other pressures from nature and mankind. Using tools from decision science, risk modelling and business strategy, I work with marine conservationists, environmental managers and policy-makers to find and communicate solutions that can work for ecosystems and people.

I aim to produce science that can help conservation and restoration programs do two things: 1) build resilience and protect biodiversity, and 2) help them sustain ecosystem services that support economies, industries, and the livelihoods of millions.

PhD Philosophy (Marine Biology), James Cook University, cum laude
MSc, University of Copenhagen, cum laude
BSc, University of Copenhagen

My main focus is on the development of models and tools to support coral reef conservation and effective decision-making. I collaborate with colleagues globally and we try to understand how we can build resilience on coral reefs under climate change. Our approaches range from the development of system models to the design of conservation strategies with a diversity of stakeholders and management agencies. Everything we do is grounded in science and our key approaches include: 

  • Decision science
  • Risk and cost-benefit analysis
  • Complex systems modelling
  • Cumulative impact analysis
  • Multi-objective problem-solving
  • Strategy design

Anthony K, Bay LK, Costanza R, and 15 co-authors (2017) New interventions are needed to save coral reefs. Nature Ecology & Evolution 1:1420-1422

Anthony K, Schaffelke B, Bay L, van Oppen MJH (2017) The Great Barrier Reef can repair itself, with a little help from science. The Conversation 85182

Anthony K (2016) Coral reefs under climate change and ocean acidification - challenges and opportunities for management and policy. Annual Rev Environ Resources 41: 59-81.

NH Wolff, PJ Mumby, M Devlin, KRN Anthony (2018) Vulnerability of the Great Barrier Reef to climate change and local pressures. Global Change Biology 24:1978-1991

McGowan J, Possingham HP, Anthony K (2016) Don't let climate crush coral effort. Nature 536: 396

Anthony KRN, Marshall PM, and 28 co-authors (2015) Operationalizing resilience for adaptive coral reef management under global environmental change. Global Change Biology 


Mumby PJ, Anthony K (2015) Resilience metrics to inform ecosystem management under global change with application to coral reefs Methods in Ecology and Evolution 6: 1088-1096.

McLeod E, Anthony K et al. (2012) Integrating climate and ocean change vulnerability into conservation planning. Coastal Management 40:651-672.

Anthony K, Kleypas J, Gattuso J-P. (2011) Coral reefs modify their seawater¿s chemistry ¿ implications for impacts of ocean acidification. Global Change Biology 17: 3655-3666.

Anthony K, Diaz-Pulido G, Maynard JA, Mumby PJ, Hoegh Guldberg O (2011) Ocean acidification and warming will lower coral reef resilience. Global Change Biology 17:1798-1808.

Anthony K et al. (2009) An energetics approach to predicting mortality risk from environmental stress: a case study of coral bleaching. Functional Ecology 23: 539-550.

Anthony K, Kline DI, Diaz-Pulido G, Dove S. Hoegh-Guldberg O. (2008) Ocean acidification causes bleaching and productivity loss in coral reef builders. PNAS 105: 17442-17446.

Maynard JA, Anthony K, Marshall P (2008) Major bleaching events lead to increased thermal tolerance in corals. Marine Biology 155: 173-182.

Anthony K, Connolly SR & Hoegh-Guldberg O (2007) Bleaching, energetics and coral mortality risk: effects of temperature, light and sediment regime. L&O 52: 716-726.

Anthony KRN & Connolly SR (2004) Environmental limits to growth: physiological niche boundaries of corals along turbidity-light gradients. Oecologia 141: 373-384.