Dr Manuel Gonzalez Rivero wearing a blue shirt,  with the ocean and islands in the background.

Dr Manuel Gonzalez Rivero

Research Team Leader
Reef Process Dynamics
Contact number
(07) 4753 4232
+61 7 4753 4232

Broad research interests on multidisciplinary approaches to understand drivers of change in coral reefs ecosystems, and ultimately, to inform ecosystem-based management. This involves areas such as spatial and disturbance ecology, coral reef monitoring and ecosystem-based mathematical modelling. 

My research background covers different angles of coral reef ecology: 

Ecology of coral reef sponges

Exploring aspects of theoretical ecology in coral reefs, using field observations, experimental work and mathematical models, to understand long-term trajectories.

Experimental biology to evaluate climate change effects on phenological patterns

Global coral reef monitoring by implementing technological advances in artificial intelligence to explore broad-scale patterns of coral reef change at high-definition (XL Catlin Seaview Survey)


Research Scientist - Australian Insititute of Marine Science, Townsville, AU
Post-Doctoral Fellow (Global Change Institute), University of Queensland, Brisbane AU
Post Doctoral Fellow (School of Biological Sciences), University of Queensland, Brisbae AU
PhD in Biological Sciences - University of Exeter, UK
BSc in Biological Sciences - Universidad Central de Venezuela, Venezuela

A part of the Coral Reef monitoring group at AIMS my current research covers: 

  • Contribute to coral reef monitoring projects, approaches and data analyses to advance the applicability and outputs of this research.
  • Capitalise on technological advances to support fast-tracking and up-scaling coral reef monitoring such as: Automated image recognition, Autonomous underwater vehicles, 3D modelling and Habitat Mapping.
  • Understanding the impact cumulative and independent drivers on coral reef change.
Research areas

Image Analysis, Marine Ecology, Ecology, Marine Biology, Climate Change, Ecology and Evolution, Segmentation, Spatial Analysis, Biodiversity, Remote Sensing


González-Rivero M, Harborne AR, Herrera-Reveles A, Bozec YM, Rogers A, Friedman A, Ganase A, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2017) Linking fishes to multiple metrics of coral reef structural complexity using three-dimensional technology. Scientific Reports 7:13965.

Griffin KJ, Hedge LH, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Hoegh-Guldberg OI, Johnston EL (2017) An evaluation of semi-automated methods for collecting ecosystem-level data in temperate marine systems. Ecol Evol 7:4640-4650.

Bryant DEP, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Phinn S, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Brown KT, Neal BP, Hoegh-Guldberg O, Dove S (2017) Comparison of two photographic methodologies for collecting and analyzing the condition of coral reef ecosystems. Ecosphere 8.

Gonzalez-Rivero M, Bozec YM, Chollett I, Ferrari R, Schonberg CH, Mumby PJ (2016) Asymmetric competition prevents the outbreak of an opportunistic species after coral reef degradation. Oecologia 181:161-173.

González-Rivero M, Beijbom O, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Holtrop T, González-Marrero Y, Ganase A, Roelfsema C, Phinn S, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2016) Scaling up ecological measurements of coral reefs using semi-automated field image collection and analysis. Remote Sensing 8:30.

Ferrari R, McKinnon D, He H, Smith NR, Corke P, González-Rivero M, Mumby PJ, Upcroft B (2016) Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity: A cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling. Remote Sensing 8:113

Doropoulos C, Ward S, Roff G, Gonzalez-Rivero M, Mumby PJ (2015) Linking demographic processes of juvenile corals to benthic recovery trajectories in two common reef habitats. PLoS ONE 10:e0128535

González-Rivero M, Bongaerts P, Beijbom O, Pizarro O, Friedman A, Rodriguez-Ramirez A, Upcroft B, Laffoley D, Kline D, Bailhache C, Vevers R, Hoegh-Guldberg O (2014) The Catlin Seaview Survey - kilometre-scale seascape assessment, and monitoring of coral reef ecosystems. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems 24:184-198.