Dr Renata Ferrari

Ecological Risk Modeler
07-4753 4139


I work to understand and conserve ecosystems into the future. My expertise in marine ecology and conservation developed from the urge to understand drivers of ecosystem change, which evolved into a multidisciplinary set of skills, spanning extensive fieldwork, 3D remote sensing and advanced statistical modeling. 

My research combines field and laboratory data to predict ecosystem trajectories across space and time. For example, I use 3D maps to quantify the change in coral reef structure as a result of environmental change impacts. The tools and models I have developed inform management of marine and coastal ecosystems in several countries. 


BSc Biological Sciences - Universidad de las Americas, Mex
PhD in Spatial Marine Ecology- The University of Queensland
Postdoctoral Fellow - The University of Sydney - 3D Ecological Modelling Hub


My research focuses on developing useful models that inform management of coral reefs and associated ecosystems 

  • Cumulative Impacts
  • Species distributions
  • Functional traits
  • Spatial modeling
  • 3D modeling


As a the Ecosystem Risk Modeler at AIMS my research focuses on (1) developing quantitative models to improve our understanding of the influence of benthic irradiance on seabed biodiversity, these models account for (2) cumulative impacts on the GBR. My research also (3) supports existing projects through collaboraitons by incorporating novel 3D tools to measure, for example, coral growth. I hope to apply my 3D modelings skills to continue advancing our understanding of the impacts of climate change on coral reefs, and support AIMS research.

For more info see www.3dreefs.org

Other Activities


Australian Coral Reef Society Board Member
Australian Marine Science Association (Secretary of the NSW branch)
3D Ecological Modeling Hub at The University of Sydney
Statistics and Modeling group at AIMS



LM Bland, TJ Regan, MN Dinh, R Ferrari, DA Keith, R Lester, D Mouillot, NJ Murray, HA Nguyen, E Nicholson (2017) Using multiple lines of evidence to assess the risk of ecosystem collapse. Proc. R. Soc. B 284 (1863)

Ferrari R (2017) The hidden structure in coral reefs. Coral Reefs doi:10.1007/s00338-017-1540- 6 [IF 3.0]

Ferrari R, Bryson M, Bridge TCL, Hustache J, Williams SB, Byrne M and Figueira WF (2016) Quantifying the response of structural complexity and community composition to environmental change in marine communities. Global Change Biology doi:10.1111/gcb.13197 [Impact Factor 8.04]

Ferrari R, McKinnon D, He H, Smith RN, Corke P, González-Rivero M, Mumby P, Upcroft B (2016) Quantifying multiscale habitat structural complexity : a cost-effective framework for underwater 3D modelling. Remote Sensing 8(2): 113 doi:3390/rs8020113 [IF 3.18]

Gonzalez-Rivero M, Bozec YM, Chollett I, Ferrari R, Schonberg CHL, Mumby PJ (2016) Asymmetric competition prevents the outbreak of an opportunistic species after coral reef degradation. Oecologia 181: 161-173 doi:10.1007/s00442-015-3541-x [IF 3.01]

Malcolm H, Jordan A, Schultz AL, Smith SDA, Ingleton T, Foulsham E, Linklater M, Davies P, Ferrari R, Hill N, Lucieer V (2016) Integrating seafloor hábitat mapping and fish assemblage patterns improves spatial management planning in a marine park. Journal of Coastal Research. Special Issue 75(2): 1292-1296 doi: 10.2112/SI75-259 [IF 0.98]

Figueira W, Ferrari R, Weatherby E, Porter A, Hawes S, Byrne M (2015) Accuracy and precision of habitat structural complexity metrics derived from underwater photogrammetry Remote Sensing 7(12): 16883-16900 doi:3390/rs71215859 [IF 3.01]