Miller, Ian

Ian Miller

As a member of the Long Term Monitoring Program and under the direction of the task leader, plan, organise and undertake all work associated with the sub-project Broadscale Surveys of the Great Barrier Reef.

Contact Information

Phone (07) 4753 4471
Int +61-7-4753 4471


I obtained my BSc in Marine Biology/Zoology from JCU 1985. Upon completing my degree I worked as a Biology Technician at JCU before joining the AIMS Long Term Monitoring Program in 1989. I then completed a Masters Degree in Tropical Ecology also at JCU. I also completed a Diploma in Project Management in 2015. During my time at AIMS I have developed an in-depth knowledge of reef ecology. I have extensive experience in reef systems acquired working on many different projects and a wide range of research vessels (over 3000 days at sea) with over 3,000 hrs on scuba and have manta towed 1,000's km of reef edge. My expertise in coral reef ecology/monitoring is mainly from the Great Barrier Reef but also includes other parts of Australia (Western Australia, Torres Strait) and overseas (Asia, Pacific, Caribbean). I continue to pioneer new and improved techniques for measuring and monitoring reef health.


2015: Diploma Project Management

1994: MSc Tropical Ecology, James Cook University

1984: BSc Marine Biology/Zoology, James Cook University


As part of the Long Term Monitoring Program I co-ordinate the sub-project Broadscale Surveys of the Great Barrier Reef. This project involves systematic manta tow surveys of over one hundred reefs throughout the GBR. These surveys are designed to determine the pattern and extent of crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) that remain a major management problem for coral reefs. I also contribute to other aspects of the monitoring program that captures the natural variability of coral and fish populations and documents the effects of other disturbances like, cyclones, disease and bleaching events.


Emslie MJ, Cheal AJ, MacNeil MA, Miller IR, Sweatman HPA (2018) Reef fish communities are spooked by scuba surveys and may take hours to recover. PeerJ 6:e4886

Heywarda A, Colquhoun J, Cripps E, McCorryd D, Stoware M, Radford B, Miller K, Miller I, Battershill C (2018)No evidence of damage to the soft tissue or skeletal integrity of mesophotic corals exposed to a 3D marine seismic survey. Marine Pollution Bulletin 129(1):8-13

Osborne K, Thompson AA, Cheal AJ, Emslie MJ, Johns KA, Jonker MJ, Logan M, Miller IR, Sweatman HPA (2017) Delayed coral recovery in a warming ocean. Glob Change Biol 23(9): 3869-3881

MacNeil MA, Mellin C, Pratchett MS, Hoey J, Anthony KRN, Cheal AJ, Miller I, Sweatman H, Cowan ZL, Taylor S, Moon S, Fonnesbeck CJ (2016) Joint estimation of crown of thorns (Acanthaster plancii) densities on the Great Barrier Reef. PeerJ 4:e2310

Sweatman HPA, Johns KA, Jonker MJ, Miller IR, Osborne K (2015) Final report on coral reef surveys in Torres Strait. Report to the National Environmental Research Program. Reef and Rainforest Research Centre Limited, Cairns (46 pp)

Miller I, Sweatman H, Cheal A, Emslie M, Johns K, Jonker M, Osborne K (2015)Origins and Implications of a Primary Crown-of-Thorns Starfish Outbreak in the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Journal of Marine Biology 2015: ID 809624

Miller I, Cripps E (2013) Three dimensional marine seismic survey has no measurable effect on species richness or abundance of a coral reef associated fish community. Marine Pollution Bulletin 77(1-2):63-70

Miller IR, Logan M, Johns KA, Jonker MJ, Osborne K, Sweatman HPA (2013) Determining background levels and defining outbreaks of crustose coralline algae disease on the Great Barrier Reef. Marine and Freshwater Research 64(11):1022-1028

Cheal AJ, Emslie MJ, MacNeil MA, Miller IR, Sweatman HPA (2013) Spatial variation in the functional characteristics of herbivorous fish communities and the resilience of coral reefs. Ecological Applications. 23(1):174-188

Wilkinson C, Nowak M, Miller I, Baker V (2013) Status of Caribbean coral reefs in seven countries in 1986. Marine Pollution Bulletin 7(1-2):7-9