• The University of Western Australia (M470), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


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Personal profile

Roles and responsibilities

Program coordinator: Marine Biology major, Bachelor of Marine Science , Master of Marine Biology , Combined Bachelor's and Masters in Marine Science

Committee Co-Chair: Community and Outreach (School of Biological Sciences)

Committee member: Learning and Teaching and School Board (School of Biological Sciences), OceanWorks (Woodside FutureLab Network)


I study the influence of the ocean's physical and biotic environment on the population dynamics and distribution of marine benthic organisms. Much of my research integrates the fields of biology, spatial ecology, oceanography and fishery science, building toward a better mechanistic understanding of marine populations and communities. . My PhD focused on the ecophysiology of seagrasses in restored meadows in estuarine ecosystems. Post PhD, I developed my GIS and statistical modelling skills to produce benthic habitat maps for fisheries management and seagrass genetic studies. My current research interests relate to understanding the resilience of marine communities and ecosystem functioning in a changing world, including developing a spatially explicit understanding of climate refugia in marine systems and assessing the distribution and impact of plastics in nearshore and estuarine ecosystems.

I have extensive field experience in tropical and temperate reef (coral and macroalgae dominated communities), seagrass and mangrove habitats. This includes boat based (towed video, water sampling, grab) and diving (SCUBA & free diving) data collection methods. I also have extensive laboratory and processing experience. This includes chemical analysis of sediment and plant material, video and photo analysis (seagrass, macroalgae and coral dominated communites) and macrophyte taxonomy.

Teaching overview

I enjoy both undergraduate teaching and research training for Honours, Masters and PhD students. My passion for teaching started as an undergrad during which time I got a job working at the Department of Environment and Conservation (now DBCA) as a Marine Guide. This work involved developing and running marine based education activities at the beach and in the class room. My tertiary teaching experience started as a PhD student where I co-ordinated laboratory and field activities. I am currently the co-coordinator for the Marine Biology, Marine Science and Master of Marine Biology degrees as well as coordinate and teach into three undergraduate units plus two postgraduate units. I am proactive in developing Teaching and Learning philosophies as evidenced through my participation in unit development, strategic workshops, education committees and training courses. I have written and submitted teaching grants on a regular basis since 2014. In 2015, I was awarded a TL strategic fund grant to improve the learning experience in marine science units. I have also actively sort industry funding to support undergraduate teaching, particularly the Field Techniques in Marine Science field trip.

Program Co-coordinator: Masters of Marine Biology, Combined Bachelor's and Masters (CBM) in Marine Science, Marine Biology, Marine Science

Unit Coordinator: BIOL1131 Plant and Animal Biology, SCIE3304 Field Techniques in Marine Science, ENVT3306 Coastal Conservation and Management, BIOL4411 Marine Field Studies, BIOL4408 Marine Ecology

Lecturer/contributor: ENVT2221 Global Climate Change and Biodiversity, BIOL2204 Marine Biology

Current projects


Kingsley Griffin: Mapping benthic habitats 


Katrina Bornt: Plastic contamination in commercially important decapod crustaceans

Thomas Crutchett: Investigating plastic pollution in estuarine environments

Scott Evans: Understanding the relationships between fishery recruitment and essential benthic habitats within an ecosystem based fisheries management framework for prawn fisheries

Hadiyanto Hadiyanto: Biogeographical patterns of rocky intertidal assemblages along Indo-West Australian waters under current and future climate scenarios

Clelia Mula: Investigating the role of macroalgae as nursery habitat for coral reef fishes

Matilda Murley: A holistic approach to the ecological assessment of macroinvertebrates on intertidal rock platforms in Western Australia

Adi Zvifler: Resilience, Restoration and Refugia – the future of Ningaloo and Exmouth Gulf coral reefs

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Marine Ecology, PhD, The University of Western Australia

Award Date: 30 Mar 2010

Research expertise keywords

  • Geographic information systems (GIS)
  • Geostatistics
  • Habitat mapping
  • Benthic community ecology
  • Marine biology
  • Microplastics


Dive into the research topics where Renae Hovey is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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