Research Scientist within the Healthy and Resilient Great Barrier Reef Program
I have followed my lifelong passion for fish and fisheries to join AIMS in 1987. My work has involved exploring the environmental and anthropogenic factors causing the wide variability in abundance of fish in time and space. To this end, I have focussed on applying novel, non-intrusive techniques to assess fish populations, on the search for tracers (in otoliths and scales) to infer life histories and demography, and on the powerful new generation of statistical techniques to handle awkward data.
  • 2010: PhD, Determinants of inter-reef fish diversity, James Cook University
  • 1986: MSc, Anuran ecology in Kakadu, University of Adelaide
  • 1980: BSc(Hons), Reef fish biology, University of Adelaide
Current Research Activities
I lead a small team surveying the diversity, abundance and size of fish and elasmobranchs in relation to benthic communities [and fishing pressure], at the scale of regional tropical shelves. This work supports management and monitoring of mining, fishing, and marine parks (MPAs). It has a focus on use of baited "video-fishing" techniques in deeper, snapper/grouper complexes of "inter-reef" waters.
Expert Committees and Boards
Scientific Advisor, Twin Cities Fish Stocking Society
Over 30 papers in international journals and 40 reports to industry of original research. The following are a selection of papers.

Cappo M, Marriott RJ, Newman SJ (2013) James's rule and causes and consequences of a latitudinal cline in the demography of John's Snapper (Lutjanus johnii) in coastal waters of Australia. Fishery Bulletin 111(4): 309-324.

Cappo MC, Stowar MJ, Syms C, Johansson C, Cooper TF (2011) Fish-habitat associations in the region offshore from James Price Point - a rapid assessment using Baited Remote Underwater Video Stations (BRUVS). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 94: 303-321.

Cappo MC, De'ath AG, Speare PJ (2007) Inter-reef vertebrate communities of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park determined by baited remote underwater video stations. Marine Ecology Progress Series 350: 209-221.

Cappo MC, De'ath AG, Boyle S, Aumend J, Olbrich R, Hoedt F, Brunskill GJ, Perna C (2005) Development of a robust classifier of freshwater residence in barramundi (Lates calcarifer) life histories using elemental ratios in scales and boosted regression trees. Marine and Freshwater Research 56: 713-723.

Cappo MC, Speare PJ, De'ath AG (2004) Comparison of baited remote underwater video stations (BRUVS) and prawn (shrimp) trawls for assessments of fish biodiversity in inter-reefal areas of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 302: 123-152.

Cappo MC, Eden P, Newman SJ, Robertson S (2000) A new approach to validation of the periodicity and timing of opaque zone formation in the otoliths of 11 Lutjanus species from the central Great Barrier Reef. Fishery Bulletin 98: 474-488.

Cappo MC, Walters CJ, Lenanton RCJ (2000) Estimation of rates of migration, exploitation and survival using tag recovery data for western Australian Salmon (Arripis truttaceus : Arripidae: Percoidei). Fisheries Research 44: 207-217.

Udyawer V, Cappo M, Simpfendorfer CA, Heupel MR, Lukoschek V (2013) Distribution of sea snakes in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: observations from 10 yrs of baited remote underwater video station (BRUVS) sampling. Coral Reefs 33: 777-791

Espinoza M, Cappo M, Heupel MR, Tobin AJ, Simpfendorfer CA (2014) Quantifying shark distribution patterns and species-habitat associations: implications of marine park zoning. PLoSONE.

Langlois TJ, Newman SJ, Cappo M, Harvey ES, Rome BM, Skepper CL, Wakefield CB (2015) Length selectivity of commercial fish traps assessed from in situ comparisons with stereo-video: Is there evidence of sampling bias? Fisheries Research 161: 145-155

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