Role
Research Scientist towards a Healthy and Resilient GBR at AIMS
Background
My research background is in understanding the role of fishes in aquatic ecosystems, primarily through the use of statistical models. I have developed ecological metrics useful for quantifying the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on fish communities, trends and patterns in biodiversity, and for making informed management decisions. Often this work has involved the use of Bayesian hierarchical models to handle the limited, real-world constraints of quantifying social and ecological processes from non-experimental data.
Education
  • 2001: BSc Marine Biology, Dalhousie Univeristy, Halifax, NS Canada
  • 2004: MSc Fisheries, University of Georgia, Athens, GA USA
  • 2007: PhD Marine Biology, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Current Research Activities
Currently I am working to develop ecosystem benchmarks to support management of the Great Barrier Reef and reefs throughout the world. My primary focus is in developing adaptive management projects within the GBR Marine Park in an effort to understand key reef processes and to promote increased resilience in the future. In collaboration with researchers at James Cook University and the Wildlife Conservation Society, I am working to understand the add-on effects of fish declines in reef ecosystems and the socio-ecological dynamics of marine fisheries.
Expert Committees and Boards
Editorial Board: Environmental Conservation, Conservation Biology
Publications
Over 40 science and technical papers in international journals. The following are a selection of recent publications.

Hussey NE, Macneil MA, McMeans BC, Olin JA, Dudley SFJ, Cliff G, Wintner SP, Fennessy ST, Fisk AT (2014) Rescaling the trophic structure of marine food webs. Ecology Letters 17(2): 239-250

MacNeil MA, Cinner JE (2013) Hierarchical livelihood outcomes among co-managed

fisheries. Global Environmental Change 23(6):1393¿1401

Cinner JE, McClanahan TR, MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Daw T, Mukminin A, Feary D, Rabearisoa A, Wamukota A, Jiddawi N, Campbell S, Baird A, Januchowski-Hartley F, Hamed S, Lahari R, Morove T, Kuange K (2012) Co-management of coral reef social-ecological systems. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 109: 5219-5222

McClanahan TR, Graham NAJ, MacNeil MA, Muthiga NA, Cinner JE, Bruggemann JH, Wilson SK (2011) Critical thresholds and tangible targets for ecosystem-based management of coral reefs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 108: 17230-17233

MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ (2010) Enabling regional management in a changing climate through Bayesian meta-analysis of a large-scale disturbance. Global Ecology and Biogeography 19: 412-421

MacNeil MA, Graham NAJ, Cinner J, Loring P, Jennings S, Dulvy NK, Fisk AT, Polunin N, McClanahan T (2010) Transitional states in marine fisheries: adapting to predicted global change. Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society 365: 3753-3763

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