Although you’d think so given how frequently he is quoted in the Australian media, almost exclusivly in stories arguing that the GBR is in “bloody brilliant shape” and that climate change, sediment pollution, and ocean acidification are not threats to the reef’s future.

For example, in Jamie Walker’s piece last December on “How the reef became blue again” Ridd dismissed a range of threats to coral reefs, stating:

“Ten years ago, I was told that the coral was going to die from sediment, and we have proved that is complete rubbish,” Ridd says. “They are saying that pesticides are a problem, but when you look at the latest data that is a load of rubbish. They are saying that bleaching is the end of the world, but when you look into it, that is a highly dubious proposition.

“So when something comes along like the calcification problem, you are sort of left with this wolf story . . . they are crying wolf all the time . . . and it is very difficult for the public to have confidence in what they are saying.”

I don’t know what he is referring to when he says “we have proved that is complete rubbish” but i’ll email him and ask for a reference.

Also see Peter’s quotes in this recent story:

James Cook University researcher Peter Ridd recently accused Australian scientists of crying wolf over the threat of climate change reef, claiming researchers who predicted corals would be mostly extinct by mid-century had a credibility problem as the natural wonder was in “bloody brilliant shape.”

The Townsville-based Dr Ridd, who is an expert on marine physics, has previously claimed the Great Barrier Reef is as resilient to environmental change as a “cockroach is to a nuclear war”, with threats such as coral bleaching and agricultural run-off not as serious as commonly believed.

With a PhD in Physics and a thesis titled “The Input impedance of a horizontal dipole antenna over a layered halfspace” wouldn’t it be clear he isn’t the best source of information about the GBR at JCU?

JCU has more coral reef experts on one hallway than most countries have.  Certainly more than any other single institution I can think of, e.g., see the ARC Center for Excellence in Coral Reef Studies.  Here is a list of a few of the internationally recognized coral reef experts based at JCU that reporters could be talking to, assuming they actually want to learn something and are not fishing for quotes to back up pre-determined conclusions:

Baird, Andrew
Senior Research Fellow
James Cook University
phone: 61 7 4781 4857
fax: 61 7 4781 6722
Andrew.Baird@jcu.edu.au

Bellwood, David
James Cook University
phone: 07 4781 4447
fax: 61 7 4725 1570
David.Bellwood@jcu.edu.au

Connolly, Sean
James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 4242
Fax: 61 7 4725 1570
Sean.Connolly@jcu.edu.au

Hughes, Terry
James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 4000
Fax: 61 7 4781 6722
Terry.Hughes@jcu.edu.au

Jones, Geoff
James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 4559
Fax: 61 7 4725 1570
Geoffrey.Jones@jcu.edu.au

Kingsford, Michael

James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 4345
Fax: 61 7 4725 1570
Michael.Kingsford@jcu.edu.au

Munday, Philip

Australian Research Fellow

James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 5341
Fax: 61 7 4725 1570
Philip.Munday@jcu.edu.au

Pratchett, Morgan
Australian Postdoctoral Research Fellow
James Cook University
Phone: 07 4781 5747
Fax: 61 7 4781 6722
Morgan.Pratchett@jcu.edu.au

Russ, Garry
James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 4432
Fax: 61 7 4725 1570
Garry.Russ@jcu.edu.au

Willis, Bette
James Cook University
Phone: 61 7 4781 5349 / 61 7 4781 5731
Fax: 61 7 4725 1570
Bette.Willis@jcu.edu.au

And at the nearby Australian Institute of Marine Science, there is:

Lough, Janice
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Phone: 61 7 4753 4248
Fax: 61 7 4753 4386
j.lough@aims.gov.au

McCook, Laurence
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Australia
Phone: 61 7 4750 0787
Fax: 61 7 4772 6093
l.mccook@gbrmpa.gov.au

Finally, here at UQ, reporters could talk to:

Anthony, Ken
University of Queensland
phone: 61 7 3365 9154
fax: 61 7 3365 4755
K.Anthony@uq.edu.au

Dove, Sophie
The University of Queensland
Phone: 61 7 3365 7229
Fax: 61 7 3365 4755
sophie@uq.edu.au

Hoegh-Guldberg, Ove
The University of Queensland
Phone: 61 7 3365 1156
Mobile: 040 110 6604
Fax: 61 7 3365 4755
oveh@uq.edu.au

 

2 Responses to Peter Ridd is not the only reef expert at James Cook University

  1. OveHG says:

    Thanks Jon. Excellent post.

    Now that you are here in Australia – have I told you about this bird called a galah? It’s craves attention, is rather loud and screeches a lot – so much so that one is often left with the impression that it is the only bird in the bush!

  2. steve says:

    Can someone give me the lowdown on Ridd? What’s he like? Why does he believe this stuff? (We know why the media go for him of course.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.