Dr Roger Beeden

Reef Authority

Chief Scientist
Blueprint 2030: Managing the Great Barrier Reef under a rapidly changing climate


Roger is the Reef Authority’s Chief Scientist. He has held several senior management roles since he joined the Reef Authority in 2008 including positions in Climate Change, Reef Knowledge, Reef Interventions and Tourism and Stewardship. His current role is the culmination of more than two decades working to protect the Reef, and focuses on communicating the Reef Authority’s key management initiatives to the community and developing science collaborations with national and international research teams to better protect the Reef for future generations.

In recent years Roger has focused on the expansion and delivery of the Crown-of-thorns starfish control work and coordination with the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program. These initiatives are delivered in partnership with government, not-for-profit, industry, community and Traditional Owners, serving as front-line response actions that can be taken to protect the Reef for future generations. The demonstrated coral protection outcomes delivered by the COTS control program aid the implementation of the Reef 2050 plan, inform the five-yearly Outlook report, and underpin resilience-based management of the Great Barrier Reef as the climate changes.

Originally from the UK, Roger moved to Townsville in 2004 to complete an MSc degree in Marine Biology at James Cook University. Since then, he has combined this knowledge with 12 years of commercial marketing experience from the pharmaceutical industry to identify strategies to support the future of the Great Barrier Reef ecosystem under a changing climate.  In partnership with a range of scientific, government and non-government organisations Roger has focused on improving Reef stewardship and building knowledge about the resilience of coral reef ecosystems to climate change. Roger completed a PhD in 2014 that examined how individuals, industry and managers can jointly assess reef health to inform actions to support the resilience of the Great Barrier Reef.