Renato Morais PhD Candidate

Principal Scientist

A quick glance at Renato's childhood in inland Brazil would not suggest any particular involvement with the ocean. Yet, he tortuously traced his path to coastal southern Brazil, where he undertook his Bachelor in Biological Sciences, and Masters in Ecology at the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. He studied how reef fish biomass is distributed along Brazilian reefs. In 2016 he moved to Australia to start his PhD at James Cook University, supervised by Prof. David Bellwood, a lead researcher in coral reef ecology. His PhD focuses on understanding the process of fish biomass production in coral reefs and how reliant this process is on a complex and healthy reef structure. Renato’s main field speciality (and a great pleasure as well) is counting fish. He has performed over 1,000 fish counts in varied reefs types, from the Brazilian coast and oceanic islands; to the Mid-Atlantic island of Ascension and islands in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa; to the South Caribbean and, where his PhD work is centred, the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. He is very excited to join the Elysium Heart of the Coral Triangle expedition and survey some of Earth’s most biodiverse coral reefs.