Researcher

Professor Peter Steinberg

My Expertise

Seaweed ecology, restoration ecology, marine disease, marine microbial ecology, impacts of climate change

Field of Research (FoR)

Biography

 ACADEMIC CAREER
1978: BSc. Zoology, University of Maryland (U.S.A.)
1984: PhD. Biology, University of California (U.S.A.)
RECENT POSITIONS
 
  • 2009 - present, Director and CEO, Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMS)
  • 2010 - present, Visiting Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2007 - 2009, CEO, Biosignal Ltd
  • 2005 - present, Professor, UNSW
  • 2003 - 2005, Head, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental...view more
 ACADEMIC CAREER
1978: BSc. Zoology, University of Maryland (U.S.A.)
1984: PhD. Biology, University of California (U.S.A.)
RECENT POSITIONS
 
  • 2009 - present, Director and CEO, Sydney Institute of Marine Sciences (SIMS)
  • 2010 - present, Visiting Professor, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 2007 - 2009, CEO, Biosignal Ltd
  • 2005 - present, Professor, UNSW
  • 2003 - 2005, Head, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science
TEACHING
       BIOS3091 - Marine and aquatic ecology
 
RESEARCH INTERESTS
Climate change and diseases of marine organisms
In the last ten years the effects of disease on natural marine communities have become increasingly apparent, with organisms as diverse as seagrasses, seals and corals suffering from major disease-related die-offs. In a number of these instances human impacts via pollution or climate change are thought to have played a major role in the impact of these diseases. We are now investigating broadly the interplay between bacterial virulence and environmental factors such as temperature, light and nutrients, and natural bacterial inhibitors to understand the epidemiology and impact of disease on the ecology of kelps and other seaweeds.
 
Restoration ecology and eco-engineering
Much of my research focuses on both actively rehabilitating degraded habitats and on enhancing new, artificial ones (“the built marine environment”), consistent with an emerging global theme in marine science to be “proactive” in our efforts to sustain the marine environment. These projects include restoration kelp forests and green or eco-engineering of seawalls, and are all   aimed at actively intervening in the marine environment in a positive way. Such approaches are consistent with the recently announced UN Decades of Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030) and Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
Synergies between marine ecology and environmental microbiology
Marine organisms are subject to a constant bombardment from millions of microbial cells typically found in every millilitre of seawater. Interactions between marine macro- and micro-organisms are important in structuring marine communities and have been linked to the evolution of chemical defences, the maintenance of genetic diversity and even the evolution and persistence of sex. Understanding marine prokaryote/ eukaryote interactions has implications for a remarkably diverse array of endeavours, from the preservation of marine biodiversity to an understanding of diseases of marine and aquatic organisms to the development of novel antibiotics. These studies overlap broadly across our entire research program and include a significant focus on biofillms, surface attached, largely sessile communities of microorganisms. 
 
Tropicalisation of marine communities
 
Sydney institute for Marine Sciences (SIMS)
Sydney Institute of Marine Science is a collaborative research and training institute bringing together scientists from six NSW universities plus state and federal marine and environmental agencies. SIMS conducts multidisciplinary marine research on impacts of climate change and urbanisation, biological diversity, fisheries, tourism, coastal development, and marine disease. By bringing together NSW's leading marine scientists at one collaborative site, SIMS will maximise the efficient use of resources for research on Australia's critical coastal environments. I am the inaugural Director of SIMS.
 
 

My Grants

 

 

2016 – 2020

2017 – 2019

2018 – 2020

2017 - 2019

 

 

 

ARC Linkage Grant (LP160100836)

ARC Discovery Grant

ARC Discovery Grant (DP180104041)

NSW RAAP grant

 

257, 000

385, 000

452, 000

820, 000

 

 

 

 


My Awards

1984 – 1985    Fulbright Fellowship

1986 – 1988   Queen Elizabeth II Post-doctoral Fellowship

2000                CRC Commercialisation Award, Aquaculture Biofouling Project

2017                Australian Marine Science Association, Silver Jubilee Award for Outstanding Contributions to Australian Marine Science

2017                Eureka Award Finalist, Environmental Science

2017                NSW Green Globe Award, Natural Environment

2018                University of Bologna Institute for Advanced Studies, Senior Visiting Fellow

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Location

Room 4112, Level 4
Biological Sciences South (E26)
UNSW, Kensington 2052

Contact

+61 2 9435 4600
+61 2 9385 1558