Associate Professor Ben Gilby | UniSC | University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Associate Professor Ben Gilby

PhD Griff., BSc(Hons) Qld

  • Associate Professor in Animal Ecology
+61 7 5430 2891
Office location
MB A.1.83, USC Moreton Bay
Moreton Bay
Ben Gilby

Ben is a coastal and marine ecologist with broad expertise across the fields of ecological restoration, conservation biology, and spatial ecology. He has gained international recognition for his work on coastal fish habitats, ecological restoration prioritisation and monitoring (especially for wetlands and shellfish reefs), and the spatial ecology of coastal fishes.


Ben’s aim is to disentangle multiple sources of ecosystem variability and disturbance to optimise ecosystem management and maximise ecological, social and economic outcomes. Ben’s research therefore regularly incorporates the principles of systematic planning, spatial ecology, conservation, ecological restoration and ecological indicators.


Ben has significant experience collaborating with government, community groups, NGOs and private industry on projects ranging from ecological monitoring and large-scale ecological restoration to impact assessment and environmental planning. He welcomes opportunities to expand collaborations across these networks both in Australia and internationally.



Selected publications

  1. Gilby, Ben L, Olds, Andrew D, Connolly, Rod M, Henderson, Christopher J & Schlacher, Thomas A 2018, ‘Spatial Restoration Ecology: Placing Restoration in a Landscape Context’, BioScience, vol. 68, no. 12, pp. 1007–1019.
  2. Gilby, Ben L., Olds, Andrew D., Peterson, Charles H., Connolly, Rod M., Voss, Christine M., Bishop, Melanie J., Elliott, Michael, Grabowski, Jonathan H., Ortodossi, Nicholas L. & Schlacher, Thomas A. 2018, ‘Maximizing the benefits of oyster reef restoration for finfish and their fisheries’, Fish and Fisheries, vol. 19, no. 5, pp. 931–947.
  3. Gilby, Ben L., Olds, Andrew D., Brown, Christopher J., Connolly, Rod M., Henderson, Christopher J., Maxwell, Paul S. & Schlacher, Thomas A. 2021, ‘Applying systematic conservation planning to improve the allocation of restoration actions at multiple spatial scales’, Restoration Ecology, vol. 29, no. 5.
  4. Gilby, Ben L., Olds, Andrew D., Duncan, Cassandra K., Ortodossi, Nicholas L., Henderson, Christopher J. & Schlacher, Thomas A. 2019, ‘Identifying restoration hotspots that deliver multiple ecological benefits’, Restoration Ecology, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 222– 232.
  5. Baker, Ronald, et al 2020, ‘Fisheries rely on threatened salt marshes’, Science, vol. 370, no. 6517, pp. 670–671.
  6. McAfee, Dominic, McLeod, Ian M., Alleway, Heidi K., Bishop, Melanie J., Branigan, Simon, Connell, Sean D., Copeland, Craig, Crawford, Christine M., Diggles, Ben K., Fitzsimons, James A., Gilby, Ben L., Hamer, Paul, Hancock, Boze, Pearce, Robert, Russell, Kylie & Gillies, Chris L. 2022, ‘Turning a lost reef ecosystem into a national restoration program’, Conservation Biology, vol. 36, no. 6.
  7. Olds, Andrew D., Vargas‐Fonseca, Elena, Connolly, Rod M., Gilby, Ben L., Huijbers, Chantal M., Hyndes, Glenn A., Layman, Craig A., Whitfield, Alan K. & Schlacher, Thomas A. 2017, ‘The ecology of fish in the surf zones of ocean beaches: A global review’, Fish and Fisheries, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 78–89.
  8. Henderson, Christopher J., Gilby, Ben L., Schlacher, Thomas A., Connolly, Rod M., Sheaves, Marcus, Maxwell, Paul S., Flint, Nicole, Borland, Hayden P., Martin, Tyson S. H. & Olds, Andrew D. 2019, ‘Low redundancy and complementarity shape ecosystem functioning in a low‐diversity ecosystem’, Journal of Animal Ecology, vol. 89, no. 3, pp. 784–794.
  9. Elliott, Brittany B., Olds, Andrew D., Henderson, Christopher J., Rummell, Ashley J. & Gilby, Ben L. 2022, ‘Optimising restoration and rehabilitation using environmental and spatial drivers of plant assemblages’, Landscape and Urban Planning, vol. 226, pp. 104484.
  10. Goodridge Gaines, Lucy A., Olds, Andrew D., Henderson, Christopher J., Connolly, Rod M., Schlacher, Thomas A., Jones, Tyson R. & Gilby, Ben L. 2020, ‘Linking ecosystem condition and landscape context in the conservation of ecosystem multifunctionality’, Biological Conservation, vol. 243, pp. 108479.


Dr Ben Gilby's publications on Google Scholar *

Dr Ben Gilby's publications on ResearchGate *

* This is an external website and the University of the Sunshine Coast is not responsible for the content

Research areas

  • Coastal and marine ecology
  • Spatial ecology
  • Ecological restoration
  • Conservation biology
  • Coastal fish habitats
  • Fish and fisheries biology and ecology

Courses coordinated


Potential postgraduate research topics- please contact Ben

• Shellfish reef ecology and their ecological restoration
• Nutrient offsetting using coastal wetlands and reefs
• Incorporating spatial ecology into coastal restoration and conservation planning
• Coastal fish ecology and fish-habitat associations
• The ecological functions and ecosystem services of coastal habitats
• Coastal wetland ecology and biodiversity, including of terrestrial vertebrates

Teaching areas

  • Coastal and marine ecology
  • Restoration ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Vertebrate ecology
  • Environmental management

Associate Professor Ben Gilby's specialist areas of knowledge include marine ecology, fish biology, marine ecosystem management and conservation.

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