A picture of Dr Nic Bax.

Dr Nic Bax conducts research in the marine conservation and biodiversity fields.

Dr Nic Bax: expert in marine resource management

Dr Nic Bax is applying his expertise in marine resource management to help understand, manage and conserve our oceans’ biodiversity.

  • 2 November 2007 | Updated 14 October 2011

Current activities

Dr Nic Bax's main research focus is to develop and deliver the tools needed to manage Australia’s marine biodiversity.   

Dr Bax is also a Professor at the University of Tasmania and leads the Marine Biodiversity Hub, hosted by the university, for the Australian Government’s Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) program.

Researchers in this Hub are developing the tools to predict and manage Australia’s marine biodiversity and include staff from:

  • University of Tasmania
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science
  • Museum Victoria
  • CSIRO.


Dr Bax has 30 years of experience in developing options to improve marine resource management.

He is experienced in:

  • the development, supervision, and presentation of marine research projects in Australia, the United States and Europe
  • providing modelling expertise to support management decision making.

He has led teams of marine biologists:

  • responding to oil spills
  • providing scientific advice to manage deepwater fisheries
  • developing comprehensive resource assessments of marine ecosystems
  • creating options to control invasive marine species.

He developed and led a four-year comprehensive investigation of the role of habitat in the productivity of the south-east Australian continental shelf marine ecosystem from the Southern Surveyor research vessel. This included studies such as:

  • physical and biological oceanography
  • geology and acoustic mapping
  • distribution and trophodynamics of invertebrate and fish populations.

He has designed integrated approaches to the management of invasive marine species and contributed to creating the necessary tools to implement preferred management options.

Dr Bax has designed integrated approaches to the management of invasive marine species and contributed to creating the necessary tools to implement preferred management options.

Dr Bax has developed and applied computer models to determine:

  • effects of oil spills
  • impacts of fishing and ocean ranching on marine ecosystems
  • sustainable fishing practices
  • movement of invasive species
  • genetic options for the control of invasive species.

Before joining CSIRO in 1993, Dr Bax held positions as:

  • Senior Population Ecologist with Pentec Environmental in the United States of America (USA)
  • Operations Research Analyst with the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center (NMFS), also in the USA.

He has worked in the private and public sectors on:

  • technology development
  • environmental impact assessment
  • environmental design
  • environmental mitigation.

Academic qualifications

Dr Bax has been awarded a:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Natural Sciences at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom
  • Master of Arts also in Natural Sciences, also from Cambridge University
  • Doctorate through the Fisheries Research Institute at the University of Washington in the USA in 1983.


Professor Bax received a Norwegian Senior Scientist Research Fellowship in 1986, 1988 and 1992.

He is a member of:

  • Marine Biodiversity Decline Working Group
  • Marine Protected Areas Working Group
  • World Conservation Union (IUCN) Invasive Species Specialist Group.

His previous memberships include:

  • National Introduced Marine Pest Coordination Group, 2000-06
  • Consultative Committee on Introduced Marine Pests, 2000-06
  • Australian Biosecurity Group, 2004-05
  • Board of the Global Invasive Species Program, 2003-04.

He was also chairman of the Deep Sea Stock Assessment Group from 1993 to 2006.

Dr Bax currently co-supervises four doctoral students and has published more than 100 research papers, reports, book chapters and invited conference papers on topics such as:

  • marine invasive pests
  • environmental assessment and monitoring
  • marine biodiversity and conservation
  • deep sea fisheries.

Read more about the work of the Wealth from Oceans Flagship.