Dr. Adam Smith
Dr. Adam Smith is the founder and managing director of Reef Ecologic, an Australian-based company that provides research and monitoring, strategic advice, and capacity building to facilitate sustainable outcomes. He has led the organization to become a 3-star ecoBiz company and an Ecotourism Australia climate action business. They are aiming to become one of Queensland’s highest accredited consultancies around sustainability.
Reef Ecologic’s tagline is “For a better planet” as everything they do is centered around making a positive environmental impact and empowering people. For instance, the organization is involved in the science of coral reef restoration throughout multiple locations. The projects are designed to support ecological and socio-ecological values of reefs and associated communities. Team members work with local communities to collect coral, grow it in nurseries before returning it to degraded sites to help restore the areas.
Adam and his team also actively promote environmental and restoration initiatives through public projects such as Underwater Museum, sculpture trails and citizen science. In order to reach larger audiences and to spread the message about ocean conservation, they capitalize on the strength of tourism and local communities ─ inviting the public to visit art installations while reef restoration activities continue. “It’s all about sharing knowledge to do things differently because if we don’t, climate change and other pressures will ruin us,” Adam explains. A recent global marketing campaign reached 184 million people.
As managing director of Reef Ecologic, Adam provides conservation-oriented research and innovation services to government, industry, and the community. He is an ocean aficionado who has developed many innovative ideas to communicate marine knowledge and stewardship, such as the proposal for an official aquatic emblem for Queensland. Adam also initiated the International Coral Reef Leadership and Management Course, Great Australian Shark Count, gave a TEDx presentation, Reef Revolution, and led the team that developed the Whitsunday Reef Recovery and Underwater Art Project, and the Museum of Underwater Art with underwater sculptor, Jason de Caires Taylor.
In addition to his 30 years of experience, Adam holds a BSc (Hons), PhD, and MBA, and has authored over 80 scientific papers, books, and reports. He has worked for universities, both the state and federal government, and environmental consultancies while devoting his research, career, and recreation to the ocean, environment, and people. Between 1999 and 2014, Adam worked as director of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and he has held several voluntary board positions with the Australian Underwater Federation, Recfish Australia, Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand (EIANZ), Reef Restoration Foundation, and Museum of Underwater Art. In his leisure time, Adam is a keen ocean sportsman, free diver and kayaker.
Due to his leadership and advocacy within science, education, and communications, Adam was honored with the following recognitions:
Elected a lifetime member of the AUF and Townsville Skin Diving Club, 2019
Adj. Assoc Prof. at James Cook University, 2018
EIANZ Outstanding Service at Division Level, 2015
Fellow of the Australian Rural leadership Foundation in 2009
Winner of the Australia Day Achievement Medal, 2008
Elected a Fellow of the Environment Institute of Australia and New Zealand, 2006
Winner of numerous Australian Underwater Federation (AUF) championships
Dr. Adam Smith
Founder and Managing Director
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