Dr Dan Breen

Senior Lecturer

Phone: +64 (0)220997863

Email: dbreen@aut.ac.nz

Physical Address:
WU109 46 Wakefield St, Auckland

Postal Address:
C-44 Auckland University of Technology (AUT) Private Bag 92006 Auckland 1142 , New Zealand

Links to relevant web pages:
https://aenz.aut.ac.nz/

Qualifications:

PhD

Memberships and Affiliations:

Institute for Applied Ecology New Zealand

Biography:

Dan Breen trained as a marine biologist but also specialises in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), spatial ecology and the use of unmanned remote sensing systems. Dan completed his PhD at James Cook University, Queensland on systematic conservation planning for marine protected areas (MPAs). After    moving to New Zealand in 2006, he worked at the Department of Conservation in Auckland on MPAs, as a scientist for the Auckland region and surveying species such as Maui’s dolphin.

He previously worked at the New South Wales Marine Parks Authority and NSW Fisheries mapping coastal marine biodiversity and helping to establish marine parks and aquatic reserves. At the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority he mapped biophysical data to help protect for over a third of this World    heritage Area within no-take marine reserve zones. As a consultant Dan worked on environmental impact and monitoring projects in marine, freshwater and terrestrial environments and within the marine tourism industry.

Dan's research interests include quantitative marine ecology, spatial and statistical modelling, and applying GIS based decision support systems. Recent projects he has been involved in include mapping sand cays, turtles and seabird colonies on the Great Barrier Reef, seaweed farms in the Solomon islands    and coastal habitats and protected areas in New Zealand.

Teaching Areas:

  • Conservation Planning
  • Environmental Risk Assessment
  • Environmental Law
  • Geographic Information Systems

Research Areas:

  • Marine ecology
  • Conservation
  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Decision support tools

Research Summary:

Dan is a marine ecologist interested in applying innovative techniques to conservation issues. Recent projects include developing geographic information systems to prioritize areas for aquaculture and using drones to map seabird and turtle nesting islands for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. Dan mapped  marine habitats and identified gaps in legal protection for the New Zealand Territorial Sea and Hauraki Gulf Marine Park, conducted surveys and built spatial databases for Maui's dolphin and developed biological monitoring programs for marine reserves. He co-authored regional marine biodiversity assessments  to establish large marine parks and aquatic reserves in NSW and include a third of the Great Barrier Reef in highly protected areas. His interests include using field surveys, remote sensing, expert knowledge and artificial intelligence systems to plan for marine conservation and sustainable use.

Current Research Projects:

  • GIS based decision support tools for aquaculture in the Pacific.
  • Impacts of drone surveys on nesting and roosting seabirds.
  • Morphology and vegetation of sand cays on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Mapping of intertidal zones by drone photogrammetry.
  • Establishing a representative network of marine reserves in New Zealand.

Publications:

  • Bollard-Breen, B. and Breen, D. Social value mapping for Marine Protected Area Planning. Proceedings of the International Symposium for Coastal Recreation, New Zealand 2007.
  • Breen, D. and Laycock, P. 1997. Monitoring of fish and coral at the new Quicksilver Connections visitor pontoon, Agincourt Reef No. 2d, 1993-97. A report to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • Breen, D.A. and Breen, B.A. 1995a. Low Isles monitoring program. A report to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • Breen, D., Breen B., P. Laycock, and R. Hore. 1996. Biological monitoring at the new Quicksilver Connections visitor pontoon, Agincourt Reef No. 3, 1994-96.  A report to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • Breen, D.A. and Breen, B.A. 1995b. Agincourt Reef 2d pontoon monitoring program, 1987-1993. A report to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • Breen, D., Avery R. and Otway, N. 2004. Biodiversity assessment of the Manning Shelf Bioregion. Report to the NSW Marine Parks Authority and Environment Australia.
  • Breen, D., Avery R. and Otway, N. 2005. Biodiversity assessment of the Batemans and Twofold Shelf Bioregions. Report to the NSW Marine Parks Authority and Environment Australia.
  • Breen, D., Avery R. and Otway, N. 2006. Biodiversity assessment of the Hawkesbury Shelf Bioregion. Report to the NSW Marine Parks Authority and Environment Australia.
  • Breen, BB; Breen, D; (2009). Quantifying community perceptions of marine environments for marine protected area planning: When is the reef too crowded? Tourism in Marine Environments, 5:101-109.
  • Breen, D. A., Avery, R. P. and Otway, N. M. Broad scale biodiversity assessments for marine protected areas in New South Wales. In : Beumer. J. P., Grant, A., and Smith, D. C. eds. Proceedings of the World Congress on Aquatic Protected Areas, Cairns, Australia - August 2002. Australia, ASFP Australia.
  • Breen, D.A. 2011. Coastal marine habitats and marine protected areas in the New Zealand Territorial Sea: a broad scale gap analysis. Department of Conservation and Ministry of Fisheries. Wellington, New Zealand.
  • Creese, R. G. and Breen, D. A. 2003. Marine protected areas in New South Wales, Australia: challenges for research. In Hutchings, P., and Lunney. Conserving Marine Environments. Out of sight out of mind. Mossman, NSW Australia, Royal Zoological Society NSW.
  • Fernandes L, Day J, Kerrigan B, Breen D, De'ath G, Mapstone B, Coles R, Done T, Marsh H, Poiner I, Ward T, Williams D, and Kenchington R. 2009. A process to design a network of marine no-take areas: Lessons from the Great Barrier Reef. Ocean & Coastal Management 52: 439-447.
  • Fernandes, L., Day, J., Lewis, A., Slegers, S., Kerrigan, B., Breen, D., Cameron, D., Jago, B., Hall, J., Lowe, D., Innes, J., Tanzer, J., Chadwick, V., Thompson, L., Gorman, K., Simmons, M., Barnett, B., Sampson, K., De'ath, G., Mapstone, B., Marsh, H.,
  • Possingham, H., Ball, I., Ward, T., Dobbs, K., Aumend, J., Slater, D. and Stapleton, K. 2005. Establishing representative no-take areas in the Great Barrier Reef: large-scale implementation of theory on marine protected areas. Conservation Biology 19(6)1733-1744.
  • Gibson, J., D. Breen, B. Breen, A Page. and D. Harris. 1993a.  The effect of establishing a tourist pontoon on an outer barrier reef. A report to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • Gibson, J., D. Breen, B. Breen, A Page. and D. Harris. 1993b.  The effect of removing a tourist pontoon from an outer barrier reef.  A report to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
  • Kerrigan B, Breen D, De’ath G, Day J, Fernandes L, Tobin R, Dobbs K. Classifying the Biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 2010. Research publication No. 104 of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, Townsville, Australia.
  • Nishar, A., Richards, S., Breen, D., Robertson, J., & Breen, B. (2016). Thermal infrared imaging of geothermal environments by UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle). Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems, 4(2), 136-145. doi:10.1139/juvs-2015-0030
  • Nishar, A., Richards, S., Breen, D., Robertson, J., & Bollard-Breen, B. (2016). Thermal infrared imaging of geothermal environments and by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV): A case study of the Wairakei-Tauhara geothermal field, Taupo, New Zealand. Renewable Energy, 86(Feb), 1256-1264. doi:10.1016/j.renene.2015.09.042
  • Nishar, A., Breen, D., Lawrence, G., & Bollard-Breen, B. (2016). Responses of vegetation to temperature gradients around geothermal features: A review on Wairakei -Tauhara geothermal field, Taupo, New Zealand. Geoinformatics and Geostatistics: An Overview, 4(3). doi:10.4172/2327-4581.1000147
  • Towns, D., Stephens T. and Breen D. (2007). Ecosystems, communities and assemblages: systematic conservation assessment of New Zealand island biodiversity. Proceedings of the Conserv-Vision Conference, July 2007.
  • Wheeler, A. Breen, D. Duffy, C., Oremus, M. Childerhouse, S. Bell, L., Donoghue, M., Iese, V. 2010. Large marine species surveys of the Republic of Tuvalu. Report to New Zealand Aid and the Government of Tuvalu.

Awards:

July 2005 Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation for UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme, to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. This prize acknowledges that GBRMPA created an innovative framework that, whilst allowing for reasonable human use, will still ensure the healthy survival of the coastal and marine ecosystems of the Great Barrier Reef.

  • *WWF, in October 2005, presented the Australian government with a Gift to the Earth — the global conservation organization's highest accolade — for the design and implementation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning plan.
  • *United States Coral Reef Task Force. 2004. Recognition of the significant contribution of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for outstanding efforts to sustainably manage the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by designing and implementing a comprehensive rezoning plan and a reef water quality protection plan to help build reef resilience. (Signed by Co-Chairs: Craig Manson, Assistant Secretary for Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Timothy R.E. Keeney, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere.)
  • *IUCN (the World Conservation Union) members at the World Conservation Congress in Bangkok 17-25 Nov. 2004, in resolution 40, congratulated the Australian government on its recent achievement of significantly increasing protection for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and World Heritage Area and commends it for its global leadership in the protection of this outstanding site of universal value.
  • *Planning Institute of Australia Award for Excellence. Category: Community-Based Planning. 2005. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Planning Institute of Australia. Award for Excellence. Category: Overall Winner for Excellence in Planning. 2005. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Banksia Foundation Environmental Award 2004. Category: Government leading by example for a sustainable future. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Australian Museum Eureka Prize: The Botanic Gardens Trust Eureka Prize for Biodiversity Research 2004. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Australian Government Agencies. Queensland Regional Heads Forum. Excellence Award. 2004. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Planning Institute of Australia (Queensland Division) Award for Excellence. Category: Overall Winner for Excellence in Planning. 2004. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Planning Institute of Australia (Queensland Division) Award for Excellence. Category: Social and Community-Based Planning. 2004. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *Planning Institute of Australia (Queensland Division) Award for Excellence. Category: Environmental Planning or Conservation. 2004. Awarded to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority for the Representative Areas Program.
  • *ESRI International Geographic Information Systems User Award 2004.