Phone: +64 (0)220997863
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.
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.
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.