Reef restoration and adaptation program

Helping the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt and recover

The Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP) is a consortium dedicated to helping the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.

The program aims to provide reef managers and decision-makers with an innovative toolkit of safe, acceptable and cost-effective interventions in conjunction with best-practice reef management and the reduction of carbon emissions.

Researchers within QUT are working on the following RRAP sub-programs:

  • Stakeholder and traditional owner engagement
  • Cooling and shading
  • Moving corals
  • Rubble stabilisation
  • Integrated logistics and automation
  • Coral aquaculture and deployment


The program brings together Australia’s leading experts to help the Great Barrier Reef resist, adapt to, and recover from the impacts of climate change.

RRAP partners include:

QUT research team

Associate Professor Karen Vella

Lead (Stakeholder and traditional owner engagement)

Associate Professor Scott Bryan

Lead (Rubble stabilisation)

Professor Zoran Ristovski

Lead (Cooling and shading)

Associate Professor Paul Corry

Lead (Integrated logistics and automation)

Professor Matthew Dunbabin

Lead (Moving corals and Integrated logistics and automation)

Professor Leonie Barner

Lead (Coral aquaculture and deployment)

What we're working on

The QUT research team is involved in a range of RRAP interventions.

Stakeholder and traditional owner engagement

RRAP works with Traditional Owners, reef stakeholders and the general public to better understand how people see the risks and benefits of reef interventions and discuss why interventions are needed. This collaborative measure will help inform plans and priorities so that interventions meet community expectations.

Cooling and shading

QUT researchers are working on reef cooling and shading interventions to reduce heat stress in corals by reducing incoming solar radiation. This will be achieved by marine cloud brightening and fogging, a promising large-scale intervention.

Moving corals

QUT's specialist marine autonomous vehicles will help RRAP coral seed at-risk areas of reef, increasing its chances of survival.

This intervention aims to develop cost-efficient, large-scale production of genetically diverse and environmentally tolerant coral larvae that can be transferred and settled onto the reef to improve coral restoration, adaptation and recovery.

Rubble stabilisation

Natural and man-made disturbances can result in coral reefs being damaged and, in some cases, partly or fully reduced to fields of rubble. QUT researchers are working to improve overall coral cover and reef health through restoring these rubble fields so that coral recruitment can commence.

Integrated logistics and automation

QUT researchers are leading the development of automation prospecting and progression, engineering support and logistics modelling to design systems, including autonomous marine vehicles and AI, that can deliver reef restoration interventions at varying scales.

Coral aquaculture and deployment

QUT researchers are working to find ways to support coral restoration and reef adaptation with aquaculture bred corals. This will involve developing effective and reliable methods to mass-propagate juvenile and fragment corals, conserve existing populations on the Great Barrier Reef and overcome bottlenecks in coral propagation at scale.

Program partners

Contact us

Centre for the Environment

Level 6, P Block
Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane QLD 4000 Australia

Postal address

Centre for the Environment
GPO Box 2434
Brisbane QLD 4001

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