Dr Paul Carnell



Research Fellow


Faculty of Sci Eng & Built Env


School of Life & Env. Sciences


Queenscliff Marine Centre


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Melbourne, 2015

Biography summary

Paul’s research career has a focus on environmental science that sits at the interface between high-quality research and science-based management of ecosystems. From further developing the science to offset carbon emissions through wetland restoration and protection, to the management of resilient coastal ecosystems. Paul has developed strong skills in experimental design and data analysis that underpins all of his work. Paul also has a strong background in fieldwork on marine and freshwater ecosystems, including seagrass, mangroves, saltmarsh, kelp forests and inland wetlands. It is in these coastal and inland wetland habitats, that Paul has been leading carbon stock assessments in the Blue Carbon Lab over the last couple of years. Through these projects Paul has developed strong relationships with Parks Victoria, Catchment Management Authorities in Victoria and New South Wales, Greenfleet and The Nature Conservancy.

Research interests

My research aims to support government and non-government organisations to manage, protect and rehabilitate marine, coastal and freshwater ecosystems. This is done via:

-Evaluating the ecosystem services (eg. blue carbon, coastal protection, fisheries) of marine, coastal and freshwater ecosystems, and how this varies in time and space

-Utilising data on ecosystem extent, condition and services to create Environmental- Economic accounts that aim to optimise the benefits of nature through protection and restoration.

- Developing effective and efficient monitoring programs that report against Limits of Acceptable Change in an Adaptive Management Framework

Teaching interests

Ecology, Marine Biology, Marine Botany, Biogeochemistry, Fisheries, Environmental Economics, Wetlands, Climate Change

Units taught

SLE 265 Marine Botany

SLE 328 Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change

SLE 345 Oceanography

Professional activities

Australian Marine Science Assosciation, national and state branch council member 2019-  . https://www.amsa.asn.au/council-members 

Media appearances

Scope TV Chanel 10. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPiK9zeX2OY&t=54s

Importance of coastal wetlands for carbon sequestration and other values. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aMQaU9p5s08&t=5s 









Research groups

Blue Carbon Lab

Deakin MARINE, Centre for Marine, Fisheries and Aquaculture Sciences

Centre for Integrative Ecology


Optimal management of overabundant sea urchins in Victoria. DELWP funded. https://www.bluecarbonlab.org/kelp-segrass-restoration/ 

Victorian Coastal Wetland Restoration Program. DELWP funded. https://www.bluecarbonlab.org/our-research/wetland-restoration/

Mapping Ocean Wealth Australia. https://oceanwealth.org/project-areas/australia/ and summary report here: https://www.natureaustralia.org.au/content/dam/tnc/nature/en/documents/australia/MOW_Report_Web.pdf 

Carbon sequestration by Victorian wetlands. Victorian Government, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/gcb.14319 

Wetland Carbon Monitoring Program. Murray Local Land Services.


Filter by


The potential of viruses to influence the magnitude of greenhouse gas emissions in an inland wetland

Giuditta Bonetti, Stacey Trevathan-Tackett, Paul Carnell, Peter Macreadie

(2021), Vol. 193, Water Research, Oxford, Eng., C1

journal article

Managing agricultural grazing to enhance the carbon sequestration capacity of freshwater wetlands

K Limpert, P Carnell, P Macreadie

(2021), Wetlands Ecology and Management, Dordrecht, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Local vegetation and hydroperiod influence spatial and temporal patterns of carbon and microbe response to wetland rehabilitation

Giuditta Bonetti, Stacey Trevathan-Tackett, Paul Carnell, Sarah Treby, Peter Macreadie

(2021), Vol. 163, Applied Soil Ecology, Amsterdam, Netherlands, C1

journal article

Estimating blue carbon sequestration under coastal management scenarios

M Moritsch, M Young, P Carnell, P Macreadie, C Lovelock, E Nicholson, P Raimondi, L Wedding, D Ierodiaconou

(2021), Vol. 777, pp. 1-12, Science of the total environment, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Planted mangroves cap toxic petroleum-contaminated sediments

P Waryszak, M Palacios, P Carnell, I Yilmaz, P Macreadie

(2021), Vol. 171, pp. 1-6, Marine Pollution Bulletin, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Microbial community dynamics behind major release of methane in constructed wetlands

G Bonetti, S Trevathan-Tackett, N Hebert, P Carnell, P Macreadie

(2021), Vol. 167, pp. 1-11, Applied Soil Ecology, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

National scale predictions of contemporary and future blue carbon storage

M Young, O Serrano, P Macreadie, C Lovelock, P Carnell, D Ierodiaconou

(2021), Vol. 800, pp. 1-12, Science of the Total Environment, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Seagrass valuation from fish abundance, biomass and recreational catch

H Jänes, P Carnell, M Young, D Ierodiaconou, G Jenkins, P Hamer, P Zu Ermgassen, J Gair, P Macreadie

(2021), Vol. 130, pp. 1-10, Ecological Indicators, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Stable isotopes infer the value of Australia's coastal vegetated ecosystems from fisheries

H Janes, P Macreadie, E Nicholson, D Ierodiaconou, S Reeves, M Taylor, P Carnell

(2020), Vol. 21, pp. 80-90, Fish and fisheries, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Quantifying welfare gains of coastal and estuarine ecosystem rehabilitation for recreational fisheries

B Huang, Mary Young, Paul Carnell, Simon Conron, D Ierodiaconou, Peter Macreadie, E Nicholson

(2020), Vol. 710, pp. 1-11, Science of the total environment, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Assessing passive rehabilitation for carbon gains in rain-filled agricultural wetlands

S Treby, P Carnell, S Trevathan-Tackett, G Bonetti, P Macreadie

(2020), Vol. 256, Journal of environmental management, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Overgrazing of seagrass by sea urchins diminishes blue carbon stocks

P Carnell, D Ierodiaconou, T Atwood, P Macreadie

(2020), pp. 1-12, Ecosystems, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

Reducing Emissions From Degraded Floodplain Wetlands

K Limpert, P Carnell, S Trevathan-Tackett, P Macreadie

(2020), Vol. 8, pp. 1-18, Frontiers in Environmental Science, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1

journal article

The application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to estimate above-ground-biomass of mangrove ecosystems

A Navarro, M Young, B Allan, P Carnell, P Macreadie, D Ierodiaconou

(2020), Vol. 242, pp. 1-13, Remote sensing of environment, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Quantifying fisheries enhancement from coastal vegetated ecosystems

H Jänes, P Macreadie, P Zu Ermgassen, J Gair, S Treby, S Reeves, E Nicholson, D Ierodiaconou, P Carnell

(2020), Vol. 43, pp. 1-7, Ecosystem Services, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, C1

journal article

Drivers and modelling of blue carbon stock variability in sediments of southeastern Australia

C Ewers Lewis, M Young, D Ierodiaconou, J Baldock, B Hawke, J Sanderman, P Carnell, P Macreadie

(2020), Vol. 17, pp. 2041-2059, Biogeosciences, Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany, C1

journal article

Estimating the potential blue carbon gains from tidal marsh rehabilitation: a case study from South Eastern Australia

A Gulliver, P Carnell, S Trevathan-Tackett, M Duarte de Paula Costa, P Masqué, P Macreadie

(2020), Vol. 7, pp. 1-13, Frontiers in marine science, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1

journal article

More severe disturbance regimes drive the shift of a kelp forest to a sea urchin barren in south-eastern Australia

Paul Carnell, Michael Keough

(2020), Vol. 10, Scientific Reports, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Climate drives the geography of marine consumption by changing predator communities

M Whalen, R Whippo, J Stachowicz, P York, E Aiello, T Alcoverro, A Altieri, L Benedetti-Cecchi, C Bertolini, M Bresch, F Bulleri, P Carnell, S Cimon, R Connolly, M Cusson, M Diskin, E D’Souza, A Flores, F Joel Fodrie, A Galloway, L Gaskins, O Graham, T Hanley, C Henderson, C Hereu, M Hessing-Lewis, K Hovel, B Hughes, A Randall Hughes, K Hultgren, H Jänes, D Janiak, L Johnston, P Jorgensen, B Kelaher, C Kruschel, B Lanham, K Lee, J Lefcheck, E Lozano-Álvarez, P Macreadie, Z Monteith, N O’Connor, A Olds, J O’Leary, C Patrick, O Pino, A Poore, M Rasheed, W Raymond, K Reiss, O Kennedy Rhoades, M Robinson, P Ross, F Rossi, T Schlacher, J Seemann, B Silliman, D Smee, M Thiel, R Unsworth, B van Tussenbroek, A Vergés, M Yeager, B Yednock, S Ziegler, J Emmett Duffy

(2020), Vol. 117, pp. 28160-28166, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., C1

journal article

An introduced kelp has less impact on a native algal community than overgrazing by native sea urchins

P Crockett, P Carnell

(2020), Vol. 137, pp. 258-268, Victorian naturalist, Melbourne, Vic., C1

journal article

Reconstructing historical marine populations reveals major decline of a kelp forest ecosystem in Australia

P Carnell, M Keough

(2019), Vol. 42, pp. 765-778, Estuaries and coasts, New York, N.Y., C1-1

journal article

Implication of viral infections for greenhouse gas dynamics in freshwater wetlands: challenges and perspectives

G Bonetti, S Trevathan-Tackett, P Carnell, P Macreadie

(2019), Vol. 10, Frontiers in microbiology, Lausanne, Switzerland, C1

journal article

Microhabitats can be recruitment refuges and sinks

P Carnell, M Sams, M Keough

(2019), Vol. 626, pp. 15-27, Marine ecology progress series, Oldendorf, Germany, C1

journal article

Australian vegetated coastal ecosystems as global hotspots for climate change mitigation

O Serrano, C Lovelock, T B. Atwood, P Macreadie, R Canto, S Phinn, A Arias-Ortiz, L Bai, J Baldock, C Bedulli, P Carnell, R Connolly, P Donaldson, A Esteban, C Ewers Lewis, B Eyre, M Hayes, P Horwitz, L Hutley, C Kavazos, J Kelleway, G Kendrick, K Kilminster, A Lafratta, S Lee, P Lavery, D Maher, N Marbà, P Masque, M Mateo, R Mount, P Ralph, C Roelfsema, M Rozaimi, R Ruhon, C Salinas, J Samper-Villarreal, J Sanderman, C J. Sanders, I Santos, C Sharples, A Steven, T Cannard, S Trevathan-Tackett, C Duarte

(2019), Vol. 10, pp. 1-10, Nature Communications, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Mapping Ocean Wealth Australia: the value of coastal wetlands to people and nature

Paul Carnell, Simon Reeves, Emily Nicholson, Peter Macreadie, Daniel Ierodiaconou, Mary Young, Jaya Kelvin, Holger Janes, Alejandro Navarro, James Fitzsimons, Chris Gillies

(2019), Carlton, Vic., A6

research report/technical paper

Variability and vulnerability of coastal 'blue carbon' stocks: a case study from Southeast Australia

C Ewers Lewis, P Carnell, J Sanderman, J Baldock, P Macreadie

(2018), Vol. 21, pp. 263-279, Ecosystems, New York, N.Y., C1

journal article

A global map of mangrove forest soil carbon at 30 m spatial resolution

J Sanderman, T Hengl, G Fiske, K Solvik, M Adame, L Benson, J Bukoski, P Carnell, M Cifuentes-Jara, D Donato, C Duncan, E Eid, P zu Ermgassen, C Lewis, P Macreadie, L Glass, S Gress, S Jardine, T Jones, E Nsombo, M Rahman, C Sanders, M Spalding, E Landis

(2018), Vol. 13, Environmental research letters, Bristol, Eng., C1

journal article

Carbon stocks, sequestration, and emissions of wetlands in south eastern Australia

Paul Carnell, Saras Windecker, Madeline Brenker, Jeff Baldock, Pere Masque, Kate Brunt, Peter Macreadie

(2018), Vol. 24, pp. 4173-4184, Global change biology, Chichester, Eng., C1

journal article

Optimal soil carbon sampling designs to achieve cost-effectiveness: a case study in blue carbon ecosystems

Mary Young, Peter Macreadie, Clare Duncan, Paul Carnell, Emily Nicholson, Oscar Serrano, Carlos Duarte, Glenn Shiell, Jeff Baldock, Daniel Ierodiaconou

(2018), Vol. 14, Biology letters, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Carbon sequestration by Australian tidal marshes

P Macreadie, Q Ollivier, J Kelleway, O Serrano, P Carnell, C Ewers Lewis, T Atwood, J Sanderman, J Baldock, R Connolly, C Duarte, P Lavery, A Steven, C Lovelock

(2017), Vol. 7, pp. 1-10, Scientific reports, London, Eng., C1

journal article

Global patterns in mangrove soil carbon stocks and losses

T Atwood, R Connolly, H Almahasheer, P Carnell, C Duarte, C Lewis, X Irigoien, J Kelleway, P Lavery, P Macreadie, O Serrano, C Sanders, I Santos, A Steven, C Lovelock

(2017), Vol. 7, pp. 523-528, Nature climate change, London, Eng., C1

journal article

The influence of herbivores on primary producers can vary spatially and interact with disturbance

P Carnell, M Keough

(2016), Vol. 125, pp. 1273-1283, Oikos, C1

journal article

Spatially variable synergistic effects of disturbance and additional nutrients on kelp recruitment and recovery

P Carnell, M Keough

(2014), Vol. 175, pp. 409-416, Oecologia, Berlin, Germany, C1-1

journal article

Funded Projects at Deakin

Other Public Sector Funding

Control charts for Victoria's Marine Protected Areas

Dr Paul Carnell

  • 2015: $2,280

Removal strategies of the introduced kelp Undaria pinnatifida and its interaction with the native algal canopy in Victoria's Marine Sanctuaries

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Dr Paul Carnell, Prof Peter Macreadie

  • 2016: $3,000
  • 2015: $3,000

RPP 1415 P18- Conservation plans for marine protected areas

Dr Paul Carnell, Prof Peter Macreadie

  • 2015: $4,500

Wetland Monitoring Program Development

Prof Peter Macreadie, Dr Paul Carnell, Dr Jan Barton, Prof Rebecca Lester

  • 2016: $10,000
  • 2015: $70,000

Carbon sequestration and storage in freshwater Victorian wetlands

Prof Peter Macreadie, Dr Paul Carnell

  • 2016: $53,040
  • 2015: $60,000

A pilot monitoring program for Victoria's marine national parks and sanctuaries

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Dr Paul Carnell, Mr Paul Tinkler

  • 2018: $123,007
  • 2017: $114,689

Evaluating the carbon sink-source capacity of inland wetlands within the Murray region

Prof Peter Macreadie, Dr Paul Carnell

  • 2017: $128,034

Restoring healthy ecosystems in subtidal reefs: an integrated approach

Dr Paul Carnell, Prof Peter Macreadie, Miss Beck Morris, Asst/Prof Steve Swearer

  • 2020: $12,912
  • 2019: $12,736
  • 2018: $12,272

Enhancing monitoring programs for Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park using remote observation, rock lobster pots and sonar technologies

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Dr Paul Carnell, Mr Paul Tinkler, Mr Jordan Logan

  • 2019: $124,141
  • 2018: $37,650
  • 2017: $69,338

Victorian Coastal Wetland Restoration

Prof Peter Macreadie, Dr Paul Carnell

  • 2020: $91,000
  • 2019: $131,000
  • 2018: $403,000

Are feral herbivores impacting carbon storage in alpine peatlands?

Dr Paul Carnell, Prof Peter Macreadie, Ms Sarah Treby

  • 2019: $5,000

An updated monitoring program for Wilsons Promontory Marine National Park.

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Mr Paul Tinkler, Mr Sam Wines, Dr Paul Carnell, Prof John Arnould

  • 2020: $86,381
  • 2019: $45,000

An updated monitoring program for Cape Howe Marine National Park.

A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Mr Paul Tinkler, Mr Sam Wines, Dr Paul Carnell, Dr Mary Young

  • 2021: $48,780
  • 2019: $45,000

Optimal Management of Overabundant Sea Urchins in Victoria.

Dr Paul Carnell, A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Dr Eric Treml, A/Prof Craig Sherman, Dr Adam Miller, Dr Mary Young, Prof Peter Macreadie

  • 2021: $222,500
  • 2020: $97,500
  • 2019: $70,000

Development of an ongoing monitoring program for saltmarsh & seagrass in Port Phillip Heads Marine National Park

Dr Paul Carnell

  • 2021: $6,033
  • 2020: $24,132

Review of effects of wind powered vessels on wildlife within Victoria's MPAs and sensitive coastal areas.

Dr Paul Carnell, A/Prof Mike Weston

  • 2021: $7,182
  • 2020: $7,182

Mapping the benefits and costs of management actions for blue carbon habitats on Victoria's coastline.

Dr Paul Carnell, Dr Micheli Costa, Prof Peter Macreadie, Dr Melissa Wartman, Prof Emily Nicholson

  • 2021: $90,000

Industry and Other Funding

Sea urchin outbreak in Noorumunga Marine and Coastal Park: implications for seagrasses and their carbon-sink capacity

Prof Peter Macreadie, A/Prof Daniel Ierodiaconou, Dr Paul Carnell

  • 2017: $1,000
  • 2015: $9,000

The Victorian Coastal Wetland Restoration Program: Protecting Victoria¿s Saltmarsh Through Fencing

Prof Peter Macreadie, Dr Melissa Wartman, Dr Paul Carnell, Dr Micheli Costa

  • 2021: $87,234


Principal Supervisor

Sarah Treby

Thesis entitled: Management and Disturbance Impacts to Carbon Sequestration in Australian Freshwater Wetlands

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Associate Supervisor

Giuditta Bonetti

Thesis entitled: The role of prokaryotes, viruses and viral infection strategies for carbon dynamics in inland wetlands

Doctor of Philosophy (Biol & Chem), School of Life and Environmental Sciences


Katy Elizabeth Limpert

Thesis entitled: Maximising carbon drawdown in freshwater wetlands

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences

Holger Janes

Thesis entitled: Values of coastal ecosystems from fish and fisheries

Doctor of Philosophy (Life & Env), School of Life and Environmental Sciences