Laurence J. McCook works on the science-based management of marine ecosystems, especially coral reefs. McCook is the director of oceans conservation for WWF Hong Kong, a professorial research fellow at James Cook University’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, and a visiting professor at Hasanuddin University in Makassar, Indonesia. Previously, he was a President’s International visiting professorial fellow at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, and senior adviser to Conservation International’s marine program in Indonesia.
McCook’s Pew fellowship focused on management and policy initiatives to protect the resilience of coral reefs under climate change. This work included developing and delivering a series of workshops on coral reef management in Indonesia and Malaysia, and a range of major accomplishments incorporating existing scientific understanding into the practical, real‐world management of coral reefs to enhance their resilience.
His fellowship also addressed critical gaps in scientific knowledge about the ecology of reef algae and their impact on coral reef systems under climate change.
McCook has more than 30 years of experience in management, research, and capacity-building, focusing on coral reefs in Australia, the Coral Triangle, the Pacific, and the Caribbean, as well as in temperate ecosystems. He has worked with government management agencies, research institutions, businesses, and nongovernmental organizations to further ocean conservation through science and policy. McCook is also passionate about using economic tools to engage the corporate and finance sectors about opportunities to prevent and reverse environmental degradation.