Picture of Joel Williams

Research interests

  • Spatial ecology of temperate reef fishes
  • Ecology of temperate mesophotic ecosystems
  • Tracking fish movements in relation to habitat
  • Habitat mapping
  • Larval fish ecology
  • Spatial data science


Joel Williams is a Research Scientist based at the Port Stephens Fisheries Institute. He specialises in marine and spatial ecology with over 10 years experience exploring fish ecology, spatial ecology, temperate mesophotic ecosystems and marine protected area science. Joel utilises modern technology such as remotely operated vehicles (ROV), baited remote under stereo video (stereo-BRUV) and mutlibeam echo sounder (MBES) to collect habitat structure and fish assemblage data on temperate Australian reefs. Joel is originally from Victoria where he graduated with a PhD from the University of Melbourne. In Victoria, Joel was involved in developing and implementing marine park monitoring programs and understanding how environmental flows influence fisheries productivity.


  • PhD – University of Melbourne
  • BSc (Hons) – Deakin University

Current projects

  • Implementing monitoring of Australian Marine Parks and the status of marine biodiversity assets on the continental shelf.
  • Quantifying the value of temperate mesophotic ecosystems.
  • Investigating recreational fishing effort in commonwealth waters.
  • Mapping the distribution of fishes in the Hawkesbury bioregion.
  • Using ROV to assess abundance of fishes, urchins and lobsters.
  • Assessment of growth and population abundance of juvenile white sharks.
  • Spatial analysis of fish distribution around marine protected areas.

Recent publications

Please refer to Joel Williams’s Google Scholar page.

Professional associations and achievements

  • Australian Marine Science Association (NSW committee member)
  • Australian Society of Fish Biology (NSW representative)
  • Ecological Society of Australia
  • Cave Divers Association of Australia

Contact details

Email: joel.williams@dpi.nsw.gov.au

Phone: (02) 4916 3962