Photo of Matt Taylor

Research interests

  • Penaeid prawn ecology
  • Commercial prawn fisheries
  • Marine stock enhancement
  • Artificial reefs
  • Estuarine habitat rehabilitation
  • Fish behaviour
  • Effects of freshwater inflow to estuaries and estuarine water quality on fisheries productivity
  • Contamination in seafood species


Following an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, I commenced an Academic career as a Lecturer in Applied Marine Ecology at the University of NSW, coordinating several late stage and postgraduate courses, and two coursework Masters programs. Wishing to take my research closer to the coal face, I joined the Department as a Scientific Officer in 2011, before being appointed as a Senior Research Scientist in 2012, and Principal Research Scientist in 2015. My core research vision centres on the scientific development and subsequent application of innovative approaches to improve both fisheries productivity and sustainability. This vision is realised through several internationally significant, collaborative research programs, most notably in study of fish habitat, recruitment and population processes, and the application of this knowledge to the development of approaches that address recruitment and habitat bottlenecks, and models that improve management of fisheries more broadly. I hold Adjunct/Conjoint Professor appointments at four Australian universities, and have supervised 21 PhD students (eight of these currently completing) and 19 Honours degree students. I am the designated Species Expert – Prawns for NSW, a member of the NSW DPI Senior Scientist Group, a member of the NSW EPA Technical Advisory Group, a departmental representative on the NSW IMOS Scientific Reference Group, a member of the IMOS Animal Tracking Facility Scientific and Data Committee, a national representative on the International Scientific Committee for Stock Enhancement and Sea Ranching. I am also an Associate Editor for the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF) scholarly journal, Estuaries and Coasts.


  • PhD (2007) – Biological Oceanography (Thesis title: Environmental impact of stocked mulloway fingerlings in NSW estuaries)
  • Honours Class I (2003) – Marine Science (Thesis title: Evaluating novel marker systems for use in the molecular ecology of bottlenose dolphin Tursiops sp.)
  • BSc Advanced Science –Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics (UNSW)

Current projects

  • NSW Fisheries Enhancement Research and Monitoring Program
  • Habitat – fishery linkages within New South estuaries, especially saltmarsh and oyster reef
  • The economic impact of contamination on fisheries
  • Factors contributing to economic resilience in the NSW commercial fishing industry
  • Ecological Risk Assessment, in the context of commercial and recreational fisheries
  • Genetic implications of marine stocking
  • The influence of catchment-derived stressors on productivity of exploited species
  • The role and impact of spatial closures in ocean trawl fisheries
  • Links between environmental variation, recruitment strength and fisheries productivity, and modelling these processes to forecast future catch
  • Ecotoxicology of contaminants in exploited fish and crustacean species
  • Movements and connectivity of exploited species in the context of their fisheries (acoustic telemetry and conventional tagging)
  • Development and application of estuarine electrofishing for ongoing estuarine monitoring programs

Recent publications

Please refer to Matt Taylor's Google scholar page.

Professional associations and achievements

  • 2019 Sydney Fish Market Seafood Excellence Awards, Inaugural “Research, Development and Extension Award” (Highly Commended)
  • 2018 NSW DPI Stakeholder’s Award
  • 2016 NSW DPI Service Award (Values)
  • 2009 Australian Research Council (ARC) Early Career Researcher Award
  • 2008 Australian Academy of Science 2008/09 Science Academies Program Award
  • 2007 Australian Society for Fish Biology International Travel Award
  • 2007 NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award
  • 2007 Australian Research Council Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship (Industry)
  • 2006 Inaugural Recfish Australia Award for "Best Research Project with Recreational Fishing Outcomes"
  • 2006 NSW DPI Fisheries John Holliday Student Conservation Award for Postgraduate Research

Contact details

Email: matt.taylor@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Phone: (02) 4916 3937