Justin Rizzari

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Justin Rizzari

Justin Rizzari

Research Fellow – Crustacean Fisheries

Room 320, IMAS Taroona, Off-Campus

0450551087 (phone)

Dr. Justin Rizzari is a Research Fellow at the Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre in the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies specialising in crustacean fisheries. He is interested in the fisheries biology and management of high value fisheries such as southern rock lobster.


Justin is a marine biologist. He joined the Fisheries and Aquaculture Centre at IMAS in August 2017. Justin has a Bachelor of Science in Resource Management from Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi. In 2011, he moved to Australia and completed a Postgraduate Diploma of Research Methods in Tropical Marine Ecology at James Cook University (JCU) in Townsville studying the behaviour of reef sharks across different fisheries management zones. In 2015 Justin then went on to complete his PhD at JCU. His PhD thesis explored the trophic status and management of large predators on coral reefs. Prior to joining the University of Tasmania, he was research officer and postdoctoral fellow at JCU.

Career summary



Trophic impact of large predators on coral reefs and management implications

James Cook University



Graduate Diploma of Research Methods

Estimating the abundance of imperilled apex predators on coral reefs

James Cook University



Bachelor of Science in Marine and Coastal Resources – Summa cum laude


Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi




Professional practice

Oceania Chondrichthyan Society

Australian Society for Fish Biology

Australian Marine Sciences Association


Fisheries; Marine Biology; Conservation Biology; Statistics; Animal Behaviour

Teaching expertise

Justin has taught both postgraduate and undergraduate level courses: Fisheries Science (undergraduate), Marine Reserves as Fisheries Management Tools (postgraduate), Quantitative Methods in Science (undergraduate), Sampling and Experimental Design (postgraduate), Marine Ecology and Environmental Assessment (undergraduate), Ecology (undergraduate).

View more on Dr Justin Rizzari in WARP


  • Fisheries Sciences
  • Aquatic Ecosystems and Stock Assessment
  • Marine and Estuarine Ecology
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Population Ecology
  • Conservation and Biodiversity
  • Global Change Biology
  • Invertebrate Biology
  • Fish Biology
  • Ecosystem Structure and Function

Research Themes

Justin’s research aligns with the University’s research theme of Marine, Antarctic and Maritime. He conducts applied research for management of marine resources. Most of his research activity is directed to creating benefit to the Tasmanian community from sustainable, well-managed commercial fisheries. His research concentrates on the assessment of wild fisheries, specifically southern rock lobster and giant crab. This work involves understanding the biological and ecological aspects of the fishery and considering the implications of different management strategies.


Justin has been involved in collaborative projects across several Australian states and internationally with collaborators from the Philippines and USA.


  • 2014 ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Virginia Chadwick Award for Best Student Publication
  • 2014 Australian Institute of Marine Science First Place Student Seminar Presentation
  • 2009-2001 Dean’s List, Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi

Current projects

Current projects include:

  • Fishery assessments of rock lobster and giant crab
  • Population biology of rock lobster and giant crab
  • Age determination of lobster and crab species
  • Effects of marine reserves on reef fish populations

Fields of Research

  • Behavioural Ecology (060201)
  • Fisheries Management (070403)
  • Wildlife and Habitat Management (050211)
  • Conservation and Biodiversity (050202)
  • Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl. Marine Ichthyology) (060205)
  • Population, Ecological and Evolutionary Genetics (060411)
  • Natural Resource Management (050209)
  • Vertebrate Biology (060809)

Research Objectives

  • Forest and Woodlands Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity (960806)
  • Fisheries - Wild Caught (830299)
  • Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity (960808)
  • Wild Caught Rock Lobster (830206)
  • Ecosystem Assessment and Management at Regional or Larger Scales (960501)
  • Fisheries - Recreational (830201)
  • Wild Caught Fin Fish (excl. Tuna) (830204)
  • Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences (970106)


Justin has published papers on range of topics, such as the effect of wildlife tourism on animal movement, the impact of marine reserves on fish populations and trophic interactions, methodological assessments for surveying shark populations, and stable isotope analysis of marine organisms. He has published in a wide range of journals, including Conservation Biology, Biological Conservation, Oecologia, Oikos, Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, and Coral Reefs.

Total publications


Journal Article

(19 outputs)
2018Russ GR, Payne CS, Bergseth BJ, Rizzari JR, Abesamis RA, et al., 'Decadal-scale response of detritivorous surgeonfishes (family Acanthuridae) to no-take marine reserve protection and changes in benthic habitat', Journal of Fish Biology, 93, (5) pp. 887-900. ISSN 0022-1112 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13809 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3


2017Rizzari JR, Semmens JM, Fox A, Huveneers C, 'Observations of marine wildlife tourism effects on a non-focal species', Journal of Fish Biology, 91, (3) pp. 981-988. ISSN 0022-1112 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/jfb.13389 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4

Co-authors: Semmens JM


2017Russ GR, Aller-Rojas OD, Rizzari JR, Alcala AC, 'Off-reef planktivorous reef fishes respond positively to decadal-scale no-take marine reserve protection and negatively to benthic habitat change', Marine Ecology, 38, (3) Article e12442. ISSN 0173-9565 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/maec.12442 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 2


2017Russ GR, Lowe JR, Rizzari JR, Bergseth BJ, Alcala AC, 'Partitioning no-take marine reserve (NTMR) and benthic habitat effects on density of small and large-bodied tropical wrasses', PLoS One, 12, (12) Article e0188515. ISSN 1932-6203 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188515 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1


2017Casey JM, Baird AH, Brandl SJ, Hoogenboom MO, Rizzari JR, et al., 'A test of trophic cascade theory: fish and benthic assemblages across a predator density gradient on coral reefs', Oecologia, 183, (1) pp. 161-175. ISSN 0029-8549 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00442-016-3753-8 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 11Web of Science - 11


2016Finn MH, Lonnstedt OM, Rizzari JR, Jones GP, Frisch AJ, 'Experimental bleaching of a tropical sea anemone in situ', Marine Ecology, 37, (3) pp. 691-696. ISSN 0173-9565 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/maec.12333 [eCite] [Details]


2016Frisch AJ, Cameron DS, Pratchett MS, Williamson DH, Williams AJ, et al., 'Key aspects of the biology, fisheries and management of coral grouper', Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries, 26, (3) pp. 303-325. ISSN 0960-3166 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s11160-016-9427-0 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 7Web of Science - 8


2016Frisch AJ, Ireland M, Rizzari JR, Lonnstedt OM, Magnenat KA, et al., 'Reassessing the trophic role of reef sharks as apex predators on coral reefs', Coral Reefs, 35, (2) pp. 459-472. ISSN 0722-4028 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00338-016-1415-2 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 34Web of Science - 10


2016Frisch AJ, Rizzari JR, Munkres KP, Hobbs J-PA, 'Anemonefish depletion reduces survival, growth, reproduction and fishery productivity of mutualistic anemone-anemonefish colonies', Coral Reefs, 35, (2) pp. 375-386. ISSN 0722-4028 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00338-016-1401-8 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 10Web of Science - 27


2015Rizzari JR, Bergseth BJ, Frisch AJ, 'Impact of conservation areas on trophic interactions between apex predators and herbivores on coral reefs', Conservation Biology, 29, (2) pp. 418-429. ISSN 0888-8892 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/cobi.12385 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 34Web of Science - 30


2015Rizzari JR, Frisch AJ, 'Decadal den fidelity of a highly mobile reef lobster', Marine Biodiversity, 45, (4) pp. 617-618. ISSN 1867-1616 (2015) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1007/s12526-014-0297-1 [eCite] [Details]


2015Russ GR, Bergseth BJ, Rizzari JR, Alcala AC, 'Decadal-scale effects of benthic habitat and marine reserve protection on Philippine goatfish (F: Mullidae)', Coral Reefs, 34, (3) pp. 773-787. ISSN 0722-4028 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00338-015-1296-9 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 8Web of Science - 8


2015Russ GR, Miller KI, Rizzari JR, Alcala AC, 'Long-term no-take marine reserve and benthic habitat effects on coral reef fishes', Marine Ecology Progress Series, 529 pp. 233-248. ISSN 0171-8630 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.3354/meps11246 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 14Web of Science - 13


2015Russ GR, Questel S-LA, Rizzari JR, Alcala AC, 'The parrotfish-coral relationship: refuting the ubiquity of a prevailing paradigm', Marine Biology, 162, (10) pp. 2029-2045. ISSN 0025-3162 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-015-2728-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 36Web of Science - 35


2014Rizzari JR, Frisch AJ, Connolly SR, 'How robust are estimates of coral reef shark depletion?', Biological Conservation, 176 pp. 39-47. ISSN 0006-3207 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.05.003 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 24Web of Science - 22


2014Rizzari JR, Frisch AJ, Hoey AS, McCormick MI, 'Not worth the risk: apex predators suppress herbivory on coral reefs', Oikos, 123, (7) pp. 829-836. ISSN 0030-1299 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/oik.01318 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 47Web of Science - 46


2014Rizzari JR, Frisch AJ, Magnenat KA, 'Diversity, abundance, and distribution of reef sharks on outer-shelf reefs of the Great Barrier Reef, Australia', Marine Biology, 161, (12) pp. 2847-2855. ISSN 0025-3162 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1007/s00227-014-2550-3 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 22Web of Science - 19


2014Rizzari JR, Lonnstedt OM, 'Cooperative hunting and gregarious behaviour in the zebra lionfish, Dendrochirus zebra', Marine Biodiversity, 44 pp. 467-468. ISSN 1867-1616 (2014) [Contribution to Refereed Journal]

DOI: 10.1007/s12526-014-0215-6 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 4Web of Science - 4


2012Frisch AJ, Cole AJ, Hobbs J-PA, Rizzari JR, Munkres KP, 'Effects of spearfishing on reef fish populations in a multi-use conservation area', PLoS One, 7, (12) Article e51938. ISSN 1932-6203 (2012) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0051938 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 23Web of Science - 21


Other Public Output

(1 outputs)
2018Frusher SD, Ewing G, Rizzari J, Colquhoun RE, 'Developing cost-effective industry based techniques for monitoring puerulus settlement in all conditions: Phase2', Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, Deakin ACT, FRDC Project No 2014/025, July (2018) [Government or Industry Research]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Frusher SD; Ewing G; Colquhoun RE