Steve Lindfield, PhD - Coral Reef Research Foundation
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Steve Lindfield, PhD

Scope of work

Dr. Steve Lindfield has been working at CRRF since the start of 2016. His main research focus is on fish ecology and fisheries. He is interested in how fish communities respond to fishing pressure and the best management approaches for increasing the sustainability of coral reef fisheries. You can read more about his projects on reef fisheries. He is particularly interested in how fish communities change over depth gradients and how fish spawning aggregations form and function.

Steve is a specialist in the use of stereo-video techniques for counting and measuring the size of fish. He applies this method for diving surveys to survey vast areas of coral reefs, assessing fish spawning aggregations, benthic surveys of corals and also for sampling fish markets. See more under the stereo-video page (here).

Steve is an experienced scientific diver with AAUS and ADAS qualifications and helps with all diving related fieldwork at CRRF. He has been diving with closed circuit rebreather (CCR) since 2008, he applies this diving technique to expand the depth ranges for diving fieldwork and minimise the behavioral effects of fishes towards divers.

About Steve

Now 32, Steve grew up grew up on the Central Coast of NSW, Australia. Since his first breaths on SCUBA at the age of 12 with his father, a commercial fisherman, the ocean was already a major part of his life. After completing his marine science degree with first class honours at the University of Newcastle, in 2008 he was selected as the Australasian Rolex Scholar for the Our World-Underwater Scholarship Society, which allowed him to travel outside Australia for the first time. This scholarship took him around world for a year SCUBA diving and learning about pressing marine conservation issues. After world-wide experiences, Steve was hooked on the tropical reefs of the Pacific and started his PhD on the impacts of fishing on coral reef fish, for which he based his research on the Mariana Islands and Yap’s outer islands in Micronesia. During his PhD he resided in Guam for two years of fieldwork, Perth for one year of video analysis and Bali for the last two years of writing. He now lives in Palau with his partner Vanessa and son Keanu.

For more details you can download Steve’s CV here:

Contact details

Coral Reef Research Foundation
PO Box 1765
Koror, 96940
Republic of Palau



+680 488-5255 (Office)
+680 778-4095 (Mobile)

Publications and downloads

Steve’s publications can be found on his ResearchGate profile  and on Google scholar. Please email for copies of papers that cannot be accessed from these links.

Published papers

  • Jaiteh, V.F., Lindfield, S.J., Mangubhai, S., Warren, C., Fitzpatrick, B., Loneragan, N.R., (2016). Higher abundance of marine predators and changes in fishers’ behavior following spatial protection within the world’s biggest shark fishery. Frontiers in Marine Science 3. doi:10.3389/fmars.2016.00043
  • Lindfield, S.J., Harvey, E.S., Halford, A.R., McIlwain, J.L., (2015). Mesophotic depths as refuge areas for fishery-targeted species on coral reefs. Coral Reefs 35, 125–137.
  • Lindfield SJ, Harvey ES, McIlwain JL, Halford AR (2014) Silent fish surveys: bubble-free diving highlights inaccuracies associated with SCUBA-based surveys in heavily fished areas. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 5: 1061-69
  • Taylor BM, Lindfield SJ, Choat, JH (2014). Hierarchical and scale-dependent effects of fishing pressure and environment on the structure and size distribution of parrotfish communities. 38: 520-30.
  • Lindfield SJ, McIlwain JL, Harvey ES (2014) Depth refuge and the impacts of SCUBA spearfishing on coral reef fishes. PLoS ONE 9: e92628.
  • Gladstone W, Lindfield S, Coleman M, Kelaher B (2012) Optimisation of baited remote underwater video sampling designs for estuarine fish assemblages. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 429:28-35
  • Malcolm H, Gladstone W, Lindfield S, Wraith J, Lynch TP (2007) Spatial differences and temporal stability in reef fish assemblages of marine parks in New South Wales, Australia, observed using baited underwater video. Marine Ecology Progress Series 350: 277-290

Technical reports

  • Lindfield, S.J., 2017. Palau’s reef fisheries: changes in size and spawning potential from past to present. Technical report, Coral Reef Research Foundation, 23pp.
  • Lindfield, S.J., 2016. Summary of the 2015 fishery creel and market survey in Palau. Technical report, Coral Reef Research Foundation, 20pp.