Julia Hazel

Research Scientist - Coastal and Estuarine Ecology

Julia’s research focuses broadly on wildlife behaviour and ecology. She is particularly interested in understanding how wild species and their habitats are affected by human activity and climatic variation. The challenges of investigating cryptic behaviour of wild species led Julia to adopt a wide range of research techniques including new telemetry methods and stable isotope analysis for ecological inference. Her current and recent activities include mentoring and co-supervising graduate students investigating spatial behaviour, diet, body condition, and genetic linkages of marine turtles in coastal foraging areas, collaborative work on using behavioural data to improve marine turtle abundance estimates derived from aerial surveys, and increasing scientific value in citizen-science monitoring of migratory birds.

Google Scholar Publications


A life-long interest in wildlife and natural environments led me back to scientific research after professional diversion to work in Information Technology. In 2009, Julia completed a PhD at James Cook University in Townsville where my research focussed on the behaviour of marine turtles in near-shore foraging grounds and the animals’ vulnerability to being struck by fast-moving boats. Julia was subsequently appointed an Adjunct Research Fellow at JCU. In that role, she has continued to run several independent projects and undertake new collaborative work with TropWATER and CMES research colleagues.

Research Interests

Julia’s research focusses broadly on wildlife behaviour and ecology. She is particularly interested in marine species and coastal birds, and in seeking new insights to conserve their vital habitats and minimise harmful impacts of human activity on wild species.

Julia is also very interested in developing and enhancing fieldwork techniques, technologies and analytic methods for investigating the behaviour of elusive wild species.

Julia enjoys collaboration, mentoring and co-supervising graduate students and is always open to discussing ideas for new projects.

Current Projects

Together with several colleagues, Julia is involved in long-term studies of marine turtles at focal sites along the Queensland coast, investigating spatial behaviour, diet, body condition, and genetic linkages. They are using a diverse array of electronic telemetry methods, stable isotope analysis, GIS and statistical approaches, relying on R for most of the data wrangling. (Julia willingly admits to being a technology nerd and R-evangelist at times.)

The avian side of her work currently comprises a multi-season study of Pied Imperial Pigeons including photo-monitoring their nest-attendance patterns at remote island breeding sites. Julia is also developing a citizen-science project to collect new data on this species along the mainland coast of Queensland (http://pipwatch.net/).

Selected publications

Hazel J, Venables BL (2017) Can island specialists succeed as urban pioneers? Pied imperial-pigeons provide a case study. Wildlife Research 44 (1): 40-47

Shimada T, Limpus C, Jones R, Hazel J, Groom R, Hamann M (2016) Sea turtles return home after intentional displacement from coastal foraging areas. Marine biology 163 (1) 8

Fuentes MMPB, Bell, Ian Bell; Hagihara R; Hamann M; Hazel J; Huth A; Seminoff JA; Sobtzick S; Marsh H (2015) Improving in-water estimates of marine turtle abundance by adjusting aerial survey counts for perception and availability biases. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 471:77-83

Shimada T, Aoki S, Kameda K, Hazel J, Reich K, Kamezaki N (2014) Site fidelity, ontogenetic shift and diet composition of green turtles Chelonia mydas in Japan inferred from stable isotope analysis. Endangered Species Research 25:151-164

Hazel J, Hamann M, Lawler IR (2013) Home range of immature green turtles tracked at an offshore tropical reef using automated passive acoustic technology. Marine Biology 160 (3):617-627

Hazel J (2009) Evaluation of fast-acquisition GPS in stationary tests and fine-scale tracking of green turtles. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 374: 58-68

Hazel J, Lawler IR, Hamann M, (2009) Diving at the shallow end: Green turtle behaviour in near-shore foraging habitat. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology 371: 84–92

Hazel J, Lawler IR, Marsh H, Robson S (2007) Vessel speed increases collision risk for the green turtle Chelonia mydas. Endangered Species Research 3:105-113

Hazel J, Gyuris E (2006) Vessel-related mortality of sea turtles in Queensland, Australia. Wildlife Research 33:149-154

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