Vale Jon Brodie

June 25, 2020

Vale Jon Brodie - a “giant in his field” with an absolute passion for water quality and the Great Barrier Reef.

Terrain NRM’s staff and board directors were saddened to hear of Jon’s passing recently. We pay tribute to a scientist who we were fortunate to work with over many years, and who leaves behind a legacy of water quality knowledge, frameworks and improvements.

As Board Chair Keith Noble says, Jon was “absolutely committed to science and real water quality outcomes”. Staff remember him as “a much-respected pre-eminent scientist whose outgoing nature, approachability and expertise on water quality, particularly relating to the Great Barrier Reef, was something we valued”.


Jon was based at James Cook University’s ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and he made significant contributions to protecting the Great Barrier Reef, leading many research programs that broadened both public knowledge and scientific understanding of the Reef.

He was also Chief Research Scientist for the Centre for Tropical Water & Aquatic Ecosystem Research (TropWATER), Director of the Water Quality and Coastal Development Section at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), and Director of the Institute of Natural Resources at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji.
Jon was considered a world authority on water quality in general and, in particular, Great Barrier Reef water quality.

His drive, along with that of his colleague and friend Jane Waterhouse, helped to shape critical elements of the Wet Tropics Water Quality Improvement Plan and a significant part of the Wet Tropics Plan for People and Country. It also led to the Water Quality Improvement Plan being one of the first with ecologically-relevant targets.

He established the TropWATER water quality laboratory and he regularly advised Australian governments on policies relating to water quality management issues on the Great Barrier Reef.

Terrain NRM’s Paddock to Reef Coordinator Fiona Barron says Jon’s “passion, energy, unwavering determination and ethics in pushing for what was needed and the ‘right thing’” was truly amazing.

“I will also remember his sense of humour and laugh, and his love of red wine.”

Jon’s legacy will be invaluable in protecting the Great Barrier Reef for future generations.