As an applied coral reef ecologist I work in marine conservation with a variety of collaborators. Currently we are disentangling the effects of climate change, fishing and environmental drivers of reef fish assemblages in the western Indian Ocean. We seek to inform priority conservation action and to define indicators for measuring impacts. Our research on small scale artisanal fisheries explores novel management approaches and seeks to improve policy. I also work on the movements and distribution of sharks and other threatened fish species for IUCN Red List vulnerability assessments; the reproductive behaviour of aggregation spawning in groupers; the effectiveness of marine protected areas and community-based management approaches for marine conservation in eastern Africa.