Charles advises on tropical marine and coastal development issues, advising governments, NGOs and aid agencies on marine and coastal management.
His advisory roles include the tropical & marine environmental advisor for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Commissioner for UK Overseas Territories; participant on Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change since 2002; Fellow of Linnean Society of London, elected 1998; and the advisor to several tropical country governments on marine environmental affairs.
He has published 10 books on marine and environmental science, and more than 100 papers & reports, and more than 100 magazine contributions. He has been the Chief Editor of Marine Pollution Bulletin for the last 15 years - the largest marine envrionmental science journal.
Recent, ongoing and other funded research
His research centres on community ecology, particularly the effects of natural and anthropogenic stresses on ecosystems, especially (since 1998) on ecosystem responses to climate change.
- Biogeography and biodiversity of Indo‑Pacific coral reefs, including development of wide scale reef monitoring programmes, and conservation management to mitigate changes.
- Advisory work for several Arabian petroleum and government companies.
- Coastal Management projects in middle East and Chagos Archipelago, and Caribbean.
- Marine habitat mapping in Arabian Gulf (for Abu Dhabi and UAE).
- Marine habitat mapping in the Caribbean and Indian Ocean (e.g. Sri Lanka, Chagos, several British Overseas Territories in Caribbean); inter-habitat interactions including human interactions with the marine environment. GIS based coastal zone management development for lesser developed countries.
- Research on the recent episodes of massive reef mortality in the Indian Ocean.
- Marine biodiversity research, using remote sensing, in tropical marine ecosystems.
- Investigation of community changes along pollution and sedimentation gradients, including the development and use of new and powerful non-parametric methods of analysis.
- Research linking climate data to marine environmental changes.
- Funded to produce series of interactive cd roms for biodiversity mapping and to serve as taxonomic guides.