How do patterns in coastal seascapes influence temperate reef fish assemblages?

Daniel Swadling is a new PhD student at the University of Wollongong who is embarking on a project to better understand the relationship between temperate fishes and their habitats. He also loves his luderick and drummer fishing using an old school Alvey reel, so he is going to fit in just fine and I sense there will be plenty of fishing adventures in the future. Below is his guest post recapping his honours project and where he is heading with his PhD research.

My name is Daniel, I am a PhD student at the University of Wollongong (UOW) Continue reading

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Have your say on the NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment

Are you concerned about the health of New South Wales marine environment?

If you are, it is worth looking at the NSW Marine Estate Threat and Risk Assessment Draft Report and providing a submission or comment to improve the assessment.

The report will be used to determine the most important threats and risks to the NSW marine environment and your submission could help decide where management actions are directed. Note: submissions are due this Saturday the 30th of April.

The website contains the current threat and risk assessment for a range of human activities on environmental assets (for e.g. fish, beaches, rocky reef etc.). It is interesting to see what the current risk ratings are for certain human activities and how the NSW Marine Estate justify these ratings.

To search for this information the NSW Marine Estate has developed an interactive tool to help you navigate through the draft assessment. Once you have identified a human activity (for e.g. recreational fishing) and its risk on an environmental asset (for e.g. the fish assemblage) there are links to a variety of reports used to justify this ranking plus a link to provide your own feedback.

The interactive tool did take me some time to get the hang of, so below are instructions and screen grabs to help you navigate your way through the site.

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5 free ways around the great paywall of academia.

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Picture: Severin. Stalder CC BY-SA 3.0 via wikimedia commons

If you do not have subscription access to academic journals through an institution then to access a large proportion of academic journals you will be charged a fee for each paper; fees of $30 or more per article are common. And if you need to access a lot of papers then the cost quickly adds up. Needless to  say many people don’t have the means to pay. Of course you could stick to open access journals i.e. free to read and download (Head to the directory of Open Access Journals for easy access to a whole range of open access journals), but by doing so you will miss a lot of what’s happening in the academic world*.

If you can’t afford to pay then you have a few options to get around the paywalls.

Here are  5 ways around the great paywall of academia; Continue reading

Vote 1 in FlyLife Photo Comp

Voting is now open for the Fly Life Magazine‘s photo competition and all of the finalists have some cracking entries.

Big congrats to our mate Angus Kennedy for reaching the finals with his shot of Matt guiding his canoe down the rapids of a remote south coast Bass stream. Continue reading

Top shelf bottom feeders

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If you are in Jervis Bay and see someone knee deep surrounded by rays or alternatively sitting staring at rays for hours on end then chances are you are looking at the “mother of rays”  otherwise known as  Joni  – the driving force behind the Stingray Diaries. She’s studying smooth stingrays throughout the Jervis Bay Marine park, in conjunction with Fisheries NSW and gives us a rundown on her research in her guest blog below…

Top shelf bottom feeders

Learning to swim by getting thrown off the end of a busy public wharf on the Hawkesbury River in nothing but a pair of hot pink floaties… Living in a swimsuit and covered in sand every single day of the year… Chucking tantrums when told to come inside after playing on the beach all day because it was dark… At the age of 4, saying with great certainty, “Mum, when I grow up I’m going to be a Marine Biologist.” Continue reading

Backyard Habitat Ponds 101

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Damien Vella is Senior Horticulturist at the Botanic Gardens and does a great job of sharing natural history moments he encounters throughout his life on his instagram account. He has a particular skill for taking events from the backyard and telling a story that weaves in the underlying ecology in a fascinating way. He also shares one of my deep interests-that is creating habitat in backyards (Even better that it is the aquatic type).

Below is his guest blog discussing backyard habitat ponds… Continue reading

My last fish of the year…

The plan was to head to the mid stretches of the Thredbo River in the Snowy Mountains to try and fool some foot-long brown trout into eating a dry fly. But after a short walk to my favourite stretch of water the rain had set in making it almost impossible to spot my fly. A change in tactics was needed, so I tied on a heavy double nymph rig and attached a subtle indicator to fish some deeper runs.

Continue reading