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ASFB Student Competition in Science Communication awards 2018

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Voting is currently open in the Australian Society for Fish Biology Student Competition in Science Communication awards 2018 (five days left to vote!).  This year there is $3000 in prize money up for grabs. Entry is via a short video showcasing the postgrads research and the public vote on senior (PhD candidates) and junior (Masters and Honours candidates) category entries. This year there is also an additional category that will run at the ASFB conference and will include 50% delegate votes and  50% judging panel votes in deciding the winner.

I have been involved in organising the competition the last few years (and as an entrant in the first year) and I have to say that the quality of the videos on offer this year is exceptionally high across the board. They are well worth taking some time to check out.

You can find all the entries and vote in both categories here. And I encourage you to also think about leaving a  comment or two on the videos you enjoy – they take a lot of work to put together and getting feedback always helps make it worth it.

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When push comes to shove in recreational fisheries compliance, think ‘nudge’

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Mary Mackay is a PhD candidate (at the Centre for Marine Socioecology University of Tasmania, Australia) researching the role of incentives, regulations, and nudges in influencing compliance behaviour of marine resource users. I had a chance to catch up with Mary at the recent International Marine Conservation Conference in Malaysia and hear about the work she is currently doing and her recent publication. As it was so interesting, I then convinced her to stop by Fish Thinkers and share the details in the guest post below:

When push comes to shove in recreational fisheries compliance, think ‘nudge’

Common to recreational fishing research is a lack of official reported data, which makes it pretty hard to get a full idea of what’s going on. Continue reading

Fish Thinkers online: 2017 in review

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Fish Thinkers six most popular Instagram posts of 2017

At the end of each year I like to put up some customary navel gazing i.e. a review of the Fish Thinkers year. It is a summary mainly as a record for myself as I find it useful to look at our blog and social media stats and see what people are particularly interested in.  Although there is also the odd chance someone else is vaguely interested—since people have brought up parts of the review before, I guess a few people are anyway. Here is the 2017 review: Continue reading

Pregnant Sharks and Rays Abort Offspring When Fished

Pregnant Sharks and Rays Abort Offspring When Fished – Guest post by Kye Adams

Have you ever seen a viral video of a shark or ray giving birth (e.g. River Monsters)? Unfortunately, it turns out these videos have a pretty dark explanation: There’s a fairly high chance the female is actually aborting her pups due to the stress of being caught. Continue reading

Species on the move

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A prediction of the preferred environmental habitat for the range-shifting yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi) for March 2008, based on a combination of preferences for sea surface temperature, current speed and sea surface height.

Curtis Champion is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies – University of Tasmania. He stopped by the Fish Thinkers blog to give us a run down on some of the research he is working on.

Species on the move and a quick explainer about how range-shifts are commonly identified

Climate. Change. No doubt you’ve heard of the phenomenon. And while a small number of our political reps sporadically break into the headlines for criticising its reality, the global scientific community has been busy forging novel territory to understand its ecological consequences. This emergent field is most-commonly referred to as “species redistribution science” because plants and animals shifting where they live (generally towards the poles or up mountains) in response to changes in temperature is perhaps the most perceptible ecological effect of climate change. Continue reading

5 free ways around the great paywall of academia. #Updated 2018#

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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

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