One part of my PhD research was working with NSW DPI and UOW to assess the performance of marine protected areas (MPAs). We recently had an article published in Biological Conservation where we used seafloor mapping to improve the assessment of the Lord Howe Island Marine Park (free download here till July 20th). Here’s a quick rundown on what we found…
Dr Andrew Chin is based at the Centre for Sustainable Tropical Fisheries and Aquaculture – James Cook University and is the current president of the Oceania Chondrichthyan Society. He is also the Programme Director of Shark Search Indo-Pacific, a project that I personally find incredibly interesting and have been following closely. Andrew stopped by Fish Thinkers to give us the inside scoop on Shark Search Indo-Pacific in the guest post below: Continue reading
This is an updated version of what has been one of our most read blog posts. There are new grants added, details updated and its now in date order so its easier to see which ones are close to submission date. It does have an Australian focus but there are some international ones as well, we hope to add to those down the track. Continue reading
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Receiving a small grant can make or break many honours and post-grads research. I’ve talked to a few honours students lately that needed funding for what I thought was interesting research but without funds their project couldn’t run. With that in mind I thought that I should share a list of grants I’ve had sitting on my hard drive (and that I will add to if I see useful grants down the track) that may help fund small projects. Continue reading
The latest Ecological Society of Australia bulletin, which I co-edited alongside Ben Gooden, is now up online! It has been such a great experience to invite some of Australia’s premier marine scientists to showcase their research in this special marine ecology issue. In this edition we have contributions by Emma Johnston, Melanie Bishop, Rob Harcourt, Luciana Möller and Guido Para, along with student contributions by Paul Carnell, Julia Santana Garcon and our very own Lachlan Fetterplace. The bulletin covers a diverse range of current marine ecological research, from kelp forest dynamics to marine predators, ecotoxicology to cetacean behaviour and mudflat ecology to surveying fish with underwater cameras – so there is something for everyone!
You can read or download the bulletin here!
A quick post to give a bit of background on the PhD research I am carrying out at present, as always, questions, advice and constructive criticism is welcome.
The vast unknown: assessing the conservation of soft sediment fish diversity
Sand. That grainy stuff that covers vast swathes of the ocean floor. Although perhaps to the casual observer this habitat isn’t as exciting as coral reefs or seagrass meadows, delve a little deeper and you will discover that there is a whole lot happening out in the vast sandy stretches of the ocean. Sand or soft sediments cover most of Australia’s state and national waters and are heavily exploited by commercial and recreational fishing.
Surprisingly, there has been little research into fish ecology on these habitats, with most effort expended on assessing fish found on coral reefs, rocky reefs, estuaries and seagrass. For a habitat that is so heavily exploited, there is a serious and immediate need to determine the basic ecology of the fish species present, the effects of fishing and also to examine the success of conservation efforts in place. More than 70% of Australia’s marine protected areas cover soft sediments, yet to my knowledge, both nationally and internationally there have been no studies looking at the effectiveness of marine protected areas in conserving soft sediment fish.
My PhD aims to examine Continue reading