Tag Archives: Fish Thinkers

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

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Honours and post-grad funding list (for ecology research) Updated!

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This is an updated version of what has been one of our most read blog post. There are new grants added, details updated ands 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.
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Honours and post-grad funding list (for ecology research).

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

Defining geographic boundaries for shark populations

by Dr Pascal T Geraghty

Declining fish stocks and increasing fishing capability worldwide have placed an ever growing emphasis on the need for responsible fishery and species management at appropriate spatial scales. To achieve this, delineating the discrete breeding groups (or populations) of a target species within a given geographical area is of utmost importance. This is particularly challenging in the marine realm, however, where population boundaries are dictated by cryptic barriers to dispersal, a species’ potential for travel and reproductive behavioural traits. Nevertheless, genetic techniques have become an invaluable tool for uncovering population structure in exploited marine creatures.

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Demersal longline shark fishing in northern NSW waters as observed during 2008/09. Photo: Dr Geraghty.

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Urbanisation impacts abundance (but not richness) of salt marsh molluscs

A great summary by Ben Gooden on Geoff Clarke’s research examining the impact of urbanisation on salt marsh snails. It was a lot of fun hanging out counting snails in the mud, especially along the shores of Lake Illawarra (we saw some weird things). Make sure you head over to Ben’s blog for more interesting ecological posts!

Ben Gooden - Ecological Research

salt marsh impactThe preliminary results are now in: urbanisation at the landward boundary of coastal salt marshes is associated with a two-fold reduction in the density of molluscs inhabiting adjacent coastal salt marsh. Our results found, however, that despite this reduction in overall molluscan abundance, urbanisation had no effect on the number of different mollusc species (i.e. richness) present in adjacent salt marshes.

The overall aim of this project was to examine effects of shoreline urbanisation on the unique molluscan fauna within endangered salt marsh of south-eastern Australia. My student, Geoff Clarke did a stellar job with this project, counting and identifying over 7,500 individual snails from six species, most of which are restricted to salt marsh or similar vegetation that borders estuaries and coastal embayments.

Geoff surveyed 9 ‘urbanised’ and 9 ‘forested’ (which he termed natural) reference sites across three embayments (see accompanying satellite images). Each site consisted of a…

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Surrogates for temperate reef biodiversity and their use in conservation

Earlier this year my co-authors and I published a paper in Diversity and Distributions that examined a cost-effective way of predicting reef biodiversity for conservation purposes. Here is some background on the issues surrounding the design of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and a brief summary of our research findings.

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