Tag Archives: PhD

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

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Fish on marine sand: homebodies or adventurers?

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Word cloud based on the publication text  

A large part of my PhD involves working with researchers from NSW DPI and UOW to try and understand the movement patterns of fishes found on marine sands. And our recent paper (open access and free to read here) on blue-spotted flathead is the first piece of the movement puzzle Continue reading

The vast unknown: assessing the conservation of soft sediment fish diversity

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