Recently I sat down with Adam Woods (Australian museum science communicator) and journalist Clare Watson to talk about citizen science and its increasing popularity. You can read the resulting article in The Stand and hear about some of the citizen science we have been lucky enough to be involved in—ranging from recreational fishers fishing deep water and sending in records of rarely seen fish, to keen backyard naturalists who are logging sightings of frogs and koalas in the suburbs. You can find the full free to access article here!
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.
Tom Staveley is a Marine spatial ecology & PhD candidate at DEEP Stockholm University and he is currently putting the finishing touches on his thesis. Both of us are living the invandrare life in Sweden at the moment so I got a chance to catch up with him recently and managed to drag him away from the thesis for long enough to give us a run down (below) on some of the research he has been working on.
Fish Patterns in the Seasonal Seascape
Being a marine ecologist in Scandinavia certainly has its advantages: long summer days to do seemingly endless fieldwork, stunning surroundings and surprisingly lush underwater habitats (yes, I’m talking mainly about seagrass but we’ll get to that later). Even in the heart of winter a sublimely frozen wonderland of crisp air, still bays and snow-covered land- and seascapes never ceases to amaze. For the past few years, I have been exploring the coastal waters of western Sweden in the Skagerrak/North Sea focusing my research on seascape ecology – a relatively new branch of marine science focusing on broad-scale patterns and processes in the seas and oceans.
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