Thesis: Ecology of pelagic wildlife along the Western Australia coast
My research focuses on the ecology of pelagic wildlife including sharks, teleost fish and marine mammals along the Western Australian coast. Using mid-water stereo baited remote underwater video systems, I am documenting the diversity, abundance, biomass and composition of this offshore community from the northern Kimberley to Esperance.
This long offshore transect, sampled at multiple times, is increasing our understanding of spatial and temporal variability in wildlife presence, the potential presence of critical habitats such as nurseries, and large-scale biogeographical patterns.
I am also exploring the latest technology that could be applied to an automated ocean measurement vessel that will exponentially accelerate the acquisition and compilation of wildlife and oceanic data
Why my research is important
My research matters because pelagic vertebrates are amongst the most threatened yet least understood animals in our oceans, with many of these species also critical to global food security.
Further, Australia has established a network of blue-water marine parks throughout its EEZ, including along the WA coast. My research is also providing a key baseline for assessment of the effectiveness of existing protection.