University of Tasmania, Australia

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CSIRO-UTAS PhD Program in Quantitative Marine Science

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QMS Alumni

Dr Sophie Bestley

Email: sophie.bestley@csiro.au

Thesis title: Understanding the movement of animals in time and space, and its implications for the abundance and distribution of populations, is a pivotal problem in ecology.

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Dr Bestley is currently employed as a Southern Ocean Postdoctoral Fellow with Dr Steve Rintoul at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research

The postdoc will use oceanographic information collected from sensors mounted on elephant seals to study the ocean circulation of the high latitude Southern Ocean. Elephant seals forage in the sea ice zone in winter and provide the only means to collect broad-scale ocean measurements beneath the sea ice. The postdoc project will use the seal observations to address three specific questions: How rapidly does Antarctic sea ice form in winter? Are relatively warm ocean temperatures driving enhanced melt of floating glacial ice around the margin of Antarctica (and therefore enhancing the rate of sea level rise)? What is the structure of ocean currents near the Antarctic margin in winter?

Dr Bestley has been awarded the prestigious Killam Fellowship at Dalhousie University, Nova Scotia, Canada. Dr Bestley will travel to Canada next year to work on similar data, applying it to the foraging ecology of the seals in relation to their oceanographic environment.

Dr Felipe Briceño Jacques

Thesis title: Understanding Predation Risk in Fisheries: Octopus depredation in the southern rock lobster (Jasus edwardsii) fishery in Australia

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Felipe has a Research Scientist position at NIVA Chile.

Dr Alice Della Penna

Email: alice.dellapenna@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: Living in a fluid-dynamical landscape : how do marine predators respond to turbulence?

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Alice was a cotutelle student from The University of Paris-Diderot. She went back to France to work as a Research Engineer at Institut Méditerranéen d'océanologie in Marseille and in Turin Italy.

Dr Stephanie M. Downes

Email: s.downes@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: The impacts of climate change on Southern Ocean overturning circulation and subduction

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Stephanie did a postdoc at Princeton University in the Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department, supervised by Prof. Jorge Sarmiento and Dr Anand Gnanadesikan. Her research is focused on the analysis of deep water transformation in the Southern Ocean in GFDL's climate models and the differences in water mass circulation between observations.

She is currently returned to IMAS as a Research Scientist at the Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC. Her research has two foci. The first is understanding how the ocean circulation and heat and carbon change under future climate projections and under changes in various atmospheric forcing (winds, radiative heat fluxes, precipitation). She compares climate models from around the world, as well as various versions of Australia’s ACCESS model. The second component to her research is using biogeochemical tracers, in particular helium from hydrothermal plumes, to trace the pathways of the deep ocean circulation.

Stephanie received the Tasmanian Young Tall Poppy Scientist of the Year in October 2016 by the Australian Institute for Policy & Science (AIPS) Tall Poppy Award.

Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi

Email: bkgalton@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: Numerical modelling of the circulation & melt/freeze pattern under ice shelves

Thesis abstract

What are they doing now?

Dr Galton-Fenzi is a Ocean-ice Sheet modeller at IMAS and is the Co-Leader of the ACE CRC’s Ocean Forced Evolution of the Antarctic Ice Sheet Project.

Dr Katell Hamon

Email: katell.hamon@wur.nl

Thesis title: N

What are they doing now?

Dr Hamon is a Fisheries Modeller at Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands in the Performance and Impact Agrosectors. Her research  focus is on developing bio-economic models of fisheries to assess and understand the impacts of fisheries management. Her double expertise biology-economics in the field of fisheries is a strong asset for efficient collaboration in multi-disciplinary projects. She worked in DTU-AQUA in Denmark, in IFREMER in France and in CSIRO and IMAS at the University of Tasmania.

Laura Herraiz-Borreguero

Email: lherraiz@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: The distribution, circulation and variability of subantarctic mode water

Thesis abstract

What are they doing now?

Laura Herraiz-Borreguero is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK. Her research has evolved from open ocean/large scale physical processes in the ocean to polar oceanography and Ice shelf-ocean interactions.

From 2010 to 2013 Laura was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC in Hobart, Tasmania. She led several papers on the coupling of the ocean with the Amery Ice Shelf, East Antarctica. This work used a unique set of observations from boreholes drilled through the ice shelf by the Australian Antarctic Division's AMISOR project.

From 2014 to 2016 Laura moved to Denmark for a Postdoc at the Centre for Ice and Climate in Copenhagen. Funded by the European Project Ice2Ice, Laura and her colleagues focused on ocean circulation changes during past abrupt climate variations in the North Atlantic.

Dr Katherine Hill

Email: Katy.Hill@imos.org.au

Thesis title: Dynamics and impacts of the EAC variability off the south-east coast of Australia

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Katy now works for the office of the Integrated Marine Observing System at the University of Tasmania. IMOS is developing a sustained ocean observing system to address Australia's research priorities. Her role is as scientific support for the project. Specifically, she promotes the use of IMOS data, and support the development of science plans which underpin the design of the observing system

Dr Cass Hunter

Email: Cass.Hunter@csiro.au

Thesis title: Population dynamics, assessment, and interspecific relationships of Tasmanian rock lobsters

Thesis abstract

What are they doing now?

Cass is based at James Cook University in Cairns with an office at the Earth and Environmental Science Department and CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems. After graduating I was able to commence an ARC funded project to develop predictive tools for rapid assessment of multiple impacts, including climate change, on the marine ecosystem of Torres Strait (Australia). My mentors for this project are located in Cairns, Brisbane, and Hobart.

Dr Scott Ling

Email: sdling@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: Climate change and a range-extending sea urchin: catastrophic-shifts and resilience in a temperate reef ecosystem

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Scott Ling has been employed by Prof Craig Johnson (IMAS) to work on developing management options to respond to the invasion of the long-spined sea urchin.

Publications

Dr Andreas Klocker

Email: andreas.klocker@csiro.au

Thesis title: Why is the ocean so skinny, and what are the consequences of this sparseness?

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Dr Andreas Klocker is an ARC DECRA Fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS). His work focuses on understanding ocean turbulence and its effects on large-scale ocean circulation, with a special interest in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the Antarctic Slope Front Current. To understand these fundamental processes, he uses a combination of theory, numerical ocean models and observations.

Dr Andrew Meijers

Email: Andrew.Meijers@csiro.au

Thesis title: Observing Southern Ocean subsurface circulation and variability using satellite altimetry

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Andrew is currently a Physical Oceanography for the British Antarctic Survey UK. He was a postdoc research fellow at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Hobart, working on observing circulation variability in the Mertz Glacier region of Antarctica, as well as cross frontal mixing in ACC fronts.

Dr Jessica Melbourne-Thomas

Email: Jess.Melbourne-Thomas@aad.gov.au

Thesis title: Decision support tools for visualising coral reef futures at regional scales

What are they doing now?

Dr Melbourne-Thomas joined the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in 2011 as an ecological statistician and is now a Research Scientist (Ecosystem Modeller) with the Australian Antarctic Division. She was awarded her PhD in Quantitative Marine Science from the University of Tasmania in 2010. Prior to this she worked as a coral reef researcher in Indonesia (2004-2006), and was a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford from 2003-2005. She is highly engaged in the translation of science into decision-making, including through outreach to model end-users and policy briefings. She was named Tasmania’s Young Tall Poppy of the Year in 2015.

Thesis abstract and publications

Dr Sarah Metcalf

Email: Sarah.Metcalf@fish.wa.gov.au

Thesis title: Ecosystem modelling to aid ecosystem analyses for fisheries management in a data-limited situation

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Sarah Metcalf has taken up a post-doctoral research position to undertake collaborative work with the Western Australian Department of Fisheries as part of a larger program funded by the WA Marine Science Institution (WAMSI). The project is focussed on the development of a framework to underpin the implementation of ecosystem based fisheries management (EBFM) in Western Australia. In this position Sarah works closely with senior policy officers and stakeholders to develop preliminary EBFM systems for each of two marine bioregions, and collaborates with researchers from the Fisheries Department, CSIRO, AIMS and other universities to apply qualitative modelling techniques to assess the efficacy of the preliminary systems. This second component of the study constitutes the primary activities of the position. Sarah reports to Dr Dan Gaughan (WA Department of Fisheries) and Professor Neil Loneragan (Murdoch University), works closely with Dr Jeff Dambacher (CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research), and liaises with collaborators from the WAMSI partner organizations.

Publications

Dr Anne Elise Nieblas

Email: anieblas@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: Impacts of change on regional primary and fisheries productivity in an Australian upwelling system

Thesis abstract

Anne-Elise is a Postdoctoral research at IFREMER in Hobart. She is investigating the distribution, variability and quality of phytoplankton functional groups in the Gulf of Lions, in order to address the hypothesis that recent changes in small pelagic fish biomass may be controlled from the bottom, up.

Dr Toby Patterson

Email: Toby.Patterson@csiro.au

Thesis title: Analysis of marine animal behaviour from electronic tagging and telemetry data using state-spcae models

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Toby is now working as a Fisheries Ecologist at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. The main focus of his research is the development of statistical models for animal movement and behaviour in marine systems. These models are applied to model movement data from pelagic animals (tuna, billfish, sharks, marine mammals and seabirds) and analysis of acoustic listening station data.

Dr Beth Strain

Email: beth.strain@sims.org.au

Thesis title: Can fishing abalone trigger changes towards habitat types unsuitable for commercial abalone fisheries?

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Beth is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the World Harbour Project. Beth is currently co-ordinating the bivalve restoration project across multiple partner harbours as part of Workgroup 2 – Green Engineering.

Previously, Beth was working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Queens University in Belfast. The project involved technical and scientific support for the Modiolus Restoration Plan. The Modiolus Restoration Plan is part of a strategy developed by the to protect the Modiolus reefs of Strangford Lough following concerns raised by various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and others. The ultimate goal of the project is to restore the Strangford Lough Special Area of Conservation (SAC) back to Favorable Conservation Status (FCS).

Dr Robin Thomson

Email: robin.thomson@csiro.au

Thesis title: Statistical inference for movement behaviour using animal tracking data

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Robin Thomson has been employed at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research as stock assessment modeller, a position she held prior to undertaking the PhD program. According to Robin, the QMS PhD has improved her understanding of some aspects of her job and she has submitted a project proposal (internal to CSIRO) to continue some of her PhD work.

Dr Evan Weller

Email: Evan.Weller@monash.au

Thesis title: A heat balance of the Great Barrier Reef with particular emphasis on recent sea surface temperature trends

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Evan Weller has been appointed as a Research Fellow at Monash University in Melbourne at The School of Earth Atmosphere and Environment. Previously he was a postdoctoral position in Physical Oceanography in the Dynamic Ocean Group at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Floreat, Western Australia. In this role he will be involved in analysing and interpreting regional oceanographic data including satellite and shipboard measurements to provide a better understand of the mesoscale dynamics in the Leeuwin Current system. His work will involve validating high resolution data assimilation model (BLUELink Reanalysis) outputs in terms of simulating regional ocean dynamics; working with a multi-disciplinary team to understand how mesoscale ocean dynamics affects the functioning of the biogeochemical processes in the marine ecosystem off Western Australia; and evaluating the numerical simulations of the climate change scenarios of the Leeuwin Current system.

Dr Jay Willis

Website: http://www.robots.ox.ac.uk/~jay/

Thesis title: Improving the representation of large pelagic predators in ecosystems models

Thesis Abstract

What are they doing now?

Jay Willis is currently employed as a research assistant at the Department of Zoology at Oxford University. He is also working with the Department of Engineering Science. His project bridges zoology and engineering and involves the manufacture of a GPS tag that weighs only 9g. This will be attached to the Manx Shearwater which is famous for one of the longest annual migrations on Earth. The device is tested using pigeons and Jay is part of the research group working on animal navigation. QMS has helped Jay bring new ideas and tools to the research team - for instance ocean environmental data such as chlorophyll has proven very useful in understanding the birds' choice of winter feeding grounds. QMS provides a broad base in ocean science combined with quantitative methods. Therefore it has helped Jay contribute in both the analytical and creative aspects of new scientific research in what is a very well respected team.

Publications