University of Tasmania, Australia

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CSIRO-UTAS PhD Program in Quantitative Marine Science

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QMS Alumni

Dr Jessica Andre

Email: jandre@utas.edu.au

Thesis title: The role and impact of cephalopods in the coastal ecosystem

Thesis Abstract

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 Stephanie M. Downes

Thesis abstract

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 is currently 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 ciculation between observations.

Dr Ben Galton-Fenzi

Email: bkgalton@utas.edu.au

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

Thesis abstract

Laura Herraiz Borreguero

Email: lherraiz@utas.edu.au

Due to graduate December 2010

Thesis title: Variability of Sub-Antarctic Mode Water and Antarctic Intermediate Water in the Australian sector of the Southern Ocean

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, School of Zoology (UTAS) for 12 months to work on developing management options to respond to the invasion of the long-spined sea urchin, the subject of his dissertation which is currently under examination.

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?

Andreas is now working with Raf Ferrari at MIT on tracer transport in the Southern Ocean as part of the DIMES project.

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 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.

Jessica Melbourne-Thomas

Email: jessica.melbournethomas@utas.edu.au

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

What are they doing now?

Jess is currently employed as a Research Associate at IMAS and is working with IMOS and TPAC to develop an online portal (http://reefscenarios.org) for her regional scale Coral Reef Scenario Evaluation Tool (CORSET). She will be returning to Indonesia in late 2010 to assist with coral reef surveys in southeast Sulawesi.

Jess is planning to begin postdoctoral research in Tasmania in 2011.

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

 

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 Anthony Reid

Thesis title: Impacts of the introduced New Zealand Screwshell (Maoricolpus roseus) on commercial scallops and other native epibenthic species in Tasmania

Irina Sakova

Email: irina.sakova@gmail.com

Due to graduate in December 2010

Thesis title: Low-frequency modes of vsariability of the Indian Ocean and their connection with the Indian Ocean Dipole

 

Dr Beth Strain

Email: estrain@utas.edu.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 working as a Postdoctoral Researcher at Queens University in Belfast. The project involves technical and scientific support for the Modiolus Restoration Plan. The Modiolus Restoration Plan is part of a strategy developed by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) and the Department of the Environment (DOE) to protect the Modiolus reefs of Strangford Lough following concerns raised by various Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and others. The ultimate goal of the Modiolus Restoration Plan 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. If successful in her application, it will mean that 20% of her work will be more quantitative (mathematical).

Dr Evan Weller

Email: Evan.Weller@csiro.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 to 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