University of Tasmania, Australia

UTAS Home | UTAS Staff | UTAS Contacts

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies

UTAS Home > IMAS Home > Research > Estuaries and coasts

Estuaries and coasts

The program aims to understand the dynamics and function of estuarine and coastal environments and how they link with anthropogenic activity in a multiple use management framework. Understanding how fishing, aquaculture, introduced species, harmful algal blooms, contaminants and bio-accumulation pathways, climate change and environmental flows combine with environmental and biogeographic drivers to affect the productivity and integrity of estuarine and coastal environments underpins research activity in this program.

Why are coastal zones important

Coastal zones extend to the continental shelf and cover approximately 8% of the world’s surface. It is estimated that coastal zones account for about 25% of global productivity including 90% of the world fish catch and all the marine based aquaculture, resulting in approximately 14% of the world’s animal protein. They are major global regions for biodiversity, food security and sustaining livelihoods/supporting people. 

Our challenge:

Coastal zones are under enormous pressure from population growth, pollution, extractive uses including commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, habitat degradation and climate change. By 2050, the human population is expected to increase to nearly 10 billion with a greater than 50% predicted increase in demand for marine protein.

Coastal zones are under enormous pressure from population growth, pollution, extractive uses including commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, habitat degradation and climate change. By 2050, the human population is expected to increase to nearly 10 billion with a greater than 50% predicted increase in demand for marine protein.

The global challenge is to determine ways of optimally using our coasts and estuaries so as to achieve sustainable industries and coastal communities, as well as delivering intergenerational equity that ensures future generations reap the social and economic benefits that sustainable management can deliver.

Meeting this challenge will require research across complex biophysical and human systems to sustain industries, ecosystems, livelihoods and communities.

Specific research areas include:

  • Evaluating the role of MPAs in understanding the effects of fishing and the conservation of biodiversity including threatened, endangered and protected species.
  • Evaluating the impacts of coastal (industry and urbanisation) and aquaculture development and the associated contaminants and environmental interactions including introduced marine pests.
  • Understanding impacts of climate change and developing adaptation options for governments, industries and communities.
  • Developing innovative options for broad-scale monitoring and mapping of coastal environments, including community engagement and communication tools.



Staff List

Academic staff

Technical and general staff

 

Current Projects

  • Atlantic Salmon Aquaculture Subprogram
    -
    Evaluation of approaches to improve sediment remediation (rate & function) under salmonid fish cages.
    -Assessment of the environment impacts and sediment remediation potential associated with copper contamination from antifouling paint and associated recommendations or management.
    -Clarifying the relationship between salmon farm nutrient loads and changes in macroalgal community structure/ distribution (Existing Student Support)
    Staff: Catriona McLeod, Jeff Ross, Andrew Pender, Ruth Erikson 

  • Multiple lines of evidence to identify key trophic accumulation pathways of mercury in estuarine foodwebs
    Staff: Catriona McLeod, Edward Butler, Hugh Jones, Lisette Robertson, Kerrie Swadling 

  • Tracking methyl mercury contamination pathways in key commercially and recreationally fished species
    Staff: Catriona McLeod, Edward Butler, Hugh Jones, Kerrie Swadling 

  • Tracking of Elasmobranch prey species as evidence of key trophic accumulation pathways of Mercury (Hg)
    Staff: Catriona McLeod, Hugh Jones, Kerrie Swadling, Sean Tracey 

  • A risk assessment tool for managing coastal bays and estuaries
    Staff: Jeff Ross, Christine Crawford 

  • Developing cost-effective industry based techniques for monitoring puerulus settlement in all conditions: trials in southern and western Tasmania
    Staff: Stewart Frusher, Greg Timms, Rodney Treloggen 

  • Remote sensing for marine ecology and conservation: New technology and methods for mapping Giant Kelp distribution
    Staff: Vanessa Lucieer

  • Your Marine Values Study (Stage 1 of INFORMD2)

  • INFORMD2

Climate Change Related Initiatives

PhD Projects

  • Aquaculture expansion (technology)
    Student: Andrew King
    Main supervisor: Catriona Mcleod

  • Multiple paternity in octopus
    Student: Anneli Fügetti
    Main supervisor: Gretta Pecl

  • Abundance, distribution and conservation value of sharks in the Galapagos Marine Reserve
    Student: César Peñaherrera-Palma
    Main supervisor: Jayson Semmens, Stewart Frusher

  • Modelling predator/prey interactions under climate change: implications for a key commercial fishery in Tasmania
    Student: Felipe Briceño
    Main supervisor: Gretta Pecl

  • Hg Bioaccumulation
    Student:Hugh Jones
    Main supervisor: Catriona McLeod

  • Life-history and population dynamics of the range extending Octopus tetricus Gould, 1852 in South-eastern Australia
    Student: Jorge Ramos
    Main supervisor: Gretta Pecl

  • DNA dietary techniques to understand lobsters role in the ecosystem
    Student: Kevin Redd
    Main supervisor: Stewart Frusher

  • Macroalgal / aquaculture interactions
    Student: Luis Henriquez
    Main supervisor: Catriona McLeod

  • Image Recognition Techniques, incorporating Deformable Shape Models, for Automated Data Collection in Fisheries Applications
    Student: Mark Knights
    Main supervisor: Stewart Frusher

  • Relationship between Fish Population and the Physical Structure of Australia's Temperate Reefs in Response to Marine Protection
    Student: Matthew Cameron
    Main supervisor: Vanessa Lucieer

  • Climate change and Northern Pacific Ecosystems
    Student: Mike Litzow
    Main supervisor: Stewart Frusher

  • Sediment monitoring & remediation (Aquaculture)
    Student: Nigel Keeley
    Main supervisor: Catriona McLeod

  • Macroalgal / aquaculture interactions (modelling)
    Student: Scott Hadley
    Main supervisor: Catriona McLeod

  • Studies on the ecology/biology of Maoricolpus roseus
    Student: Tobias Probst
    Main supervisor: Christine Crawford

  • Enhancement of lobster populations
    Student: Ziya Kordjazi
    Main supervisor: Stewart Frusher