Future Fellows to advance key marine ecology and palaeontology research

University of Adelaide scientists have been awarded more than $1.5 million to study environmental and climate change, but in vastly different contexts.

School of Biological Sciences' marine ecologist Dr Camille Mellin will undertake research which aims to safeguard coral reef fisheries for future food security.

Palaeontologist Dr Martina Demuro from the School of Physical Sciences will use luminescence chronologies to uncover Neanderthal histories including past human responses to climate change.

Dr Mellin’s project will address the vulnerability of coral reef fisheries in Australia and the Indo-Pacific. The research aims to identify fishery targets that benefit human nutrition and will persist despite declining coral habitats and rising water temperature.

"By advancing knowledge of coral and fish responses to increasingly frequent marine heatwaves, the project aims to improve management of coral reefs and associated fisheries in Australia and beyond, and produce a model for predicting coral reef fishery responses to environmental change," Dr Mellin says.

Dr Demuro’s project aims to develop unprecedented reconstructions of Neanderthal evolution, cultural and extinction histories at European archaeological sites that haven’t previously been dated or have been understudied. It will use a versatile luminescence dating toolkit to provide comprehensive knowledge of the timing, context and nature of Neanderthal evolution.

"Our expected outcomes include unravelling past human responses to climate change, elucidating regional occupation patterns, emergence of complex behaviours, and causes of Neanderthal demise," Dr Demuro says.

Drs Mellin and Demuro are two of four University of Adelaide researchers who have collectively been awarded more than $3.4 million from the Federal Government to advance their work. This important research will strengthen the University’s Industry Engagement Priorities as encapsulated in its strategic plan, Future Making.

Tagged in Research, School of Biological Sciences, School of Physical Sciences, Marine Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Environment Institute, Palaeontology, Geology and Earth Sciences