Ecological benefits of marine parks in Australia
Australian Marine Parks represent a mosaic of sanctuary zones encompassing a wide variety of marine habitats and iconic fish and invertebrate species. However, their net benefit on marine biodiversity varies greatly between regions, ecosystems and the species considered.
The purpose of this project is to assess the effectiveness of the Australian Marine Park by comparing important ecological metrics of ecosystem health between inside vs. outside sanctuary zones, and their temporal trends since the establishment of various marine parks in temperate and tropical ecosystems. These analyses have important implications for the design of future marine parks and will help understand how their effectiveness will change under climate change.
This is primarily a desktop study involving statistical analysis, and thus requires a level of experience with R and a strong interest in quantitative ecology. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work closely with the DEW Marine Science Team, for example to contribute to the analysis of BRUVS surveys or participate in marine park compliance surveys.
Research areas: quantitative ecology and marine biology
Recommended Honours enrolment: Honours in Ecology and Environmental Science