During my undergraduate degree I studied marine biology and ecology. For my honours project I looked at the effects of climate change on sea urchin feeding behaviour. My interests in the marine environment are broad ranging from warm tropical coral reefs to freezing Antarctic waters. Sustainability and climate change are two important issues that I am interested in. Many fisheries around the world have been overfished due to the growing human population and increased demand. Climate change has the potential to cause widespread changes to existing marine ecosystems with evidence indicating that these changes have already occurred. I am interested in conducting research to address these issues.
CURRENT WORK / RESEARCH
Antarctic blue whales are the largest animals to ever exist on Earth yet we know very little about them. They were hunted to the brink of extinction in the early to mid-20th century. Recent surveys estimate blue whale numbers to be about 1% of the pre whaling population. Conservation is essential for the survival of these majestic animals but it is difficult as we don’t know a lot about them. A greater understanding of blue whale behaviour especially partial migration strategies will assist in reducing the threats that anthropogenic activities pose on these creatures.
In my PhD research, I use passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) to track the migration of Antarctic blue whales across the southern hemisphere. By utilising the CTBTO’s (Comprehensive Nuclear test ban treaty organisation) hydro-acoustic network I am able to analyse data that is recorded continuously over many years, more than a decade in the majority of my sites. I run acoustic detectors to pick up whale calls and use environmental variables to model the pattern of these calls.
PAST EDUCATION & WORK
2010-2014 - BSc (Hons) 1st Class Major in Marine Biology and Ecology
In my spare time I like to do a bit of SCUBA diving, freediving and spearfishing. I also like to go hiking, camping and being in nature in general.
I play Oztag all year round and cricket in summer.
SCHOLARSHIPS / GRANTS / AWARDS
2015 - APA Scholarship
2013 - Alton & Neryda Fancourt Chapple Biological Science Honours Award
Basford AJ, Feary DA, Truong G, Steinberg PD, Marzinelli EM & Vergés A (2015) Feeding habits of range-shifting herbivores: tropical surgeonfishes in a temperate environment. Marine and Freshwater Research