Gillanders Aquatic Ecology Lab
Welcome to Professor Bronwyn Gillanders’ laboratory group at the University of Adelaide. Our research group focuses on aquatic waters (freshwater, estuarine and marine) with a strong focus on fish and cephalopods, and environmental issues. The group is part of the Southern Seas Ecology Laboratories in the School of Biological Sciences and the Environment Institute.
The Gillanders Aquatic Ecology lab group includes Postdoctoral Researchers, PhD students, and Honours Students working in freshwater and marine biology. We also have some visiting interns and undergraduate researchers. If you are interested in working with us please contact Bronwyn directly to discuss opportunities that may be available - please check out our research first to check that your interests align with ours.
Welcome to the Gillanders Aquatic Ecology lab webpage and recent news.
Another year to reflect on and one to look forward to.
So what’s happened over the last year – Josie commenced her PhD investigating provenance, mislabelling and trade of shark products. We also had several students complete their PhDs including Nina (now a postdoc in the lab), Angela (now in New Zealand) and Jackson (first worked as a postdoc in the lab and now moving to Griffith Uni). We had several Hons students in 2022 including Rhiannon (who investigated elemental and isotopic natural tags in hard tissues to identify seafood provenance), Zoe (who worked with Alice and Patrick on coastal carbon) and Matt (who worked with Vilma and Patrick on microbiomes for provenancing work).
We were excited to be awarded an ARC Discovery grant on Xmas eve 2021. The project is titled “Investing in ecological portfolios: retaining migratory strategies of fish” and focuses on using portfolio effects as a conceptual model to characterise the poorly known sub-population variations in migratory strategies of estuarine fish and their response to environmental conditions.
Travel opened up – Nina and Bronwyn both went to Edinburgh for a workshop/symposium on microplastics and seafood: human health. We visited two labs down in Plymouth before catching what ended up being a very long train journey to Edinburgh. We spent 4-5 h on the train near Newcastle arriving around 1am into Edinburgh. Vinuri attended the 7th International Marine Debris conference in South Korea presenting on her plastisphere data. Patrick, Nina and Koster attended the Australian Society for Fish Biology conference on the Gold Coast with Patrick presenting on our recent review paper “Reading the biomineralized book of life”, Nina presenting on microplastics in oysters and Koster on population structure of black bream across southern Australia.
We are looking forward to additional travel in 2023 – the Fisheries Society of the British Isles conference in Essex, UK in July, the 7th International Otolith Symposium in Viña del Mar, Chile in October and maybe, just maybe the joint Indo-Pacific Fish Conference and Australian Society for Fish Biology Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Joe is also heading to New Caledonia for an internship as part of his PhD.
Ashleigh’s Honours paper has just been published – here’s the media release – she sampled flake sold in fish n chip shops analysing the DNA of the fillets. Nine different species were found including some endangered species, some that are not found in Australian waters and some that were gummy shark, which is one of the species recommended to be sold as flake according to the Australian Fish Names Standards (which aren’t mandatory).
We are looking forward to a big year ahead with a number of PhD students finishing up, lots of research happening and some great publications coming out.
For other recent publications please see here for the 2022 publications or here for the 2023 ones.
For regular news updates see our Blog page.
Check out our video below about the incredible science of fish ear bones made by Animate your science.
Word cloud summarising themes across our research
Near Calperun Station, SA
Giant Australian cuttlefish