July 2016 news

Professor Bronwyn Gillanders and Dr Zoe Doubleday win the Peer Prize for Women in Science for their research titled “Cephalopods on the rise as oceans change”. Their entry was based on their recent paper in Current Biology, which received significant media attention. Check out the video to their entry here. Thanks to all those who voted for us!

Our New Colombo Plan trip to Xiamen and Hong Kong took part between 3 and 15 July (see news site). Two academics, Dr Pablo Munguia and Professor Bronwyn Gillanders, took 15 second and third year students on this exciting trip to explore aquaculture ventures (abalone, sea horse, fin fish, shrimp/prawns), land reclamation (Double Happiness Island near Xiamen, Hong Kong island), mangrove ecosystems and fish markets. Students also visited some of the cultural/tourist sites including temples, UNESCO World Heritage listed tulou’s (traditional communal earthen residences usually circular in shape), and a boat trip in the New Territories of Hong Kong. One highlight was travelling and interacting with a group of students from Xiamen University. Keep an eye out for an update under the news page.

Matt McMillan’s research was mentioned in the South East Trawl Fishing Industry Association newsletter. As part of Matt’s PhD he is searching for shark pupping grounds in South Australia waters. He is calling on commercial fishers with knowledge and experience about school shark movements and behaviours to help him find locations in South Australia where sub 40 cm school shark have been caught. This will then enable him to place baited remote underwater video cameras in areas where he is more likely to sight shark pups. If you can help please call or email Matt (0405-024344 or

Our research on whaler sharks was featured in the Faculty of Science e-science magazine. Our ARC funded research used thousands of population genetic markers to investigate the population structure of two highly mobile and commercially fished shark species, bronze whaler (Carcharhinus brachyurus) and dusky shark (C. obscurus). We found that dusky shark show a high level of gene flow within Australasia and across the Indian Ocean to South Africa. By comparison, bronze whaler showed a more complex pattern although there was also evidence of high levels of gene flow. Our results suggest a need to consider cumulative effects of fisheries across the species range with assessment and management across national and potentially international boundaries. Additional work focused on use of vertebrae chemistry to also investigate population structure and movement of bronze whaler sharks (recently accepted in Marine Ecology Progress Series). This research represents a collaboration between researchers at University of Adelaide (Bronwyn Gillanders, Corey Bradshaw), Flinders University (Charlie Huveneers) and the SA Museum (Steve Donnellan) with several postdoctoral researchers (Claudia Junge and Chris Izzo) also involved.

The otolith symposia special issue (from the 5th International Otolith Symposium (IOS2014) in Majorca, Spain) is out, published in Marine and Freshwater Research – all articles are open access. The issue was edited by Audrey Geffen, Beatriz Morales-Nin and Bronwyn Gillanders.