December news update

Our Honours students Nina and Jackson have completed. Nina’s research quantified fish assemblages in two west coast of South Australia marine bays to test how these sanctuary zones are performing to date. She found that the early signs are promising with an overall increase in abundance within sanctuary areas. Here’s a 2 min video summarizing her research. Jackson quantified mangrove condition and its effects on fish assemblages in South Australian mangroves. Although finding that there was little variation in mangrove condition throughout South Australia, he did find that pneumatophore height was a primary factor influencing fish assemblages.

A group of women from engineering and sciences at the University of Adelaide attended the Women in Water breakfast organized by the Water Industry Alliance. Three amazing speakers, Dr Leanna Reed, Chief Scientist of South Australia, Karen Simpson and Dr Claudia Szabo shared their experiences and outlooks for the future. Some brief networking following the breakfast was also important in relation to raising the profile of women in STEM.

Angela Russell, one of our PhD students based in NSW and working on our FRDC funded project on connectivity of mulloway between estuaries and trawling grounds, visited the laboratory for 3 weeks during November. Much of her time was spent analyzing otolith samples for trace elements using laser ablation inductively coupled mass spectrometry.

Alice and Bronwyn attended a one-day symposium on Payment for Ecosystem Services organized by the Centre for Sustainability Governance at the University of South Australia. There were a series of talks centred around four key themes: Global and national and state policy drivers of demand in payment for ecosystem services; business initiatives for ecosystem services, designing payment for ecosystem services for cost effectiveness and the Chinese experience.

We had a stand at the SARDI Aquatic Sciences open day where our Spencer Gulf research was featured. Our latest news and science update brochure was also mailed out to over 200 people. We have commenced the next phase of this research focused on a socio-ecological assessment of the ecosystems, industries and communities of Spencer Gulf. As part of this project we welcomed Jacob Maher to the lab.

Our coastal carbon project is progressing. Bill Goh is working on the project as a summer student arranging mangrove samples for carbon analysis. We also spent a day in the field with the University of Adelaide’s

staff. While there was a bit much cloud, we did get some drone flights completed, but will be heading back out shortly. Our aim is to get an indication of change in saltmarsh and mangroves habitats and their health as an area around Mutton Cove is inundated with saltwater.

As another year draws to a close I will be heading to the Whitsundays sailing for a week. I wish everyone a happy festive season and all the best for 2018.