AMSA2017 Abstracts Handbook


In common with general AMSA policy, we are going paperless at AMSA 2017 in Darwin. This means that the conference abstracts handbook will be produced as a downloadable PDF only. Should there be members, who will be attending Darwin, that must have a hardcopy version, this will only be done with the member pre-ordering immediately by contacting the conference organiser. A very basic print copy will be provided upon identification at registration and payment of $25 for production costs. Our strong preference is that delegates choose not to follow this path.





Conference Program


The greatest global extent of shallow tropical seas is around northern Australia and to our near north. The concept for the AMSA 2017 conference, Connections through Shallow Seas, which alludes to the connectivity that exists in marine science: linkages between different disciplines of marine science, connecting traditional knowledge and western science and the regional collaborations (both domestic and international). These linkages will be reflected in the presentations by our plenary speakers. We invite presentations on connectivity as well as all marine science disciplines including marine biology, ecology, oceanography, geology, molecular biology, environmental chemistry as well as management and social science. There are a number of general sessions and specific symposia in which you can give an oral or PEP talk.

Presentations by the conference plenary and invited speakers will also reflect the conference theme. 


Speakers

Prof Helene Marsh

Distinguished Professor, James Cook University
Helene Marsh FAA, FTSE is a conservation biologist with some 40 years’ experience in... More

Dr Julie Hall

Director, Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge
Julie has extensive experience in biological oceanography, with a focus on food web dynamics in... More

Dr Alistair Hobday

Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Dr Alistair Hobday is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere.... More

Prof Rob Harcourt

Professor of Marine Ecology & Facility Leader, Animal Tracking, Integrated Marine Observing System, Dept of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University
I started snorkelling at age four and knew right then I wanted to be a marine scientist. I was... More

Mr Tim Moltmann

IMOS Director, University of Tasmania
Tim Moltmann is the Director of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS),... More

Professor Anthony J. Richardson

Mathematics, Faculty of Science, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Professor Anthony J. Richardson is a mathematical ecologist at the University of Queensland... More

Associate Professor Moninya Roughan

Group Leader: Coastal and Regional Oceanography Lab, School of Mathematics and Statistics UNSW Australia
Moninya Roughan is a physical oceanographer specialising in coastal and shelf processes. ... More

Dr Richard Brinkman

Research Program Leader - Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical Australia, Australian Institute of Marine Science
Dr Richard Brinkman leads the Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical... More

Professor Nic Bax

Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere
Professor Nic Bax is currently a Senior Principal Research Scientist... More

Plenary Sessions

  • Streams
  • Plenary
Time
Session
Duration
Cost
8:45 AM
  • Ecological and cultural connections of our marine megafauna: challenges and opportunities for their conservation

    Australia’s tropical coastal waters support a rich megafauna that includes more some 30 species of marine mammals and six of the world’s seven species of marine turtles. These species have strong ecological connections with many localities in the southern hemisphere. Humpback and minke whales make winter migrations from the Antarctic to breed. Members of five species of sea turtles that nest in Australian waters spend part of their life cycle in the Indian or Pacific Oceans. Loggerhead post-hatchlings travel as far as South America; green, loggerhead, leatherback, olive riddle and hawksbill turtles tagged at Australian nesting beaches have been caught in the waters of south-east Asian and Pacific countries. Species endemic to northern Australian coastal seas including the snubfin dolphin, Australian humpback dolphin and the flatback turtle seem to be restricted to the Sahul Shelf. Although individual dugongs have been tracked hundreds rather than thousands of kilometres, the species has ecological connections with the Western Province of PNG and possibly Timor Leste through Ashmore Reef. The sharing of dugong and turtle meat reinforces the cultural connections between coastal Indigenous peoples in remote Australia and their urban diaspora. These ecological and cultural connections provide both opportunities and challenges for conservation. All these species are listed as Maters of National Environmental Significance; some only because of their status as migratory species. Migrating humpback and minke whales and nesting loggerheads are major tourist attractions. However, several species are threatened by impacts that originate beyond Australia’s jurisdictions such as marine debris. International commercial take beyond Australia’s jurisdiction is a very high risk to our hawksbill turtle stocks and fisheries bycatch outside Australian waters is a very high risk to south-west Pacific loggerheads. Australia could capitalise on these connections to play a greater role in capacity building to conserve our region’s rich coastal marine megafauna.
     

    Prof Helene Marsh

    Helene Marsh FAA, FTSE is a conservation biologist with some 40 years’ experience in... More

    35 mins
9:20 AM
  • Implementing the National Marine Science Plan

    In August 2015, the National Marine Science Committee released a decadal plan (2015-25) for Australian marine science aimed at ‘Driving the development of Australia’s blue economy’.
    Whilst national frameworks for marine science have been developed in the past, this was the first national plan developed through direct engagement with the broader Australian marine science community. This engagement involved development of community white papers, holding a National Marine Science Symposium, and wide circulation of a draft plan for comment before finalisation and release.
    The 2015-25 National Marine Science Plan made eight high level recommendations as follows:
    1. Create an explicit focus on the blue economy throughout the marine science system.
    2. Establish and support a National Marine Baselines and Long-term Monitoring Program, to develop a comprehensive assessment of our estate, and to help manage Commonwealth and State Marine Reserves.
    3. Facilitate coordinated national studies on marine system processes and resilience to enable understanding of development and climate change impacts on our marine estate.
    4. Create a National Ocean Modelling System to supply the accurate, detailed knowledge and predictions of ocean state that defence, industry and government need.
    5. Develop a dedicated and coordinated science program to support decision-making by policymakers and marine industry.
    6. Sustain and expand the Integrated Marine Observing System to support critical climate change and coastal systems research, including coverage of key estuarine systems.
    7. Develop marine science research training that is more quantitative, cross-disciplinary and congruent with the needs of industry and government.
    8. Fund national research vessels for full use.
    The plan also identified a number of other initiatives and activities to be pursued.
    In this presentation we review progress on implementing the 2015 National Marine Science Plan some two years down the track, and outline current thinking about ‘what next?’. Particular emphasis will be given to mechanisms designed to ensure ongoing engagement of the broader Australian marine science community in implementation of a plan that so many contributed to developing. 

    Mr Tim Moltmann

    Tim Moltmann is the Director of Australia’s Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS),... More

    20 mins
Time
Session
Duration
Cost
8:45 AM
  • Integrating social science, economics, indigenous knowledge and marine science to under pin decision making for mgmt

    There is an increasing demand for marine biophysical science to be put into the wider context of socio-economic impacts and indigenous knowledge to support more informed decision making in the management of our marine environment. International research programmes such as IMBER “Integrated Marine Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Research” has developed a strong socio-economic strand to develop an understanding the sensitivity of marine biogeochemical cycles and ecosystems to global change and predicting ocean responses to global change and the effects on the Earth System and human society. In New Zealand the development of the Sustainable Seas National Science Challenge has led to an interdisciplinary research programme which integrates Mātauranga Māori, social, economic and marine biophysical research into an integrated programme to address the objective to “Enhance utilisation of our marine resources within environmental and biological constraints”. There are many challenges in developing and undertaking truly interdisciplinary research projects and programmes. What have we learnt? What are the key consideration? How do we work to ensure the findings are integrated into decision making?

    Dr Julie Hall

    Julie has extensive experience in biological oceanography, with a focus on food web dynamics in... More

    35 mins
9:20 AM
  • WAMSI and the Blueprint: Operationalising a ‘Blue Economy focus’

    The partners of the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) are in the final years of two major research programs. Both the Kimberly Marine Research Program and the Dredging Science Node are continuing WAMSI’s mission of “better science, better decisions” through an outcome focus and end-user leadership that is built into our institutional structure.
    The 25 project, 110 scientist, $30million Kimberley Marine Research Program is providing a first baseline understanding of this marine wilderness region to improve the zoning and management of a network of five State marine parks, and the regulation of multiple coastal and offshore activities.
    The nine theme, 90 scientist, $20million Dredging Science Node is removing the impact and regulatory uncertainty that led to an extraordinary $200million+ of reactive monitoring and EIA studies across four of the largest dredging programs in Australian history.
    Looking forwards, WAMSI’s future is now entwined with a comprehensive, multi-sector and end-user led process to deliver a change in how marine science is commissioned, delivered and shared.
    WAMSI commissioned an independent analysis of the future knowledge priorities of six commercial, government and community sectors. This end-user led process resulted in the Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 report released in 2015. A Premier’s Roundtable for Marine Science followed with leaders from industry and government agreeing there is a compelling case for a more multi-sector collaborative approach to marine science.
    The Blueprint for Marine Science Initiative which has followed is at the ‘start-up’ phase. The Initiative is bringing together groups from across sectors that have not historically worked together, to drive more collaborative approaches to marine science, as well as create a platform for future major science programs championed by industry and government leaders.
    This unique collaborative approach is an essential plank in the effort to address the key knowledge gaps that exist in resource rich regions of our ocean that will contribute substantially to Australia’s Blue Economy over the coming decades.

    Mr Patrick Seares

    Patrick Seares joined WAMSI as the Chief Executive Officer in 2013. He moved to WAMSI from the... More

    20 mins
  • Australia's 2016 State of Environment Report for the Marine Environment. Where are we and where might we be going?

    SOE 2016 is the 5th national assessment written by independent experts to provide information on environmental issues to the public and decision makers. Over 150 expert scientists and managers contributed to report on and review the 70+ individual assessments. All expert input is archived on AODN. Following the DPSIR model, assessments covered, driver, pressure, state and management effectiveness. Population growth and demographic change are drivers increasingly likely to shape Australia’s environment challenges in the coming decades - our 2016 population of 24 million is projected to grow to an increasingly urbanised and coastal population of 39.7 million by 2055. The main pressures facing the Australian environment remain unchanged since 2011: climate change, land use and invasive species, with marine debris and plastics a relatively recently additional threat in the marine environment. Cumulative impacts are an increasing source of concern. Main findings for the marine environment are:

    • Improved single sector management and new regulations have reduced some historical pressures 
    • Most marine habitats, communities and species groups are in good condition overall, although individual species and communities are of concern.
    • 8 additional species and 1 ecological community have been listed under the EPBC Act since 2011, however management and mitigation of threats has been limited.
    • Humpback whale populations have recovered to the point where their listing could be reconsidered.
    • Record high water temperatures caused widespread coral bleaching, habitat destruction and species mortality in 2011–16
    • Marine debris and cumulative impacts require a new coordinated, risk-based management response including improved monitoring.

    Moving forward, we need to focus on key pressures and risks while effectively addressing the complex mix of drivers, pressures and risks, including the interaction between the economy and the environmental. A sustainable environment requires leadership and action across all levels of government, business and the community, including improving environmental information, data and analysis across jurisdictions, sectors and between government and the private sector and civil society. We need a national policy and clear vision to effectively contribute to and achieve protection and sustainable management of Australia’s environment.

    Professor Nic Bax

    Professor Nic Bax is currently a Senior Principal Research Scientist... More

    20 mins
Time
Session
Duration
Cost
9:20 AM
  • Bluefin, connectivity, climate, and adaptation

    Marine species typically rely on different environments at different life history stages. If preferred environments are located in different spaces, individuals must move. Such movements connect disparate regions, peoples and activities, offering a range of conservation and management challenges. Southern bluefin tuna are an exemplar of large scale ocean movements, with spawning in the Indonesia-Australian Bight, juvenile habitats in southern Australia, and non-breeding adults roaming the southern ocean. I will consider how we can better manage such wide-ranging species, particularly given the projected effects of climate change. Is dynamic management a climate-ready option, or will shifts in jurisdictional boundaries be more pragmatic? Is connectivity a challenge to adaptation, or an advantage? In times of rapid change, will pro-active management based on scientific prediction be possible, or should management supported by monitoring be responsive and flexible?

    Dr Alistair Hobday

    Dr Alistair Hobday is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO Oceans and Atmosphere.... More

    35 mins
Time
Session
Duration
Cost
8:35 AM
  • Using 10 years of IMOS Observations to Understand Continental Shelf Processes Along SE Australia

    The East Australian Current (EAC) flows as a swift jet over the narrow shelf of southeastern Australia, shedding vast eddies at the highly variable separation point. It transports heat and biota poleward and dominates the shelf circulation. These characteristics alone make it a dynamically challenging region to measure, model and predict. 

     

    Over the past 10 years NSW IMOS have developed and deployed one of the most comprehensive observing systems in the southern hemisphere.  We use data from a network of shelf moorings, an HF radar system measuring surface currents and more than 25 autonomous glider missions along the coast of SE Australia, combined with the 70 years of data from the Port Hacking National Reference Station and the deep EAC transport mooring array to shed new light on the dynamics of the EAC and its impacts on the shelf circulation.

     

    We use these vast data sets in conjunction with state of the art data assimilating numerical models to understand the spatio-temporal variability of shelf processes and water mass distributions on synoptic, seasonal and inter-annual timescales.  We have quantified the cross shelf transport variability inshore of the EAC, the mechanisms driving upwelling, the dynamics of productive submesoscale eddies, the seasonal cycles in shelf waters, temperature trends and marine heatwaves and to some extent variability in the biological (phytoplankton) response. I will present a review of some of the key results from a number of recent studies.

     

     

     

    Associate Professor Moninya Roughan

    Moninya Roughan is a physical oceanographer specialising in coastal and shelf processes. ... More

    20 mins
8:55 AM
  • Sustainable Development of the North's Blue Economy – the role of IMOS to date, and into the future.

    Northern Australia is resource rich and uniquely positioned for growth, supporting existing and potential future expansion of the agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, tourism, subsea mining and oil and gas industries. Existing, and likely new and expanding ports will facilitate trade critical to the economic growth of these industry sectors and the region. The North is also home to iconic coral reef and mangrove systems, major fisheries, a multibillion-dollar tourism industry and a wealth of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage values dating back more than 60,000 years.
    Supporting the sustainable development of the North's Blue Economy will require careful assessment of marine environmental sustainability. Fit-for-purpose baseline data on marine environmental conditions and ecological assets has, for a decade, been delivered through IMOS observing infrastructure across Northern Australia. From managing ports and shipping activities, understanding the marine impacts of tropical agriculture and grazing, through to assessing the use of marine protected by threatened and endangered species, IMOS has provided enabling data sources to build understanding of Australia’s Northern marine regions and support their sustainable development.

    Dr Richard Brinkman

    Dr Richard Brinkman leads the Sustainable Coastal Ecosystems and Industries in Tropical... More

    20 mins
9:15 AM
  • IMOS Animal Tracking, 10 years of age and going strong

    In the first decade of IMOS, the IMOS Animal Tracking Acoustic Facility laid the foundation of a national acoustic receiver network for the Australian research community thereby facilitating the development of large scale, collaborative research using acoustic tracking methods. Acoustic tracking is now demonstrably a powerful tool for observing animal movements in Australasian coastal and continental shelf ecosystems. The IMOS Acoustic Network makes it possible for animals to be monitored over scales from 100s of meters to 100s of kilometers. Tracking animals using these tags has proven invaluable for research and monitoring of habitat use, home range size, effectiveness of marine protected areas, refinement of stock assessments, timing of long-term movements and migratory patterns, and examining biotic and abiotic factors that dictate animal distribution and movements. The IMOS Acoustic Network includes IMOS funded infrastructure: an array of receivers and a centralised database plus a large body of co-invested infrastructure to provide a coastal network totalling over 2200 acoustic receivers. There are 208 registered users on the IMOS Acoustic database. The first series of installations for IMOS AT was deployed off Ningaloo Reef in 2007. In Nov 2016, the IMOS Animal Tracking Database held more than 75 million detections from 121 species acoustically tagged across the country, with more than half of these species contributing to commercial and/or recreational fisheries. Over 5,700 animals have been acoustically tagged by the IMOS-Animal Tracking community, and on average 75% of individuals within each species have been detected by the network. The majority of animals were detected within 10 km of the tagging location (n=3006), but 240 individuals from 23 species were detected >500 km from the tagging location. IMOS AT has made important contributions to our understanding of the marine environment including refinement of the methods used in animal tracking, assessing the efficacy of MPAs, non-lethal population assessment and large scale animal movements.

    Prof Rob Harcourt

    I started snorkelling at age four and knew right then I wanted to be a marine scientist. I was... More

    20 mins
9:35 AM
  • A decade of IMOS Plankton Observations

    Plankton form the base of the marine food web and are sensitive indicators of ecosystem health and global change. Biogeochemical, ecosystem and size-based models show that plankton play a pivotal role in ecosystem dynamics, fishery productivity and system resilience. Plankton – both phytoplankton and zooplankton – are a key component of the biological observing system within IMOS. It comprises two parts: the seven National Reference Stations for phytoplankton and zooplankton, and the Australian Continuous Plankton Recorder (AusCPR) survey along the east and south coasts of Australia and the Southern Ocean. This talk describes the extensive and varied plankton data collected by IMOS, illustrates the role it has played in ecosystem assessments, highlights its importance in modelling initiatives, and emphasises what we have learnt about marine ecosystems from plankton changes in terms of ocean acidification, climate change, biodiversity, fisheries and ecosystem health over the past decade.

    Professor Anthony J. Richardson

    Professor Anthony J. Richardson is a mathematical ecologist at the University of Queensland... More

    20 mins

Sponsors

Silver Sponsor

Special Sponsor supporting Indonesian Participation

Gala Dinner Sponsor

Coffee Cart Sponsor

IMOS Decade Session Sponsor

Satchel Sponsor

Symposium Sponsor - The World Harbour Project

Symposium Sponsor - Sustainable estuaries and societal benefits

Symposium Sponsor - Commonwealth Marine Parks: research for management

Symposium Sponsor - Remote sensing techniques for marine environments

Symposium Sponsor - Integrating science to support management in the Kimberley

Symposium Sponsor - Marine science to better guide environmental decision makers

Workshop Sponsor - Indigenous Engagement

Workshops Sponsor - Connectively in coastal habitat utilisation

NT Tourism Sponsor