Research

VMSC contributes local knowledge, logistical support and essential infrastructure to enable scientists to conduct research in a cost effective and safe working environment. Any marine science researcher is welcome to utilise the VMSC facilities; contact us to discuss your project outline.

Research by staff and postgraduate students includes the following current and past projects and covers 13 major areas

Aquaculture
Climate Change
Marine and Freshwater Ecology
Fisheries Ecology
Molecular Ecology
Physiology
Ornithology
Geomatics
Ecotoxicology
Natural products
Marine Protected Areas
Introduced species
Marine Biofouling


Aquaculture
Emi Ab Rahim : Aspects of genetics of blue mussels, Mytilus species in Australia (PhD)
Christina Carl : Settlement preferences of the blue mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis (PhD)
Erin Cumming : Developing seaweed production techniques for integrated multi trophic aquaculture (PhD)
Angela Eads : Evolvability of temperature stress tolerance in marine invertebrates (Mytilus spp) (PhD)
Hintsa Mateos : Investigation of effects of food incorporated with Omega 3 polyunsaturated on cultured abalones (PhD)
Will Mulvaney : Development of an offshore abalone culture system; seaweed feeding trial (PhD)
Amanda Pettersen : Aspects on larval nutrition and feeding in mussels (Honours)
Dr Craig Sherman : Aspects on larval nutrition and feeding in mussels (Research)
Michael Sievers : Biofouling in mussel aquaculture (Masters)
Kim Weston : Factors affecting mussel growth and survival during settlement (Honours)
Camille White : Ecological effects of terrestrial fatty acids around aquaculture (PhD)

 

Climate Change
Julian Atchison : Effects of acidified seawater on key biochemical aspects of abalone (Masters)
Angela Eads : Evolvability of temperature stress tolerance in marine invertebrates (Mytilus spp) (PhD)
Steven Krueger : Processing sediment cores from interior wetlands for the purpose of determining carbon content and sequestration fates for varying wetlands (Research)
Fatemeh Hazeribaghdadabad : Assessing the effect of different CO2 levels on abalone and its calcification process and growth rates (PhD)
Natalie Manahan : Effect of ocean acidification and ocean warming on sea urchins (Masters)

 

Marine and Freshwater Ecology
Prue Addison : Control charts for environmental decision-making: A tool for improved Marine Protected Area management (PhD)
Kate Baker : Investigation on rocky intertidal shores : enrichment and role of grazers (Honours)
Luke Barrett : Habitat selection and population dynamics of native, Coscinasterias muricata, and invasive, Asterias amurensis, seastar aggregations underneath mussel lines in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Elisa Bone : Colony fragmentation and colonial integration in encrusting bryozoans (PhD)
Jeremias Brand : Morphological and molecular analysis of marine and freshwater free-living flatworm genus call Macrostomum (PhD)
Joanna Browne : Investigating the gelatinous zooplankton and their symbionts (PhD)
Paul Carnell : Resilience of temperate subtidal reefs: the influence of disturbance, herbivory and nutrients on kelp bed recovery (PhD)
Ben Cleveland : Restoring lost shellfish reefs in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Andrea Cranenburg : Investigations of the biology and prevalence of crustacean parasite, Hematodinium, in Port Phillip Bay (Masters)
Peter Crockett : Ecology of Caulerpa spp in Port Phillip Bay (Masters)
Erin Cumming : Seed biology of seagrass in Port Phillip Bay (Honours)
Mahala Ebery : Feeding ecology of the barren causing Sea Urchin, Heliocidaris erythrogramma (Honours)
Dr Richard Emlet : Life history evolution in southern Australian marine invertebrates, particularly among echinoderms and molluscs. On sabbatical at VMSC from the University of Oregon's Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB)
Nicole Filby : Whistle production in free ranging bottlenose dolphins in response to vessel traffic (PhD)
John Ford : Meta population dynamics in temperate reef fish (PhD)
Amanda Franklin : Investigating the costs of mating in dumpling squid (Masters)
Bonnie Frances-Cater : A comparison of sea star ecology and abundance both in and around the Ricketts Point Marine Sanctuary (Honours)
Dr Sebastian Gornik : Distribution and impact of a crustacean disease in Australian waters (Post-doc)
Aimee Hauser : Population connectivity and mating system of the freshwater crayfish, Geocharax gracilis (PhD)
Tom Hurst : Mangrove dispersal, recruitment and restoration in Western Port Bay (PhD)
Andrew Jacob : Benthic macrofauna of the Maribyrnong River (Honours)
Christian Jung : Anthropogenic effects on shallow rocky reef fish fauna in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Jessica Kerrigan : Seagrass and macrofauna research within Lake Connewarre (Hons.)
Valeriya Komyakova : Investigating formation of ecological traps in the marine environment (PhD)
Dr Rachael Manassa : Recovery of seagrass beds - the role of catchments and options for management (Post-doc)
Stephen McGain : Burial and erosion experiments on seagrass (PhD)
Catherine McKelvie : Comparison of upper thermal thresholds between related native and invasive species from the same habitat (Honours)
Prue McKenzie : Dispersal of Hormosira banksii (Neptune's Necklace) (PhD)
Allyson O'Brien: Top-down versus bottom-up control of processes that structure habitats in Victorian coastal waters (PhD)
Michael Sams : Predation on ascidian recruits (Honours)
Lukas Scharer : Morphological and molecular analysis of marine and freshwater free-living flatworm genus call Macrostomum (Research)
Jessica Smith : Population connectivity in Port Phillip Bay : validating a transgenerational marking process using the Southern Hulafish, Trachinops caudimaculatus (PhD)
Tim Smith : Seagrass resilience in Port Phillip Bay (Post-doc)
Zoe Squires : Assessing the costs and benefits of polyandry in a native squid (PhD)
Richard Stafford-Bell : Behavioural studies of fur seals at Chinaman's Hat in relation to changes in ambient noise (Honours)
Richard Stafford-Bell : Population ecology studies on Zostera muelleri in Australia: natural and anthropogenic influence on recruitment, growth and clonality (PhD)
Brooke Sullivan : Natural seagrass resilience and recovery mechanisms in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Anna Syme : The systematics and biogeography of the southern Australian Cylindroleberididae Crustacea:Ostracoda (PhD)
Alexandra Thomson : Effect of seagrass fragments on meadow resilience (Honours)
Thelma Vlamis : The influence of ciliate biofilms on marine invertebrate settlement. Do ciliates influence larvae settlement? And what factors influence larvae settlement? (Honours)
Benjamin Wegener : Reproductive behaviour in Dumpling squid (PhD)
Kim Weston : Population genetics; quantitative breeding experiments in response to environmental stress of sea urchins and kelp in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Paul York : Seagrass resilience in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)

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Fisheries Ecology
Julian Atchison : Effects of acidified seawater on key biochemical aspects of abalone (Masters)
Emma Broughton : Fish larval habitat preference (Honours)
Kane Blackman : Fish larval research (Honours)
Justin Bell : Assessing the ecological risk faced by Australian holocephalans (chimaeras) and the white-finned swell shark under current fishing practice (PhD)
Dr Catherine Boisvert : Development of the spine and pelvic girdle of Callorhinchus milii (Post-doc)
Matias Braccini : Reproduction, ageing, morphology and diet of dogfish and sevengill sharks (PhD)
Natalie Calder : Early life history traits of clinids that affect dispersal (Masters)
Jonathan Daly : Cryopreservation of semen collected from sparsely spotted Stingarees (PhD)
Licia Finotto : Fisheries capture stress on Fiddler Ray (PhD)
Lorenz Frick : Capture stress physiology and post-release fate of small Australian elasmobranchs (PhD)
Corey Green : Age, growth and population dynamics of squid, Notodarus gouldi (PhD)
Daniel Grixti : Estimating and improving recreationally caught and released fish (PhD)
Leonardo Guida : Capture stress, post release survival and movement of sharks and rays (PhD
Paul Hamer : Migratory dynamics and recruitment of snapper in Victorian waters (PhD)
Fatemeh Hazeribaghdadabad : Assessing the effect of different CO2 levels on abalone and its calcification process and growth rates (PhD)
Amy Hooper : Male mate choice in southern bottletail squid (Honours)
Taylor Hunt : Recreational fish stocking in Australia - a triple bottom line assessment (PhD)
Charlie Huveneers : The biology of the spotted and ornate wobbegongs (PhD)
Matthew Heard : Post-release stress physiology of stingarees following trawl capture (Honours)
Jodie Kemp : Population and trophic dynamics of red cod, Psuedophycis bachus : an assessment to provide information for the monitoring of implicated predator species (PhD)
Zac Lewis : Assessing the effect of recreational harvest on Venus Bay pipi population (Honours)
Peter Macreadie : The importance of edge effects in determining the value of seagrass landscapes as fish nurseries (PhD)
Natalie Manahan : Effect of ocean acidification and ocean warming on sea urchins (Masters)
Camila Leite Martins : Capture stress, post-release survival of gummy shark and southern fiddler ray (PhD)
Kade Mills : Studying the processes and patterns of colonisation of artificial reefs by fish (PhD)
Hannah Murphy : Effects of seagrass fragmentation on benthic invertebrates (Honours)
Hannah Murphy : Investigating larval ecology and recruitment of snapper in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Amy Newman : Growth rate in snapper larvae (Honours)
Tawyna Patrick : Feeding behaviour of stingarees (Honours)
Cassandra Pert : Looking at effect of previous feeding history on gonad condition in purple urchins (Masters)
David Phillips : The biology and ecology of the the large batoid fish: Myliobatis australis, Dasyatis thetdis and Dasyatis brevicuidata (PhD)
Calvin Quick : Tagging of gummy sharks in Swan Bay (Honours)
Matt Reardon : Uterine accommodations for gestation and ecological risk assessment in the southern fiddler ray (PhD)
Bastien Rochowski : Deep sea shark biology (PhD)
Alicia Schmidt-Roach : Stock structure and critical habitats for sevengill sharks (PhD)
David Semmens : Larval experience and postmetamorphic performance in the Common Galaxias (PhD)
Tim Smith : The importance of edge effects in determining the value of seagrass landscapes as fish nurseries (PhD)
Javier Tovar-Avila : Reproduction, ageing, morphology and diet of Port Jackson sharks and angel sharks (PhD)
Fabian Trinnie : Stingaree biology and management (PhD)
Lauren Veale : Age, growth and reproduction of Ribaldo (Honours)
Fiona Warry : Assessing piscivorous fish assemblages at varying locations within the seagrass habitat matrix
Joel Williams : Linking freshwater flows, salt wedge dynamics and fisheries productivity (PhD)

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Molecular Ecology
Julie Kent : Population genetics of King George whiting and sand flathead (PhD)
Jacob Lawrence : Genetic analysis of Bugula neritina : density dependent paternity influences (Honours)
Dr Craig Sherman : Aspects on larval nutrition and feeding in mussels (Research)
Tim Smith : Seagrass resilience in Port Phillip Bay (Post-doc)
Kim Weston : Population genetics; quantitative breeding experiments in response to environmental stress of sea urchins and kelp in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)
Paul York : Seagrass resilience in Port Phillip Bay (PhD)

 

Physiology
Nikeisha Caruana : Analysis of the mucus secretions of Cephalopoda: Sepiida and Sepiolida (PhD)
Lorenz Frick : Capture stress physiology and post-release fate of small Australian elasmobranchs (PhD)
A/Professor M. Monique Gagnon : Understanding fish health in Port Phillip Bay (Research)
Dr John Green : Gannet physiology (Post-doc.)
Kathryn Hassell : Investigation of the effects of environmental stressors on growth and reproduction in Black Bream, Acanthopagrus butcheri, using physiological indicators (PhD)
Matthew Heard : Post-release stress physiology of stingarees following trawl capture (Honours)
Alexis Marshall : Identifying the peptide relaxin# and its receptor GPCR135 in the reproductive tract of the Chondrichthyan Heterodontus (Honours)
Hintsa Mateos : Investigation of effects of food incorporated with Omega 3 polyunsaturated on cultured abalones (PhD)
Zoe Squires : Assessing the costs and benefits of polyandry in a native squid (PhD)

 

Ornithology
Lauren Angel : Physiological and behavioural determinants of quality in the Australasian gannet, Morus serrator, at Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia (PhD)
Meagan Dewar : Microflora of Little penguins at St Kilda breakwater (Honours) Poster
Meagan Dewar : Gastrointestinal microflora in penguins: phylogenetic and dietary relationships (PhD)
Annett Finger : Trace metals in little penguins (PhD)
Dr John Green : Gannet physiology (Post-doc.)
Sacha Guggenheimer : Dietary analysis of Australasian gannets, Morus serrator, at Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, Australia (Honours)
Marlenne Malagon : Individual foraging specialisation and its reproductive consequences in the Australasian gannet at Pope's Eye (PhD)
Tanya Pyk : Individual quality in Australasian gannets : implications for seabird conservation and management (PhD)
Emma Tew : Factors influencing body condition in the Australasian gannet, Morus serrator (Honours)
Megan Underwood : The breeding biology of the white-faced storm petrel, Pelagodroma marina, in Victoria (PhD)
Daniel Weller : Inter-colony movements of the crested tern, Sterna bergii, as a result of food resource quality and availability (Honours)
Melanie Wells : Behavioural investigation of Australasian gannets foraging at sea around Pope's Eye, Port Phillip Bay (Honours)
Carly Wishart : Diurnal activity budgets and nest defence behaviour in Australasian Gannets, Morus serrator, breeding at Pope’s Eye, Victoria (Honours)

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Geomatics

 

Ecotoxicology
Ryan Blackney : Toxicity testing on marine organisms (Honours)
Rhys Cartlidge : Oil toxicity with marine amphipods (PhD)
Evan Chua : Microplastics as a vector in the transfer of brominated flame retardants into marine organisms (Honours)
Christine Close : Calibration of a passive sampler for the detection of flame retardants in water (PhD)
Warren Davies : Effects of a blue-green algae and its toxin on zooplankton (PhD)
Emma Ferguson : Effect of pollutant exposure on black bream juveniles (Masters)
Jacquelle Gorski : Effects of anthropogenic pollutants on selected life stages of abalone (PhD)
Dr Liz Morris : Ecotoxicology studies on marine microbial communities and in particular effects of oils on both structure and function (Research)
Jackie Myers : Factors affecting the germination, growth and toxicity of selected Dinoflagellates and Cyanobacteria in the Gippsland Lakes (PhD)
Jackie Myers : Nodularin toxins in seafood (Post-Doc)
Jackie Myers : Developing management recommendations to assist in advisories for seafood safety during algal blooms
Jackie Myers : Investigation of effects of herbicides to mangroves and seagrass from Westernport
Lisa Toogood : Ecophysiology of black bream in the Gippsland Lakes (PhD)
Charlene Trestrail : Looking at the effects of ocean acidification on Zinc toxicity to abalone (PhD
Emily Verspaandonk : Determining the effects of herbicide on saltmarsh invertebrates and its efficacy against the invasive saltmarsh grass, Spartina anglica (Honours)
Josephine Woods : Estuarine benthic macroinvertebrate community and behavioural responses to increased concentrations of trace metals in intertidal soft sediment (PhD)

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Natural Products
Daniel Dias : Investigation into chemistry and biological activity of terrestrial fungi and marine natural products (PhD)


Marine Protected Areas
Rachael Bathgate : Connectivity in marine invertebrate populations and the role of marine protected areas (PhD)
Malcolm Lindsay : Larval recruitment patterns in Victoria’s marine reserves (PhD)

 

Introduced species
Carlie Alexander : An investigation into the introduced species in Swan Bay, Victoria (Masters)
Lucy Chapman : Anti predator responses of scallops to the Northern Pacific seastar (Honours)
Peter Crockett : Ecology of Caulerpa spp in Port Phillip Bay (Masters)
Isla Fitridge : The ecology of an invasive hydroid, Tubularia crocea, in Port Phillip Bay (PhD).
Simon Howland : Variation and impacts on biodiversity in kelp holdfast assemblages; comparison of invasive species Undaria pinnatifida to indigenous Ecklonia radiata (Honours)
Dr Sebastian Gornik : Distribution and impact of a crustacean disease in Australian waters (Post-doc)
Catherine McKelvie : Comparison of upper thermal thresholds between related native and invasive species from the same habitat (Honours)
Mark Richardson : Evolutionary and pest biology of the invasive Northern Pacific seastar, Asterias amurensis, in Australia (PhD)
Michael Sievers : Biofouling in mussel aquaculture (Masters)

 

Marine Biofouling
Dr Andrew Poole CSIRO : Investigating the use of advanced coatings and surface treatments to deter biofouling organisms (Research)

 

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