IN THE NEWS
MSI DIRECTOR ELAINE BAKER GAINS $915,000 IN FUNDING FROM GEOSCIENCE AUSTRALIA
The $915,000 grant will fund various multidisciplinary research projects which include:
- $200,000 for a post doc related to sea level rise and maritime boundaries – Elaine Baker, Ana Vila Concejo, Maria Byrne
- $150,000 for a PhD project on vulnerable marine features – Elaine Baker, Ana Vila Concejo, Maria Byrne
- $75,000 for a Geophysics PhD project – Dietmar Muller
- $150,000 for a geoscience related PhD project in maths – Sally Cripps
- $50,000 for a project on fisheries data exchange standards – Elaine Baker
- $280,000 for a PhD project in maritime boundary law– Elaine Baker and Tim Stephens (Law)
EATING HABITS OF BABY PREDATOR STARFISH REVEALED
New research from Dione Deaker, a PhD student at the University of Sydney’s Marine Studies Institute, and her adviser Professor Maria Byrne, along with colleagues at the National Marine Science Centre, Coffs Harbour, adds another piece to the crown-of-thorns puzzle. They have discovered that juveniles can eat a range of algae, not just the algae they are thought to prefer; crustose coralline algae. They can even subsist on biofilm – microorganisms that cover the sea floor, including bacteria and protists – to avoid starvation.
GOOGLE MAPS DISCUSSION: ALEX JONES
My fieldwork is based in Jervis Bay on the south coast of NSW. Jervis Bay is a resting ground for mother-calf humpback whale groups during their southern migration from breeding grounds on the Great Barrier Reef to feeding grounds in Antarctica. For the last two years (2018/2019) I have spent six week blocks down in Jervis Bay during September/October recording the numbers and movements of whales in the Bay…
SAMPLING WITH AUSMAP
Last week we volunteered with AUSMAP to help them do a sampling of microplastics on Airport Beach next to Cooks River mouth. The amount of plastics washed up on the beach was astounding!
Among the macro plastics we found large amounts of plastic bags, containers, straws and bottles, while the microplastics included plastic pellets (nurdles) and all sorts of broken up plastics. We suspect most of these plastics originate from land and have been washed out to sea through the Cooks River.
Read more about the project here.
Read more news articles here…
MSI is investigating the distribution of microplastics on Australian beaches on a spatial and temporal scale. The aim is to identify hotspots for microplastic sedimentation in beach sand by looking at abundances of microplastics in different locations.
Our day to day activities have environmental consequences, be them small or large, good or bad. At MSI we are seeking to quantify how daily activities from brushing your teeth, to getting to work, and eating dinner impact our environment. We hope to find everyday solutions to combat our personal carbon emissions. Together we can tread lightly on this earth.
Mercury poisoning from fish has long been a concern for the world ever since the Minamata disaster in Japan. At MSI we have created a database of research into mercury levels in fish and marine sediment across the world. It is hoped that this database can help us to compare mercury levels across the world and between species. The interactive map below shows the locations of all of the Mercury research included in our database