Marine Science

Eroded ears: effects of ocean acidification on snapper ears

Supervisor

Assoc Prof Craig Radford

Discipline

Marine Science

Project code: SCI128

Ocean acidification is a worldwide issue and the large majority of research has been undertaken on tropical species. In collaboration with NIWA, and James Cook University an OA experiment was set-up to understand the effects of temperature and OA on snapper to understand if there were sensory deficits. Auditory testing on these fish has shown that there were changes in their hearing ability, particularly at low frequencies. To understand if these changes in hearing ability were translated in changes to the anatomy of their ears (otoliths) microCT scans were conducted. The student involved in this project will process the scan data, make 3D visualisations of their ears and generate measurements that reflect any chances in anatomical structure.  

Global patterns of biodiversity

Supervisor

Mark Costello

Discipline

Marine Science

Project code: SCI129

Our research group, based on the city campus, is working with international collaborators to build on world databases of all marine species and their distribution. Recent and current research is on latitudinal gradients in species richness, mapping marine realms (areas of species endemicity), ecosystems (based on environmental gradients), and biomes (biogenic habitats of plant life-forms). This knowledge is currently being used to design where marine reserves should be located in the Coral Triangle and globally, and predict the effects of climate change on biodiversity. New projects will predict what species are more or less likely to be introduced or become invasive. By adding species traits to the databases the number of potential analyses and insights is multiplied. Examples of traits are body size, habitat, habit (life-form), pelagic-benthic, diet and trophic level (Costello et al. 2015. Biological and ecological traits of marine species. PeerJ 3:e1201 https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.1201). We’d welcome a student interested in biological diversity and/or working with biological databases and developing digital skills, to help develop these databases by adding additional information which they would gather from the literature and scholarly online resources. There would be opportunities for data analysis and working with individual PhD students.

The student will learn from and add value to our recent and current research on latitudinal gradients in species richness; mapping marine realms, ecosystems, and biomes; designing Marine Reserve networks; predicting the effects of climate change; and a new world database on invasive marine species. We’d welcome a student interested in biological diversity and/or working with data and developing digital skills, to develop and analyse these databases in collaboration with our graduate students.