Investigating natural invertebrate settlement in WA waters, the resource potential on different scales of gear and the influence of settlement behaviour
I am primarily interested in settlement ecology and the sustainable resource potential of enhanced survival during this precarious phase.
My project aims to test a deep water nursery habitat concept, originally designed to grow sustainable feed for crustacean aquaculture.
My work will hinge on the principle that most marine fish and inverterates have ‘r’ selected reproductive strategies, with very few of the millions of larval offspring surviving the planktonic and subsequent settlement phases.
I hope to use a combination of ambient settlement patterns and manipulated settlement cues, to advance the science on factors influencing population variability in highly valuable crustacean fisheries.
I was born in Kenya, back in the days when steam trains were still in use.
A few years later I continued my expat brat career with a few years in Kiribati, where I became an aquarium fanatic due to fierce competition between kids for the best fish collection.
My parents, realising their mistake in letting me loose in a tropical paradise, then tried to redomesticate me in Singapore during my teens.
I managed to graduate from the United World College of South East Asia with a fairly high scoring International Baccalaureate Diploma, allowing parents some momentary hope.
I then survived a BSc in Ecology and Conservation at the University of Sussex in Brighton, UK. By this time the parents had become fully complacent, dropped the ball and I reverted to tropical fish ways.
After a sailing adventure or two and some fast talking, I managed to land a dream job doing MPA research in the British Virgin Islands.
I gained an MPhil while managing all the settlement and early benthic data collection operations for the WorldFish Centre’s Caribbean and Eastern Pacific Office.
At the end of the WorldFish Centre project I transitioned monitoring systems to the purpose built Centre for Marine Studies (British Virgin Islands) and developed lobster puerulus harvest and grow out.
Following political upheaval that left the new Marine Studies Centre without any financial backing, the lobster work was picked up by a private equity management firm.
I spent several years refining systems and developing a workable commercial pilot lobster farm.
As well as advancing technology for commercial scaling, I helped to structure the business model to allow community ownership of grow out operations.
Shoring up the sustainability credentials of this work, included regulatory strategies and sustainable feed generation via deep water nursery habitats.
I hope to trial the same habitats in Australian waters and evaluate their sustainable resource potential, as well as any climate change mitigation they may offer.
Other areas of interest: Possibly too nebulous to mention, but available with beer, for the brave.
Indian Ocean Marine Research Centre
School of Biological Sciences (M470)
35 Stirling Highway, Crawley WA 6009</p>