Dr Dominic McAfee

University of Adelaide
Research Field: Marine Ecology

Oysters formed enormous reef networks over thousands of kilometres of Australian coastline 200 years ago, underpinning the health and wealth of our coastal seas, but are all but extinct today. The restoration of our lost oyster reefs can help recover the declining productivity and resilience of our coastal ecosystems, but how do you restore a marine ecosystem that nobody knows even existed? 

Dr Dominic McAfee is developing new techniques for accelerating the restoration the oyster habitat by boosting the natural processes that are essential to restoration success. He aims to boost the wild recruitment of baby oysters by creating positive interactions between oysters and kelp and playing natural marine sounds that attract baby oysters.

Dominic has presented at five public forums on the State’s oyster restoration program, reaching hundreds of coastal residents and increasing public support for the State Government’s restoration program. He has written three articles for The Conversation and has presented a TEDx Talk on “Restoring the reefs we never knew we lost”, leading to multiple radio interviews and presentations at schools.  

Dominic completed his PhD in 2018 at Macquarie University, Sydney. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Adelaide.