Research Field: Marine Biology
Estuaries are biologically productive and have large economic and societal benefits. Yet many of these environments and the services they provide are under threat from factors such as urbanisation and climate change. The research done by Dr James Tweedley and his team has highlighted the unique characteristics of the physical-chemical environment of estuaries with a small tidal range, such as those in south-western Australia, and how this influences their fauna. By understanding these drivers, we have produced indicators that can be used to assess the impacts of management actions on ecosystem health and help predict the effects of climate change.
As degradation negatively influences benthic habitats and fish stocks, James’ team also seeks to restore and enhance ecosystem functioning through the restoration of natural habitats and provision of artificial reefs. With partner organisations we produce fish and crustacean species in aquaculture and release them into the environment to enhance stocks and increase the economic and societal benefits of fisheries. Much of this research involves stakeholder groups and citizen scientists.