News

Oceans Graduate School PhD candidates present their research on beautiful Rottnest Island!

20 December 2019 (written by Hannah Calich)

Hannah Calich, Lucy Arrowsmith, and Megan Meyers had the opportunity to attend the UWA Oceans Graduate School (OGS) Rottnest Island retreat, where each of us presented a summary of our PhD research to a wide range of participating students and faculty across disciplines.

The 3-day retreat was a valuable exercise in science communication, and we received a lot of positive feedback on our presentations. During the retreat, we participated in two valuable workshops on communicating our science to the public, and on strategies for successful interviews. The retreat was also a great opportunity to bond with fellow students, explore beautiful Rottnest Island, and relax and recharge from our busy lives as PhD candidates.

The retreat was the first research symposium for OGS postgraduate students and it was organized by the OGS Student Society Executive Team, which Hannah co-founded in September 2018.T hank you to everyone who has supported to OGS Student Society over the last year and has helped to make it such a success!

Collaboration and Conservation in 2019:
two key pillars of Sequeira Lab

20 November 2019 (written by Lauren Peel)

The Sequeira Lab has been up to a lot throughout 2019! Together with our many collaborators, we are leading and contributing to global studies on animal movement and conservation. Here is a quick summary (with links) about what we have been up to!

The past decade has brought with it major advances in technology that allow scientists to be more connected than ever and to learn more about the animals they study. For example, the field of satellite telemetry has greatly expanded and satellite now allow us to follow marine megafauna, including sharks, whales, seals and penguins, while they go about their migrations. In addition to showing us where these animals go, this technology can also reveal the environmental conditions that megafauna face as they travel (sometimes in real-time!).

While each animal track is valuable in its own right, the true potential of tracking datasets can only be achieved by bringing them together. Whether it is revealing common patterns of movement across marine megafauna species, assessing the impacts of pelagic fisheries on shark populations, or examining how these animals are threatened by a suite of anthropogenic factors on a global scale, our ability to effectively design conservation strategies for these species can be greatly improved by incorporating animal tracking data into policy and management planning. To know more, have a peek at our Projects page or keep reading our News below!

Megan travels to Indonesia: a trip to Saleh Bay

31 October 2019 (written by Megan Meyers)

In October, Megan took a trip to the remote village of Labuhan Jambu on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia. Saleh Bay is located just outside the village and has an aggregation of whale sharks that feed on the fish associated with Bagan fishing boats.

Because whale shark interactions are highly sought out worldwide, small tourism opportunities are beginning to crop up in this area. Megan met with team members from Conservation International to discuss how to best manage this newly established tourism venture. The hope is to create a management plan that will allow for people to interact and appreciate whale sharks, educate the local people about them, while also maintaining the rural lifestyle of this small village.

The Lab went on a “Weekend Getaway”

25-26 October 2019 (written by Callum Donohue)

The team at Sequeira Lab, along with three furry companions (dogs), took off for a lab weekend away in the beautiful Margaret River region. We stayed in a fantastic, huge farm house made of straw and render, and took the time to relax and unwind. The weekend was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the lab’s success for the year before the Christmas rush and we look forward for more weekends together!

Charlotte has taken her Fresh Science to the pub!

9 October 2019 (written by Charlotte Birkmanis)

Charlotte Birkmanis faced the ultimate pub test, taking to the stage and describing her research in the time it took for a party sparkler to burn out … Charlotte is a 2019 Fresh Scientist after passing the test in front of a public audience at the Brisbane Hotel in Perth!

Fresh Science is a national competition that turns up-and-coming researchers into spokespeople for science. The top 10 early-career researchers from each state are given two days of media training, then the sparkle happens.

Ana presents at OceanObs’19 to ensure integration of marine megafauna tracking data

14-15 September 2019 (written by Dr Malcolm O’Toole)

Following an invitation to do a plenary presentation at the OceanObs’19  conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, Dr Ana Sequeira and Dr Malcolm O’Toole organized a 2-day workshop to establish the Marine Megafauna Task Team. The workshop was attended by almost 30 researchers and manufacturers from many national and international tracking networks.

Together we set out to coordinate and integrate marine megafauna tracking data in the global ocean observing systems (GOOS), and presented our ideas at OceanObs’19. Keep an eye out for future developments!

Our PhD candidates received
Robson and Robertson Awards!

30 August 2019 (written by Hannah Calich)

We are excited to report that both Hannah Calich and Lucy Arrowsmith have received Robson and Robertson awards to further support the development of our international research collaborations. Hannah will use her funds to attend the American Elasmobranch Society’s annual conference (the largest annual meeting of shark researchers in the world) and continue our collaborative research with Dr Neil Hammerschlag at the University of Miami. Lucy will travel to Europe to develop work with Dr David Sims investigating the links between global whale shark movements and shipping lanes. Charlotte Birkmanis and Lauren Peel have also benefited from the Robson and Robertson Award in previous years.

The Robson and Robertson Awards (from the UWA’s Oceans Institute) were established in honour of Professor Alan Robson and Emeritus Professor Alistar Robertson to encourage and support young researchers in the field of Marine Science. Congratulations to all award recipients!


Sequeira Lab PhD students presented at the
Annual Marine Studies Award

21 August 2019 (written by Lucy Arrowsmith)

Charlotte Birkmanis (pictured below) and Lucy Arrowsmith presented their PhD research to a public audience in under 5 minutes at the Fremantle Flying Angel Club. The whole experience was excellent, with all presentations hitting the aims of being suitable for a broad audience, whilst showing the importance of researching our world’s marine life. At the end of the evening, Lucy was placed second having shown how a whale shark follows cold water fronts across the eastern Indian Ocean.

The Annual Marine Studies Award was put together by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) to recognise students who excel in marine-related research and training.

It was a strong showing of Sequeira Lab presentations at the Australian Marine Sciences Association conference

12 July 2019 (written by Hannah Calich)

Since Fremantle, Western Australia, is just minutes from our offices at UWA, the 2019 Australian Marine Sciences Association (AMSA) conference was the perfect opportunity for many of our members to showcase our research. Combined, our talks ranged from broad-scale movement patterns of multiple species, presented by Charlotte Birkmanis and Hannah Calich (pictured),

to the fine-scale patterns of individual animals (by Lucy Arrowsmith and Lauren Peel), and the multitude of methods that can be used to analyse animal movement at those different scales (by Dr Malcolm O’Toole and Dr Ana Sequeira). Our presentations were all well received, and Lucy even won the Peter Holloway Oceanography Prize for her presentation “Investigating links between vertical and horizontal movement patterns of whale sharks”! In the end we all had a great time presenting out research, meeting and networking with researchers from all over Australia, and we can’t wait for next year’s conference in Sydney!

AMSA is the largest organization of marine scientists in Australia and it has been promoting all aspects of marine science for over 50 years! AMSA members include individuals from all states and territories of Australia and once a year the AMSA conference is held for researchers to meet each other and share their research.

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