Our Team

Dr Ana M. M. Sequeira

Senior Researcher / Team Leader

Ana is interested in the development of models to assist understanding the marine environment, with a strong emphasis in supporting marine spatial planning and conservation. She has been involved in a range of global projects, and after securing highly competitive fellowships from Pew Trusts (Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation) and from the Australian Research Council (ARC DECRA) she is leading pioneering research at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in the Movement Ecology of marine megafauna (large, migratory marine vertebrates such as sharks, whales, seals, polar bears).

Email me: ana.sequeira@uwa.edu.au

Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr Takahiro Shimada

Alumni Research Associate

Taka is interested in the broad discipline of animal ecology and its application to conservation. He specialises in sea turtle research including the analyses of movement patterns, occurrence distribution, and behaviour. He has extensive experience doing field work in Queensland, Japan, and Saudi Arabia (in the Red Sea). Taka is also passionate about developing new tools to assist data analysis, and is an author of the R package SDLfilter. Taka has now secured a permanent position as Principal Conservation Officer for the Queensland Government, and we continue to collaborate.

Email me: Taka.shimada@uwa.edu.au

Dr Malcolm O’Toole

Alumni Associate Researcher

Malcolm’s primary focus is in using marine megafauna tracking data to develop global species distribution models. He is interested in answering questions about where animals find the best prey resources and what oceanographic features drive their preferred habitat. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, he worked with a variety of researchers to attach bio-logging instruments (e.g. satellite and archival tracking tags and time-depth recorders) to free-ranging seals, penguins and albatross. Malcolm has now started his own business in Tasmania, where he is originally from.

Email me: malcolm.otoole@uwa.edu.au

Dr Sarah Marley

Alumni Postdoc (casual appointment)

Originally from Scotland, Sarah spent eight years in Western Australia working on a range of marine megafauna projects. During this period, she joined the Sequeira Lab for a short term before securing a permanent position as Lecturer in Marine Biology at the University of Portsmouth in 2018. Her research primarily focuses on animal behaviour, underwater acoustics, and anthropogenic disturbance, particularly with regard to marine mammals. Despite having moved to the Northern Hemisphere, she continues to be a collaborator with the Sequeira Lab.

Email me: sarah.marley@port.ac.uk

PhD Candidates

Charlotte Birkmanis

PhD Candidate

Charlotte’s research focuses on developing models to understand where pelagic sharks are, why they are there, and whether the areas where they occur are protected. She is also investigating how shark occurrences have changed across the 21st century. Charlotte is actively involved in sharing scientific discoveries with the public to increase understanding about sharks and other predators. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, Charlotte received her BAppSc (Ecology, awarded with Distinction) and a BA (Mandarin Chinese), along with a BSc (First class Honours) from The University of Queensland.

Email me: charlotte.birkmanis@research.uwa.edu.au

Hannah Calich

PhD Candidate

Hannah’s research focuses on the spatial ecology and conservation of migratory marine animals. She is currently applying innovative methods to study the movement and habitat use patterns of sharks in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean based on satellite tag data. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab Hannah received her MSc from the University of Miami and her BSc (Hons) from Dalhousie University.

Email me: hannah.calich@research.uwa.edu.au

Lucy Arrowsmith

PhD Candidate

Lucy’s research is about investigating the movement and behavioural patterns of whale sharks. She uses vertical and horizontal movement data and is trying to understand how these data overlay with a range of oceanographic features. She aims to increase understanding of the cues and drivers influencing the long-distance migration of whale sharks. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, Lucy completed a BSc Hons (Marine Science) at Cardiff University.

Email me: lucy.arrowsmith@research.uwa.edu.au

Megan Meyers

PhD Candidate

Megan’s research focuses on the spatial ecology of whale sharks in the Indonesian Archipelago. She is using an amazing satellite tag dataset to determine fine scale oceanographic and behavioural drivers of whale shark movement in this region. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab she received her MSc in Marine Science from the University of Auckland and her BSc in Aquatic Biology from The University of California, Santa Barbara.

Email me: megan.meyers@research.uwa.edu.au

Michelle VanCompernolle

PhD Candidate

Michelle’s research focuses on evaluating how variations in nursery habitat conditions contribute to the health and survival of juvenile sharks in the Galapagos Islands. She will use drone surveys to identify shark nurseries, and will acoustically tag and take physiological samples of sharks to investigate variation in habitat use in nurseries. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, Michelle received her MSc from Indiana University and her BSc from Michigan State University.

Email me: michelle.vancompernolle@research.uwa.edu.au

Michael Taylor

PhD Candidate

Mike’s research focuses on understanding the movement patterns of key marine megafauna species in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. He is aiming to use satellite tag data from a range of species that occur within the Shark Bay’s seagrass meadows to understand how they utilise this habitat, the risks they face while doing so, and how this may be affected by climate change. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, Mike received his Masters in Biological Sciences from the University of Western Australia and his BSc (Hons) from the University of Sheffield.

Email me: michael.taylor@research.uwa.edu.au

Ben D’Antonio

PhD Candidate

Ben’s PhD research focuses on the movements and behavioural patterns of sharks along the coast of Western Australia. He will use a combination of satellite and accelerometer tags to characterise fundamental aspects of fine scale behavioural patterns and link them to large scale migratory movements to better understand the foraging ecology and drivers of long-distance migrations of sharks. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, Ben completed a BSc Hons at the University of Adelaide, South Australia. 

Email me: Ben.dantonio@research.uwa.edu.au

Beverly Oh

Alumni PhD Student (2014 – 2017)

Beverly successfully completed her PhD in 2017 at the University of Western Australia with the thesis ‘Conservation ecology of coastal sharks and rays with a focus on the location and function of juvenile habitats’. She was an enthusiastic student and developed strong skills in statistical modelling and data analysis. She is currently a Modelling and Analysis Specialist at BHP, Perth.

Email me: beverlyoh@gmail.com

Masters Students and Interns

Adrianne Hortle

MSc Student

Adrianne’s research focuses on a remote sensing examination of seagrass change in Shark Bay. She will use a combination of satellite data and observational turtle data to map seagrass change before and after the 2011 marine heatwave to determine the impacts of potential habitat change on the Shark Bay turtle population. Prior to joining the Sequeira Lab, Adrianne completed a BSc in Zoology and Conservation Biology at the University of Western Australia and is working at an environmental consultancy in Perth as a GIS Analyst and Botanist.

Email me: 20752063@student.uwa.edu.au

Jessica Pearce

MSc Student

Jessica’s research focus is on understanding the evolution of sharks and other chondrichthyan species through comparative genomics. She aims to sequence the genome of the tiger shark using new DNA sequencing technologies, in collaboration with DNA Zoo Australia. This will provide a reference genome for environmental DNA studies of sharks in Shark Bay, Western Australia. Jessica recently completed a BSc in marine science and genetics at the University of Western Australia.

Email me: 22237529@student.uwa.edu.au

Laura Londono Vargas

Alumni Intern (Masters Student)

Laura came to Australia to do a MSc in Marine Biology at the University of Western Australia. She joined the Sequeira Lab as part of her MSc internship to learn more about marine megafauna movement and gain research experience. She has previously completed her BSc degree in Biology at Los Andes University in Colombia.

Email me: 22392752@student.uwa.edu.au

Research Assistants

Dr Lauren Peel

Alumni Research Assistant

Lauren recently completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia, where her research focused on examining the movement patterns and trophic ecology of reef manta rays (Mobula alfredi) in the Seychelles. While completing her PhD, Lauren joined the Sequeira Lab to assist with the day-to-day research tasks, organisation of events, and lab management.

Email me: laurenrpeel@gmail.com

Anita Giraldo

Alumni Research Assistant

Anita worked as a Research Assistant at the Sequeira Lab assisting with daily administrative tasks, data management, and developed content to promote lab projects. She brought great energy to the group and assisted cultivating a great team environment. Anita is currently finishing her PhD at the University of Western Australia focusing on evaluating how deep kelp populations may help their shallow counterparts recover from disturbances.

Email me: anitasgiraldo@gmail.com

Callum Donohue

Alumni Research Assistant

Callum’s research at the Sequeira Lab focused on the development of bioenergetic models to understand the growth rates, nutritional requirements and biochemical flux of Yellowtail kingfish (Seriola lalandi). He worked under the global Aquaspace project (2015 – 2018) which aimed to “understand the spatial and socioeconomic constraints on the expansion of aquaculture” across 17 case studies to promote the sustainable development of aquaculture. Callum is now pursuing a PhD at the University of Western Australia using the fiddler crabs’ reliably-induced escape response to correlate visual information with behavioural responses.

Email me: callum.donohue@research.uwa.edu.au

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