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International Seagrass Biology Workshop 2016

Monday, 14 November 2016

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Two members of the School of Science and Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research (CMER) from Edith Cowan University attended the 12th International Seagrass Biology Workshop (ISBW) in Wales (UK) from the 16-21st of October, 2016.

There were over 160 attendees, making it the largest, and one of the most successful ISBW’s to date. Both Dr. Oscar Serrano (DECRA fellow) and Simone Strydom (PhD student) represented ECU at this conference that is the only international meeting specifically tailored to seagrass scientists, professionals and students. Oscar presented his work using a long-term perspective to understand how humans and nature affect coastal ecosystems. Dr Serrano’s research focuses on the use of seagrass sedimentary archives to reconstruct the history of coastal ecosystems over millennia, identifying baseline conditions, the time-course of ecological change, cycles and thresholds of ecosystem dynamics driven by human and natural forces, and determining their role as biogeochemical sinks. His research aims to improve managing ecological change and remove constraints on sustainable coastal development. Simone presented her PhD work focussing on the influence of light colour on seagrass performance. Not only did Simone win the 1st place poster award, but her work showed that different colours of light either enhance or inhibit seed germination and adult growth – which directly relates to managing meadows that are impacted by degrading water quality (dredging plumes, algae blooms etc.).

They both attended a range of talks and workshops, not only contributing to current knowledge gaps and engaging and strengthening international collaborations, but also showcasing CMER’s high quality research whilst interacting with fellow seagrass scientists (including ECU alumni and several current collaborators) in order to help secure the future for seagrasses.

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