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Research students and staff attend AMSA Conference 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

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Four members of the School of Science and CMER from Edith Cowan University attended the National Australian Marine Science Association Conference – “Connections through shallow seas” in Darwin (Northern Territory) from the 2nd – 6th July 2017.

There were approximately 150 attendees overall, with Dr Kathryn McMahon, and Higher Degree by Research students Anna Lafratta, Cristian Salinas and Caitlin Rae representing ECU. Dr McMahon presented her work on patterns in diversity of seagrasses in the topical Indian Ocean that focuses on seagrass resilience and genetic diversity, seagrass evolution and taxonomy, seagrass-grazing interactions, and human impacts in coastal ecosystems. Additionally, she covered research on the impacts and management implications of dredging on light with regard to seagrass habitats.

Mr. Salinas presented estimated changes to organic C and N stocks and accumulation rates in seagrass meadows due to anthropogenic activities, namely eutrophication, in Cockburn Sound, WA. His research aims to provide and build on information in regards to Corg storage credit offset policies and understand the role of seagrass as a filter and sink for nutrients in a changing environment. Miss Lafratta communicated her findings in regards to the importance of habitat selection in seagrass meadows in successfully developing Blue Carbon projects, with the conclusion that not all blue carbon habitats have the same ‘crediting’ potential and should be a consideration for monitoring and restoration of seagrass habitats. Miss Rae presented a succinct explanation of her project on the trophic structure and role Ghost crabs play as vectors for the potential transfer of marine-derived nutrients into terrestrial systems.

The conference showed a range of presentations that were enjoyed by all, offering an opportunity to engage with other researchers and strengthen national collaborations, as well as showcasing the Centres high quality research.

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