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Mrs Maria Samsonova

Overview of thesis

My PhD project is about the tropicalisation of temperate seagrass meadows of Western Australia and its consequences to ecosystems.

Climate-driven changes profoundly alter the structure and functioning of marine ecosystems. As the water temperature rises, the tropical herbivorous fishes are expected to extend towards the cooler, temperate waters, and the temperate species – to retract southwards. Shifting their ranges, the tropical species increase in abundance and interact with native fauna, competing for essential resources and changing the food web structures of seagrass habitats.

My research attempts to understand the contribution of tropical herbivores to fish assemblages in temperate seagrass meadows and the impact of poleward-moving tropical Siganus species on temperate seagrass complexes along the western coast of Australia.

Project link: Predicting the impact of tropical herbivorous fishes on temperate seagrass meadows


  • Specialist’s Degree in Environmental Science, Tomsk State University, Tomsk, Russia (1996-2001)

Other Qualifications

  • Specialist’s Degree in translation in the sphere of professional communication (English), Tomsk Polytechnic University, Tomsk, Russia (2005-2007);
  • The Certificate of Italian language as the foreign language, University for Foreign students of Siena, Level C2, Padua, Italy (2011-2014);
  • Open Water 20 Diver, Level 1 (2016)


Research Interests

  • Ecology of natural     ecosystems, animal species’ responses to their changing     environment, biodiversity conservation

Past Research employment history

  • Italian language teacher in the catholic primary school, Italo-Australian Welfare & Cultural Centre Inc, Perth, WA (from 2015).
  • Research scientist, Institute of Biology, Laboratory of Ecology of terrestrial vertebrates, Tomsk, Russia (2004-2011).

Scholarships and Awards

  • ECU International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS), Edith Cowan University (from February 2016).


  • Professor Glenn Hyndes
  • Professor Kenneth Heck, University of South Alabama, Dauphin Island Sea Lab USA
  • Professor Adriana Vergès, University of New South Wales, Australia


PhD Student
Mrs Maria Samsonova
Centre for Marine Ecosystems Research
School of Science

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