Marine, estuarine and freshwater science Discover our Research Groups and CentresMarine, Estuarine and Freshwater Science

Our mission is to grow understanding of our Australian ecosystems and fauna to work towards innovative solutions for sustaining fisheries and aquatic systems.
We are working towards understanding marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems and work towards innovative solutions for sustaining them in a changing world.

Fish biology & health

  • Biology and ecology of fish and other biota
  • Fish and marine wildlife health
  • Conservation of marine wildlife

Algae & seagrasses

  • Mariculture (biofuels, algal culture)
  • Marine plant physiology

Marine wildlife

  • Biodiversity and biogeography of aquatic organisms
  • Marine and estuarine biodiversity
  • Biophysical interactions in marine systems

Estuarine & marine ecosystems

  • Primary productivity
  • Managing these vulnerable ecosystems for biodiversity conservation
  • Marine restoration

Management for sustainability

  • Responses of aquatic organisms to habitat and climate change
  • Sustainability of fisheries, including interactions between wildlife and fisheries
  • Identification and responses to biosecurity threats
  • Interdisciplinary marine systems research
  • Responses to global climate change
  • Management of marine and coastal ecosystems
  • Sustainable marine tourism

Key questions in this research theme include:

  • How does tourism impact on marine mammals and how it can be managed to benefit both?
  • Determining how alien parasites in marine, estuarine and freshwater systems impact on native hosts and how these interactions might change with climate change?
  • How will climate change impact on the habitat of introduced freshwater fishes and their invasive capabilities?
  • How do species compositions of fish, macroinvertebrates, meiofaunal and hyperbenthic communities respond to the effects of natural and anthropogenic environmental change?
  • How to use quantitative tools and novel schemes to classify habitats and predict fish and invertebrate faunas in estuarine and coastal waters?
  • How does the Leeuwin Current and other oceanographic systems in the Kimberley influence the biological productivity and larval assemblages of the waters off Western Australia?
  • Can genetic tools be used to determine the extent of connectivity in a range of recreationally and commercially important fish and crustacean species to inform management?
  • Can we use the solar spectrum more efficiently to produce both electricity and algal biomass?

Our key approaches and tools include:

Our research encompasses a broad range of themes and this is reflected in the diverse approaches and techniques we use. These include:

  • Coral Bay Research Base
  • Biodiversity and environmental surveys
  • Taxonomy
  • Food web analysis
  • Acoustic telemetry
  • Remote sensing
  • Use of UAVs
  • DNA sequencing and genetics
  • Modeling
  • Bioprospecting
  • Underwater observation and monitoring
  • GIS
  • Range of sampling techniques
  • Whole of ecosystem approach
  • Analytical and modelling approaches
  • Citizen science
  • Local and international collaboration with world-leading research partners