I am a PhD student working within the Coral Ecophysiology Processes Group in The Plant Functional Biology and Climate Change Cluster (C3).
With previous experience within the reef aquaculture industry (Tropical Marine Centre, UK) I also recently completed my MSc in Marine Biology (University of Essex), specialising in developing Fast Repetition Rate fluorometry (FRRf) to assess the health and quantify productivity of corals and other coral reef primary producers.
Title: Using next-generation multi-spectral FRRf to improve current estimates of marine primary productivity (MPP) within Australian waters
Supervisors: Associate Professor David Suggett, Associate Professor Martina Doblin
My PhD project aims to use next- generation multi-spectral FRRf to improve current estimates of marine primary productivity (MPP) within Australian waters. Concentrating on ecologically-important phytoplankton taxa, my research will examine the variability of the quantum requirement for carbon fixation across key phytoplankton functional types (PFTs) and how this may be regulated by the environment; this parameter represents the key to using FRRf-based estimates of MPP to obtain carbon fluxes. By understanding how the quantum requirement varies it will be possible to apply high-resolution bio-optics to measure marine primary productivity (MPP) across vast temporal and spatial scales, with improved accuracy.
As MPP is the key process that not only controls the uptake of CO2 from our atmosphere (and therefore our climate) but also sustains the food-chain that supports entire ecosystems, it is vital that MPP can be measured with certainty. The data from my project will directly contribute to this wider goal and ensure that ecosystem managers are better informed to monitor the status of Australian waters and respond to the uncertain future associated with environmental and climate change.