Research begins this week on an Australian Research Council grant worth over $1.1 Million to study the effects of human impacts on estuaries including those in the Batemans Marine Park.
The grant was awarded to Dr. Emma Johnston from the University of NSW in partnership with Batemans Marine Park researchers Dr. Melinda Coleman and Dr. Brendan Kelaher. Chief Investigator, Dr Emma Johnston, said most estuaries are subject to a combination of stressors from industry, agriculture and urbanisation.
“What we’ll be looking at is how multiple stressors interact and ultimately affect biodiversity. This research will fill this knowledge gap and provide clear guidance for world’s best practice coastal management.”
Fieldwork involving scuba surveys of marine life and sediment sampling will get underway this week in the Clyde River and Wagonga Inlet within the Batemans Marine Park.
Kelaher, the manager of the Batemans Marine Park said, “These estuaries will act as pristine reference sites to compare against more heavily disturbed estuaries in NSW such as Port Jackson and Botany Bay.”
“We are excited to be involved in this research which will not only provide funds for world-class research within the Batemans region, but also provide training for full-time PhD students and postdoctoral research fellows.”