Deakin School of Life and Environmental Sciences Hdr PhD International Scholarship

A fully-funded PhD fellowship in fisheries is available in Australia. Applicants should apply as soon as possible.

The Bonney Coast encompasses shelf waters between Cape Jaffa in South Australia (latest Australia scholarship positions) and Cape Otway in Victoria and hosts a strong seasonal upwelling that supports one of the most productive marine regions in Australian coastal waters. The region is of high ecological and economic importance to South Australia and Victoria. It supports large populations of Blue and Southern Right whales, Australian fur seals, pelagic sharks, and southern blue-fin tuna, together with important State (southern rock lobster, giant crab, abalone) and Commonwealth (small pelagic, south east trawl, shark and scale-fish) fisheries, and a growing charter fishing industry. A deeper understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that underpin this highly productive region, and the relevance of this area to species of ecological importance as well as commercial interest, will promote the sustainable management of its ecosystems and fisheries. Furthermore, the region is part of the largest area of temperate carbonate sedimentation on the planet, and is thus of profound interest to earth scientists around the globe.

The Bridgewater region is a particularly productive area of the Bonney Coast. It is characterised by deep shelf-break canyons that likely play significant role in shaping the hydrodynamics of the upwelling that underpins bentho-pelagic productivity in the region. Shelf topography off Cape Bridgewater is far from uniform, and is dominated by one of the seven pairs of gentle submarine headlands and valleys that characterise the Otway shelf. Recent idealised modelling studies have indicated that wind driven currents in the area are characterised by very strong near-bottom upwelling (~ 20 – 40 m/day) into valleys, and on the equatorward flanks of submarine headlands. Over top of headlands, equally strong downwelling occurs. Sea glider observations support this scenario.

The Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) has recently established a hydrodynamic mooring southwest of Portland, through a collaboration between Deakin University (VicIMOS) and SARDI Aquatic Sciences (SAIMOS). It consists of an upward looking ADCP, a CTD (@ ~90 m), and a thermistor string to a SeapHOx (CTD) at 40 m, and is serviced twice yearly (Dec/Jan, Jun/Jul). CTD profiles are collected along a cross shelf transect of five stations during each mooring servicing.

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