My academic journey to: ‘Overhaul marine megafauna conservation at global scale’

My academic journey reflects my focus on developing models to better understand the marine environment and the species that occur within it. From chemistry to oceanographic modelling and from aquaculture to marine megafauna, I am particularly interested in investigating species occurrence and their movement behaviour. A key objective of my current research is to understand and predict how marine megafauna will fare with the increasing changes taking place at global scale as result of anthropogenic developments. This is also the mission of MegaMove, a global scientific programme I created and developed, involving a concerted network of hundreds of researchers around the globe to advance the long-term conservation of marine megafauna.

MegaMove focuses on informing strategic mitigation of global threats guided by a multi-disciplinary science plan encompassing movement ecology, ecological modelling, statistical physics, oceanography, marine law, and computer data science. MegaMove is ambitious in scale and scope focusing on addressing a global, complex challenge, by integrating the largest satellite tracking dataset for marine megafauna ever compiled to date focus on developing and applying advanced computational and quantitative methods to address fundamental questions in Movement Ecology. Through MegaMove, I aim to establish global standards for how big ecological datasets can be used and interpreted, and to boldly propel marine telemetry studies into the realm of big data and set out a new paradigm for Movement Ecology

The quantitative and global biodiversity focus of my research is fully aligned with the research taking place within the Division of Ecology and Evolution of ANU’s Research School of Biology (RSB), and specifically within the broad theme Behaviour and Physiological Ecology. My expertise on marine biodiversity fully complements the strong body of research currently taking place at RSB, and will lead to collaborations with the Biological Data Science Institute, Centre for Biodiversity Analyses, and the Fenner School of Environment and Society.