The Global FinPrint Project www.globalfinprint.org is funded by the Paul G Allen Foundation & Vulcan Inc. and aims to better understand the number of shark and ray species (richness) and their prevalence (relative abundance) in coral reef areas worldwide. I lead research trips to remote locations in Northern Australia and the Pacific region, and operate Baited Remote Underwater Video Systems (BRUVS) with collaborators and crew from a range of vessels both nationally and internationally.
I incorporate investigating diversity and relative abundance of tropical fishes and elasmobranchs in the context of their environment, to provide data for the conservation and management of elasmobranchs in coral reef ecosystems.
BRUVS are also fitted with instruments (e.g. environmental loggers, acoustic receivers) and other techniques are used (e.g. UVC) to assist in monitoring species diversity in the marine environment, identify fundamental marine fish habitat, and highlight locations of rare and threatened species.
Like the FinPrint project, these projects involve understanding richness and abundance of species within fish assemblages and linking these to habitat characteristics (e.g. benthic fauna, rugosity), environmental factors (e.g. water temperature, current speed/direction) and spatial factors (e.g. depth, across-shelf distance). My research primarily uses diver-less monitoring techniques such as BRUVS to compare habitat and demersal tropical fish assemblages through time and among locations. Analyses of fish assemblage comparisons I conduct monitor how disturbances shape characteristics of local populations, communities, and ecosystems, and can identify potential impacts and inform environmental mitigation strategies.