Research Projects

The ecology of fish on marine sand: Implications for fisheries and marine protected area management

Researchers; Lachlan Fetterplace, Dr Nathan Knott, Prof Andy Davis, Kye Adams, Matt Taylor.

Marine soft sediments make up vast areas of the sea floor and marine protected areas (MPAs) cover large areas of this soft sediment habitat. In contrast to other systems very little research has examined the ecology of demersal fishes (that is fish found on the sea floor) found on marine soft sediments within MPAs. Even fewer studies have investigated changes in marine soft sediment fish communities when fishing is removed in no-take zones. In addition, the movement of demersal soft sediment fish has rarely been investigated. This poses challenges for management and the evaluation of the efficacy of marine protected areas, in which soft sediments often make up more than 70% of habitats. Researchgate project page.

Baited Remote Under Water Video component:

#update coming soon.

Movement and Behaviour component:


Tracking bluespotted flathead: On going: 51 tagged fish in total, 46 tagged fish currently in the water, preliminary study results published.

Tracking longspine flathead: Ongoing: 10 tagged fish currently in the water.

Tracking eastern fiddler rays – led by Kye Adams. Ongoing: 16 tagged fish currently in the water.


Shark Aerial Patrols:

Facilitating long term aerial monitoring of inshore shark distribution and abundance in south eastern Australia

We are analysing 18 years worth of shark aerial patrol data and undertaking workshops to increase the accuracy, reliability and statistical rigour of shark sighting data collected by Aerial Patrol volunteers.  This project is funded by Save Our Seas Foundation

Threatened & threatening: governing sharks for conservation and human safety

This multidisciplinary team is undertaking an analysis of the long-standing shark management strategies in place in Australia, including the NSW Shark Mitigation (Bather Protection) Program. Project collaborators are:  Leah Gibbs and Matthew Rees (Institute for Conservation Biology & Environmental Management), Assoc. Prof. Quentin Hanich (Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources & Security) and Dr Andrew Warren (Department of Geography & Sustainable Communities). The project is supported through UOW’s Global Challenges Program.

Project AIRSHIP: Shark spotting made simple

Started in 2015 Project AIRSHIP is an innovative shark detection program led by marine scientist and professional lifeguard Kye Adams. The project provides continuous aerial surveillance of the ocean. A high definition camera mounted on a blimp provides live footage of the ocean, giving lifeguards the opportunity of spotting sharks before they come too close to beach users.