WAMSI Research Conference 2015

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The partners of the Western Australian Marine Science Institution are delivering two of the largest marine research programs in Australia, alongside a raft of other important research.

At the 2015 Research Conference (30th March – 1st April 2015) WAMSI partners and affilates came together to discuss the progress and latest findings from over 50 projects.

Location: State Library of Western Australia, Perth.

Ministerial media statement

Click here to view the conference schedule.

Conference Proceedings (Abstracts)


  • Day 1 (AM) Opening addresses, a summary of progress and future directions by the WAMSI partnership
  • Day 1 (AM) Presentations on other key WA marine research programs
  • Day 1 (PM) and Day 2 (AM)  Dredging Science Node – The end of stage 1: synthesis of contemporary knowledge on dredging impacts and presentations on each of the projects
  • Day 2 (PM) and Day 3 (AM/PM) Kimberley Marine Research Program – Mid-program summary review and findings and presentation on each project
  • Day 3 (PM) 12.15 – 1pm Special Event: Launch of the Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 by Hon. Colin Barnett MLA, Premier of Western Australia and Minister for Science; Chair of the Independent Blueprint Steering Committee E/Prof Alistar Robertson and WAMSI Chair Naomi Brown.

Audio of presentations

Launch of the Blueprint for Marine Science 2050 (1 April 2015)

Day 1 (March 30, 2015)

Session: Opening and keynote presentations

  1. Patrick Seares, WAMSI CEO – WAMSI – summary of progress and future directions  (presentation slides)
  2. Paul Vogel, EPA Chairman – Keynote presentation – Building a Science Knowledge base for Environmental Impact Assessment   (presentation slides)
  3. Hon Donna Faragher MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier, Minister for State Development, Science – Opening the 2015 WAMSI Research Conference
  4. Peter Klinken, Chief Scientist o Western Australia – Keynote presentation – Science priorities for Western Australia

Session 2

  1. Shaun Gregory, Woodside Energy, Senior Vice Pres. Science and Technology – Keynote Presentation – an industry perspective on strategic marine science.  (presentation slides)
  2. Patrick Seares, WAMSI CEO – Initiatives to improve collaboration on information, wildlife and estuaries.
  3. Margaret Byrne, Department of Parks and Wildlife – The role of science in conservation management.   (presentation slides)
  4. Michael Marnane, Chevron – Management based on science: Applying learnings from Gorgon to the Chevron Wheatsone dredging program (presentation slides)
  5. Bruce Elliot, GBRMPA – A QLD perspective on outcomes focused research for both dredging and marine park management.    (presentation slides)

Session 3: Dredging Node – Introduction and themes 2 and 3 (generation and transport of dredge plumes)

  1. Ray Masini, OEPA – Dredging Science Node Overview   (presentation slides)
  2. Tim Green, BMT JFA Consultants – Invited speaker: Dredging 101    (presentation slides)
  3. Graham Symonds, CSIRO – Theme 2/3 overview, Generation and transport of dredge plumes.   (presentation slides)
  4. Des Mills, Marine Environmental Reviews – Generation and release of sediments by hydraulic dredging  (presentation slides)
  5. Ryan Lowe, UWA – Redefining sediment transport models over sensitive benthic habitats   (presentation slides)
  6. Peter Fearns, Curtin – The light environment in turbid waters  (presentation slides)
  7. Graham Symonds, CSIRO – Modelling dredging generated sediment plumes.  (presentation slides)

Session 4: Dredging Node – Themes 5 & 6 (seagrass and sponges)

  1. Ian Le Provost, Environmental Consultant Association – Invited Speaker: Consultant’s perpective on WAMSI Dredging Science Node  (presentation slides)
  2. Paul Lavery, ECU – Theme 5 overview: Defining thresholds of primary producer response to dredge pressures  (presentation slides)
  3. Kathryn McMahon, ECU – Genetic variability, seasonal dynamics and recovery mechanisms of tropical seagrasses – update on field programs in northwest Australia.  (presentation slides)
  4. John Statton, UWA – Deriving pressure-response relationships of tropical seagrasses to dredge pressures – a laboratory approach  (presentation slides)
  5. Nicole Webster, AIMS – Theme 6 overview, Defining thresholds of filter feeder response to dredge pressures  (presentation slides)  (video 1)  (video 2)
  6. Muhammad Abdul Wahab, AIMS – Observations from pre-dredgings surveys of filter feeders at Onslow  (presentation slides)
  7. Brian Strethlow, UWA/AIMS – Indentifying, characterising and quantifying the effects of dredging on sponges (Porifera)   (presentation slides)  (video)
  8. Mari-Carmen Pineda, AIMS – Deriving pressure-response relationships of sponges to dredge pressures – a laboratory approach.  (presentation slides)

Day 2 (March 31, 2015)

Dredging Node – Themes 4 & 7 (corals and coral reproduction windows)

  1. Luke Smith, Woodside – Invited Speaker: Industry perpective on WAMSI Dredging Science 
  2. Ross Jones, AIMS – Theme 4 Overview, Dredging and Corals  (presentation slides)
  3. Alan Duckworth, AIMS – Specific and interactive effects of total suspended solids, light attenuation and sediment deposition on adult corals  (presentation slides)
  4. Rebecca Fisher, AIMS – Turning data into management recommendations: Predicting coral mortality based on water quality during dredging   (presentation slides)
  5. James Whinney, JCU – Measuring sediment deposition during dredging programs: development of an in situ deposition sensor   (presentation slides)  (video)
  6. Clair Stark, JCU – Measuring sediment deposition during dredging programs: modelling approaches  (presentation slides)
  7. Andrew Negri, AIMS – Theme 7 Overview, Effects of dredging on coral reproduction   (presentation slides)
  8. James Gilmour, AIMS – Review of coral reproduction in WA and current state of knowledge  (presentation slides)  (video)
  9. Gerard Ricardo, AIMS – Laboratory experimentation on the effects of dredging on fertilisation, larval development and settlement of corals (presentation slides)    (video 1)  (video 2)

Session 2: Dredging Node themes 8 & 9 (environmental windows for finfish and other organisms)

  1. Wayne Young, Pilbara Ports Authority – Invited Speaker: Dredging in the Pilbara – Ports perspective   (presentation slides)
  2. Euan Harvey, Curtin – Theme 8 Overview, Effects of dredging related pressures on critical ecological processes for finfish  (presentation slides)
  3. Gary Kendrick, UWA – Theme 9 Overview, Effects of dredging related pressures on critical ecological processes for other organisms  (presentation slides)

Session 3: Kimberley Node – Understanding the history and the habitats of the Kimberley

  1. Stuart Field, DPaW – Kimberley Node Overview  (presentation slides)
  2. Barry Wilson – Invited Speaker: The Kimberley Environment  (presentation slides)
  3. Lindsay Collins, Curtin – Geomorphology  (presentation slides)
  4. Andrew Heyward, AIMS – Benthic Biodiversity  (presentation slides)
  5.   (video 1)  (Video 2)
  6. Luke Edwards, WAMSI – Data Management  (presentation slides)
  7. Mick O’Leary, Curtin – Use of LIDAR in the Kimberley  (presentation slides)

Session 4: Kimberley Node – Physical processes and primary productivity – Feeding the System

  1. Greg Ivey, UWA – Oceanography  (presentation slides)
  2. Matt Hipsey, UWA – Biochemistry  (presentation slides)
  3. Andy Revill, CSIRO – Land-sea Linkages  (presentation slides)
  4. Ryan Lowe, UWA – Primary production  (presentation slides)
  5. Gary Kendrick and Renae Hovey, UWA – Seagrass and mapping productivity   (presentation slides)

Day 3 (April 1, 2015)

Session 1: Kimberley Node – Managing marine resources and values

  1. Tom Hatton, Invited Speaker: Western Australia’s Kimberley marine parks and WAMSI 
  2. Daniel Oades, KLC – Invited Speaker: Partnering with Indigenous communities  (presentation slides)
  3. Lynnath Beckley, Murdoch – Patterns of human use  (presentation slides)
  4. Jennifer Strickland-Munro, Murdoch – Social values and aspirations (presentation slides)
  5. Albert Wiggan, Nyul Nyul Rangers – Indigenous knowledge  (presentation slides)
  6. Fabio Boschetti, CSIRO – Management strategy evaluation  (presentation slides)

Session2: Kimberley Node – Ecological processes and change in the Kimberley

  1. Mat Vanderklift, CSIRO – Key ecological processes  (presentation slides)
  2. Ming Feng, CSIRO – Climate Change  (presentation slides)
  3. Verena Schoepf, UWA – Calcification  (presentation slides)
  4. John Keesing, CSIRO – Sediment records  (presentation slides)
  5. Oliver Berry, CSIRO – Connectivity  (presentation slides)

Session 3: Kimberley Node – Marine fauna and developing long term monitoring and research

  1. Brett Molony, DoF – Invited Speaker: Fisheries research in the Kimberley  (presentation slides)
  2. Scott Whiting, DPaW – Marine Turtles  (presentation slides)
  3. Michele Thums, AIMS – Humback Whale   (presentation slides)
  4. Andy Halford, DPaW – Crocodiles  (presentation slides)
  5. Mat Vanderklift, CSIRO – Dugongs  (presentation slides)
  6. Lars Bejdar, Murdoch – Dolphins  (presentation slides)
  7. Danny Rogers, AWSG – Shorebirds  (presentation slides)
  8. Peter Fearns, Curtin – Remote Sensing   (presentation slides)
  9. Kim Friedman, DPaw – Invited Speaker: WAMMP – KMRP research informing long term monitoring  (presentation slides)
  10. Patrick Seares, WAMSI, Close of conference and closing remarks