Marine Biodiversity | Prof Fred Wells & Prof Monique Gagnon

In this episode, David Karsten is joined by Professor Fred Wells and Professor Monique Gagnon to discuss the impact of rising sea temperatures and oil spills on aquatic life. 

Significant changes in marine fauna along Perth’s coastline (00:01:02:03)

Impact of 2011 heatwave on the west end of Rottnest (00:04:12:12)

How fish fingerprints are helping identify oil pollutants (00:09:23:04)

Recovery of marine populations after the Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea (00:19:54:22)

Positive trends in pollution reduction (00:21:26:23)

Learn more

Marine heatwaves decimate sea urchins, molluscs and more at Rottnest

Fish Fingerprinting: Identifying Crude Oil Pollutants using Bicyclic Sesquiterpanes (Bicyclanes) in the Tissues of Exposed Fish

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Professor Fred Wells, Adjunct Professor, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin University

As senior curator of aquatic zoology at the Western Australian Museum for many years, Professor Wells developed a keen interest in tropical marine ecosystems and Western Australian marine habitats. He later moved to the WA Department of Fisheries where he led a research project on introduced marine pests. His research has included all major habitat types in the Western Pacific, with a particular focus on coral reefs and mangroves, and documenting molluscan assemblages in marine areas not previously investigated by scientists. He is the former President and a Lifetime Member of the Australian Marine Sciences Association, The World Scientific Society for Molluscs, and the Australasian Mollusc Society.  

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Professor Monique Gagnon, Discipline lead, Ecology, School of Molecular and Life Sciences, Curtin University

A prominent researcher in ecotoxicology, Professor Gagnon has led major research projects for industry, government and the Australian Research Council.  Her research focuses on the impact of accidental oil spills, petroleum exploration and production on fish health, endocrine disruptors, sewage treatment plants and urban runoffs, and the toxicity of drilling muds used in the petroleum exploration industry. She provides advice on drilling programs in sensitive marine areas like Botany Bay and Barrow Island. She also monitors the effects of anti-fouling chemicals on vertebrates and invertebrate populations. Professor Gagnon is an associate editor for the international peer-reviewed journal, Environmental Toxicology.

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Behind the scenes

Host: David Karsten

Content creator: Anne Griffin-Appadoo

Producer: Emilia Jolakoska

Social Media: Amy Hosking

Executive Producers: Anita Shore and Matthew Sykes

First Nations Acknowledgement

Curtin University acknowledges the traditional owners of the land on which Curtin Perth is located, the Whadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation, and on Curtin Kalgoorlie, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields; and the First Nations peoples on all Curtin locations.


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