Abstract: Increasing exposure to sediment, nutrients and chemical pollutants are threatening an estimated 25% of the world’s coral reefs. In this talk, I will present the current state of knowledge on the direct and indirect effects of marine pollution on the behaviour, physiology, life histories and communities of coral reef fishes, and the potential consequences of altered fish abundances for the ecology of coral reefs. The documented effects of pollution on reef fishes suggest the potential for feed-back loops, with altered fish behaviour and abundances detrimentally affecting reef health. Given the rapid spread of coastal pollution, field studies on their multi-faceted effects on ecological processes in coral reefs deserve a high priority.
Biography: Amelia currently holds a postdoctoral research position with the ARC CoE for Coral Reef Studies. Amelia is involved in a large research project focused on prioritising islands in WA and the GBR for managements actions. Her broad research interests are in understanding how threatening processes affect vulnerable ecosystems. Prior to this appointment, she worked at TropWater with the Marine Monitoring Program, where she monitored the frequency of flood plumes and the pollutant loads they carried. Amelia earned a PhD from James Cook University in 2014 for her research on the effects of suspended sediment on coral reef fishes.