Abstract:Movement is integral to the functional role and connectivity of populations. Understanding movement patterns and by default, habitat use, is crucial to defining effective conservation and management plans for exploited or threatened species. Therefore this information is required to fully understand population ecology. The movement patterns of marine predators can be difficult to define due to their large size, ability to swim large distances and long life spans. Technological advances such as acoustic and satellite tracking now offer a window into predator movement patterns, but the scale of these studies is important. Dr Heupel will discuss the application of acoustic tracking to define reef shark movements in the context of the functional role of reef sharks and management of their populations.
Biography:Michelle Heupel is a Research Scientist at the Australian Institute of Marine Science and adjunct scientist in the College of Marine and Environmental Sciences at JCU. Michelle has studied the biology and ecology of sharks for over 20 years with her research program focussing largely on movement ecology. The aim of her research program is to provide science that helps produce effective conservation and management of marine predators.