Light lunch will be provided following the seminar
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NCCARF awarded the first of its visiting fellowships to Dr Nova Mieszkowska, Marine Biodiversity & Climate Change Research Fellow at the Marine Biological Association, UK.
Her international research programme focuses on the impacts of global climate change and ocean acidification on coastal marine biodiversity and the consequences for ecosystem structure and functioning, and spans the UK, Europe, USA and NZ. Her research has been highlighted in the IPCC 4th Assessment Report and the 2010 ICES Position Paper on Climate Change. Nova has a science-policy knowledge transfer role as the Marine Environmental Change Network Science Coordinator, and is a lead author and editor on UK marine status and climate impacts assessments.
Climate change is having a profound impact on coastal regions globally. Changes in species distributions, invasions and localised extinctions are driving alterations in biodiversity. The greatest effects are occurring in the regions of biogeographic breakpoints where many species reach their distributional limits. One of the longest & geographically extensive studies globally, the MarClim project, focuses on European temperate intertidal species. Comparisons of historical (back to the 1950s) and current data highlight some of the fastest poleward distributional changes globally since onset of warming in the mid-1980s. Alterations to physiological mechanisms are predominantly driving these biogeographic changes. The rapid response time of these sessile or sedentary organisms makes them good indicator species, the ‘canaries in the coalmine’ for climate change. Non-native species are also increasingly colonizing natural shores, enhanced by warming coastal climates. The species-specific nature of changes are driving alterations in community composition and have implications for coastal marine biodiversity. The methodology has recently been applied to New Zealand, and pilot studies carried out in Australia.
MarClim also provides fit-for-purpose, expert scientific advice and evidence to the UK & European government agencies to develop effective management and adaptational strategies for marine biodiversity resources and ecosystem services, informing management and mitigation strategies to ensure compliance with national and European policy directives. A joint initiative with NCCARF is establishing similar science-policy adaptational frameworks for Australia.