Regional Reports June 2023

Category: Our People

  22 Jun 2023

New South Wales

Susan Wilson NSW Regional Representative

Aquatic and Coastal Environmental Sciences Lab, Macquarie University - School of Natural Sciences – A/Prof Katherine Dafforn (

We recently welcomed new MRes student Aiden Hose to the lab who is working on a project co-supervised by Dr Anthony Chariton (check out Anthony’s profile as keynote speaker at the SETAC AU 2023 conference ) and Dr Ana Bugnot in collaboration with Sydney Water. Aiden is investigating the biodiversity benefits from Sydney Water’s storm drain channel naturalisation program. This program involves the removal of concrete from the channels and revegetation of banks. Stay tuned for more information when he wraps up at the end of the year.

 Stormwater has been a major focus for our lab group for a number of years and Luke Walker continues this research by investigating the end-of-pipe impacts from stormwater discharges on seagrass meadows in Lake Macquarie.

Annemie-Rose Janssen also joined the lab in late 2022 to undertake a Master by Research program and has been investigating phenotypic variation in the golden kelp Eklonia radiata in response to urban stressors.

Giulia Filippini is a PhD student co-supervised by Dr Ana Bugnot who will be handing in her thesis in a few months time. Her work is addressing the impacts that shellfish reefs and surrounding sediments have on biogeochemical cycles, and particularly denitrification. She used a combination of literature review and meta-analysis, field and lab experiments. Her work has been supported by The Nature Conservancy, NSW DPI, NSW DPE and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science will hand in her PhD thesis in just a few months time.

Investigating phenotypic variation in kelp

Measuring biogeochemical cycles on oyser reefs

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Naturalised and unnaturalised stormwater channels

ANSTO Environmental Toxicology and Radioecology team – Dr Tom Cresswell (

Tom, Francesca and Alexandra have been busy playing with new toys. This month we installed three new instruments the Millennium Merlin, Excalibur and an HPLC for the low-level detection (ppt) and speciation measurements of mercury, arsenic and selenium (see pic below). It is early days, but we are excited to get these instruments up and running in our lab and apply these capabilities to a range of research projects.