Do bigger dusky flathead have better eggs?

Tara Hicks with the largest flathead in her sample.

Tara Hicks with the largest flathead in her sample.

As if a keen fisherman ever needs an excuse to go fishing….but for one local Mallacoota resident, Keith Simpson the chance to be involved in a research project studying Dusky Flathead, a species very popular with recreational fishers, certainly
gave him that extra impetus.

The “fishing expert” provided more than 200 fish for honors student Tara Hicks who began her project on the
“Body size, fecundity and egg quality relationships in Dusky flathead (Platycephalus fuscus) from Victorian
waters” in July last year for a project funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning
(Fisheries). She is supervised by Dr Keller Kopf and Dr Paul Humphries.  For the project, Tara had to source fish across its size range. To that end she asked the local fishers in Mallacoota to help out by donating their fish frames (what’s left after the fillets are removed).

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Nepal – The country of extremes

Pics and story by PhD student
Jennifer Sherry

A bird's-eye view of the dramatic landscape around the village of Na

A bird’s-eye view of the dramatic landscape around the village of Na

Nepal is a country of extremes. Nestled between the two populous Asian giants, China and India, the country’s northern border parallels the most awe-inspiring strip of the largest mountain range in the world: the Himalaya.

The geographic location and dramatic landscape have undoubtedly shaped the cultures and lifestyles of inhabitants from the low-lying plains of the tropical Terai to the high altitude mountain valleys. Kathmandu, the capital city and international travel hub, is a mosaic of over-stimulating colors, sights, sounds, smells, tastes, temperatures, and cultures. Heading to the remote mountain regions after a stay in the frenetic city requires yet another round of remarkable mental and physical adjustments. These transitions appear to occur more seamlessly for locals than for bewildered western visitors, who fit less comfortably through half-sized doorways, sit less comfortably on bumpy bus rooftops, and apprehensively negotiate throneless bathrooms.
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Let’s Talk Fish

Fishing Trawlers, Port Lincoln South Australia

Fishing Trawlers, Port Lincoln South Australia

A project designed to help Australia’s wild-catch commercial fishing industry raise its “social acceptability” has found that while people support  Australia having a wild catch fishing industry, they believe that the industry can have a negative impact on marine habitat, animals and birdlife, recreational fishing and the availability of fish species for seafood in the future.
The two-year project, Let’s Talk Fish: Assisting industry to understand and inform conversation about the sustainability of wild catch fishing, is now in its final stages with the draft final report sent to the funding body, the Fisheries Research & Development Corporation.  Researchers involved in the $195,000 project are Professor Allan Curtis, Institute adjunct Dr Nicki Mazur and Andy Bodsworth from Cobalt Marine Resource Management. Read more of this post

Landcare in Japan

Tomomi Maekawa

Tomomi Maekawa from Tokyo Institute of Technology

The Institute is playing a role in helping introduce Australia’s highly successful Landcare movement to Japan. Currently it is hosting a Japanese student scholar, Tomomi Maekawa, a PhD student with Tokyo Institute of Technology, who is studying Landcare in Australia. Tomomi is based at the Albury-Wodonga campus. She arrived in Australia at the beginning of June and will be here for a year during which time she will be mentored by Prof Allan Curtis, who has done a lot of research on Landcare.

Last month she was joined by her supervisor Professor Toshio Kuwako from Tokyo Institute of Technology, Professor Michael Seigel and Dr  Kazuki Kagohashi, from Nanzan University. Read more of this post

Sturt's Notebook

Research, opinion and news from graduate students at the School of Environmental Science, Charles Sturt University

River Ecology and Research

Understanding how rivers function

Ian Lunt Ecology

Science and Nature Writing