Chief Investigator: Dr. Eric A Treml (brief CV here)

My research is focused primarily on the spatial ecology of marine systems, testing hypotheses regarding marine population connectivity and exploring the implications for marine biodiversity and conservation. I use field surveys, dynamic modelling, spatial analysis, graph theory and population genetic techniques. Although the core of my research is in the marine environment, I also enjoy studying terrestrial and aquatic systems.

Post-Doctoral Research Fellow:

Dr Kay Critchell: Kay is a biophysical modeller, her research focuses on the physical processes that influence the distributions of organisms and pollutants in time and space. Kay’s PhD thesis explored and quantified the processes that effect the movement and accumulation of plastic pollution, including microplastics, in the coastal zone. Kay’s research into these processes improved our understanding of potential exposure of sensitive habitats and species to plastic pollution. Kay has since worked on projects around larval dispersal, and the impact of management decisions in the marine environment. Kay’s current work is focused on larval transport and conservation priorities for fisheries management. You can find a list of Kay’s publications on ORCID, or Google Scholar, and Kay tweets about her research from her Twitter Account.

Current PhD Students:

Clare Grandison: Clare is a marine environmental scientist and spatial ecologist with extensive experience in the Defence maritime science and technology sector working with the Defence Science and Technology Group.She commenced a PhD with the MSEaC lab in 2017 investigating the spatial and temporal distribution of bioluminescent dinoflagellates in Australian waters and how this relates to local oceanographic, meteorological and environmental conditions. Her study will apply spatial analysis tools and integrate marine observational data sources with historical bioluminescence observational data. Clare is on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Giorgia Cecino: Giorgia’s thesis focuses on exploring marine metapopulations dynamics and how fisheries management strategies affect persistence of marine species of the South-East coast of Australia. The marine environment is heavily affected by fishing pressure and understanding how different management strategies affect the viability of these species is crucial for ensuring sustainable fishery. Giorgia is studying the spatial structure of metapopulations using species distribution models. She is also investigating marine species persistence using two complementary approaches, network-based methods and population viability analysis. Giorgia is using a graph-theoretical approach to explore how metapopulation persistence is influenced by explicitly including dispersal in metapopulation models. Her research aims to investigate how various fisheries management strategies affect metapopulation persistence using population viability analysis to compare alternative fisheries management scenarios.

Jutta Beher: Jutta investigates how decisions are made that guide conservation management actions: She uses a quantitative systematic literature review to assess differences and commonalities in the published literature, for example how different objectives, constraints and uncertainties are handled, and how trade-offs are approached. All publications are on orcid (0000-0003-2119-0440),, and researchgate. You can also find more details on Jutta’s website.

Ben Knight

Ben Knight: Ben is a marine biophysical scientist with over 20 years of research and consulting experience in coastal systems in New Zealand and Europe. His primary area of expertise is the development and application of modelling and remote sensing tools to assist in finding sustainable resource use solutions for coastal marine systems. He commenced a PhD with Deakin in 2018 investigating coastal connectivity in New Zealand, with an emphasis on understanding and reducing the impacts of aquatic pathogen and diseases in coastal systems where aquaculture occurs.

Roberto Venegas: Roberto is a marine biologist and oceanographer interested in multi-scale and multidisciplinary approaches to investigating the effects of anthropogenic climate change on marine species, ecosystems, fisheries, and conservation. During his career, he has led and collaborated on intertidal, subtidal, coastal, and pelagic in-situ, remote sensing, and ecological modeling efforts. Roberto has studied Eastern Boundary Ecosystems, frontal analysis, and linking fisheries information to atmospheric and oceanic variability. Roberto started his Ph.D. at Deakin University in 2020 and is researching the effects of human-caused climate change on larval persistence and marine species distribution through novel artificial intelligence approaches. Roberto’s publications can be found at researchgate.

Din Matias Co-advisor with Dr Cynthia Riginos, University of Queensland. Din is using seascape genomics to explore the genetic patterns across the Philippines at both fine and broad spatiotemporal scales.

Past Lab Members:

  • Dr Kelsey Roberts (PhD, 2019) Kelsey was exploring whether the rapid growth of marine protected areas in Australia has increased the capacity of the network to protect biodiversity from key threats.
  • Dr Francisca Samsing (PhD, 2018) Francisca was investigating the environmental transmission of sea lice Lepeophtheirus salmonis in marine ecosystems with intensive salmon aquaculture.
  • Dr Mauricio Romero Torres (PhD, 2017) Co-advisor with Prof Alberto Acosta, Universidad Javeriana, Colombia. Mauricio is exploring the causes and consequences of population connectivity for coral reefs in the eastern Tropical Pacific to determine the influence of contrasting life history traits, the importance of physical and biological drivers, and to identify key habitat stepping-stones and likely dispersal routes.
  • Ms Trish Koh (MSc, 2017) Trish focused on larval dispersal and population connectivity of sea urchins in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria.
  • Ms Molly Fredle (MSc, 2017) Molly was modelling the spatial and temporal patterns of Blacklip abalone in Bass Strait.
  • Dr Rafael Magris (2012-2016) Co-advisor with Prof Bob Pressey, James Cook University. Rafael is quantifying the population connectivity of several coral reef species along the Brazilian coast to identify the role of local species, habitat quality, and climate change in conservation planning.
  • Dr Jude Keyse (PhD, 2016) Co-advisor with Dr Cynthia Riginos, University of Queensland. Jude is using advanced spatial statistical approaches to quantify the biological and physical factors influencing patterns of biodiversity across spatial and taxonomic scales. Jude’s work is primarily focused in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Dr Libby Liggins (PhD, 2014) Co-advisor with Dr Cynthia Riginos, University of Queensland. Libby takes a phylogeographic and population genetic approach to understanding gene flow among populations inhabiting the coral reefs of Indo-Pacific region. Libby is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Massey University (site)
  • Dr Nils Krück (PhD, 2013) Co-advisor with A/Prof Ian Tibbetts, University of Queensland. Nils has integrate genomics and spatial modelling to improve fisheries management in Queensland, Australia. He is now a postdoctoral research fellow in Prof Pete Mumby’s Lab at the university of Queensland.
  • Ms Anna Mirams (Honours, 2009) Co-advisor with Dr Cynthia Riginos, University of Queensland. Anna completed a project quantifying the genetic structure and the potential drivers of marine taxa across the Torres Strait.