Researchers in the Fisheries & Marine Environmental Research Laboratory address a variety of objectives spanning biological oceanography, fisheries dynamics and physiological ecology. Our work is principally concerned with marine and estuarine systems.
Some specific aims of our group include (1) quantifying the effect of rain and nutrients on zooplankton and fisheries production, (2) examining the biological significance of the East Australian Current and its eddies, (3) identifying the role of salps in marine ecosystem function, (4) identifying drivers of movement in aquatic animals, and (5) testing predictions about energy transfer among individuals.
Our objectives lead us to a wide range of study organisms, from plankton and salps, to estuarine teleosts and stingrays, to pelagic fish and large sharks. We conduct research throughout the estuarine, coastal and shelf waters of eastern Australia. The FAMER lab’s interests are ongoing, and are led by Professor Iain Suthers. Iain’s team currently consists of 3 post-docs, 7 PhD students and 3 honours students.
Recent FAMER Updates
APRIL 2013 Dr Nick Payne was interviewed by Australasian Science about his research into the daily activity of Yellowfin Bream in the Georges River, NSW. The Brean were shown to become nocturnal following heavy rainfall. Read more about the research here
FEBRUARY 2013 As part of our research into stocking density and trophic interactions, Dr James Smith has developed some software which is able to evaluate stable isotopic mixing models that incorporate uncertainty in dietary source data and in trophic enrichment factors. For more information see this page
FEBRUARY 2013 - FAMER PhD student Chris Setio recently released 300,000 post-larval prawns into Lake Tyers as part of a restocking program with Fisheries Victoria. Chris and Iain Suthers spoke to The Age newspaper about the research.
FEBRUARY 2012 - Dr Jason Everett was interviewed by the National Geographic Website about his recent paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research entitled: Three-dimensional structure of a swarm of the salp Thalia democratica within a cold-core eddy off southeast Australia. To read the interview, head to our the National Geographic Website
FEBRUARY 2012 - PhD Student Stephanie Brodie was recently interviewed by the Manly Daily and the Illawarra Mercury about her research into Yellowtail Kingfish and Dolphinfish. Steph is calling on recreational anglers who catch yellowtail kingfish and dolphinfish along the South Coast to help her collect as many fish heads and bones as possible. Contact her and she will come and collect the heads and frames.
DECEMBER 2011 - Congratulations to Teagan Marzullo for being awarded a 2012 Australian Academy of Science Award for Scientific Excellence for her project "Estuarine fidelity, home-range, habitat use and energetics of stingrays". She will receive research support under the Margaret Middleton Fund for endangered Australian native vertebrate animals. You can read the press release at the AAS website.
MARCH 2010 - Professor Iain Suthers discusses the East Australian Current in a Special Report on Marine Science in Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. To read the full report, please head to our News Page
JANUARY 2010 - With the assistance of the Defence Maritime Services vessel, the 'Dugong' and its crew, FAMER and IMOS scientists retrieved our Sea Glider on Tuesday 12 January, approximately 40 nautical miles north-east of Sydney. To read the full report, please head to our News Page
OCTOBER 2009 - While aboard Australia's National Facility, the RV Southern Surveyor, FAMER scientists successfully retrieved the Slocum glider. While out there we also deployed a Sea-Glider which is capable of a 3-month deployment and dives to a depth of 1000 m
OCTOBER 2009 - As part of the NSW Node of the Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS) program, the FAMER lab have launched their 3rd Slocum Glider (Affectionately known as Nemo 3) off the coast of NSW. Go to our Glider Page to track its location and oceanographic conditions in real time.
JANUARY 2009 - Interviews with FAMER researchers from previous years have been added to the News Page. Check them out.
DECEMBER 2008 - "Finding Nemo in a Cruel Sea" - Professor Iain Suthers discusses the deployment, mission and retrieval of a Slocum Glider. The first deployment on the East Coast of Australia. The article is available on our news page.
NOVEMBER 2008 - Dr Mark Baird, was interviewed about Salps by the Sydney Morning Herald. The article is available on our news page.
NOVEMBER 2008 - Dr Jason Everett, was interviewed by Simon Lauder on The World Today broadcast on ABC Local Radio and Radio National. Jason discusses the FAMER Facility's research on Salps. Click here to read or download the interview from our news page.
OCTOBER 2008 - To view some information about out latest research on Salps while aboard the RV Southern Surveyor please click here.
OCTOBER 2008 - Our recent voyage aboard the RV Southern Surveyor was a "featured voyage" by CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research. To read about it, please click here to go to the CSIRO website.
SEPTEMBER 2008 - Congratulations to Faith Ochwada, who recently won the Australian Society for Fish Biology Student International Travel Award. This generous $5000 award provides funding for travel to an overseas scientific meeting to showcase their research, and facilitate the development of international contacts and collaborations. A well deserved award for Faith, after all those long lonely nights dragging nets through 5 deg water on the far South Coast.
SEPTEMBER 2008 - Along with Dr Ross Hill of UTS, FAMER scientist Dr Jason Everett, was recently aboard the Southern Surveyor with 10 undergraduate students as part of a national initiative to retain and encourage promising students to pursue research at sea. The students were exposed to the challenges of doing research at sea, while also learning about equipment they would never get to use in the classroom. Go to our news page to read more about this voyage from Gladstone to Sydney.
SEPTEMBER 2008 - One of FAMER's researchers, Elke Venstra, was interviewed by Scott Levi on Radio ABC Central Coast for his program Big Fish. In this interview, broadcast on Saturday the 27th September, Elke discusses the FAMER facility's work in mulloway restocking. Click here to download the interview from our news page.