Fulbright Scholarship for marine student

25 October 2018
Mallory Sea, Masters student, Institute of Marine Science
Mallory Sea, Masters student, Institute of Marine Science

Mallory Sea from the Institute of Marine Science has been awarded a University of Auckland Fulbright Scholarship for 2019.

The scholarship provides support for the second year of her masters programme. It will be invaluable in assisting Mallory to undertake her research investigating the effect of the spatial arrangement of mussels on predation rates and how we can spatially arrange shellfish to maximise restoration success.

The green-lipped mussel (Perna canaliculus) is a mytilid bivalve distributed throughout New Zealand. 

These mussels were common throughout the Hauraki Gulf until the 1960’s, when dredging, overharvesting, and other anthropogenic stressors contributed to population collapse. While cultivation of P. canaliculus now supports an impressive aquaculture industry worth over NZ$200M, natural beds have never fully recovered.

Restoration projects for the New Zealand green-lipped mussel are currently attempting to revive depleted beds in the Hauraki Gulf.

Mallory's project uses field surveys and experiments to examine the spatial arrangement of mussels in restored beds to determine what distances between aggregations of mussels minimize predation rates by the local seastar Coscinasterias muricata.

The determination of optimal spatial arrangements will provide insight on predator-prey interactions and will aid in future restoration work for soft-sediment marine bivalves.

Associated information

 

 

Mallory Sea, Marine Science, diving with jellyfish
Mallory diving with jellyfish
Mallory Sea, Marine Science, in the mangroves
Mallory in the mangroves