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THE LATEST NEWS FROM OUR GROUP

British Ecological Society Conference

December 15, 2019

Kevin presented his latest experiment at the BES conference along with other colleagues from HKU

"  I recently attended The British Ecological Society annual meeting 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. I was selected to present a poster, on part of my PhD project investigating the effects of climate change on the rocky shore crab Eriphia ferox and its main prey, the mussel Septifer virgatus "Foraging behaviour of Eriphia ferox on Hong Kong rocky shores, now and under future warming". This was part of a two month mesocosm study undertaken in The University of Hong Kong. More results and a paper to come in 2020!  "

In the photo (L-R); Prof. Caroline Dingle, Prof. Louise Ashston, Prof. Timothy Bonebrake, Pauline Dufour, Shuang Xing, Kevin Geoghegan, Sharne McMillan

Adaptive responses of marine gastropods to heatwaves

November 24, 2019

Heatwaves are forecast to become more frequent. While these sudden increases in temperature are expected to threaten marine organisms, it is intriguing that some of the species prevail. By analyzing the molecular, physiological, and behavioral responses to acute thermal stress, we reveal how these responses integrate to allow marine gastropods to survive heatwaves.
 

The future of Blue Carbon science

September 04, 2019

Scientists seek improved precision of the extent of Blue Carbon ecosystems; techniques to determine BC provenance; understanding of the factors that influence sequestration in BC ecosystems, with the corresponding value of BC; and the management actions that are effective in enhancing this value. Overall this overview provides a comprehensive road map for the coming decades on future research in BC science.

Temperature the main driver of ecosystem structure in Coastal Lagoons

July 26, 2019

Ecosystem models constructed from seasonal biodiversity surveys in Mediterranean coastal lagoons have revealed that temperature is the main driver of ecosystem structure. Seasonal changes in the lagoon biological communities was related to changes in the phytobenthos which propagated through trophic pathways. This paper presents a new modelling approach to projecting potential changes to aquatic communities and ecosystem structure under changing environmental conditions.

Research Assistant position available now!

July 23, 2019

A new Research Assistant position is available in the Marine Futures Lab to work on an oyster population genetics project. The applicant should possess a Bachelor's or Master’s degree in Marine Ecology, Population Ecology, or Evolutionary Biology. He/She will conduct field sampling of oyster reefs in marine waters around Hong Kong and China in the Pearl River estuary; run lab-based population genetics analysis; and identify oyster population connectivity, including source populations, and mapping reefs using drones and GIS.  Travel to China for fieldwork will be required. Applications due 12 August 2019

Follow the link below to go to the application page or contact Bayden for further information on the project.

Distribution models predict large contractions of habitat‐forming seaweeds in response to ocean warming

October 03, 2018

Editor's choice paper on predicting distribution contractions in habitat forming seaweeds. The study projected shifts in the distributions of 15 habitat forming seaweed under RCP 6 and 2.6 warming scenarios. It predicted major range contractions of temperate seaweeds in coming decades. These changes will likely have significant impacts on marine biodiversity and ecosystem functioning because large seaweeds are foundation species for 100s of habitat‐associated plants and animals, many of which are socio‐economically important and endemic to southern Australia.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ddi.12767

Global Young Scientist Summit

September 02, 2018

Congratulations to Jay who has been selected to attend the Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) in Singapore on 20-25 January 2019. Jay will spend the week at Nanyang Technological University joining other students and eminent scientists from all over the world. The multi-disciplinary summit covers topics including chemistry, physics, medicine, mathematics, computer science and engineering.  Speakers at the Summit include recipients of the Nobel Prize, Fields Medal, Millennium Technology Prize and Turing Award.  The theme for the Summit is "Advancing Science, Creating Technologies for a Better World".  Promising young scientists will exchange ideas and knowledge with the speakers and their peers over five days under this theme

Invited talk at the University of New South Wales, Australia

July 31, 2018

Jay Minuti was invited to give a talk at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia earlier this month by Dr Adriana Vergés. Jay met Adriana and other members of her lab group when she presented her work at an international conference in Washington in June; “Effects of Climate Change in the World’s Oceans”. Jay joined their weekly meeting to share her PhD work and have open discussion with the students and staff

Sir Edward Youde Memorial Research Fellowship

February 27, 2018

Rhyn Cheung was presented with the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Research Fellowship award for his project on seaweed forests. 

Seaweed forests are extensive biological structures that provide complex,three-dimensional habitat along the coast of China In Hong Kong, Fucoid forests proliferate during the cool and dry season. As human activities continue to impact sea surface temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, understanding the changes in Sargassum physiological responses to these new stresses is crucial for developing conservation approaches for the seaweed habitat and associated marine ecosystems. 

Getting hot makes gastropods run out of energy!

December 14, 2017

Our new paper in Scientific Reports shows that we should be just as concerned with "less extreme" heatwaves in marine ecosystems. We show that exposure to summer heatwave temperatures stressed marine gatropods by reducing their energy budget, ultimately leading to death. Importantly, this physiological effect occurred below the thermal maxima, explaining how heatwaves can cause mass mortality even when they are below lethal limits.

Post-doctoral Fellowship available now!

November 15, 2017

A new Post-doctoral Fellowship is available to work on the thermal biology of subtidal sea urchins and gastropods in Hong Kong and SE Asia. Applicants with SCUBA diving experience and energy budget modelling are preferred. Contact Dr Bayden Russell directly for more information. Applications due: 15 January 2018.

Position description found here.

Ph.D. Scholarships 2018

November 09, 2017

Ph.D. Scholarships are available to work at The Swire Institute of Marine Science, The University of Hong Kong. Applications are due 1 December 2017. If you're interested contact me now!

October 23, 2018

Artificial structures are increasingly used to protect coastal infrastructure from sea-level rise and storms associated with climate change, especially in densely populated countries like China. We know that the materials comprising
artificial structures influence the composition of organisms that use them as habitat, little is known about how these materials may chemically react with changing seawater conditions, and what effects this will have on associated biota. In this paper, we test how different construction material affect algal growth under ocean warming and acidification scenarios. The outcomes may surprise you.....

Marine Futures Team Leads ReefCheck HK

September 09, 2017

This weekend the Reef Check HK was held in the eastern waters of Hong Kong. Rhyn organised a team of public and scientific divers, including Jake, to once again assess the status of Hong Kong's subtidal habitats, flora and fauna. 

Well done guys!

Species Interactions Drive Fish Biodiversity Loss in a High-CO2 World

July 31, 2017

In our new paper published in Current Biology we show that at volcanic CO2 vents, fish diversity is reduced because populations of only behaviorally dominant species are boosted through enhanced food resources and reduced predator abundance. Reduced overfishing of predators could therefore act as a key action to stall diversity loss and ecosystem change in a high-CO2 world.

Marine Futures Website is Live!

June 30, 2017

We're excited to announce that the Marine Futures Website is live. More updates and changes coming soon.....

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