Dr Dominic McAfee
wins the Tony Roach Prize
The prize is in memory of Dr. Tony
Roach and his long career and contributions to marine science in New South
Wales. The prize is given to the best paper by a young scientist on any aspect
of marine or estuarine environmental science, for research done in NSW. The
winner receives a cash award of $1500.
year’s winner is Dr. Dominic McAfee, from Macquarie University, now at
Univesity of Adelaide for his paper in the Journal of Animal Ecology entitled:
research shows that oysters dampen the extremities of the changing climate on
marine communities by buffering heat and dehydration stress marine animals
experience during low-tide. For the dense communities of animals that live
among oysters, the research showed that oysters reduce their physiological
stress during heat events, and how this can buffer the impacts of climate on
marine communities over thousands of kilometres. This work is being used to
advocate for the conservation of oyster habitat as a strategy for assisting the
climate adaptation of marine communities.
Dom is working on the largest oyster reef restoration project in the
southern hemisphere, restoring 20 hectares of native oyster reef in South
Australia. Just 200 years ago, thousands of kilometres of oyster reef encrusted
the seafloor along Australia’s southern coast, but today no reefs remain and
the native oyster is functionally extinct. Excitingly, early signs from Windara
Reef hold real promise for reviving this lost ecosystem, which can build
ecological resilience for the broader coastal environment.