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Seafloor Biodiversity Team


The Instrumented Corer Platform was designed and built for this project by CSIRO. It enables multiple samples and several environmental data sets to be collected on single deployments.

Dr Alan Williams is a CSIRO marine ecologist who develops and implements methods for mapping, characterising and monitoring deep sea ecosystems. His research contributes to a better understanding of deep sea ecosystems and the ways in which they are affected by human activities such as fishing and hydrocarbon extraction (Theme Leader).

Dr Jason Tanner is a SARDI marine ecologist who has a strong interest in the population and community ecology of benthic invertebrates, in particular the dynamics of corals. His research has included extensive field surveys, experimental work and modelling (Theme Leader).

Franzis Althaus is a CSIRO marine ecologist with particular interest in data management and analysis. Her work contributes to mapping, characterising and monitoring deep sea communities, and understanding the interactions between human activities and deep-sea ecosystems.

Professor Luciano Beheregaray is an Australian Research Council Future Fellow and Head of the Molecular Ecology Group at Flinders University. His main interests are in evolution and conservation of aquatic biodiversity. His research illustrates how natural historians can contribute to our understanding of evolution and ecology and stimulate public interest about the importance of conserving biodiversity. A large component of the work carried out in his research group combines information from genomics and Earth sciences to understand the origins and evolutionary trajectories of populations and to inform conservation management.

Dr Levente Bodrossy joined CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research in 2010 to lead the development and application of cutting edge molecular approaches to reveal how complex microbial communities drive bio-geochemical cycles. He is considered a world leader in high throughput molecular methods and microbial ecology. He was awarded the OCE Science leader’s fellowship in 2013.

Associate Professor Anthony Chariton is the Research Team Leader in Environmental Omics for CSIRO Land and Water. His research focus is on the development, application and integration of ‘omic’ technologies and traditional ecology for the monitoring and assessment of aquatic systems. In addition, he provides specialised environmental assessment, risk assessment and ecological expertise to a range of industry and government clients.

Karen Gowlett-Holmes is a CSIRO taxonomist with broad knowledge of Australia’s marine invertebrates. She contributes skills in taxonomy and photography to the project’s field surveys.

Nick Ellis is a CSIRO applied mathematician with interests in statistical modelling, simulation, machine learning, management strategy evaluation and quantitative marine ecology. He has worked in a broad range of areas including prawn growth parameter estimation, impacts of trawling, fishery stock assessment and marine biodiversity mapping.

Dr Sharon Hook is a Senior Eco-toxicologist for the aquatic eco-toxicology group at CSIRO, Centre for Environmental Contaminants Research, Lucas Heights, Sydney. Sharon’s research interests include applying modern –omics based approaches to environmental problems, determining the impacts of low level, long term toxic responses, and the design and implementation of toxicity testing. Sharon has worked with a vast array of environmental contaminants, including metals, oil, and pesticides, and with a variety of taxa, from bacteria to fish.

Shirley Sorokin is a SARDI marine biologist with extensive knowledge of the biodiversity of benthic marine invertebrates of the shallow Great Australian Bight and the South Australian gulfs. She has a particular interest in sponges.



The Great Australian Bight Research Program is a collaboration between BP, CSIRO, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI), the University of Adelaide, and Flinders University.