HSI grant to further knowledge of effects of climate change on marine environment
Humane Society International (HSI) is pleased to announce that Dr Peter Macreadie of the University of Technology Sydney, an outstanding young scientist, has been awarded $7,000 to look at the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems by examining seagrasses in Lake Macquarie and Tuggerah Lakes.
This project is the largest scale Australian effort to examine the role of genetic variability in determining seagrass resilience. This will provide essential information for managing Australia’s estuarine ecosystems in preparation for climate change.
“This project will increase our understanding of the importance of genetic variability for achieving resilience in seagrass habitats and provide essential information for managing Australia’s estuarine ecosystems in preparation for climate change.” said Michael Kennedy, Director of Humane Society International. “This information is vital if we want to conserve the living and feeding places of our dugongs, turtles and other threatened marine species all of which depend on seagrasses for their survival.”
Seagrasses are facing a global decline. Thousands of hectares have already been lost around the Australian coastline, a loss which also threatens our economy, with estimates that seagrasses have a far higher value even than tropical rainforests. The recovery of seagrasses is extremely difficult, sometimes impossible. For this reason, it is essential to manage seagrass habitats based on good science, where the focus is prevention rather than cure.
This is the first year that HSI has awarded a Marine Science Grant, as part of the Paddy Pallin Foundation Science Grants program. Grants are awarded for research projects will lead to tangible outcomes for the management of Australian ecosystems. The science grant program is also supported by funding from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife and is administered by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW.
The next round of the Paddy Pallin Science Grants will open in May 2011, visit www.rzsnsw.org.au for details.