Sean Williamson

Postdoctoral Fellow

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I grew up on the South Coast of NSW, where I gained a strong passion for environmental conservation and science. I completed my honours degree at the University of Wollongong, majoring in Environmental Science and Biology. After my honours degree I worked for a year as a Research Assistant on projects at the University of Wollongong, mostly on bushfire fuel surveys across NSW and fauna surveys at UNSW’s Arid Zone Research Station.

Following this I moved to Melbourne to start my PhD here at Monash supervised by Richard and Roger Evans. My thesis was on the Control and ecological significance of embryonic development in turtles and crocodiles. During this time, I was fortunate enough to conduct fieldwork around Australia and in Costa Rica.

Following my PhD I worked for a conservation NGO, Upwell Turtles , in Central America, for one year as a project scientist working on leatherback turtle spatial ecology and conservation planning.

In 2019-2021 I completed a postdoc on shark recreational fishing project to develop a shark and ray safe handling and practices guide for recreational fishers in southern Australia. I coordinating a communications campaign aimed at causing behavioural change of fishers in their interactions with captured sharks and rays in Victoria. The resources generated from the project enable improved safety for the recreational fishers and improved outcomes for Victorian shark and ray populations.

From 2021-2022 I completed a one-year Postdoctoral Fellowship at Florida Atlantic University with Prof. Jeanette Wyneken at the FAU Marine Laboratory . I primarily worked on sea turtle husbandry and spatial ecology, applying satellite tags to early-life history stage turtles and uncovering where ‘lost-years’ turtles spend their time at sea.

My current Research Fellowship at Monash University started in August 2022. I am continuing to work on sea turtle and crocodile ecophysiology projects that have direct conservation applications. I am also maintaining my collaborative spatial ecology research on sea turtles ‘lost-years’ and looking to expand this area of research to work on tracking turtles here in Australia. I am also lecturing in the School of Biological Sciences, currently teaching into the 3rd year Tropical and Terrestrial Biology course. I am open to supervising Honours and Postgraduate Research students here at Monash. Potential projects include:

  1. Using social science to understand recreational fisheries practices and applying conservation psychology to improve sustainability.
  2. Assessment of the impact of egg relocation techniques on the embryonic development and mortality of turtle eggs.
  3. Investigation of the biochemistry and antimicrobial properties of sea turtle oviducal fluids.