Adam’s PhD aims to explore how plastic entanglement impacts marine predator populations by studying the effects of entanglement on the health and behaviour of Australian fur seals. As part of this, he is testing new methods for the use of drone-brone thermal and colour imaging techniques to better detect and quantify rates of entanglement in Australian fur seal populations. Adam is also examining the effects of entanglement on the health (via physiological markers of stress) and behaviour (via accelerometry, time-depth-recorders, and GPS tracking) of Australian fur seals at Seal Rocks, off Phillip Island.
Julia’s PhD project will investigate how changes in the environment influence the foraging and breeding performance of little penguins in the urban colony of St Kilda. This study will focus on their spatial distribution, foraging performance, dietary diversity, diving behaviour and reproductive outcome.