Changes in Biodiversity – Ecosystem Function relationships in soft sediments and implications for ecosystem-based management


Friday, 17 March, 2017 - 15:00


Mathews Theatre D, Mathews Building, UNSW Kensington Campus


Evolution and Ecology Research Centre

Type of event: 

  • Estuarine and coastal marine sediments support a diverse range of ecosystem services.
  • Critical functions that underpin some services include processing organic matter, nutrient transformation and productivity. 
  • These functions are a product of a complex set of interactions. 
  • The importance of different indicators of biodiversity and their influence on ecosystem function can vary associated with levels of environmental stress. 
  • These types of ecosystem dynamics highlight the risk of cumulative impacts and regime shifts.
  • Consequently there is a need to design new studies to identify “limits” in the context of Ecosystem-Based Management.


Professor Simon Thrush obtained a Bachelor of Science (Hons) from the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a PhD from the University of East Anglia, England. He is the Director of the Institute of Marine Science at the University of Auckland.

Simon has extensive experience in the development and implementation of strategic ecological research to influence resource management and improve societal valuation of marine ecosystems. His research interests include coastal and estuarine marine ecology; the influence of disturbance events on populations and communities and their implications for recovery and resilience; ecological impact assessment, particularly of diffuse source and/or broad-scale effects; the design and implementation of ecological monitoring programmes; the environmental effects of fishing; organism-sediment interactions; organism-hydrodynamic interactions; functional biodiversity and biocomplexity.

He has contributed to over 200 publications in the peer reviewed scientific literature, interacts extensively with resource management agencies and collaborates with colleagues around the world.