Ecological responses to cumulative effects
Credit: Ōhiwa Harbour, Sustainable Seas
20 May

Webinar: Shady business: The problem with mud in our estuaries

Our estuaries are in trouble. One of the main culprits is sediment from land run-off which can darken the waters and increases muddiness when it settles on the seabed. 

This can impact coastal biodiversity affecting a range of ecosystem services, such as the production of marine plants like seagrass or microalgae, the ability of sediment to regenerate nutrients and the ability of shellfish filter-feeders to keep the water clear. 

In this webinar, Conrad Pilditch (University of Waikato), Simon Thrush (University of Auckland), Kura Paul-Burke (University of Waikato) and Megan Carbines (Auckland Council) will discuss the effects of terrestrial sediments on estuary ecosystems and discuss future management strategies informed by research from Tipping points and Ecological responses to cumulative effects. 

REcording available here

Who is it for? 

This webinar is free and open to anyone, but will be of particular interest to regional councils, DOC, MfE, marine managers, marine scientists, students, communities and anyone interested in estuaries.

Will it be recorded? 

Yes, our webinars are recorded and made available online. 

About the speakers 

Conrad Pilditch is Professor of Marine Science at the University of Waikato, and is Theme Leader for the Degradation and recovery research in Phase II of the Challenge. He was previously the Dynamic Seas Programme Leader in Phase I. He has worked extensively in both coastal and deep-sea environments. His research interests focus on the dynamics of marine soft sediment ecosystems, and on determining biodiversity and ecosystem function responses to globally important stressors in harbours and estuaries. This research provides critical links between field-based science and models of ecosystem processes that underpin marine management.  

Simon Thrush been working on marine ecology, marine ecosystem services, resilience and tipping points in marine ecosystems and human impacts in New Zealand for over 30 years. Building on previous research and applications addressing sediment impacts in our coastal zone, his work in the Challenge has been focused on identifying the risk of abrupt changes in in ecosystems that can surprise managers. This has highlighted the critical need to address cumulative effects and reframe our management practice and support actions to restore the biodiversity and ecosystem services of coastal ecosystems. In Phase I Simon led the Tipping points project and currently co-leads the Ecological responses to cumulative effects project with Kura Paul-Burke. 

Kura Paul-Burke (Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakahemo) is Associate Professor at Mātai Moana/Marine Research at University of Waikato, scientific diver and trans-disciplinary researcher with extensive pragmatic knowledge combining mātauranga Māori and science to assist co-developed kaitiakitanga. She leads the Awhi Mai, Awhi Atu project, which is looking at how mātauranga Māori, science and local kaitiakitanga can be used to better understand the culturally and socially important marine species in Ōhiwa Harbour. She also co-leads the Ecological responses to cumulative effects project with Simon Thrush. 

Megan Carbines is a senior Principal Scientist at Auckland Council and is currently acting manager for Air Land and Biodiversity within the Environmental Research and Evaluation| Research and Evaluation Unit. Megan has played a substantial role developing and overseeing estuarine monitoring programs in the Auckland region where land derived sediment inputs has been a concern. The work Megan oversees contributes State of the Environment Reports, informs policy and management of the coastal zone. During Phase I Megan sat on the Dynamic Seas advisory panel and contributed to the co-development of Phase II research 

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