Sediment tolerance and mortality thresholds of benthic habitats


Webinar: Sea-floor species health and survival to underwater 'sediment clouds'

Human activities, such as mining and fishing, can generate suspended sediment - or sediment 'clouds' - that affect the health and survival of deep-sea species.

In this webinar, Malcolm Clark and Vonda Cummings (both Principal Scientists at NIWA) will discuss the results and challenges of the Sediment tolerance and mortality thresholds of benthic habitats project from Phase I of the Challenge.

This project investigated innovative laboratory experiments to understand how resilient species are, and how quickly they can recover from suspended sediment levels that could arise from human activities. Trials were completed on two deep-sea animals: dog cockles and a sponge, both which can be found in the Taranaki Bight area.

This webinar is free and open to anyone interested. It will be of particular interest to marine researchers, local government staff, marine managers, or anyone completing environmental impact assessments in the marine environment.


About the speakers 
Dr Malcolm Clark, Principal Scientist, NIWA

Malcolm worked extensively on stock assessment of deepwater fish in the 1980s and 1990s before broadening research to more general ecology of deep-sea ecosystems, especially seamounts, from the Pacific Islands to the Antarctic. His recent work focusses on evaluating environmental effects of human activities (such as commercial fishing and potential seabed mining), and development of ecological risk and impact assessments.

Dr Vonda Cummings, Principal Scientist, NIWA

Vonda is a marine ecologist interested in the functioning of coastal communities and the environmental factors that influence them. Her research is focused on the implications of ocean acidification, climate change and other human-derived changes (including sediment impacts!) to our oceans, and their implications for key components of NZ and Antarctic ecosystems, most recently through the CARIM Coastal Acidification project.


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