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Marine Ecology Research Centre

Dr Anna Scott

Dr Anna Scott B. Appl. Sc (1st Class Honours SCU), PhD (SCU)

Position: Senior Lecturer
Course Coordinator, Bachelor and Master of Marine Science and Management
Unit Assessor for Marine Systems Science and Management, and Sustainable Use of the Marine Environment
Biology Head-Start Coordinator, National Marine Science Centre

Research Summary

Anna uses sea anemones and anemonefishes as model organisms to answer a variety of research questions throughout tropical and subtropical reefs of the Indo-Pacific. Her research has four main themes, these include:

  1. Investigating the reproductive biology of host sea anemones. This research has provided the first scientific description of the sexual reproduction, larval development, settlement and metamorphosis of two species of host sea anemones.
  2. Developing captive breeding techniques for host anemones. Sexual and asexual propagation techniques have been developed that would allow sea anemones to be bred in captivity rather than taking them from reefs for the marine aquarium trade. These techniques present feasible solutions for reducing the impacts of aquarium collecting pressures, and could also allow for the restoration of areas that have already been impacted by human or natural disturbances.
  3. Documenting the distribution and abundance of anemones and anemonefishes. To address the lack of information about the distribution and abundance of host anemones and their resident fish, surveys have been done from the Great Barrier Reef to their southern distribution limits on the east coast of Australia in shallow and mesophotic environments. As our climate changes, these studies provide important data on the existing distribution patterns, especially as there is evidence that poleward range-shifts are occurring.
  4. Determining the impacts of bleaching and climate change on various aspects of the symbiosis. Host anemones also form a lesser known symbiosis with single-celled algae called Symbiodinium. During times of environmental stress this relationship can break down, leading to bleaching and anemone mortality. This research has documented temperature induced bleaching thresholds and the protective mechanisms that may be used to counteract stress, and thus has important implications for the conservation and management of these species.

Publications

Anna with anemone Refereed journal articles

A list of Anna's publications is available through the following link:Google Scholar

Please contact her for copies: anna.scott@scu.edu.au.