Skip to Content
Marine Ecology Research Centre

Kathryn Brown

Kathryn Brown B.AppSc (Coastal Management) SCU, 2007
B.EnvSc (1st Class Hons) SCU, 2009
PhD candidate

Research Summary

Kathryn completed her undergraduate degree at Southern Cross University and in her Honours year she researched the fine-scale distribution of humpback whales on their southern migration past Cape Byron, for which she was awarded the University Medal. She was successful in obtaining an APA scholarship to undertake a PhD project to assess the ecological risks to marine biota of hydrocarbon contaminants associated with the use of fuels in Antarctic waters.

This project is funded by an Australian Antarctic Science grant to address the lack of ecotoxicological data needed to assess the impacts of hydrocarbon contaminants in seawater on Antarctic marine species. Kathryn has participated in three research expeditions to the Antarctic continent where she conducted a range of experiments to investigate the toxicity of hydrocarbons from fuels commonly used in Antarctica. These fuels include marine diesels and intermediate fuel oils that are carried in large quantities in Antarctic waters and the experiments aimed to determine the behaviour and bioavailability of fuel hydrocarbons mixed in cold seawater and assess their toxicity to early life stages of a range of Antarctic marine invertebrates. Early life stages are often the most sensitive to pollution, and effects from contamination can decrease reproductive success and impair recruitment of larvae and juveniles, leading to ecologically significant population level impacts. The results from this research will provide the first detailed information on the effects of fuel pollutants on the reproductive success and survival of a range of Antarctic marine invertebrates, and these data provide key information needed for risk assessment models to predict the potential hazards associated with the use of fuels in Antarctica.

Awards

University Medal
Southern Cross University, 2009

Best Poster Presentation
In session 'Conservation and the Protection of Antarctica: The Marine System'

XXXII Open Science Conference of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. Portland, Oregon, USA, July 2012

Publications

Manuscripts in preparation

"Reproduction and early life history growth of the Antarctic gammarid amphipod Paramoera walkeri (Stebbing, 1906)"

"Behaviour and chemistry of diesel and residual fuel oil water accommodated fractions in seawater under Antarctic conditions"

"Toxicity of water accommodated fractions of diesel fuels and residual fuel oil to juvenile and adult Antarctic amphipods Paramoera walkeri"

"Effects of water accommodated fractions of diesel fuels and residual fuel oil on fertilisation and embryonic and larval development of the Antarctic sea urchin Sterechinus nuemayeri "

"Lethal and sublethal effects of water accommodated fractions of diesel fuels and residual fuel oil to late-stage juveniles of Abatus ingens Antarctic heart urchins"

"Effects of water accommodated fractions of diesel fuels and residual fuel oil on embryonic and larval development of the Antarctic bivalve Laternula elliptica"

Kim, L.T., Nichols, J.D. and Brown, K. Firewood extraction and use in rural Vietnam: A household model for three communes in Hatinh Province. Submitted.

Conference Presentations

Brown, K., Burns, D., Harrison, P. and Kniest, E. (2009) Fine-scale distribution patterns of humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) on their southern migration past Cape Byron, eastern Australia. 18th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals, Quebec City, Canada, October 2009.

Brown, K., King, C., George, S., Lane, A. and Harrison, P. (2012) Assessing toxicity of diesel and fuel oil on early life stages of Antarctic marine invertebrates. Proceedings of the 2nd SETAC Australasia Conference. Brisbane, Australia, July 2012.

Brown, K., King, C., George, S., Lane, A. and Harrison, P. (2012) Assessing toxicity of diesel and fuel oil on early life stages of Antarctic marine invertebrates. XXXII Open Science Conference of the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. Portland, Oregon, USA, July 2012.

Brown, K., King, C., Lane, A. Kotzakoulakis, K., George, S. and Harrison, P. (2013) Sensitivity of the Antarctic amphipod Paramoera walkeri to diesel and fuel oil: Lethal and behavioural impacts. Strategic Science in Antarctica; A joint Australian & New Zealand Conference, Hobart, Australia, June 2013.