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Its mostly about seagrasses...

Research Projects

We combine expertise in field ecology, physiology, population genetics and genomics to improve outcomes for management, ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation in the face of ever growing pressures of an expanding human population and economic growth.Seagrass meadows in tropical and temperate Western Australia are sites of extreme biodiversity and endemism, globally. 


Our major research programs address species diversity and distribution in relation to the physical environment, stress biology, biotic interactions (competition, herbivory, predation, microbes), genetic and genomic diversity, gene expression, and resilience of these ecosystems. The combined approach to research increases our understanding of historical and contemporary patterns and processes. 


Seagrass meadows make a significant contribution to ecosystem health and productivity, yet they still decline due to anthropogenic activities and are vulnerable to extreme climatic events. The loss of seagrass meadows globally continues at a pace beyond which they can be restored. We are working to overcome some of the inherent and very real problems of restoring a marine environment, developing methods to scale-up restoration and assist natural recovery.

Current Projects

Impacts of future climate on the threatened Posidonia australis

This project will combine laboratory experiments and genomic methods to understand the combined impacts of low salinity and light (as a result of increased rainfall events) on the threatened seagrass Posidonia australis and its ability to recover. 

Future proofing and restoring Australia’s tropical seagrasses

This project aims to develop and apply a comprehensive framework for restoration of Australian tropical seagrasses using innovative approaches and partnerships.

Seagrass restoration at Useless Loop, Shark Bay

This project is the next stage in seagrass restoration research and involves the scaling up of restoration methods to achieve hectare scale restoration plots.

WAMSI Marine Science Program

Westport has partnered with Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) to deliver a major collaborative science program on the marine environment at Cockburn Sound.

Developing commercial practices for Asparagopsis seaweed cultivation at scale: an opportunity for rapid industry growth and optimising social and environmental outcomes

This project will address the key knowledge blocks to unlock the potential for an Asparagposis industry in Northern Australia.

Saving seagrass from climate change

This project aims to test whether seagrass ecosystems can be safe guarded from climate change by enhancing genetic connectivity in range edge populations using novel genetic rescue techniques.

Ecosystem resilience of Shark Bay under changing ocean climate

This project aims to investigate the resilience of the Shark Bay World Heritage Site to projected climate change.

Utilising plant-sediment-feedbacks to enhance seagrass restoration

This project aims to investigate the role of sediment microbes in promoting the health of threatened seagrass species across Australia.

Assisting restoration of ecosystem engineers through seed-based and shoot-based programs in the Shark Bay World Heritage Site

Development of genetically-informed restoration methods to assist recovery of Shark Bay seagrasses with the Traditional Owners - Malgana Aboriginal Corporation.

Seagrass adaptation and acclimation responses to extreme climatic events

How do temperate marine plants respond to the effects of synergistic stressors from extreme climate events combined with climate change?

Healing old wounds: Restoring Posidonia australis in mooring scars

Operation Posidonia is developing effective methods to restore old mooring scars within Posidonia meadows?

Seeds for Snapper

Recreational fishers are getting active in an Australian first - the 'Seeds for Snapper' project is part of a massive effort to restore the lost seagrass meadows of Cockburn Sound.

Corner Inlet Broadleaf Seagrass Project

Restoration of Broadleaf Seagrass communities in Corner Inlet with the Yarram Yarram Landcare.

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