Ningaloo sea life studied
Three PhD students from the University of WA will be conducting research along the Ningaloo coast as part of BHP Billiton and CSIRO’s Ningaloo Outlook project.
Ningaloo Outlook is a five-year research project that started in February of 2015 and aims to help conserve, understand, and manage the unique reef.
It is split into three themes: deep reef, shallow reef and tagging turtles and sharks.
Each of the students will be assigned to one of the research categories.
Joe Turner, Anna Cresswell and Jessica Stubbs were chosen out of 70 applicants and landed in the Pilbara just one month ago.
Since they arrived, they have been studying and deciding on a topic for their PhD, which will take more than three years to complete.
Ms Cresswell, who will be work- ing on shallow reefs, is from Tasmania but is familiar with the Ningaloo coast.
“In 2010 for six months — in my gap year between school and starting my degree — I worked for Coral Bay Adventures,” she said.
“That kind of inspired me… so now I’m hoping to come back and develop a knowledge for the area so we can effectively manage it.”
Mr Turner, who has come all the way from the UK, will undertake his PhD on the Ningaloo’s deep reef habits.
Ms Stubbs, a WA local, will be looking at the habits of the reef ’s turtles and sharks.
BHP environmental supervisor Tim Cooper is excited to see what the students would bring to the project.
“(Students have) always got some new ideas. They’re playing with technology and innovating and they just add that extra level of enthusiasm to a project,” he said.
UWA PhD students Anna Cresswell, Jessica Stubbs and Joe Turner are researching the Ningaloo coast as part of the CSIRO Ningaloo Outlook project.