Research

From cool water help forests to diverse coral reefs, I have 1500+ logged dives over 5+ years as a scientific diver. I have worked in a range of environmental conditions around the world with a majority of my research conducted in the Oceania region .

Counting fish during a research dive in The Solomon Islands

Experience

Over 2014 and 2015 I joined a team of scientists from the Khaled Bin Sultan’s Living Oceans Foundation as part of their Global Reef Expedition.  On board research vessel The Golden Shadow, I worked as a fish surveyor on expeditions on The Great Barrier Reef, Solomon Islands, Palau, Maldives, and The Chagos Archipelago.

Fish survey sheet after one dive in the Chagos Archipelago

Training

In 2013 I completed a two week ADAS course in scientific diving with an emphasis on working safely and effectively as members of an integrated occupational dive team. During the course I was assessed on the use of a variety of modern diving equipment including full face masks with effective communications, sampling and survey tasks.

Training dive entry during ADAS scientific diver course in Tasmania

Over 2013 and 2014 I worked alongside a range of marine scientists and received training as a fish surveyor in Raja Ampat, West Papua as part of my year as the Australasian OWUSS Rolex Scholar.

Comparing fish data during a research expedition in The Great Barrier Reef. Photo: Jurgen Freund

In 2012 I moved to Perth to begin a fieldwork intensive research project involving habitat forming seaweeds in South Western Australia.

Background

During a marine heatwave in the region in the summer 2011,  seawater temperatures soared above annual averages. A local canopy forming seaweed (Scytothalia dorycarpa) was particularly impacted contracting it’s range up to 100km poleward.

Study sites and mean seawater temperature averages from 2006 to 2010

Research 

Through field observations and culture growth experiments,  my research investigated the temperature sensitivity, reproductive timing and recruitment success of this widespread foundation seaweed. My research findings were published in Marine Ecology Progress Series journal in 2014.

At the completion of my fieldwork I was awarded the University of Western Australia’s Ray Hart Memorial Scholarship for demonstrating a commitment to developing skills in field ecological research and a commitment to apply field research to achieve a broad and pragmatic insight into interdisciplinary ecological studies

Scytothalia dorycarpa receptacles holding gametes during the winter of 2012.

Publications:

2017: Castro-Sanguino C, Bozec  , Dempsey A, Samaniego B, Lubarsky K, Andrews S, Komyakova V, Ortiz J, Robbins W, Renaud P, Mumby P.  Detecting conservation benefits of marine reserves on remote reefs of the northern GBR. PLOS ONE-D-17-21214R2

2014: Andrews, S., Bennett, S., Wernberg, T. Reproductive seasonality and early life temperature sensitivity reflect vulnerability of a range-contracting seaweed. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 495: 119-129

Awards and grants

  • 2013: Australasian Our World Underwater Scholarship Society. Rolex Scholar.“Having potential to make significant contributions to the underwater world”
  • 2012: Ray Hart Memorial Scholarship. The University of Western Australia “Demonstrating a commitment to developing skills in field ecological research and a commitment to apply field research to achieve a broad and pragmatic insight into interdisciplinary ecological studies”
  • 2012: Andrews S, Bennett S, Wernberg T.  National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, Marine Adaptation Network Honours and Masters Research Support Grant. Western Australia “Temperature tolerances and assisted rehabilitation of temperate seaweed populations”