Research Students

Postgraduate Research

Sonia Brazao

Location: Room 111 | Phone: 9351 4931 | Email:

Sonia Brazao completed her BSc in Marine Biology at the University of Lisbon in 2002 and a MSc in Marine & Coastal Studies at the University of Algarve (Portugal) in 2009. For her masters, she focused on the ecological and biochemical responses of key biological indicators species, such as the intertidal limpet Patella spp. in order to investigate its potential as an indicator of current pollution events and future climate change. She has just started her PhD and under the supervision of Prof. Ross Coleman, Prof. Stephen Simpson and Dr. Richard Murphy she will be studying the ecology of limpets on New South Wales rocky shores focusing principally on the interaction between food intake and biochemical profiles in natural and artificial habitats in order to investigate the effect of man-made structures on limpet biochemical responses.

Ana B Bugnot

Location: Room 118 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

Ana B Bugnot ("Licenciatura", University of Buenos Aires, 2008) is enrolled in a full-time Ph.D. funded by IPRS/IPS scholarships awarded by the University of Sydney. During her undergraduate thesis, Ana studied the reproductive system of freshwater crayfish for aquaculture proposes. Her Ph.D. project is focused on the invasion of the cirolanid isopod Cirolana harfordi and its habitat occurrence and biological interactions in Sydney Harbour. (Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Ross Coleman, Dr. Will Figueira and Dr Ezequiel (Ziggy) Marzinelli (UNSW))

Michael Carsley

Location: Room 121 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

Michael Carsley (M.A. Business, Admin, Finance and Strategy; Uni. Washington). After working a number of years in the Finance/Business sector, I decided to do a PhD in marine biology. My project is loosely entitled "Trophic models of coral reef ecosystem communities – attempting to identify structural affects attributable to apex predators" (Supervised by Dr. Will Figueira and Dr Mark Meekan (AIMS))

Clarissa Fraser

Location: Room 124 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

Clarissa Fraser (B.Sc. (Hons) Science, University of Sydney) I completed my Honours in biology at the University of Sydney in 2010 studying limpet orientation on rocky intertidal shores. I have recently commenced my Ph.D (APA funded). where I will build on my honours findings by examining the behaviour which can result in a directional bias in an individual's orientation and the possible consequences of an individual's orientation may have for that individual. (Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Ross Coleman and Assoc. Prof. Frank Seebacher)

Robert Hunt

Location: Room 116 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

Robert Hunt (B.Sc. James Cook University of North Queensland, 1993) is enrolled in a full-time Ph.D. The research is an ARC Linkage Project supported by NSW Fisheries and the NSW Recreational Fishing Saltwater Trust Expenditure Committee (RFSTEC). His Ph.D. project is focused on developing evaluation tools that identify regulatory strategies most likely to achieve recreational fisheries management objectives and design cost-effective recreational angler surveys to measure the performance of regulation change. (Supervised by Dr. Will Figueira, Dr Aldo Steffe (NSW Fisheries) and Dr James Scandol (NSW Health Department))

Kiran Liversage

Location: Room 120 | Phone: 9351 4931 | Email:

Aline Sbizera Martinez

Location: Room 120 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

A photo of Aline Sbizera Martinez with a starfish

Aline Sbizera Martinez (B. Sc. Oceanography, University of Rio Grande – FURG, 2005; M.Sc. Aquatic Ecology, University of Rio Grande do Norte –UFRN, 2008) is enrolled in a full-time Ph.D, funded by an Endeavour scholarship awarded by the Australian Government. She has developed research of spatial distribution of benthic fauna on rocky shores as an undergraduate at FURG, and on reef systems in the Northeast of Brazil at UFRN. Her Ph.D study is focused on the interaction of herbivorous starfishes and gastropod grazers between rock pools and emergent rocks and the subsequent effects on algal assemblages. (Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Ross Coleman, Prof. Maria Byrne and Dr. Richard Murphy).

  • Martinez, A.S., Mendes, L.F. & Leite, T.S (2012) Spatial distribution of epibenthic molluscs on a sandstone reef in the Northeast of Brazil. Brazilian Journal of Biology, 72, 1-12
  • Martinez, A. S. (2012) Spatial distribution of the invasive bivalve Isognomon bicolor on rocky shores of Arvoredo Island (Santa Catarina, Brazil). Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 92, 495–503
  • Martinez, A. S. (2011) Is the biodiversity of Brazilian rocky shores endangered by an invasive bivalve? JMBA Global Marine Environment, 14, 38-39
Scholarships and Grants
  • Endeavour Awards / Ph.D Scholarship – Australian Government (2012)
  • Dr Paris Goodsell Marine Ecology Research Grant (2012)
  • CAPES / MSc Scholarship – Brazilian Government (2006)
  • Idea Wild Grant (2006)
  • Project AWARE Foundation Grant (2005)
  • CNPq / Undergraduate Scholarship - Brazilian Government (2004)
Unpublished Conference Presentations
  • Martinez, A.S., Mendes, L.F. & Leite, T.S (2009) Richness and distribution of epibenthic molluscs on a sandstone reef in the northeast of Brazil. III Latin American Conference of Ecology. 10-13/sept, São Lourenço, MG, Brazil.
  • Martinez, A.S. & Mendes, L.F. (2007) Avaliação preliminar da malacofauna nos recifes de Búzios e Pirangi (RN): subsídio para a implementação de uma Unidade de conservação. XII Congresso Latino-Americano de Ciências do Mar - XII COLACMAR, 15-19/apr, Florianópolis, SC, Brazil.
  • Martinez, A. S.; Pinotti, R. M. & Bemvenuti, C. E. (2005) Caracterização da comunidade bentônica nos costões rochosos da Ilha do Arvoredo, Rebiomar Arvoredo, SC, Brasil. II Congresso Brasileiro de Oceanografia, 09 -14/oct, Vitória, ES, Brazil.
  • Martinez, A. S.; Pinotti, R. M. & Bemvenuti, C. E. (2005) Distribuição e abundância do bivalvo Isognomon bicolor (Mollusca: Pterioida), espécie exótica, na Ilha do Arvoredo, Santa Catarina. II Congresso Brasileiro de Oceanografia, 09 -14/oct, Vitória, ES, Brazil.

David McElroy

Location: Room 111 | Phone: 9351 4931 | Email:

David McElroy is a Ph.D. candidate who does manipulative ecological experiments using subtidal macro-invertebrates and bio-films as his study system. He is interested in how historical contingencies such as contamination legacy and species arrival order affect succession and settlement. (Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Ross Coleman and Assoc. Prof. Dieter Hochuli)

Project: Historical contingencies in marine eco-toxicology

  • McElroy, D.J., Nguyen, H.D. & Byrne, M. (2012) Respiratory response of the intertidal seastar Parvulastra exigua to contemporary and near-future pulses of warming and hypercapnia, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 416–417, 1-7.
  • Byrne, M., Soars, N., Ho, M., Wong, E., McElroy, D., Selvakumaraswamy, P., Dworjanyn, S. & Davis, A. (2010) Fertilization in a suite of coastal marine invertebrates from SE Australia is robust to near-future ocean warming and acidification. Marine Biology, 157, 2061-2069.
Grants and Prizes
  • 2012, University of Sydney, Ruhm Fellows
  • 2011, University of Sydney, Paris Goodsell Memorial Grant-in-Aid
  • 2010 — 2013, University of Sydney, Australian Postgraduate Award
  • 2009, Sydney Marine Aquarium Society, University Marine Research Prize
  • 2009, Aust. Mar. Sci. Assoc. Conference, CSIRO Editor’s Choice Student Poster Prize
  • 2008—2009, USYD, Medical Sciences Summer and Honours Scholarships
Unpublished Conference Presentations
  • "The effect of copper and contamination history on micro-algal type and abundance using field spectrometry" Aust. Mar. Sci. Ass. 2012, Ecological Society of America 2012
  • "The effect of temperature and ph/pCO2 on Parvulastra exigua oxygen uptake" – AMSA, 2010 & Ecological Society of Australia 2011
  • "Exploring the synergistic effect of two climate change stressors (ocean warming and acidification) on life stages of the seastar Patiriella regularis" – AMSA, 2009

Rodrigo Roman

Location: Room 113 | Phone: 9351 4931 | Email:

Rodrigo Roman, (Professional Marine Biologist, Universidad de Valparaiso, Chile). During my Honours years I studied the spatial - temporal abundance and distribution of microgastropods from sub-tidal hard substrata. After my years of study I was employed at the same centre (Montemar) as Research Assistant in various projects related to gastropod distribution. My PhD research (APA funded) will test hypotheses that the existing boundaries set between marine bioregions in NSW are supported (or not) under ecological experiments. (Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Ross Coleman and Dr Melanie Bishop (Macquarie))

Natalie Soars

Location: Room 117 | Phone: 9351 4931 | Email:

Natalie Soars (B.Sc. (Marine Science, Hons) University of Sydney 2006) is enrolled in a full time PhD funded by a UPA scholarship from the University of Sydney and a doctoral fellowship from the Sydney Institute of Marine Science. Her honours work focused on the phenotypic plasticity of arm length in sea urchin larvae in response to food availability. For her PhD she is recording the sounds produced by sea urchins, particularly the habitat modifier Centrostephanus rodgersii, and investigating the biological and ecological significance of the sounds.

Emily Williams

Location: Room 119 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

Emily Williams (B.Sc. (Marine Science, Hons), University of Sydney, 2008) is currently enrolled in a full-time Ph.D. with a USydIS scholarship awarded by the University of Sydney. During her Honours year she investigated the distribution and movements of limpets in NSW based on size-classes. For her Ph.D., Emily aims to examine the effects of marine parasitic trematodes on their snail hosts, such as castration of the snail, if the snail can mount an immune response and how energy pathways change with infection status. (Supervised by Assoc. Prof. Ross Coleman, Assoc. Prof. Ashley Ward and Dr Fleur Ponton)


Stephanie Garside

Location: Room 110 | Phone: 9351 4282 | Email:

Ryan Keith

Location: Room 154 | Phone: 9351 4679 | Email: