In collaboration with the Marine Conservation Ecology Lab at James Cook University (Australia), led by Professor Geoff Jones, Mahonia Na Dari initiated the Resident Researcher program in 1996. Over two decades later the program has gone from strength to strength with current and past researchers conducting their postgraduate research in Kimbe Bay.
Researchers spend significant amounts of time at Mahonia Na Dari and are also involved in delivering some aspects of the Marine Environmental Education Program.
Current Resident Researchers
Melissa is monitoring inshore anemonefish populations to understand their response to environmental stress exposure. She looks at a range of abiotic and biotic factors including temperature, turbidity and predator density. Her research focusses on how population dynamics change during disturbance events such as bleaching or flooding
Previous Resident Researchers
Dr Jacob Eurich
Resident Researcher 2014-17
Jacob studied the mechanisms that drive species distributions and ecological partitioning along gradients in the natural environment in Kimbe Bay. The coexistence of ecologically similar species were examined by investigating fine-scale species distributions, microhabitat use, and competition in a guild of seven territorial damselfishes. Using species comparisons, ecological surveys, and extensive field experiments, Jacob’s research addressed novel questions about the ecology and functional role of intermediate territorial damselfish and the resulting community effects. Jacob was a MND Resident Researcher from 2014-2017 and completed his PhD in 2018. Learn more about his research here.
Dr Lisa Boström Einarsson
Resident Researcher 2012-15
Lisa is a marine disturbance ecologist, who conducted her Honours and PhD thesis fieldwork in Kimbe Bay between 2010-2016, and acted as the Resident Researcher between 2012-2015.
Lisa's thesis project investigated the consequences of habitat degradation to the ecology of reef fishes. In particular, she explored how behavioural interactions were affected by habitat degradation, and investigated the link to species loss following coral degradation. Lisa also started a side-project while in Kimbe Bay, where she developed a cost-effective and widely available method to cull crown-of-thorns starfish. The method achieves 100% mortality using a single shot of household white vinegar and is now widely used throughout the Indo-Pacific region, and on the Great Barrier Reef.
Dr Naomi Gardiner
Resident Researcher 2005-08
In that time I explored the behavioural ecology of cardinalfish, for which Kimbe Bay hosts over 35 spp. I discovered that the most commonly seen species are quite specialist in their use of habitats, and really like sleeping among branching Porites corals. I explored their incredible homing behaviour and site fidelity finding that some species will ‘home’ back from 5km away just to get back to their original coral shelter. Their behaviour was so strong that these 5cm long fish would swim 2km overnight to get home.
Dr Maya Srinivasan
Resident Researcher 1999-2000