What about the Clam Eaters!
Do people matter?

Cafe Scientifique August

August Speaker: Dr Phil Ross

The study of marine ecology has often focused on understanding the impacts of humans on marine ecosystems, largely taking the view that humans sit outside of the natural environment. Under this regime, our knowledge of marine ecology has evolved and we have become very good at measuring the decline of the environment, often at our own hand. In spite of our continually improving ecological understanding, we often struggle to identify solutions to environmental problems, some of which threaten our way of life.

In this talk I explore the other side of the human-environment dichotomy. Taking a lead from human centric research fields, I place human motivation and action at the centre of ecological thinking and ask what knowledge can be attained to guide environmental management. Using the toheroa (Paphies ventricosa) as an example, I explore the human drivers of the rise and fall of this iconic clam fishery, the human consequences of the decline of this treasured species and consider actions that can be taken to address issues identified using this method.

Dr Phil Ross is a marine ecologist working at the University of Waikato’s Coastal Marine Field Station in Tauranga. His areas of specialty are environmental history, marine community ecology and molecular ecology. Phil’s research focuses on understanding human-environment interactions over time and how communities of sea creatures respond to and recover from disturbances – particularly human induced disturbances.

Phil completed a BSc and then MSc at the University of Auckland and Leigh Marine Laboratory where he examined the utilisation of seafloor habitats by juvenile fish and the effects of trawling on seafloor habitats. After a period of working overseas as an oceanography technician and fish biologist, he returned to New Zealand to undertake a PhD at the University of Waikato using genetic methods to investigate larval dispersal of coastal invertebrates.

Since 2012 Phil has worked at the University of Waikato in Tauranga studying the Rena shipwreck and the mysterious toheroa.

Date: Monday 19th August 2019
Time: 6:30pm for a 7pm start. All over by 9pm.
Place: Tauranga Yacht & Power Boat Club Inc, 90 Keith Allen Drive, Tauranga

Cost: Door fee of $5 covers the venue, tea / coffee and a nibble

Register with Eventbrite so we know the right number of chairs to put out. No need to print the ticket

Café Scientifique is a regular Tauranga-based seminar series where anyone can explore the latest scientific thinking and research from national and international speakers, in a relaxed setting.

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