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Mr Owen Burnell
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After completing an undergraduate honours degree in 2008 I worked for an environmental based Project Management and Environmental Management consultancy for 18 months, working primarily on environmental improvement projects in aquatic systems. In early 2010 I returned to The University of Adelaide under the supervision of A/Prof Sean Connell, Dr Bayden Russell and Dr Andrew Irving to commence my PhD thanks to an APA Scholarship.
My current research interests are focussed on the effects of both global- and local-scale stressors and how these are likely to affect plant-herbivore interactions in contemporary and future temperate seagrass meadows. Recent observations have shown sea urchin overgrazing can denude areas of local seagrass beds to a point where ecosystem services are impaired and recovery appears unlikely without significant new recruitment. My current research has two primary aims (1) to identify the primary causes of this observed overgrazing and (2) to investigate how plant-herbivore interactions of this nature may change under the application of local and global climate change. Of particular interest to me is how global climate change (i.e. temperature rise and ocean acidification) will modify top-down (i.e. grazing pressure) and bottom-up (i.e. seagrass growth) control in temperate seagrass beds. Changes to plant-herbivore interactions will be particularly important in forecasting ecosystem response to local and global change.
§ Burnell OW, Russell BD, Irving AD, Connell SD (in press) Eutrophication offsets increased sea urchin grazing on seagrass caused by ocean warming and acidification. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, accepted 5/3/2012. doi:10.3354/meps10323.
§ Russell BD, Connell SD, Mellin C, Brook BW, Burnell OW, Fordham DA (2012) Predicting the distribution of commercially viable invertebrate stocks under future climate. PLoS ONE, 7(12): e46554. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046554.
§ Falkenberg LJ, Burnell OW, Connell SD, Russell BD (2010) Sustainability in Near-shore Marine Systems: Promoting Natural Resilience. Sustainability 2: 2593-2600.
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Last Modified 16/08/2012 M&SC
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