Early career marine ecologist wins Southwood Prize

Dr Dominic McAfee

Congratulations to Environment Institute Future Making Fellow, Dr Dominic McAfee, on winning the 2023 Journal of Applied Ecology Southwood Prize for the best paper by an early career researcher.

Earlier this month the British Ecological Society (BES) announced its winners of journal prizes for research published in 2023, including the Southwood Prize. The Southwood Prize is awarded in memory of Prof. Sir Richard Southwood, one of the twentieth century’s most eminent and influential zoologists and ecologists.  Dominic earned the award as lead author of the publication titled "Soundscape Enrichment Enhances Recruitment and Habitat Building on New Oyster Reef Restorations".

Soundscape ecology studies the sounds of natural environments to gain insights into ecological processes across different areas and timeframes. In this article, Dominic and his collaborators shed light on the crucial role that healthy underwater soundscapes play in the restoration of oyster reefs.  Oyster recruitment increased by up to 18 times in sites where speakers played recordings collected from healthy reefs and the authors observed a 4.3-fold increase in the construction of three-dimensional habitats in sound-enriched sites.

Find out about other British Ecological Society’s journal prize winners here.

Tagged in Awards, Conservation Science and Technology, Environment Institute, Faculty of Sciences Engineering and Technology, News, Oyster Reef Restoration, Publications, Research Wins, Research Wins, Science communication
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