Dr Jonny Stark — marine ecologist

Dr Jonny Stark in Antarctica
antFOCE Chief Investigator, Dr Jonny Stark (Photo: Glenn Johnstone)

Dr Jonny (Jonathan) Stark: BSc, MSc, PhD

Research interests

I am a marine ecologist leading research to aid the management and conservation of Antarctic coastal ecosystems. This includes research to support evidenced based decision making, and to provide practical advice to aid policy development to conserve and protect Australia’s Antarctic marine ecosystems. My research focuses on coastal ecosystems, benthic communities and environmental impacts. I began my career at the Institute of Marine Ecology (Sydney University), where I completed an MSc (1996) on impacts of urban runoff on intertidal mudflats. I have worked in a wide variety of regions from coral reefs to temperate kelp beds and Antarctic coasts. I completed my PhD in 2002 (UNE), which was the first study of the impacts of Australian Antarctic stations on the marine environment.

My research combines ecology and applied science and covers biology, ecology, chemistry and environmental science. I aim to further our understanding of Antarctic marine ecosystems and conduct research that will aid their management. My research has broken new ground in environmental impact assessment and monitoring in Antarctica, through a combination of traditional ecological impact assessment methods with novel experimental monitoring to identify cause and effect relationships between anthropogenic activity and ecological impacts. My research into the impact of an abandoned waste disposal site at Casey station contributed to the first full scale contaminated site remediation in the Australian Antarctic Territory in 2003–04.

My current research in Antarctic coastal ecosystems, conducted through the Environmental Protection and Change Program includes: the effects of research stations; the effects of climate change; biodiversity; and trophic ecology. This includes areas such as the effects of contaminants, spatial and temporal variation in Antarctic benthos, and ocean acidification and effects of changes in sea ice. It utilises cutting edge techniques in the areas of statistical analysis, genomics, chemical analyses and field methods. It has encompassed a broad range of biotopes including bacterial/microbial communities, meiofauna, macrofauna, epifauna and benthic megafauna, fish and seabirds. I am responsible for the design and implementation of marine monitoring programs for human impacts at Australian Antarctic stations. This research is also the basis of long-term monitoring, with data dating from 1996–97 at Casey.

Current projects

  • Antarctic Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (antFOCE) experiment (#4127)
  • Human impacts of Antarctic stations on nearshore ecosystems (#4180)
  • Davis Aerodrome Project environmental assessment
  • The effects of hydrocarbons in Antarctic marine sediments: a long term field experiment (#2201)
  • TRENZ-Trophic Ecology of the Nearshore Zone (#2948)
  • Natural variability and human induced change in Antarctic nearshore benthic communities (#2201)
  • Antarctic Marine Benthic Biodiversity
  • Vulnerability of Coastal Benthos to Climate Change
  • Long term marine monitoring of contaminated sites at Casey station
  • MEASO – Marine Ecosystem Assessment of the

Affiliations

  • Centre for Marine Socioecology, UTAS
  • Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies (IMAS), UTAS
  • Securing Antarctica’s Environmental Future (SAEF) Special Research Initiative
  • Antarctic Gateway Partnership Special Research Initiative

International/national collaborations

  • Moss Landing Marine Laboratories (USA)
  • University of NSW
  • Monash University
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Southern Cross University
  • University of Tasmania/IMAS
  • University of Wollongong
  • Macquarie University
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • CSIRO Marine Hobart
  • Florida State University (USA)
  • Plymouth Marine Laboratory (UK)

Key outcome areas

  • Committee for Environmental Protection (CEP)
  • Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Related links

Australian Antarctic Magazine (AAM) articles

Selected publications

Stark, J. S., E. T. Peltzer, D. I. Kline, A. M. Queirós, T. E. Cox, K. Headley, J. Barry, F. Gazeau, J. W. Runcie, S. Widdicombe, M. Milnes, N. P. Roden, J. Black, S. Whiteside, G. Johnstone, J. Ingels, E. Shaw, L. Bodrossy, J. D. Gaitan-Espitia, W. Kirkwood, and J.-P. Gattuso. 2019. Free Ocean CO2 Enrichment (FOCE) experiments: scientific and technical recommendations for future in situ ocean acidification projects. Progress in Oceanography 172:89-107.

Stark, J. S., N. P. Roden, G. J. Johnstone, M. Milnes, J. G. Black, S. Whiteside, W. Kirkwood, K. Newbery, S. Stark, E. van Ooijen, B. Tilbrook, E. T. Peltzer, K. Berry, and D. Roberts. 2018. Carbonate chemistry of an in-situ free-ocean CO2 enrichment experiment (antFOCE) in comparison to short term variation in Antarctic coastal waters. Scientific Reports 8:2816.

Stark, J. S., P. A. Corbett, G. Dunshea, G. Johnstone, C. King, J. A. Mondon, M. Power, A. Samuel, I. Snape, and M. Riddle. 2016. The environmental impact of sewage and wastewater outfalls in Antarctica: an example from Davis station, East Antarctica. Water Research 105:602-614.

Stark, J. S., P. Bridgen, G. Dunshea, B. Galton-Fenzi, J. Hunter, G. Johnstone, C. King, R. Leeming, A. Palmer, J. Smith, I. Snape, S. Stark, and M. Riddle. 2016. Dispersal and dilution of wastewater from an ocean outfall at Davis Station, Antarctica, and resulting environmental contamination. Chemosphere 152:142-157.

Stark, J. S., S. L. Kim, and J. S. Oliver. 2014. Anthropogenic Disturbance and Biodiversity of Marine Benthic Communities in Antarctica: A Regional Comparison. PLoS ONE 9:e98802.

Clark, G. F., J. S. Stark, E. L. Johnston, J. W. Runcie, P. M. Goldsworthy, B. Raymond, and M. J. Riddle. 2013. Light-driven tipping points in polar ecosystems. Global Change Biology 19:3749–3761.

For a full list of Dr Stark’s publications see Google Scholar.